Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Combat Riding

We woke up in Markleeville. It really wasn’t a surprise as we had gone to sleep in Markleeville, but the hot springs, the elevation, and being pure of heart mostly gave us a good night’s rest. The humble hotel had no toast bar so we walked next door to Aili’s Cafe.

Ali’s is a tiny local place open for breakfast and lunch. Ali came to our table with a pot of Folgers. We declined and asked for only fresh mountain spring water,  with lemon, as we already had ample cups of Kaladi Trieste. The locals who were all drinking Folgers, and had never heard of anyone turning down coffee in the morning gave us the look, but were relieved when we ordered chicken eggs and bacon.

Highway 4 west out of Markleeville has to be one of the best roads of the journey, and got even better  going up and down 8730 ft.  Ebbetts Pass.
However before we got to the pass we rode into burned forest from the just contained Washington fire

Burned By The Washington Fire

We hadn’t understood the signs on almost every building in town thanking the firefighters, but the fires  close proximity to Markleeville, made it clear that firefighters had worked very hard to save the town.

Yes Thank You Firefighters!

After the burn the highway meanders along a creek before climbing towards the summit. If  you have ever been on a narrow winding forest dirt road, that is how highway 4 is except it is paved.

We rush into the 20 mph floorboard dragging switchbacks at maybe 20 mph. Some of the twists are so sharp, and steep I am down into first gear.

We crest the summit and start down the west side of the Sierra Nevada. Past scenic and accessible Alpine Lake. Then take a break at Mosquito Lakes.

Mosquito Lakes Cabins
West bound loosing elevation and gaining temperatures  I have an idea to stop in Angles Camp. The town made famous by Mark Twain’s jumping frogs I think might just have koffee.

We drive down the main street and just happen to park in one of the only vacant spots right in front of…
We took a chance and entered. The lady at the counter was aware of the Kaladi legend, and said she was a koffee snob. I put all my chips on red and ordered a quad shot espresso macchiato.

She hand tamped some fresh ground beans, and in spite of no visible multiple piercings or tattoo’s she served up perhaps one of the best macchiato’s I have ever had.
I could have been stranded here in a snow storm and been allright
We spent some more time in the camp then headed west again and got all the way to  Jamestown Harley Davidson They actually had a T shirt under $50.00 and I got one.
Having a nice day in the mountains put us heading into the city for peak traffic. Six or more lanes of traffic either moving at 80 mph or 20 mph. The ramp to 580 was backed up for miles. I watched a semi head off the road as all the cars stopped in front of it.  We ending up on  Highway I80 for the parking lot tour of the Bay Bridge, and the crawl to 280 I was glad to finally get off the road with the only blood shed was by the bugs smashed all over my bike.


No comments:

Post a Comment