My 2nd to last day began under the stars at 3:30am. The temperature at 8,500 ft. was a bit too cold for comfort so I started prepping Hope, packed hammock from between two trees just off the road, and waited for enough sunlight to get moving. I pushed off at 5:50am.
The first hour consisted of a 1,000 feet of climbimg but I welcomed it because my body was still shivering from the evening chill. I then began descending on the main road through the park, however there were still some climbs, the was winding, and there was enough traffic to make me uneasy. At just below 7,000 feet I stopped in Cooks Station for breakfast. The hashbrowns, omelet, toast, and most important the service was all made this one of the best dining experiences of the trip. As I was wrapping up the waitress asked how I was getting down the mountain. She then suggested I take a nicer, less busy, safer, faster route. I was sold!
Her suggestion was a highlight of the trip. My ride down Ohlm’s Ranch Road was a decent with a car passing only every 15 minutes, no climbs, beautiful big pine trees, and I even saw some deer and a bobcat. Once the road turned to rolling hills the vineyards began. I lost track but there were well over 30.
Before I made the final push to Sacramento I made a pitstop at a winery. As I walked up I was greeted by Leah and Tom from Napa. They told me that they come to this area for their wine because it is much more welcoming and not as pretentious. They they invited me to share some of their wine with them and even sent me on my way with some cookies! It was a great welcoming to the other side of Carson Pass.
The better part of the afternoon I made my way to northeast Sacramento on busy roads with little to no shoulder.By 7pm I had made it to my final resting place on my final night before the big finish, the home of my good friends Eileen (from graduate school) and Joe (her husband), as well as their beautiful 9 month old daughter.
The evening ended with us catching up over burgers and beer. It was hard to believe that my journey was 24 hours from being complete.
Until tomorrow . . .