Today’s 180 mile journey, continuing south, followed one of the national scenic roads – Emmets Pass – for the majority of the route. Of course we could have got to our destination near Yosemite National Park quicker but that would mean boring highways. No, the narrower, twisty, windier, scarier and more scenic the better for us! And we got all of those in bucketfuls today.
Initially the road was just following the course of the gushing river, as we climbed higher, and higher we followed a different river, flowing in the opposite direction, which confused us somewhat. Anyway the road was pretty and there were lots of fishermen fly fishing along the banks, it always looks so calming as they cast their lines this way. Further along campsites and families taking advantage of the warm sun in boats on the water.
Continuing to climb, and climb, the road was narrower, bordered by huge pine trees letting the sun through so the road looked like zebra stripes.
Suddenly the road would seem to disappear in front of us, only to be a hairpin bend with an incredibly steep incline, followed by another, then another, with sheer drops to the side. My stomach is getting more accustomed to these drops and is not turning quite so much as it did, but it’s still pretty hairy, especially when another car comes careering in the opposite direction!
There were lots of cyclists for whom I felt very sorry for on the uphill climbs, what strength they must have in their legs, and cobwebs for brains if you ask me!
Bikers were also having a field day along the twists and turns of the road, no chance for them to enjoy the stupendous views along the way, adrenaline was their high.
Along the way we came across a number of lakes, some with snow still around.
Emerald Lake looked so inviting Amr decided he wanted to live in one of the cabins by the side of the lake!
The air becoming thinner as we reached well over 8700 feet above sea level, that’s high!
Not sure wether the descent was more scary as we made our way downwards. As we came towards the end of the Pass we stopped at Alpine Lake which was a popular place and had a snack.
We made the mistake of following the signs which said ‘use the front entrance’, which we did, hence not seeing the sign pointed in the opposite direction saying ‘wait here to be seated’. So having sat ourselves down, with a nice view of the lake, got a snotty reaction from the ‘hostess’ not helped by Amr’s joking comment of ‘oh we’ve been here ages’, rather lacking of sense of humour in California! Anyway we apologised for any misunderstanding and made our order. Only to have to wait ages, then not to be given any cutlery until we had nearly finished (fortunately we had ordered finger food snacks so don’t think we have gone savage and eating with our fingers). Miss snotty got even snottier when we tried to pay her our bill as the waitress had disappeared.
Continuing on, then suddenly we were out of the forest into dry grasslands and vineyards. The road got slightly straighter and slightly less bendy, but only slightly!
We were now into ‘gold fever’ land’s, where many a young man came to make his fortune and went home with his tail between his legs, or worse never went home at all. We stopped at Angels Camp, now a town but then a shanty town were these young men based themselves. Still looking like the cowboy town of the day we enjoyed a stroll around. This is also the town where Mark Twain started his literary career with a strange tale of a jumping frog, lots of frog statues around town and they also have a frog festivals annually too.
I was quite taken by the name of one of the towns we passed through, Tuttletown, with a population of 90.