(Written by guest writer Pete)
I am happy to be the new intern for Leave Without Pay. It is a temporary assignment. Which is probably a good thing. The application process was rigorous. I have heard that the senior editor is very picky (advice from Dave), and that the junior editor can be a bit wordy (thanks Mrs Ertel). Hopefully, my first post is enough to please the editors and the regular readers of LWOP.com. (Senior Editor comment – first post? That implies there will be future posts from the intern….)
Before talking about the ride, we need to talk about the night at the Moving West RV Park. Nothing happened. No bear spray deployed. No bear whistle blown. No bear bell rung. To the delight and relief of all.
An early start was in order today to beat the traffic and heat to Truckee. Camp was broken, breakfast eaten and bikes packed for a 7:55 departure (Senior Editor note to Inge – no surprise, we were aiming for a 7:00am start.). Luckily the Frostee was not open to tempt us before the first mile was ridden. Cool temperatures (arm warmers required), light traffic and rolling hills through pine forests and green meadows on baby skin smooth, new asphalt made for pleasant riding to Sierraville and our first stop for morning tea. I learned the difference between morning tea and second brekkie. Basically it depends on how much stuff you order. After fresh, homebaked goodies and espressos at the Smithneck Farms Cafe, we left the flat rolling terrain for the more mountainous and long climb to Truckee. By now, the weekender traffic heading home from the mountain resorts had picked up and temperatures were climbing. “Teamwork makes the Dream Work” Dave repeated over and over as Nancy took the lead and set the pace, and Dave and I fell in formation each with our own responsibilities. By 1:30, we were drinking a beer at The American Grill (a local icon) in downtown Truckee.
(photos of all that by junior editor…)
The accommodation tonight is the campground of the Donner Memorial State Park, a California State Park with a visitor center dedicated to the fateful Donner Party crossing of the Sierra in the Fall/Winter of 1847. As is the theme of the first few months of the Tour of the Americas (or the A2A per Dave), a bear watch and alert has been issued. Stay tuned.
Special shout out to my lovely wife Inge to allow me to follow my dream as the unpaid, underappreciated, constantly ridiculed intern of LWOP (in particular, by the junior editor).
(two more shots of said intern…)