The night before in Volcano we had some questionable tacos at the only place to eat, hey it was taco night. I left the bar early as I was exhausted and wanted to catch up on the blog. Mark stayed on for trivia night and learned of everyone’s issues and hardships. The bar patrons were very good with TV facts, but not so good on history. Mark’s group came in second with a clutch call by Mark on who the US fought in The War of 1812. Great Britain. I think they are putting up a statute of Mark next to the Civil War cannon.
We arranged for a cab pick us up at 7:00 am in Volcano. Mark asked how fast the mini van could go and she took Mark to task. I said there was no rush. On the 4500 foot elevation gain on curvy mountain roads back to Cooks Station we both felt quite queazy and nauseous. Ate a scrumptous breakfast of eggs, etc while our heads were still spinning. Had a slight delay on our departure as the tacos from the night before kicked in and combined with our car sickness made for a rough morning.
Cooks Station is a former Stage Coach and Pony Express Station. They used to have a pony express station every 5 miles as that is the distance you can drive cattle in a day – back in the day.
Today we pedaled over Carson’s Pass – a big climb and very majestic ride as the road was lined with snow and snow covered peaks left and right. We saw a large menacing snake curled up and ready to strike in the middle of the road, but it was too steep to stop and get a photo. It may have been a California Night Snake. We took it easy and stopped for many water breaks when the grade relented. The clouds kept the temperature down combined with the sweet tailwind and coolness from the snow by the side of the road. Came over Carson’s pass and screamed downhill for 3000 feet to Woodfords Inn. Luckily we put on wind breakers for the brisk ride down hill.
We tried to keep our speed under 30 or 35 mph as the cross winds were treacherous and with the panniers on the bike, the bike tends to get blown around quite a bit.
Didn’t get any pictures of Hope Valley (we were taking in the sights and enjoying the downhill immensely) — which was an incredible site — a lush green meadow strewn with glacial erratics with a 100 foot wide stream meandering across the valley.
Arrived at the Woodfords Inn and we asked Ron, the owner, if there was a place to eat and he made a call and offered us his red pick up to get a burger at Tony’s up the hill. We were glad not to have to bike any further. We got Ron a burger as well and he is giving us his pickup so we can get breakfast in the morning.
It is amazing how friendly everyone is. People we’ve met along the way want to talk and we feel bad that after an hour we have to say we have to go as we have a long way to go….
Onto Fallon tomorrow.
Views on the climb up the pass
Sketchy 3 mile section of road to Kirkwood
Carson’s Pass and the start of 15 miles downhill. Nice way to end the day after a 35 mile climb.