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on the road again

It occurs to me, as I ride out of the Bay Area, that I am always leaving – and that it suits me. Which is not to say that it doesn’t also pain me somewhat, at times even considerably; but the melancholy that leaving produces in me is so familiar that I wear it like a second skin.

I set off towards Yosemite with the status of the Tioga Road still uncertain but the weather reports are good and so I’m confident that by the time I get there the road will be open again. It takes me a couple of days of riding to arrive at Yosemite National Park and as the elevation increases it starts to get pretty cold. I am happy to have my new sleeping bag.

Vapor trails in a frosty dawn sky as I approach Yosemite National Park.

Vapor trails in a frosty dawn sky as I approach Yosemite National Park.

I’m relieved when I finally turn onto the 120 to discover that the Tioga Pass is open. In fact, I’m so excited that I turn onto the Tioga Road and ride a few miles before I decide that since I am here in Yosemite I really should go to the Valley.

I was really excited to see this sign. It

I'm really excited to see this sign. It's a long way to ride from the Bay Area if I had to find another way over the Sierras.

Yosemite is a place that has been part of my mental imagery ever since my rather reluctant vicarious participation in the world of climbing many years ago. Ansel Adams helps with the imagery, as well, I guess. So, sacrificing about 2000 feet of hard won elevation, I turn around and coast down into the Valley in the mid afternoon sunshine.

My first glimpse of the Half Dome as I drop down into Yosemite Valley, sacrificing 2000 feet of hard won elevation.

My first glimpse of the Half Dome as I drop down into Yosemite Valley, sacrificing 2000 feet of hard won elevation.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Steve Parmenter | November 8, 2009 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    A SF Bay to Yosemite ride was my first bike tour at age 19. It gives a good feeling to read your observations of the country I’ve ridden and bummed around most of my life–and to think it is part of your greater journey.

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