Apple Creek to Diamond Lake

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Disc Trucker

Day 4 - Lots more climbing

Another beautiful morning. Nothing but sunshine so far. I'd driven the North Umpqua highway before so I sort of knew what to expect. There is a great mountain bike trail that follows the river, with trail access every 10 miles or so. I knew it was a real mountain bike trail and not something I could ride on my loaded Trucker. The road climbed steady but at a manageable grade. I was hoping to find a store to get some ice tea and soon noticed one of those 'road supported by' signs with 'Dry Creek Store'. Sure enough I soon saw the big sign on the highway saying 'Dry Creek Store - Opened'. Only it wasn't opened. It was closed permanently. Another rural business gone. There would be no store until Diamond Lake.

The North Umpqua is very scenic and has some amazing waterfalls. We had been to Lemolo Falls some years ago. Its a ways off the road and then a good hike in so I knew I wouldn't get there this trip, but I did stop at Clearwater Creek falls which is right on the highway. Another beautiful spot. There is a campground there as well. I talked to some people from California who were enjoying a road trip though Oregon.

There had been no cell service since I left Cottage Grove. I was to meet Lorri and Charlie at Diamond Lake but we had neglected to plan where to meet in the event of no wifi. I started to worry about this a bit as the day wore on. Then somewhere high in the mountains I came into cell service and things started beeping at me as messages came in. I continued climbing for what seemed like forever until I finally got to the Diamond Lake turnoff. There was a store right there and I stopped and got a drink, but passed on the ice cream thinking I'd get some at the resort further down the road. But then I rode right by the resort and soon came to the campground entrance. There are several campgrounds at Diamond Lake and we had discussed staying at either of the others, but not this one. I was exhausted and when I saw that the campground was mostly empty, and that there were great spots right on the lake, and that it would only coast me $8 with my senior pass, well not much to debate. I found a spot, got settled and pulled out my phone to let Charlie and Lorri know where I was. No service! What! I had service all the way in. So I rode back out thinking I'd have service up on the road. No luck. Starting to panic now I headed back to the resort a mile or so back down the road. For a minute I had service and tried to text them, but it didn't go through. I got to the resort, the lodge, and they had wifi. Lucked out again. Got my message through, and confirmed our camping spot. Got some ice cream and other treats at the store, and headed back to camp.

It was a beautiful spot and I got to watch the sun go down on the opposite side of the lake. Lorri and Charlie didn't show up until after sunset but they saw it fro further back. They brought dinner so we feasted and enjoyed the evening. The full moon soon rose and it was a spectacular night. I sat down by the lake side and played my shakuhachi before bed.


Clearwater Creek Falls
At Clearwater Creek Falls


Windigo Pass Road
I didn't take this road but it is part of the ACA Sierra-Cascades route as a gravel alternative. One day I will ride it.


5,000 feet elevation
It was a full day of climbing. There were elevation signs every 500'. I started the day below 1,500' and ended the day over 6,000.


Diamond Lake
Diamond Lake