Tuesday, May 02, 2023

Chico Wildflower, first time since 2003

The second of my rides was the Chico Wildflower.  I'd done this in 2002: it was my first century with a long drive to it.  

We rode through Paradise, which was destroyed in the 2018 Camp Fire as well as the movie Rebuilding Paradise (this is a for pay movie). I had expected to still see signs of devastation, but there were few signs in the town.  What was there was an absence of a town: driveways to nothing, parking lots for nonexistent stores, a few signs for stores that were gone, such as a Foster Freeze. There were almost no trees left, as what had burnt was taken down and carted off. Some people had rebuilt, and there were a large number of trailer homes parked in front of houses under construction. It was hard to take a picture of the absence of a town, and taking pictures of people rebuilding seemed too much of an intrusion of privacy.

Some things were very noticeable. The roadways were brand new, as everything had to be repaved. All the utility poles were still fresh. But as we got a bit out of town to the west, I saw this view looking across the plain of the butte, which captured the devastation. Since it was "wild lands," they were just letting nature take its course on the burnt tree stumps as far as the eye could see. 

I tried to get wildflower pictures to be in keeping with the name of the ride.  The superbloom had happened a few weeks earlier. so this is about as good as it gets.  [Note that the wildflowers were better in the bay area on other rides I did later.]

The last 30 miles of the ride were through almond orchards.  Here are a few pictures of the trees both up close and a whole orchard

I made it to the end of the ride, feeling good, with 95 miles and 5253 vertical feet under my belt or on my wheels or whatever the right phrase is for biking.

I had a strong sense of nostalgia for the ride as well as this vintage jersey. It was well-supported with great food, but it was also a long drive and some. very sketchy roads, such as Honey Run road up to Paradise. I think I'll treasure the memory and stick to local rides next year


Post a Comment

<< Home