(August 22 – Written by Dave)
I was up early this morning and took a stroll to the end of our hotel 2nd floor balcony to have a look at the lake. Down on the first floor where folks were having a picnic last night, it was right old mess. As I was forming random thoughts about how some people are inconsiderate, the chap staying the room near the balcony came out all excited. It turns out that mess was caused by a mama bear and her three cubs – only about 30 minutes earlier. And he had photos to prove it. The quartet were making their way down the beach, hitting all the hotels. And to think, we went all the way to Alaska to see bears!
We were pretty organized and hit the hotel continental brekkie bar right as it opened at 8AM. They had some great (though not Killer Dave’s) raisin bread/toast. We pinched an extra bagel for snacks on the road later in the day. We eventually hit the road around 9AM – without heavy bags – because Hank took them back down to Carson City last night. Hank’s car as noted yesterday has a trunk/boot nearly big enough for a queen size mattress, making it the ideal Sherpamobile. Thanks Hank!
We had a short ride along Lake Tahoe to Incline Beach, with surprising cloudy skies. It had actually rained overnight. We haven’t seen rain in months, much less entirely cloudy skies. The clouds never really burned off all day but that made the 3,000 foot climb away from the lake and up to Mt Rose Summit pleasantly cool. We had some nice views back to the lake as we climbed and I actually got a panoramic photo to work on my camera. Perhaps I’ll actually read the manual one day; though pushing random buttons today seemed to work.
Mt Rose Summit was signed at 8,911 feet, making it the new highest point of the trip. We ate our bagel and had a nice break at the summit. While there we spotted another cyclist on a bike that looked like ours – with beefy wheels, racks, internal rear hub but just a front handle bar bag (no panniers). It seemed as though it might have been another tourist. So we introduced ourselves. Meet Martian from Switzerland. He rode from home in Switzerland to Bangkok, and then flew to Vancouver BC. He is now riding to the bottom of South America, just like us. We are taking a break in Carson City and he is taking a break in Reno, so we could cross paths again down the road. His ride today was up and over Mt Rose Summit twice, just to see Lake Tahoe -6000+ feet of climbing – the things young Swiss men do I guess! You can follow him on his blog at www.imout.ch.
We eventually peeled ourselves away from the summit and the long decent towards Reno. We stopped at Mt Rose Ski area for photos and again at Sky Tavern ski area. Pete and I grew up in the Carson City ski program, frequenting these to ski areas. Nancy humoured Pete and me, listening to the stories of our youth –for sure we could have been ski legends if only… The last stop on the way down was at the lodge where Pete had his front teeth knocked by a stray air hockey puck after our last ski race in our senior year of high school. So, yes, we had a lot of memories (some not as good as others) on the ride down the hill.
Pete’s last surprise of the trip was a super cool short-cut at Galena Creek. So as not to dob Pete or his sources in, we’ll just leave it at the short cut saved us 12 miles and a climb over Jubilee Hill. The short-cut dropped us off at the north end of Washoe Lake and old Highway 395. It was starting to look like rain so we blasted it across valley in tight formation where we had the last climb up to my mother’s house on County Line Road (Camp Alice as Pete calls it). We managed to dodge all the rain so we were happy to finally arrive. Alice was happy to see us and wrestled up some lunch – thanks Mom!
We’ll be here in Carson City for 10 days, or thereabouts – we have a lot of planning to do for the road ahead. Plus we need to overhaul the bikes while we have access to parts and good bike shops.
Big thanks Pete for mapping out the Ashland to CC route, hotels and campgrounds. It was great to have that all sorted for us. And thanks for all the “Pete surprises” – if your career as a doctor doesn’t work out, I’m sure that you could get work as an event planner – though I do think that your spreadsheet should upgrade from poster board to something electronic. Pete will be joining us for a few more days on our ride south from Carson City, so you may see another guest blog from him in the future.