I had been in the town of Quincy, California, for no longer than an hour before I was perched atop Mount Hough, beer in hand, peering down at the deep-blue waters of Crystal Lake alongside Mason Werner and Garen Becker. Werner, a resident, and Becker, a native of Santa Cruz, were here to guide me through my first taste of the mountains of northeastern California. The area is known as the Lost Sierra, a land rife with mystery, folklore, legend, swimming holes and, now, choice singletrack. It was early evening, and the California summer illuminated the mountains on the horizon. We could see where the Sierra Nevada ended and the Cascades began as Mount Lassen punctuated the skyline. We stood on the edge of the cliff, taking in the beauty of the mountains and lake before plunging down the trails of Mount Hough.
Quincy is located about 90 minutes west of Reno, Nevada. The town has remained quiet and virtually impervious to the strong grip of corporate America. The businesses on Main Street are independently owned and occupied by the local community. Established during the gold rush of the mid-1800s, Quincy has been a logging town for the better part of a century. Nestled in Plumas National Forest, it is surrounded by a million acres of beautiful forestland.