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Long and Lovely – California Highway 96

From Mount Shasta, Kenny and I were headed for the most northern leg of our trip. We were going to pick up Highway 96 just north of Yreka (Y-reeka).

Highway 96 in California

What lay in store for us was over 150 miles of smooth sailing. A hundred and fifty great miles on the same winding road? Only in California.

As the road rambled on further away from any major towns, it became impossible not to think about how people live in those remote places.

Riding along california route 96

We stopped in to grab a drink when we saw the Seiad Valley post office and general store. They were flying a sign over the store with a double X on it. I didn’t know it at the time but apparently it represented a formally proposed State of Jefferson, which would have seceded California. Mark that down under you learn something new every day.

Seiad Valley Post Office

It occurred to me that some riders, if they were not careful could really run in to trouble with gas not being readily available for long stretches on 96. There were many areas without cell signal and nowhere to walk to. They’d be kickin’ their breakdown old skool. We had a taste of that very thing on nearby Salmon River Road during our trip there in 2008.

Traffic on the road was very scarce but we did see a few other bikes along the way. We traded places with one group of about 6 riders a few times, each with a wave. Later on in the day we would run in to them again at a small store in Weitchpec and get a chance to talk.

We also had a chance to speak with a Canadian rider who was traveling solo on a new Tiger 800. It was a pretty sharp looking machine.

Canadian rider on route 96

The three of us chuckled that we were all out doing the same thing – 3 Triumph riders with their GoPros running on 96. Kenny and I had ours helmet mounted and the Canadian rider had his mounted on his left pannier with a suction mount. Sadly when we pulled away from the stop, his GoPro went skittering across the road. He pulled off to pick it up only to watch it be run over by a car. :(

Klamath National Forest Sign Route 96

Highway 96 is a long, scenic stretch of road. The section we traveled was over 150 miles of sweeping turns that made their journey along the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. With good pavement and little to no traffic on much of it, Kenny said this was one of his favorite days of riding during the whole trip.

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Comments

George
Reply

I loved northern California but I was not inland, I was along the coast making the last stop in Crescent City.
I wanna go back.

Lisa
Reply

Hi! I was born and raised in Happy Camp and my family goes back that we can trace 12 generations. Thank you for the pics and I could tell you stories upon stories about growing up there…lol! Very remote. My whole family still lives there. Thanks for sharing and enjoy the ride. I am happy you enjoyed my neck of the woods.

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