Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Long Road Home

Jimmy and I had a quiet 3 days to ourselves at the hideaway. One of the days we spent 6 hours exploring trails that hadn't yet been discovered - by us that is. We made a big loop by driving south on Highway 108, north on Highway 49, east on Highway 4, east on Hwy 89, south on Hwy 395 then back down Hwy 108. We didn't start our adventure till 4:30, so we had less than 3 hours of quality daylight to shoot some photos. However we did have the full 6 hours for quality time together...till I fell asleep about 5 hours in. But it was more like a long blink. :)

Angels Camp
One of the highways we drive on our way to the hideaway is Highway 49. Its number is derived from the gold rush of 1849 and runs along gold country in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Angels Camp is on the 49 just a bit north of where we turn off so we don't typically get to see the town. It's most noted for its Jumping Frog Jubilee. We saw a couple of sculptures in town; this one was in front of the fire station.

Lake Alpine
About 60 miles east of Angels Camp at an elevation of 7300' is Lake Alpine. We got there around 6:30 and it was a crisp 61 degrees outside. There were several campers, but compared to our nearby Pinecrest Lake, it was practically deserted. In fact, there was only 1 boat in the lake and less than a half dozen people along the shore. On Pinecrest, there would be at least a dozen boats and over 50 people on the shoreline, even at that time of day with that cool temperature.

One of the coolest part of our road trip was seeing different views of landmarks we've only seen from Hwy 108. The Dardanelles Cone is one of those landmarks. This is the view we're used to. And this one, too. Gotta admit that it's cool looking from Hwy 4, too.

Mosquito Lake
Probably the most picturesque place during our adventure was Mosquito Lake. Don't like that name though. Ewww. But the sun was at that perfect 'golden hour' angle and was shining on this cabin beautifully. The lake is at a breathtaking (literally) 8300'. But we traveled higher still to...

Ebbetts Pass and Tioyabe National Forest
Just as we crested Ebbetts Pass at 8730', we saw this momma deer and her two little does grazing along the highway. She was a lot more cautious with us humans in our big motorized killing machine than the other clueless deer we had encountered this weekend. The deer in this neighborhood really don't seem that frightened by cars. You'd think they would be because many of them have unhappy encounters with vehicles. And visa versa, too. Not only should they be afraid of our cars, but they should just be afraid of us in general. Because hunting season is right around the corner and really, they are just too easy of a target. And I think that at the VERY least, the human with the rifle should have to get out of his car. Now I'm sure there are hunting rules about where you can and can't shoot your rifle, but I'm just sayin'.

Ebbetts Pass is on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and in the Toiyabe National Forest.
I just learned that most of Toiyabe National Forest is in the state of Nevada, which shouldn't be that surprising since Nevada is probably less than 25 miles as the crow flies from where we took this photo. (V, if you've read this far, that link was for you!)

This remote cabin is probably boarded up for the winter and won't see its owners till late spring unless they have a snowmobile. The highway closes at first snowfall and doesn't re-open till May or June.

This was the only waterfall we saw during our 6 hour road trip. We joked that now we could go home! And we were about half way thru - it was 7:30pm.

Carson River
We stopped along the East Carson River to eat dinner - sandwiches I had packed. It seemed like a relatively popular place to camp and fish. Personally, it's a bit rural for me. This was the last photo of the evening. Darkness quickly fell upon us. But we decided to drive the 6 miles out of our way to Markleeville, the county seat of Alpine County with a whopping population of 197. We figured we should at least drive thru the town since we were so close and will never be in this area again.

We got out of the car one last time on Hwy 108 at Sonora Pass. It was after 9, we were at an elevation of 9624' and it was a chilling 51 degrees outside. But the stars filled the sky. Jimmy even saw a shooting star.

A long and winding road
Along the way, Jimmy's trusty Volvo crossed 194,000 miles. That car has seen us through quite a lot of adventures. It's been to New York, eastern Canada on the Trans-Canadian Hwy, and countless trips up and down California. I hope it will see us through quite a lot more.


Anonymous said...

beautiful shots!, I'm surprised that that one lake only had one boat on it! also I find it surprising that that cabin is in an area that is literally shut-off in wintertime.
foreign car makers tend to make better cars, My family owned a Toyota for 18+years, it had 250,000 miles on it, and it still runs!

Jodi said...

Oh...I'm living so vicariously through your travels and lovely photos this summer. I'm aching for a vacation, but have none in sight. Thank you for taking me along on yours! : )

Shammickite said...

What terrific scenery, I want to join you on your next adventure. I love being up in the mountains.
And how old is the Volvo? I am definitely a Volvo person, altho I drive a Veedub at the moment. YoungerSon has a Volvo and I drove my faithful Eric the Red Volvo for 21 years!!

rosemary said...

Looks a lot like Idaho country....rural, uninhabited, and quiet. I have been to Angel's Camp before...I think I went thru there with my dad a long time ago. It was 38 at 6 this morning and got up to a whopping 75...a perfect day.

Ginnie said...

Living vicariously through your photos...and what terrific scenery! Those are my dittos, Mad, to this lovely travel post. What a great trip. So glad you were able to take it.

Ragged Around the Edges said...

What a beautiful drive you must have had.

Anonymous said...

WoW...some really awesome shots & it was lovely reading about the places!

welshwitch36 said...

That's some mileage - great photos and words, as always :o)

susan d said...

Thanks for sharing!

Green Butterfly said...

I remember when Jimmy took us to see his future Volvo sitting on the dealer lot. Crazy how many years have past since then!

I plan on keeping the site up. It just won't be posted for a while. :)

Lilli & Nevada said...

what great shots you got, i also love your websites that you add for convience, I like to check them out. Might have to check that frog town out someday looks very interesting.