Tahoe City California

4 Oct

I’ve stopped for a late lunch at Rosie’s Cafe in Tahoe City; out the front window I see the lake. I stopped here in Homewood and chatted with the new, recent owner.
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Windy rough Lake Tahoe.
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Windy riding today along hwy 70 through the Plumas National Forest. The canyon of the East Branch of the North Fork of Feather River is very scenic; as nice as I have ridden through. Great road surface with lots of high speed sweeping turns mixed with tight corners and gently littered with rocks. This is a serious slide canyon worthy of caution. See these small roadside boulders.image

A few long narrow tunnels where it wasn’t appropriate to cut for the road.
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I camped last night at Meeks Bay Campground and got up early to take some pictures, it was only 5degC. On my way to breakfast in South Lake Tahoe I stopped to see Emerald Bay in brilliant morning sun. Breakfast was good, coffee at the Alpina Coffee Cafe is excellent. After, I took a short detour to Nevada. So I’ve now touched and or ridden in 45 states. WooHoo. image

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There are a few 10mph hairpin turns just south of Emerald Bay. I was hungry, had sun in my eyes and with cold pavement and tires I rode carefully. This is a beautiful area but crowded and lots of trafic considering it’s October and early in the morning.
Along hwy #4 near Ebbetts Pass I parked at a photo vista beside an old Corvair.
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I was zig-zagging east and west to ride the passes today, Donnell Vista is on hwy #108
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and I had blue skies with some cloud for most of the day. Off in the distance is a snow dusted peak.
My personal nemisis is tipping over when parking along the roadside to take pictures. I stop many times and struggle to get the bike on a reasonaly level place where the kickstand will support it and there is adequate traction for my boots so I don’t tip over getting on or off the tall heavily loaded Suzuki beast. Some of the best photos can’t be taken with my camera, just my eyes, because I can’t stop. The enormous glacial boulders along some of these roads is indescribable. Large erratics that I’m ccustomed to seeing in Canada, are abundant like roadside gravel. California might just have some of the best and biggest boulders any where that I’ve visited. Falling over is not only embarrassing; the bike is so loaded that I need to remove some luggage so I can pick it up. Toppling over is also an easy way to break a clutch or front brake lever. Bummer on that, eh.

This is about 2 miles just before the pass and I’m looking at the dark clouds coming over the top and wondering what I’m in for.
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Just at the top of the pass looking east I was expecting something unpleasant.
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This road was closed with snow just a few days ago, and just after I crested Sonora Pass at 9,624ft I had some rain drops. Just a shower but combined with the dark ominous sky I decided to quit taking pictures and get down out of the mountains. I’m not at all interested in becoming snowbound at high elevation in my tent until the road opens. These roads are not ever snow plowed. If it melts fine, otherwise it stays closed.
As I got closer to Bridgeport I looked back west to see the snowy peaks, clouds and apparent precipitation that was behind me.
It’s been another great day; three wonderful adventure riding days in a row of fantastic mountain twisties. To paraphrase Bilbo Baggins “I do like mountain passes, but they make one late for dinner.” Warning signs like 26% grade (yes that’s steep) and chains advisable in snowy conditions. It’s also been a long day, 415km and 185 pictures, and I ended with only about 30 minutes of daylight left, stretching it out as long and far as I could; in total five deer were on the road in front of me within 100 ft. So I’m now checked into a motel in Bridgeport. To some, that may not seem like much distance to accomplish in a whole day but some of it is in 1st and 2nd gear along narrow twisted mountain roads. I’m gentle with the brakes because the Vstrom has plenty of compression for slowing down but my gearbox had a good workout.

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