The Silver Maple in Bridgeport provided a great breakfast of english muffins, hard-boiled eggs, a tangerine, and (of course) coffee. We sat at a table on the lawn under the trees and enjoyed the morning. Gretchen and I, having broken our fast, finished packing, and hit the road.
Today we were continuing up Hwy 395 to Hwy 89 and over Monitor Pass that tops out at 8314 ft. It was a beautiful drive through the morning high desert. We stopped at a roadside turnout along the Walker river and found shaded picnic spots, a par course, and, best of all, bathrooms (I had drunk a lot of coffee). The par course seemed a little out of place, here in the apparent middle of nowhere, but there it was.
The Hwy 89 turnoff was not too much further, and soon we were climbing a twisty road road out of the Walker watershed and to the top of Monitor Pass. It was very pretty but there were times that Gretchen was squirming in her seat with the sudden drop-off so close in her line of vision. We, of course, stopped along the way and snapped photos of plants and flowers we had not yet seen on the trip. We are sending these into iNaturalist for identification and cataloging.
I think when we came down off the pass, that the road starts following the canyon carved by the headwaters of the Carson River. The road takes us through Markleeville and northwest to South Lake Tahoe where we filled up with gas, and then turns generally north and follows the western shore of Lake Tahoe.
We stopped at the Kiva Picnic Area / Tallac Historic Site to eat our leftover sandwiches from Shat’s Bakery for lunch. We had a nice table in the shade near the water and watched the boats go by out on the lake. After, we walked over to the Tallac Historic Site. This was a collection of old lakeside cabins and historic vehicles jointly managed by the National Parks and the Tahoe Heritage Foundation. The site is beautifully maintained and worth the stop if you have the time. I found a kitchen device there labeled “Cherry Pitter”. If anyone knows how it works let me know, the museum staff said people had asked but they didn’t know either.
Continuing up the coast of Lake Tahoe was a beautiful drive. The lake is a jewel surrounded by mountains. The traffic was not bad mid-week and we made pretty good time to the north-west corner of the lake where Hwy 89 turns to follow the Truckee river on it’s northern route to the Town of Truckee, crosses Hwy 80 and continues northwest to Lake Almanor and the town of Chester on the northwestern shore.
Our destination that night was the Bidwell House Bed and Breakfast.
The inn was pretty and well maintained with very pleasant staff. There was a wedding going on when we arrived and it was hard to not photo-bomb the festivities as we unloaded the car and took the stuff to the lobby. Our room was nice (I hate to say anything bad) but had no AC and only a bath. But the lack of AC had a silver lining. We went to sleep to the sound of the sheep and cows and geese saying goodbye to the day and the roosters saying good morning.
After asking about places to eat, and not wanting to get back in the car to procure dinner, we chose to walk across the highway to eat dinner at the Thirsty Trout.
Visually, inside and out, the place is a little rough. But they had a good beer menu and the food was recommended so we took the plunge. Gretchen had the fish tacos and I ordered a Black Butte Porter and the pulled pork sliders. The food was great and I highly recommend checking the place out if you are passing through.
After dinner we had a short walk around the vicinity of the restaurant and B&B and then to books in the rockers on the front porch.
It was a great day. Onward to Lassen Volcanic Park and the town of Mt Shasta today.