Keeping warm in NorCal

2 people, 1051 miles, 5 days

By Alex von B.


While most folks were busy eating turkey, my girlfriend and I decided to get busy exploring Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. We were on the hunt for some solitude and singletracks for mountain biking.

The result: Plenty of hours on the road, days spent mountain biking through elk, four nights below freezing, stars as clear as you can imagine, and snow.

The mountain bike trail went straight through a herd of feasting elk. We couldn’t believe how bold they were — we were biking 20 feet away from them and they didn’t even flinch. I had to whistle to get the older guy to look at us. He peeked up for a couple seconds and then decided that lunch really was more interesting.

Biking 50 miles without much sunlight in the day is quite the challenge. We made it back to the camper just in time to relax, and enjoy the last light of the day. No cars, no noise, just moving in fog and a dimming sun.

We drove another hour north of Eureka to find a spot to sleep on the beach so we could wake up by the ocean. We figured that staying close to the ocean would keep us warm(er) at night.

Not a cloud in the sky, we watched the last light disappear with some cold beers. Once the sun was gone, we got this dreamy photo showing how surreal the sky was at night.

We found a quiet parking spot, and settled in for lunch in our kitchen on wheels.

We cruised up the coast in the search for some rideable waves before heading inland to Crater Lake, Oregon.

The view at Crater Lake was all worth it. We were told that some hikers were currently doing a four-day trip around the lake with their tent. Although we added this to our bucket list for the next trip, we opted to enjoy some hot tea on the rim

Mt. Shasta sunset and campfires go hand in hand. Dreamy peaks!

There’s only a few images that can summarize an entire trip, and this is one! We drew a treasure map in the guest book in Zack’s van. If anyone wants details on our route, you’ll have to rent Zack’s camper to find out.