A late morning in the canyon, the sun finally hit us around 09:30. With clear skies and plenty of time we wandered our way north along the Walker river towards Monitor Pass in search of some fresh coffee.
We found our coffee at the Woodsford General Store, along with gigantic tablespoon-sized packets of powdered brown sugar. Woodsford was once a way station of the Pony Express, and is the last little town you reach before climbing up Carson Pass to the west.
Just below Carson Pass the west fork of the Carson River winds across Hope Valley, a wide open (and very soggy) meadow. Creek after creek seep through the rock, grass and fire-orange brush to join the river before it roars down West Carson Canyon into Nevada. This is quite possibly the coziest little mountain meadow I’ve been in, a tiny green world all to itself. I would love to have a small cabin right here.
The Central Valley
With the Sierras behind us, we crossed the many farms, vineyards, and marshes of the massive Central Valley. In hindsight, I should have planned for more time in this area so we could visit the many wineries in the Lodi area. Sunset was beautiful, and after a few hours and several bridges we were looking at the San Francisco skyline.