April 30th, 2019 / (95km/60miles, 2700m/8900 feet elevation gain, 7hrs)
The day started out foggy as we left the motel shortly after 7am. Klaus and I spent the rest of the day, almost until 4pm, in fog and clouds with cool temperatures and a constant feel of wet. Sight was also limited which was, especially when getting off the side roads (we took Omo Farm Road) and joining onto CA-88 towards Kirkwood a safety concern. So we put all the bright colors on that we had with us, had lights flash and especially our hearing senses directed towards the street behind us, trying to predict when the next truck would fly by.
The day is supposedly the hardest leg of the whole journey. It’s not only long — 95km or 60 miles — but it’s also the most intense climb with more than 2700 meters or 8900 feet in elevation gain. About one third of the leg is on side roads, the Omo Farm Road, which flows thru great forests in nice turns. The fog made the whole scenery even more magic.
When Omo Farm Road met with CA-88, the fog was particularly intensive and temperatures were quite chilly, so we decided to take a lunch break at Cook’s station, shortly after joining CA-88 towards Kirkwood. A massive omelet had to get the hunger addressed, a little bit of warming up inside got our temperature needs covered.
The rest of the afternoon we spent climbing up another 1500 meters in elevation, finally arriving at around 5pm at Kirkwood, which was at this time of year totally deserted. I think, I was the only guest in the Kirkwood Mountain Resort that night, and during the night one could hear the Coyotes howl outside in the snow. Klaus got picked up by his wife Karen earlier and they had driven back home that evening.
I met Naomi and Rifka today at a vista point along CA-88 right above Bear Lake. They were stopping with their loaded little car and after taking some photos of the scenery started picking up some waste that was lying around, putting it into a bucket in their trunk. I thought that was quite impressive and so I felt I had to ask them my question about their dream in life, and to get it started I asked them where they were from and it turned out they’re on their way back to Berkeley from a road trip from Death Valley.
We chatted a bit and then I fired my question about what their dreams in life were? They were surprised about the question — out of the blue, so who wouldn’t be surprised? — but then after some thinking they both answered that it was living in a community and sharing everything, sharing what they had learned and giving back to others and nature — like with the cleaning up of vista points along a highway as they just had done. What do you expect if you ask two young women from Berkeley just barely out of college?? I love stereotypes being confirmed from time to time.