Day 8 – Fort Bragg, CA to Truckee, CA

Total Kilometres: 587 (365 Miles)
High/Low Temp: 18 Celcius (nice cool ocean breeze) and as high as 34 Celcius (in, if you can believe it – Nice, CA)
Total Riding Time: 9:00am PST – 6:00pm PST

finally found a place with vacancy in my late day travels. truckee is just outside of lake tahoe. it’s a neat old building i’m staying in, the truckee hotel, an original old building likely from the late 1800s or early 1900s since there is no elevator. there are few modernities in the hotel – shared washroom, no tv, one outlet, but it has a real aura and sense of history. pretty cool old building. i’ll post pics tomorrow.

the ride from fort bragg was an adventure through all types of climates – the ocean and mist of fort bragg, the rainforest of highway 20, the high desert and alpine areas leading to the lake tahoe area.

highway 20 was much of the same as highway 1 out to the coast. all up and down high to cross the mountain range and a gagillion corners. hairpin turns, and repeating patterns of hard, hard right turns followed by longer sharp lefts – over and over. so much fun.

highway 20 across the high desert was one thing – hot. 34 degrees and construction zones don’t mix. poor bastards actually out working in that heat, can’t imagine. stopped in williams for a drink and had a chat with an old retired fella. after the redneck-o-rama yesterday it was nice to have a chat with someone about something interesting. he collects old MG cars and sells them in canada, apparently other than yuppies no one here has much interest in small cars. he asked about our politics, thought we had two provinces and actually knew where calgary was. first person to do so. we also talked about american politics and liberalism – all this at a country gas station. funny eh? asked if i was married, ‘nope, common-law’ he quips ‘ah, a liberal, nothing wrong with that, we could use a few more here.’ we part ways, he for his mail, me to continue the journey.

Beautiful flowers growing on the roadside, looked like a big lilac bush - white and pink versions.

Beautiful flowers growing on the roadside, looked like a big lilac bush – white and pink versions.

stopped in grass valley for gasoline. a couple pulls up on a harley and is taking off their gear and earplugs. i ask if it’s hot enough. i was surprised when i heard an irish lilt. they rented the bike in san francisco and were making their way to lake tahoe, then back home. i think they were equally suprised to find that i wasn’t an american. we had a good chat about what a lunk the harley electra-glide was, since he normally rides an aprillia sport bike back home in ireland. he says, “can’t get anything out of this thing, can barely pass cars…” and so on. pretty funny.

The "high desert" began to get quite warm. Not much to look at, just scrub and dry ground.

The “high desert” began to get quite warm. Not much to look at, just scrub and dry ground.

The "western butte" about the only interesting thing to look at on highway 20. These are really, really old mountains.

The “western butte” about the only interesting thing to look at on highway 20. These are really, really old mountains.

i then took highway 89 across and around the sierra nevadas, good ride and some really challenging riding in spots, but as far as scenery i’d have to say the sierra nevadas are a bit of a disappointment. i’ll take canada’s rockies any time. mind you the roads are better, but still i’m not just about riding, there has to be a point, a destination. the highway has a sierra city at the bottom of the yuba pass, and sierraville at the bottom on the other side – them ‘mericans likes there sierras alright.

From the top of the Yuba Pass (6600 ft) looking towards lake tahoe and the next set of mountains in the range.

From the top of the Yuba Pass (6600 ft) looking towards lake tahoe and the next set of mountains in the range.

down to tahoe city then truckee. not many pictures today, and not for a lack of trying. on note, i did have a splendid dinner here at the unfortunately named – ‘great american bar’ which was a wine/eatery. great food and i actually had a glass of wine, something i normally don’t do. the wine along with a paella was absolutely yummy.

i’ve come to the horrible conclusion, that like so many things i do, i’ve bitten off more than i can chew on this trip. i’m having a tough time finding places for lodging for under $120 a night US, unlike last time when i could easily find little motels for $28/night. and hello, americans, it’s ‘california’ – two hotels in as many nights and no air conditioning, huh? i’m keeping my fingers crossed but it looks like i may have to revise my route and start working my way home before i run out of cashola. haven’t made up my mind which way to go tomorrow, but i’ll have to make an executive decision on continue or return before i’m too far gone.