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September 18, 2002

It just occurred to me that, being the 18th and all, September is now more than half over. What's up with that? I still think it's June. I'm still trying to decide what I want to do with my summer.

pac rally!
This past weekend was the annual Wind Dancers Pacific Coast Rally. This year, it was held near Pine Grove, which is about three-quarters of the way up to Lake Tahoe.

A general map for the non-NorCal readers

Sadly, I have about fifteen minutes to write here, so I'll point you at the pictures, and give you some highlights. A more complete write-up will show up whenever I have a free night and motivation to write, or when hell freezes over; whichever comes first, really.

friday highlights.
Peter and I started out for parts unknown, on our first overnight bike trip together, and immediately got separated from each other. I had to pull off the freeway to fix a dangling GPS cable, and didn't really have enough time to make sure Peter noticed. He pulled over and waited as soon as he realized I was gone, but I'd misremembered the route we were taking (see why he got me the GPS?) and I searched a different road for him. Eventually, through the miracle of pay phones and cell phones, we found each other and reconnected in Fremont.

We took the World's Most Hateful Freeways (tm) up to Tracy, California, in the interest of getting to Pine Grove as quickly as possible. We ended up lane splitting pretty much the entire way along I-205, which was a parking lot at 4pm. Later, we heard from other Bay Area riders that it was also a parking lot at 2pm, and at noon. We stopped for Frosties at a Wendy's in Tracy, and then hopped on Hwy 88 towards Jackson. We got to Pine Grove just in time to have missed everyone for dinner.

A few minutes later, we were joined by our roomie for the weekend, the lovely Diana. The three of us went to the resort store and loaded up on a nutritious dinner of graham crackers and wine coolers.

saturday highlights.
Woke up at 8am and stumbled out of the hotel room, looking for caffeine. Fortunately, the "hospitality room" was only two doors down, so there was immediate coffee gratification. Peter spent some time with Laureen and her girlfriend Sandy, trying to fix Laureen's speedometer wiring. Sandy and Peter sadly declared it dead, and after autopsy, it was determined that the cause of death was drowning by spilled gasoline.

Diana, Peter, and I decided to ride with the other sportsbikers for the day. After desperately trying to keep up just on the way to the local gas station, we decided to ride on our own for the day.

We followed a slightly-edited version of a provided route, "Sara and Debi's favorite ride". It took us through some gorgeous forested foothills. Life was good. We stopped for lunch in Somerset, and somehow stumbled across the most wonderful gourmet deli run by some San Francisco transplants. The food was excellent, the proprietors were friendly, and the prices were reasonable. I had to be convinced not to buy some potato salad to bring back -- the overriding consensus was that it wasn't likely to survive a hot afternoon in a black tank bag.

Trio Cafe
Grizzly Flat Road
Somerset, CA

Go. Go there and buy food. It's good and yummy.

I managed to convince Peter and Diana to ride to Kirkwood. It wasn't hard to convince Peter, since he wanted to pick up his season pass for snowboarding while we were there. Ever since Peter and started snowboarding at Kirkwood almost exclusively, I'd wanted to ride up there sometime when it wasn't buried under ten feet of snow -- you could just tell that the roads were really nice. I was surprised by how nice they ended up being, though; I'd expected potholes due to the cold and snow, but the pavement was pretty good.



We stopped at a neat vista point on the way back to Pine Grove, and Peter and Diana let me take more pictures. They were very understanding, really.

We all got together for a catered dinner on Saturday night. Paul and Carla made it up and we convinced them to stay for dinner, which was fun. :) The SVS won both the "best sports-tourer" and "best accessory" (for the GPS) prizes. Peter won the silly hat contest. I was very proud.

sunday highlights.
We decided to forego the World's Most Hateful Freeways (tm) on the way home, and take back roads. This made me happy. We took Highway 49 south, which had the double bonus in both having gorgeous scenery and going past the Hetch Hetchy aquaduct. The latter has been in the news a lot here lately, so it was neat to see the power plant in question in person. Plus, "Hetch Hetchy" is just really fun to say.

We rode through Modesto, which was exactly as I'd always imagined it to be.

After a brief detour of getting lost on Highway 580 (yes, yes, even with the GPS), Diana took us up Patterson Pass Road, which is probably the most amazing road I'd been on in a long time. The road is twisty and narrow and fun, but not too technical, and it goes through the wind farm along Altamont Pass. It's spectacular. I can't even describe it.

And then we were home again.