Tour without a goal – 13 August 2014

Sierra Mountain Valley

before this autumn wind
even the shadows of mountains
shudder and tremble

mountain wind
I lingered at Movin’ West RV Park primarily to get my laundry done as it wasn’t available to me until 9am. I talked to a fellow there who gave me the rundown on all the upcoming roads and mountains. I could see that the dusty hills around me were veined with trails and forest roads and he noted that some of these were old pony express routes. Once I did finally hit the road the primary feature of today’s ride came into play: epic winds. They seemed to be coming out of the southeast but the route wound through some many twisting mountain valleys it was hard to say. I was heading east mostly so it was usually against me or a crosswind.

Donner Party picnic

Can there be anything better than a Donner Party memorial Picnic Area?

There was two climbs today, the first to an “Unnamed Summit”, that is it had a marker that just said “summit”. This was pretty short and primarily just got me up to this big wide valley. Another bowl like one, surrounded by the Sierras, the wind was just brutal here. The crosswinds were the most problematic as they’d blow me into the soft shoulder or toward traffic. I was thus somewhat relieved to mount the second, much longer climb, who’s hills block the wind somewhat. This was the part that really winding through the mountains and when I’d come out of the trees there’d be these great views. The hills are just rock, bristling with trees but almost no undergrowth. Far below was a cheery creek but as a crested the false summit I was in a flat region where the Little Truckee River ran merrily along, perfectly clear right above the rocks.

feasting on the car killed deer
fly away as I approach

The high point of the day of the day – not marked, though higher than the “unnamed summit” was over 6500′ and I did. It descend much into Truckee. This town had quite the hip main drag, with a cupcake shop, a bottle shop and brewpub among many other quaint little shops. But it was also the meeting of highways and there was an industrial area and an Amtrak station. So it was packed. I didn’t spend much time there; I bought some supplies and returned to the route. 89 at this point becomes a busy, fast highway but has huge shoulders. It runs right along the Truckee River and is in USFS lands. So there were two campgrounds right out of town. I stayed at the latter one, Goose Meadows Campground.

when the traffic dies down
I can hear the soft wash of the river

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