|Journal for 4-May-2004 : South Lake Tahoe|
Freezing night, literally. It got into the 20s in the early morning, or so Bob told us, but I doubt he was out to check his thermometer at down any more than we were.
An hour after sun up we ventured out to quickly restart our camp fire.
When we finally got on the road (at the crack of 10:15) the scenery was as breathtaking and the hills we were climbing. Carson's Spur was especially stunning, with it's rocky snowy valley and crystal mountain tarn.
Another rocketing descent next to a two foot thick field of snow was both exhilarating and rather cold.
We climbed up to and past Capels Lake, part of a hydro electricity scheme operating up here. This lake looked very popular, but it was more than just snow fringed, it still had ice on it in places, and in one corner it contained a collection of ice burgs!
Carson's Pass summit (>2600m) was something of a disappointment. A car park and a toilet rather than some stunning vista.
The descents on the Nevada side of the ranges were gun barrel straight most of the time, making for fast and sometimes scary riding when hit by today's random cross winds.
One last climb up Luther's pass, at th top we found a bit of old road and rolled into the scrub for lunch among the snow. I got a chance to sign my name, and learned just how bad my hand writing is.
The “steep descent” warning sign was rather unusual. It read “6% for 6 miles”, which turned out to be 9% for 4 miles, as the first bit of this “steep” downhill were deal flat.
Sth Lake Tahoe a nightmare. Lots of bike route signs and paths, but they all lead either around in circles, or no-where. We did see someone else using the bike paths: a guy escorting his son while riding a unicycle. It took us 40 minutes to find the AAA (to get a real town map), and then another hour to find the casino district and the cheap motels.
By dusk we walked into Nevada for Seafood Buffet at the casino on the other side of the aptly names “stateline street”. This has to be the least identifiable state border we've ever crossed. Buffet closed for today only. So we wandered off to find a diner. Surprisingly difficult in a section of town with at least 50 motels.
Sth Tahoe is both a skiing village and a gambling centre, with the Casinos just across the border in Nevada all too keen to take people's money. But at this time of year, the place seems empty.
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