As I left the dank campsite about a mile down the road I passed a motel… only one more mile and I could have had a bed last night, pretty funny. Around 9am I drove into Klamath Falls, Oregon driving down the empty main drag in hopes of finding a spot for breakfast. The only place open was the billiards and beer joint that had a young 20-something girl sweeping the sidewalk. I approached her and she was all too excited it seemed to have someone in for a coffee but sadly there was no kitchen so she pointed me to a place where I could find food. Klamath Falls Grill, it felt like something straight out of the early 70’s, old wood paneling, orange and brown décor with randomly placed photos showing Klamath Falls as it was during its early years. The locals were just as eclectic as the building its self, talking about the local farming and logging gossip with there low raspy voices, beaten by the consumption of chew, cigarettes and beer. I had a ranch styled breakfast, finished off my large coffee, fueled up the tanks and left Klamath Falls just as fast as I came. By late morning I crossed the California boarder, stopping only to stretch my legs and get a few pictures in front of the “welcome to California” sign.
I pressed on, curving through the lonely highways that stretched between Klamath Falls and Susanville, Speeding where possible hoping no cop was hiding behind the next curve. I stopped in one or two towns with nothing more then a local market and a gas station before I finally made it to the last stretch before Reno. Coming into Reno was a nice change up as the weather heated up and it was the first major stop since Portland. I rolled up to a house just west of the University where a group of friends that I knew but did not know they would be there were out side hanging out on the stoop. I chatted for a minute then headed to Pub and Sub for some pizza and beer discussing the plans to find this “secret” skate pool located in a backyard of house in the middle of Reno.
After figuring a few things out I grabbed a 12 pack of beer to use as a bartering tool to be able to skate this pool. I showed up to the house and no one ended up being home, the neighbor across the street said it was normal for people to just walk back and skate despite all the “no trespassing” signs. I walked back, swept the pool, and proceeded to skate the beast. As the sun began to fade behind dark clouds that hovered on top of the Sierras I went to hit a skate park on the east side of Reno before I headed up the Mt. Rose Highway to spend the night in Incline Village.
Making my way up the switch-backing pass into Tahoe, the temperature began to drop hinting that fall was here and winter was not too far off. I stopped for the night at Nana’s cabin which was tucked up high above the lake between clusters of pine trees, she was awake to greet us and show us how to reheat our dinner and then retired for the night. I stayed up only to discus my travels and other things before sleeping in beds for the first time since I had left Seattle.
Waking up in Tahoe was refreshing to say the least. I quickly wrapped things up and headed over highway 267 into Truckee to meet up with another friend to get breakfast burritos and check out his compound where I learned about an up and coming company called Push Fins. (Push Fins uses old skateboards to create fins for surfboards and paddle boards). I spent some time hanging there before moving on to old 40 on Donner Pass.
I hit a few patches of traffic on our way down to Stockton, but I eventually made it, driving into a small area just out side of Stockton by the name of French Camp where I met up with my Grandpa to check out his plantation styled house and his collection of cars and amazing amount of history he had collected over the years.
Getting a tour of the cars and a quick lesson on many of the things he had been involved with, I then jumped onto his 1980’s golf cart and got to checkout the rest of his land getting to see the river that his house backed up to. For dinner he pulled out his 1960’s Buick Riviera and showed us the local watering hole, a small bar consisting of 2 double-wides tucked in the back of a mobile home lot. It was right next to river as well and as I sipped down beer and ate our meals I got to feel a bit for the life in the farmlands of California. After finishing up there I got back on the road heading west to Santa Cruz, getting a bit turned around in search of a gas station and caught up in Monday night traffic in San Jose. Finally arriving in Santa Cruz around 11pm after a long day I was beat to say the least.