Car rental return

At the car rental return

The Mountain Trip

I did 1369 miles on this trip around California and Nevada. It was clearly, in some respects, a disappointment. Mainly due to the weather but the driving was really technical and challenging in places, and mostly enjoyable and good fun. I had to concentrate hard on many of the roads so I was not looking at scenery as much as I wanted as it was too dangerous. I had to be focused on the road otherwise I’d end up in a ravine! Make a mistake and I’m off the road and into a coffin…

Highlights included standing outside Nick’s the first two nights watching and listening to the crashing storm waves. Experiences like that are what the trip is about, they can’t be bought. Even opening the curtains onto a rainy Rockaway Beach has some compensation in that it’s different, a sight I don’t see everyday. A great – if grey – view. I had similar thoughts about watching a poor sunset, but it’s the vista and it was good to see and stay at the seaside. Awesome memories. 🙂

Alcatraz was a good day out despite the weather, which didn’t really interfere that much. Lake Tahoe was very pretty and I can well understand the appeal. I’m glad I visited Tahoe but I don’t think I’ll visit again. Although I think I’d like to do Highway 50 when I can actually see some of the views, so I’ll have to ponder that one. Virginia City was a good day out.

The Golden Chain Highway was great and it’s well worth driving down. The road over Mount Hamilton was just amazing and Skyline Boulevard – the Summit Road section apart – looked great but then I couldn’t see any scenery! So another one for another day perhaps.

Downsides obviously included the rain at Yosemite and Tiago Road being closed. But as the Ranger said, “That’s a road trip for you”. As I wrote earlier, my pre-trip planning paid dividends in terms of being able to work out solutions despite the various road closures. Another key element is about listening to locals and working something out on the fly without trying to get upset or emotional about it.

Overall, it was another great road trip with many good memories. I need to figure out how to get back to Yosemite at some point in the future. As above, maybe including a trip over Echo Summit on Hwy 50, and of course doing Skyline Boulevard again. The latter shouldn’t be too difficult assuming I keep going to see the 49ers play. Now I ought to get on with planning next year’s road trip. 🙂

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