Colorado to California

This is a long post, because it was a long road back to California. After returning from France with Jess and setting up our new cabin in La Veta, it’s time to hit the road again : to California. There, the RV has been waiting for a couple months, and Flo & Sarah are visiting from France. As usual, we’re driving on new-to-us roads as much as we can and much of the drive will be on I-50, “the loneliest highway” as there’s not much cities along the way.

The Gardner Butte is one of the three named volcanic plug in the vincinity, rising above the hills.

Further North, we reach the Curecanti Area.

And Delta, Co :

And then the Route 50 westwards : it crosses many ranges, separated by large valleys.

Leaving Utah, entering Nevada. The landscape stretches to immensity. The US road 50 was built before the interstate highway system. It crosses the country east to west, away from any city or major roads, in rural desert.

Traveling in this season is certainly enjoyable, avoiding heat and dryness.

Finally, California!

We picked up the RV and struggled with one of the landing gear not operating. It took a couple hours to figure how to resume our trip. Maintenance and repairs seems to be an integral part of this lifestyle. Now we’re parked on a river shore, in the midst of golden hills and trees. I did a few drone flights and capture video, I’ll post here a short video with the best footage.

The Gold rush started in this river in 1849 and it changed California, if not the world. Pyrite is still shinning on the riverbed.

We met again Karl & Sarah near Coloma, their home place, and enjoyed flat track racing.

And reached San Francisco, Jessica’s old hometown. Still vibrant, beautiful, and overwhelming. And expensive, gentrified, money-centric. People are nice, and the place is pleasant.

The Golden Gate Park

We had a late picnic at Baker’s Beach : a park on the Pacific edge of the City. The views are good and Lola can run freely.

Alcatraz Island

Locals are pretty busy with their business. At least they communicate with each other.

Apart from the Golden Gate Bridge, a handful of buildings make an eclectic collection of icons in the city : the Transamerica Pyramid – on the left, cut for aesthetic purposesĀ  šŸ˜‰ -, the Columbus Tower (the greeny small tower)

The Castro Theater…

The Sutro Tower : a radio and TV broadcasting tower built on a hill, prone to hide in the fog coming from the cold and moist oceanic breeze.

We reached Santa Cruz following the coastline and US road 1, scenic and hilly. The RV is getting fixed near Sacramento, so we’re free to enjoy the trailer-free light travel.

After a while, it becomes challenging to get a good grasp of a city. Most of them are the same buzzing cities with their streets, shops and family attractions. Cities thrives on people living and working there, fleeing out during the week-ends and jamming the street at rush hour. Still, the geography makes them unique. Their size, their unique features and landmarks. Getting in a new city is like meeting a new person. Sometimes it’s a a few hours meeting and things stays on the surface, easy going. Other times it gets more in depth and it’s a matter of coincidences. With Santa Cruz, we just kept superficial. And drove back to get the repaired RV, then to Valley Springs.

UFO activity around our dinner. Thanks Flo for cooking with such dedication and talent!

Catching dinner. Actually gave dinner to fish. They nibbled red worms and salmon eggs without touching the hook.

Lola’s better at fishing stuff.

Then we lightly packed two motorcycle to cross the Sierra Nevada to reach the ghost town of Bodie.

Passing Sonora Pass at almost 3000m. Not much for a Colorado seasoned rider but coming from almost sea level, that’s a stretch.

And reached Bridgeport and the nice Travertine hot springs. And the local dive.

Bodie has been turned into a State Park in the sixties. It’s well preserved, still feels like a silent Disneyland.

Unfortunately, the old mill is closed to visitors. Unstable structure or heavy metal pollution? Probably both.

That would be Flo’s dream house.

The city was 8’000 to 10’000 people at the boom time of mining. The last people left in 1942 when the last mine closed. It burnt a few times so most of the building were destroyed. Of what’s left, some is from the early times (2nd half 19Ā° century), some is more recent.

Switched to an even smaller road for the way back : CA Road 4 through Ebbetts Pass.

Back to the heat and the fresh lake!

And drove to Bodega Bay. And around.

Then it was time for Flo and Sarah to fly back to France; and for us to drive back to Colorado – with the RV. We’ll take the long road home through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming. Checking for weather, grades, places to stay, cellphone data coverage, friends to meet on the way, and our own vibe. That’s an equation with undetermined number of solutions.

We should reach La Veta just on time for climbing the Spanish West peak with Kenny. I hope my burnt calf (going to hot springs in bath suit on a motorcycle? bad idea.) will heal before then.