Archive for the ‘Yosemite’ Category

Trip Route

Santa Cruz, CA to various locations in/around Yosemite National Park
Friday, June 27, 2008 through Monday, June 30, 2008

Trip Summary:
Day 1: Santa Cruz to Incline, CA (Dirt Flat Campground) 310 miles

Day 2: Incline, CA to Jamestown, CA, 230 miles

Day 3: Jamestown, CA to Alpine Lake East Shore Campground, 223 miles

Day 4: Alpine Lake Campground to Santa Cruz, 289 miles

Total mileage: 1052 miles

Sarah: We had an awesome trip! Read each daily post to get an idea of routes we took and issues we encountered. The majority of the routes we followed were from Mad Maps which were mostly pleasant. A few were “highway-like” but luckily some were incredibly windy, secluded, and absolutely beautiful.

Christopher:  What a way to spend my birthday!  Thanks to Sarah, my gift was was this spectacular four day trip to Yosemite.  We had never gone there before, and we haven’t camped in a while, so I was really looking forward to the trip.  The weather was great, and I had a new tire, so I couldn’t wait to roll.


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Santa Cruz to Dirt FlatSanta Cruz to Dirt Flat Campground (near Incline, CA) – plus side trip through Yosemite

Mileage: 310 miles

Sarah: The ride to the campsite was a bit brutal. We had to take highway type roads to make it there (152 to 59 to 140). After Watsonville the temperature was incredibly hot. But luckily we invested in perforated clothing to keep us (somewhat) cool.

Off of the 140, it was a little tricky finding the Dirt Flat campground. I figured we would see signs off the main road but there were none to be found and luckily someone at Indian Flat campground pointed us in the right direction (hang a left at Frontera road then left on Incline). I had reserved this camp site a few weeks before, but there were still a couple that were vacant. The site was great; right next to running water which was freezing and a great relief from the hot weather. Chris and I took a quick dip in the icy water, set up camp, and headed towards Yosemite and to Oakhurst to pick up food and wood, then back up north on the 49 towards Mariposa and back on 140 towards our camp site.

Christopher:  Incline? Never heard of it.  I’m glad that not too many other people have either.  The campground was a bit out of the way, but it was a great location and not crowded.  The stream that was running right at the foot of our campsite was amazingly refreshing after riding from Santa Cruz.  I didn’t particularly like the ride on Hwy 152 because it was extremely hot and extremely not curvy.  Although picturesque heading into and out of Merced, I am not fond of being on a motorcycle and seeing the road and the telephone poles and wires and trees and the lines and the cars ahead of me going straight until the horizon.  However, as told by a wise man (also a rapper with his own clothing line):  “Sometimes you have to go through the pain to experience the joy…this too shall pass.” 

After we set up camp and cooled off in the creek, we mounted back up and headed into Yosemite National Park.  We decided to take a loop that we would not be taking to get to our other destinations for the weekend.  It took a couple of hours, but well worth it.  We got to see Half Dome and rode through this newly dug tunnel.  I think it was newly bored…well, whatever, it was really interesting because it didn’t look complete.  Not like in Switzerland where the tunnels are five miles long, and are concreted on all sides.  This one was quite rustic and unrefined; the tunnel looked jagged and rocky as we rode through.  Not sure if that was intentional, but it did have an effect of coolness.

We decided to pick up some provisions for dinner and breakfast at a general store that was still in the park.  I never thought I’d pay $20 for a can of Vienna sausages, six eggs, and firewood.  I have to tell you, though, those were the BEST Vienna sausages I have ever eaten in my life.  Seriously, we opted to not by anything else and chance for a bigger, cheaper market somewhere else.  I couldn’t bring myself to by a $15 pack of hotdogs for dinner.  That would be a steal at a ballgame, though.  Anyways, luck would have it, we ran into a Raley’s, where we acted like grownups that were hungry and tired.  Okay, there wasn’t any acting, and we did get some good grub to cook on the grill that night.       




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Dirt Flat to JamestownDay 2: Dirt Flat Campground to Jamestown, CA

Mileage: 230 miles

Sarah: The second day we headed into Yosemite and took many many stops to take in the awesome scenery. Strangely, there were not many people on the roads heading east. The park was awesome and it took us several hours to get through it as we took many pictures and videos along the way. (We wanted to make sure we got our money’s worth – $10 per bike for a 7 day pass). By the time we got to the east entrance, there was a huge line going into the park. I’m glad we avoided that!

We took a lunch break outside of Yosemite in Lee Vining. I had a Chicken Fiesta Salad which was… interesting… plus, a bonus! lots of lipstick on my water glass. Yummy!!

We also took a pitstop at Bodie; a ghost town right off of the 395. It was about 9 miles of beautiful winding roads and 3 miles of dirt. A little bumpy but you get used to it. The $3 admission was worth it- the town is awesome and hard to believe thousands of people used to live there.

The 395 was beautiful but felt like we were on the interstate. It was very straight and not many curves to keep our attention. It was a relief to get on the 108 (Sonora Pass) which was VERY windy and ABSOLUTELY beautiful! There were several camp sites on this road which I think we will probably stay at if we were to return. This was an awesome ride and I highly recommend it if you are in the area.

Jamestown turned out to be a cute town. We were pretty tired, hungry ,and excited about taking a shower 🙂 We stayed at the Royal Carriage Inn and enjoyed the company of Jen, who worked the front counter. She was a funny gal who tried to make our stay a good one. We grabbed some dinner – for me, a cajun shrimp dinner from the National which was… okay. Then headed to Stogies for some drinks and a cigar. Robert and his wife were very friendly and helped us choose our stogie. They had a big selection of wines and beers with GREAT prices.

BikesPork LunchSarah taking a breakRideChrisInside StogiesTiaga RoadLeaving Dirt Flat

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Jamestown to Alpine Lake

Day 3: Jamestown to Alpine Lake Campground

Mileage: 223 miles

Sarah: This was another great day of riding. We headed up north passing through the gold rush town of Columbia.  We headed east  on the 88. We took a lunch break at Cook’s Station. The restaurant was quaint, food was good, and the staff was very nice. We continued  to the 89 to the 4 which was probably the most amazing road throughout the trip. It was very isolated, windy, and through beautiful wilderness and running water. Oncoming traffic was a little scary at times as there is no center lane and cars like to use the entire road (Chris almost got hit by a jeep full of kids flying around a switchback) but, except for that, the ride was excellent. We found a great camping spot at East Alpine Lake Campground which was near a large body of water. The Campground consisted of 2 campgrounds, one being hidden and further away from the water, secluded and nearly unoccupied. We set up camp and headed 2-up to Bear Valley. Luckily, Chris was able to get gas before they closed at 5:30pm.  As they closed shop another motorcyclist pulled up worried that he wouldn’t make it to the next station near White Pines. Luckily, we ran in to him again at the next gas station as we picked up some groceries for the evening.

The eastern part of the 4 is newly paved and a beautiful smooth ride. We cooked dinner and went to sleep excited to head back down the 4 in the morning.

Taking breakHeadscamp dinnercamping

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Alpine Lake to Santa Cruz

Day 4: Alpine Lake Campground to Santa Cruz, CA

Mileage: 289 miles

Sarah: We woke up early and headed home. As we headed west it became incredibly hot! The 49 south of Sonora was amazing! The road was incredibly smooth and windy. We had an excellent time before stopping for lunch in Mariposa and heading west on the not so exciting roads back home. But, we managed to stop at the Glory Hole Center… which made the entire trip worth it! Not really, but we couldn’t believe that this place was called Glory Hole. Plus, the trip wouldn’t be complete without stopping at the Mother Load.

49 southsignGlory Hole Center

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