Nothing beats drinking a wake-up coffee in the morning with aspens and Ponderosa pines for company. My spontaneous choice of a campsite the previous evening (both the sun and I were quickly going down hill when the sign suddenly appeared) couldn’t have been better. Howard’s Gulch is…well, this is how the Forest Service describes it, and they’re right:
Set back off the highway in a tree lined gulch this campground is a very quiet and pleasant place to spend the weekend or your entire vacation.
I settled for one night, sharing it with a couple piloting an old city-style bus (the kind minor league athletes ride in the movies) with “Retired” in the destination window, and a half-dozen vultures, who chose one of the taller pines across from me for their roost. In the morning the scavengers were gone, the bus quiet, as I walked around the short loop with my tripod, enjoying the early forest scents as much as the slanting light that played amongst the trees.
Back on Highway 139 I stopped first in Canby, which was sleeping in on a weekend morning—no quaint coffee shop in sight, but what’s this? An interesting story surely lies behind the paint carefully laid down here—perhaps someone missed another forest, in another place. Or simply wanted to fit back against the drabness that overtakes so many small towns.
Adin was next on the map—I posted a photo from there yesterday for the Weekly Challenge: Geometry, but the man refurbishing windows wasn’t the only photo opportunity I found. The door to his building provided a reminder of Marlboro cowboys, and next door a defunct service station was accented by two three-speed girls bicycles (check the frame style).
I moved a couple of blocks down 299 and went inside the Adin Supply Company, which has…a little of everything. Stuffed deer heads on the walls, groceries, all the John Wayne knickknacks a tourist could imagine and, well-timed for the beginning of the baseball playoffs, dozens of vintage photos featuring Boston Red Sox and Yankee stars of the 1930s and 40s. Steve Gagnon owns the store along with his wife, and I had a few minutes to chat with him about the pictures. His father had collected them, he said, and a few originals sat among the reproductions. I resolved one mystery when I identifyed one Yankee as NOT being Yogi Berra. Who is in the photo is the new mystery, but I’m still looking, Steve.
I had a coffee and yogurt outside at one of their tables before I left. Steve went off to the high school with a wave and “stop again” and then all that was left was a leaning wigwam burner at the junction of 299 and 139, and the turn towards Susanville.