An hour or so after leaving the Lake Tahoe area, we arrived in Quincy, CA. Or what we thought was Quincy. Highway 89 meanders like a lazy river through small communities blessed with wonderful scenery. The drive was slow and we weren’t in any hurry. Our friends Jerry and Leslie spent many wonderful years in Quincy, and we planned to explore the area. When we pulled into town from the south, we were surprised how ordinary it was. We pulled off the highway and drove through a residential area, and somehow continued to miss the town proper. Not one to wander aimlessly around lunchtime, we learned from a fellow strolling along that we were in East Quincy, south (go figure) of Quincy. So off we headed north. Or west?
Shortly after arriving, we stopped by the Chamber of Commerce and learned from a friendly person about a good lunch restaurant (Pangea) and where the natural food store was (a couple blocks down the road). Quincy gave us a glimpse of what Ashland might have resembled about 30 years ago. Not much traffic on a thoroughfare that separated into two one-ways through town. As for size, the “downtown” in which we strolled was about the same as walking from Ashland’s library to the Plaza. Again, the favorable comparison to Ashland.
After our delicious meal (complimented by a Stone Brewing Company IPA they pour on tap), our server visited and provided us information for an after-lunch hike. Following her suggestion, we headed north “down the canyon” to a power station-looking facility on the corner of the “Old Highway.” Said so, right there on the road sign. We turned onto that road and passed about a dozen houses before pulling off to a parking area right next to Spanish Creek.
Up the creek we walked, passing a couple gorgeous camping sites along the river. The trail, suitable for some non-technical cycling for quite a ways, was canopied by alder, pines, and oak, and presented us a truly remarkable geological display of micas, mosses, slate, caverns, streams flowing out of sheer rock—one amazing thing after the other. And not overshadowed by these wonders was the fast-flowing Spanish Creek. After about 45 minutes of a leisurely walk, we came to a series of class 4+ rapids that cascaded down 3 or 4 benches. The water in this chute was flowing quite fast, and the scene closely resembled Rainey Falls on the wild and scenic Rogue River below Graves Creek.
This wonderful surprise was just one more memorable experience to add to the final day of our ’07 spring fling. Adding the fact that we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on this wonderful hike makes it all the more wonderful. I wonder where we’ll spend our 40th?