Tour without a goal – 15 August 2014

Written by robert on August 16th, 2014

Lake Tahoe

warm day –
and still
some food on hand
 
-Santoka

it’s Tahoe vs Veygus in the Big Game
It was another chilly, mountain morning, though not as outright cold as yesterday. Climbing the hill out of the campground warmed me right up anyway. I did a bit of riding high above Lake Tahoe which afforded some spectacular views, of the layered blue lake. It was a sunny, heading toward hot day and already the lake was filling out with boaters. The road was plenty busy as well as people drove from scenic outlook to scenic outlook. California drivers are pretty courteous, but they drive fast, whipping around the corners and then slowing or giving you space. Eventually I descended from this rocky ridge above the lake and turned west toward Falling Leaves Lake.

the sun sinks behind the hills
- a lone tree frog chirrups

The route expended some effort keeping me off of 89 but at the expensive of doing several very steep country or forest roads. The first of these was up from Falling Leaves Lake and it was unsigned and I’d sort of just assumed it was the right one as the distance was right. It climbed up at a,plenty steep grade through the trees. But then things were easy for a while, with a succession of flat backroads and trails all the way to the small, town of Meyers. I bought supplies for the next couple of days there and while eating lunch at the visitors center I saw two fully loaded tourons ride by on the trial, one in each direction. They didn’t seem to notice me.

DSC_3537.JPG

From Meyers I was again on a backroads that became a very decrepit forest road. I did the bulk of the climb up to Luther Pass on this road and it was quite steep, switchbacking it’s way up. Finally I was back on 89 just a mile or two below the summit at 7740 feet. Descending from there the terrain was quite arid, all pale dirt and huge boulders. Still plenty of trees but widely dispersed among the sage, mesquite and other dry climate shrubbery. On this descent I saw a third loaded touron making his slow way up the other side of Luther Pass, making for three on this day – practically a jamboree. It mostly descended to Markleeville which turned out to be a cute little town with several caf├ęs and restaurants. Less then a mile outside of it was a campground where I stayed at night. Not an epic day so I got here early which was good as it was tiny and it’s Friday. I got a good shaded spot and spent the late afternoon reading and writing.

the moon a smeary white in the early dawn
- the echoing hooting of owls

 

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