Gold Country

Musical Notes

With all of us scattered over the house I didn’t think I was getting any sleep.  I could not have been more wrong.  Not only did I sleep well, I was the last one up! By day three we were cruising.  I have to admit, the hot day yesterday made today a bit more painful than usual, but hey, we were in the groove and rolling.

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I continued the theme of “new stuff”.  Last weekend I spent a good amount of time in the Gold Country.  I’d not had a specific category for the Gold Country as it’s usually just a transition from the Central Valley to the Sierras.  With the ride last weekend and today, it’s time to have a new category.  We started in Placerville so what better route to start than highway 49!  The first half hour or so there was very little traffic on the road.  As we got later in the morning traffic got significantly heavier.  I’d heard the group last weekend start talking about Pool Station Road.  It roughly parallels highway 49.  We took the opportunity to get off the beaten path and see something new.

Pool Station Road is a great alternative to Highway 49.  It’s a little tighter, but traffic is vastly reduced and is a fun little ride from 49 down to 4.

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We saw some horses in the spot we stopped.  To my surprise, they were very social and came right up to us to say hello!  The white one is a little more shy than his buddy.

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As we made our way down to Highway 108, the crossing of New Melonies Reservoir was neat.  I’ve only water skied in California once at Don Pedro.  There is a group in the bay area that always skis here.  I really should join the group sometime!

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I remember seeing Wards Ferry when we passed it on highway 120 on the way out to Yosemite.  When we got to Highway 4 I wanted to ride that section of road as it has a bit of a reputation.  I’ve seen the “tight” signs a number of times.  I didn’t think really anything of it so I just kept on rolling.

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Was I ever wrong!  This section of road is probably one of the tightest (if not the tightest) section of highway I’ve ridden.  It’s competition is the Forks of Salmon.  Both are neck and neck sections of highway.  The road is barley a lane wide.  In this photo the road has a wide shoulder.  For most of it though it’s the mountain and a sheer drop.

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Once in the bottom of the canyon you see one finger of the Tuolomne river becoming Lake Don Pedro

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The bridge over that said river is cool.  It’s got a ton of graffiti all over it from many passers by.

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It was still early in the day so we decided to tack on Cherry Lake.  I’d wanted to get back there ever since the SBR trip last year.  It is a fun ride in and was great to see the water in the lake. The skies were clear as could be and the views were spectacular!

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Just a little ways up we got our first glimpse of Cherry Lake.

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We took the ride down to the dam like we had last year.  The view was still as good.

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The VFR needed to get into some dirt as it wouln’t quite be THE Moto without it we did the bridge a few times (and because we couldn’t find the beach)!

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Before it was time to go, I was able to get a photo by the lake.  I have to say, I actually like the way it came out.

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Getting from Cherry Lake out to Highway 108 was an adventure.  The GPS fought me every step of the way out to the main road.  First it wanted to route us back out to Highway 120 the way we came in.  Once it knew we were not turning around it then sent us on a number of roads that didn’t exist or were 4WD roads at best.  I knew the road went through from Google Maps and the trip last year.  Then we had another section of construction and chip seal that seemed to go on forever.  We finally made it out to the main highway and headed west.

At this point it was getting late in the day.  Time was rolling against us so it was gas->go and gas ->go.

So why musical notes.. with the loops in the ride plan it looked like an eighth note from my days in piano.

Route Map:

Categories: Gold Country

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