Our visit in Downieville was over on Wednesday morning. Our route for the day would zigzag across a couple of the highways in the Sierras, and then return us to Redding. Dan had helped me put it together the previous night. I had the two main roads in my head, and he helped me find some interesting connecting roads to make it a seamless trip.
Leaving Downieville, we headed west on Highway 49 and then turned onto Marysville Road. From there we used a combination of Willow Grade, La Porte Road and Forbestown Road to connect with Highway 70.
Highway 70 is a long scenic mountain-pass highway that follows the twisty Feather River from Oroville to the mountain pass near Highway 89 where we stopped at a little hole-in-the wall café at the Caribou Road junction for lunch. It was a long stop, as the place was run by one woman on her own.
We took Highway 89 turn-off up to Chester again for a tank of gas, and then continued on Highway 89 to the junction with Highway 32. Turning southwest, we were back on another twisty mountain road following a river down through the Sierras. We had a bit of rain at the top of the pass but, as we continued down Calf Creek, it let up. By the time we reached a gas station in Chico it was warm and sunny.
Out of Chico we took Highway 99 north to Red Bluff, a straight, completely uneventful slab ride through agricultural lands where English walnut orchards are in abundance.
Dan and I had a few off-the-beaten-path roads, Jelly’s Ferry Road and several other cow-paths thrown in for the route from Red Bluff to Redding to give us an interesting wrap-up to the day. The last few miles were sort of rough, but the roads wound through some beautiful pasture lands. We finally returned to the Thunderbird Motel in Redding, where we had been two days prior. This time, we ate mediocre Mexican food in the restaurant adjacent to the motel.