Western Road Trip, Day 3

Today’s miles: 310.5 (Total: 1451.1)

Most of my Monday has been spent well above 6000 feet elevation. In fact, I’m stopped for the night at a campground in June Lake, CA, which is at 7650 feet. The first half of the day I had mild dizziness and a headache, but I’m finally adjusting to the altitude.

Just like yesterday, I awoke around 5:30 with the sun. I drove up to Angels Camp, a gold rush town which was the setting for Mark Twain’s first big success in writing, a short story called The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

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I was originally hoping to take a gold panning tour with a local business, but the timing didn’t work out. I tried panning for about half an hour in Angels Creek, and found a few tiny flakes of gold, but the water was cold and the sun wasn’t yet shining over the hills. So I left and continued onward to my next stop, Lake Tahoe.

On the way I picked up a young guy who was hitchhiking home from a casino because his girlfriend left him there. Then, after dropping him off in his hometown, I ascended quickly into the mountains.

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I remembered to let some air out of my new mattress, and when the road passed 7000 feet and still continued climbing, I stopped and let out more air because it was fully inflated again.

I stopped for lunch at a barbecue place one block from the Nevada state line, and their brisket was incredibly delicious. They also had hush puppies, which is the first time I’ve found those delicious things outside of North Carolina. Then I drove up the Nevada side of the lake and spent a couple hours reading on a beach and swimming and taking pictures.

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The drive from Lake Tahoe to June Lake was beautiful, with nonstop mountains and big lakes and elevations over 8000 feet. Now I’m at my campsite with a large pizza because the chef messed up (I ordered a small one), a cigar, and plenty of time to relax and get to sleep early. I really need to catch up on sleep.

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I’m so happy to be done with Walmarts. The remaining nights of this trip will be at campgrounds and truck stops. Tomorrow we will meet Nevada again, before I head into Arizona on Wednesday.

 

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