Kit Carson Pass to Folsom 157km
To Yolo County 110km
We almost missed the sign at the border between Nevada and California, it was so insignificant. That's the problem with cycling the minor roads, and the almost immediately we began to climb.... and it was hot, hot, hot.... Well that really dampened the enthusiasm. We eventually got to an intersection, just in time to meet our first Californian on home soil. He was on a mtbike with some luggage... "Damn. Was your hill as friggen hot and steep as mine?" He jumps off and bounces about. He's looking for a Frisby golf course, and seems to need his next fix...... of something. He can't keep still. We give him directions... because we can, and head uphill some more.
It's a beautiful valley. Open Redwood forest, with huge rock features, but it's steep, there are roadworks, and it's hot, damn hot. We struggle. We stop many times for refreshments, and finally give up 10km before the summit, pitching the tent behind a screen of trees, 5m from the road. But it's an effective screen. Some time later a young German cyclist bikes right past us. I give chase and stop him, and we chat. He's cycled up from Tahoe, and wants to camp at the summit
. In the morning, a very chilly morning where I'm contemplating digging out socks and gloves, the climb seems a lot easier. Perhaps because the scenery is so stunning. Today, I'm stopping to take photos. Kit Carson Pass, a tad over 800 feet, our last climb? Well not quite. The German guy joins us on the downhill, and half a dozen grunty, unexpected climbs. Mostly the road is really great, but a couple of times, where they are doing roadworks, the judder bars, hidden in the shadows, gave us all big scares. Not fun at 65kph on a bicycle. We part ways with the German after 3000 feet descent. He's heading for Yosemite. We're heading for Folsom (Johnny Cash Prison). It's a fun downhill, but there's nowhere to camp. But amazingly, Hannah produced a Warmshowers Host, and we get to spend a delightful evening with Paul and Anne, and eat a scrumptious pasta. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The American River has a cycle way, and it was lovely. Smooth, shaded, and no big hills, made for a lovely 100km after yesterday's 100 miles. Lots of cyclists showed a good deal of interest in our trip, and it was fun mixing it with others for a change. An hour or so cycling through orchards, and we decided we'd had enough for the day, and found a campground, with showers, for only $5. Fantastic. A quiet afternoon, sitting in the shade....... We figure this will be our last night on the road, so I dig out my emergency meal. It's sat in my trailer 90 days.... 1x can beans, 1x can sweet corn, 1x can tuna, 1x can chicken, 10x tortilla. Yummy.
And then a day cruising, through lovely wooded valleys, with a few, quite a few, testing little hills, an hour on a ferry, some shoving through crowds of milling tourists at Fishermans Wharf, and JUST LIKE THAT, we're standing below the Golden Gate Bridge, being splashed by the surf of the Pacific Ocean. WOW.