The next Donner Party?!?

Well, for a while I thought we might become the next Donner Party . Matt and I left Nevada City around 8:30a and immediately faced a good climb which became the theme of the day as we climbed 7,462 feet today. However the word of the day is Donner as we spent a lot of our day climbing Donner Pass road and for a while thought we were going to become the next Donner Party. Realize that last Saturday it was over 100 degrees in Nevada City and today it was 40 degrees and raining at Donner summit. Anyway Matt and I rode 25 miles uphill along Hwy 20 on a beautiful pine tree-lined road. We had some spectacular views of the old gold mining country as we climbed higher and higher. One shift Matt and I are both beginning to make is in our attitude about riding. Typically we’ll try to attack the climbs and keep our MPH high and ride hard for 3-5 hours. Of course that’s on Sat and Sun and then we go to work on Monday. This is different as we’re riding 4,000 miles so now we’re settling in to a nice cadence on the climbs and enjoying coasting on the downhills. It’s been interesting to see our attitude adjust to be able to ride across country. After our 25 mile ride to the junction of Hwy 80 Cindy and Bruce picked us up as there was road construction where we couldn’t ride. They drove us 2 miles up the rode to Cisco Grove. I should point out here that we made a withdrawal from the “Bank of Cindy”. Cindy (Matt’s wife) and I have been joking that if we have to get SAGed then we didn’t really ride across America. So I worked out a system where we deposit miles into the Bank of Cindy that we can withdrawal in situations today. To deposit miles Matt and I get credit when we alter our route to see a site, visit a friend, etc that adds mileage to our journey. Back to the day, Bruce joined us at the base of Donner Pass road and rode the rest of the way with us. After just a few miles we ran into the rain and spent the next few hours climbing in the rain. However, it didn’t really bother us. Donner Pass road is an incredibly beautiful road with some impressive sights. There were no cars on the road and we just enjoyed the beauty and friendship. However descending down Donner Pass road into Donner Lake has a little hairy. It was cold and raining which really slowed us down. Here’s a video of us riding down Donner Pass road:

Ok the video is taking forever to uploaded (wifi in Tahoe is slow), so I’ll post the video tomorrow.

From there we went and paid homage at the Donner Party statue for seeing us safely over the pass in the bad weather. The sun came out and then it was up Hwy 89 to Squaw, Tahoe City and on to our cabin in Carnelian Bay. We’re now spending a relaxing evening with Brenda, Cindy, Bruce, Beth and their children. AGAIN, another BIG THANKS to Cindy for driving the support vehicle and taking all the incredible photos!!!

How we spent our day…climbing

Stream along the road

Matt and Bruce climbing Donner Pass road

We made it…Donner Summit

Donner Pass Bridge

Matt and Chris riding over Donner Pass bridge

A little cold and wet riding down Donner Pass Road

Squaw Valley

Tahoe City Fish Monument

Matt, Bruce and Chris enjoying a beer at the Dittmore Cabin

Chris, Brenda, Matt and Cindy celebrating the first 3 days.

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