Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Road to Lake Tahoe

Friday 8-2-2013 Childs Meadow, CA to Quincy CA

Today was a longer day by design, because we needed to get better aligned with the lodging on the route. It was not so hard to start, as we are still descending away from Lassen Park. The road got better for awhile, as it merged with route 36 and went along Lake Almanor.
Lake Almanor

We stopped for lunch near the Lake Almore Dam, at a nice little beach park. We continued through Greenville and Crescent Mills into a large valley. The next stretch was very scenic, but very dangerous.
Rt 89/70 Descends into the Canyon After Crescent Mills

Rt. 89/70 descended into a canyon along Indian Creek, and it was the most dangerous road I have ever cycled on. With limited sight lines and no shoulder, we watched semi-trucks and cars go flying through there. It had turn-outs, so we ended up sprinting between them when we could not hear them coming. Thank goodness it was a descent. I would never cycle that road again. It was an act of God that no one was hurt. We got out of the canyon and stopped for a breather.
Resting at the Rt 89 Rt. 70 Junction

The last ten miles to Quincy was a little better, with a lot of the trucks following Rt. 70 to the south. We climbed through the Feather River Canyon, which is famous for the rail line which also climbs up it.
Feather River Rail Line Snakes Under ...

And Over Route 89 Near Quincy

We still had fast traffic, but a little more room to deal with it. We finally got to Quincy and got a room. We talked to the locals here and they said the road opens up as we go south and we are into the weekend. That should eliminate most of the logging trucks. We have two more days to go on the road of death, so we will be careful. Do you want to cycle this route? Talk to us first.

Saturday 8-3-2013 Quincy CA to Sierraville, CA

A better day on Rt.89. We climbed out of Quincy to Lee Summit with a little shoulder and light traffic. The road follows the Feather River, then drops into the little vacation village of Graeagle.
Feather River Canyon From Rt. 89 

From Graeagle we climbed over another ridge, and descended into the Sierra Valley and Sierraville. The valley is really large and gave us Montana-like views. Really beautiful.
Big Pine Cones near Calpine

Rt.89 with Sierraville in the distance


We stayed at the Sierra Hot Springs Resort, which was a little different than we were used to. The resort is a spiritual retreat center owned by the Church of One Being (NACOB). It has a lodge, community kitchen, spiritual councilors, and offers various therapies like Massage and Rebirth. The main attraction is several hot spring fed pools. Nudity is OK here, and we were in a shower house with a group of nude people waiting for the showers. When in Rome… The campground is just a rutted field, which worked out OK. There is a drum circle tonight which lasts till midnight. Interesting place. As a final note, it turned out to be our most expensive campground yet, total cost of $60. It was weird at first but we warmed up to it and enjoyed it.
Sierra Valley from Sierra Hot Springs Resort

Sierra Hot Springs Resort
Sunday 8-4-2013 Sierraville, CA to Tahoe City, CA
We are off to Tahoe with one final day on Rt.89. We climbed out of Sierraville to a summit on the Nevada County line headed to Truckee. Things were good until we crossed over the county line and the road condition deteriorated. 
Near the Nevada County Line on Rt. 89

The edge of the shoulder-less road became broken up, and we had to hang out in traffic a little more. To add to the mess, the descent into Truckee was very busy with people going to I-80 in Truckee. It turned into a game of “hold your line” which was exhausting. As we got close to Truckee, a couple on road bikes noticed us and waited for us. They led us through side streets to get us off the highway and through Truckee. Thanks Karen and Andrew! They saved our day and our relationship (Smile). Truckee is also a famous railroad town, being the staging area for Donner Pass, a historic route dating back to the first trans-continental route. The road between Truckee and Tahoe is a busy freeway, but it had a sixteen foot shoulder which we could relax on. We cycled to the Squaw Valley entrance, and got on a bike trail which took us all the way to Tahoe. 
Squaw Valley, Site of 1960 Winter Olympics

The Bike trail was skinny, but not too crowded. It was fun to watch hundreds of rafters drifting down the Truckee River. 
Rafters on the Truckee River

We are staying about a quarter mile from the end of the bike trail, which is good as the traffic here is gridlocked. It is good to walk around and we are right next to the beach.


Monday 8-5-2013 Tahoe City, CA

We looked at our schedule and it looks like we will get to the Bay area on time with a little ingenuity. We have cycled over a thousand miles and too many thousands of feet of elevation to count and we still have some climbing in Yosemite to look forward to. Tahoe City is a cute little resort area. After our experience last week, we decided to talk to locals about the route ahead. We stopped in at Olympic Bike in town and talked to Peter, the owner. He may just have saved the remainder of the tour. He cautioned us about certain areas of the published route ahead. He gave local knowledge routes around the most dangerous areas and told us the best places to stop and eat. It now looks like we will spend a day in Nevada! It is obvious that he is passionate about the area and its history. We could not have talked to a better person. Marty bought a shop jersey and we would recommend that if ever in this area (Death Ride participants) you patronage this shop. He has everything you could need or want.
Sunny Afternoon on Lake Tahoe

Esther Hanging with her Mystery Man

Smokey Sunset at Tahoe City


1 comment:

  1. Happy August 11th B-Day Marty...

    Kevin

    ReplyDelete

Please leave a comment to let us know what you think. Comments won't show up immediately, but we will get them. Thanks for reading!