Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 7: Hoopa to 9 miles east of Somes Bar

a. 3795’ gain and 41 miles for Amy who didn’t follow route. Longer and ~2000 feet of additional gain Jim who did follow Andreas’ dirt route. Night spent at ~1000’ elevation. Amy took the paved highway 96 from Hoopa to Orleans.
b. Camped in a rough camp next to the Salmon River, 9 miles east of Somes Bar.
c. Food: small shops in Weitchpec (Amy’s route), Orleans and Somes Bar. Café in Orleans.
d. Road info: Amy wanted a rest day and so stayed on the paved road (highway 96) from Hoopa to Orleans. It was a beautiful low-traffic ideal paved road that stayed fairly close to the river.
Jim took the dirt through the mountains that Andreas described from Hoopa to Orleans. The official route through the mountains is the first stretch of the trip on a road not shown on the AAA Northern California map. It is very poorly marked (none of the usual Forest Service road number tags) and the dirt road has at least three significant junctions that are unmarked and could cause confusion. There are many other intersections with other roads leading off the route, but it is relatively easy to decide which road to take in these other cases. The first confusing junction is where the road has two forks leading almost directly away from the route you have been following. Between the two forks is a large tree with paint on its trunk. Follow the right hand fork here. The second is another unmarked fork. There is a large, permanent forest service sign at this junction, that stated that “burning permits were required”. Go left here. Finally, maybe half a mile after passing the first well signposted intersection and climbing a short rocky section of road, there is yet another fork, with the left branch leading slightly uphill; take the right branch which will soon start a long downhill run. Keep in mind that the area is a rat’s nest of old logging roads. Keep track of where you are going and if you get lost, backtrack. There was no traffic at all.
After Orleans the roads were all paved, beautiful and quiet.
e. Water availability: Tap water at stores in Weitchpec, Orleans and Somes Bar. Occasional access to Klamath River water on 96 (Amy’s route). Occasional access to Salmon River water once you are east of Somes Bar.
f. Miscellaneous Notes: Although 96 looks like a main road on the map, it is reasonably quiet and very lovely.

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