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​Let's Take A Road Trip...

Oakdale California to South Lake Tahoe California. 

JUNE 2011 - NORTH AND EAST TO SOUTH LAKE TAHOE CA.   If speed was the goal, we would take either Highway 50 or 80.  Our goal was to see new territory and sights.  First stop was http://www.maps.com.  From Oakdale to South Lake Tahoe was input and walla, the path was selected.  Only 155.2 miles and a mere 3 hours and  minute driving time.  That would be about a 50 mile per hour average.  Must also mean that driving time did not include any stops of any kind, including everyone's favorite, Murphy's Law, operator error.   On the map, it was almost a straight line from Oakdale to South Lake Tahoe.  How could we miss?

THE PLAN.  As it was only going to be a 3 hour trip we would drive straight through.  Leaving Oakdale about 9 am  would have us at the Marriott Timber Lodge about noon time.  Get checked in and see some sights.  Casino's are only 2 blocks away.  On departure date, refuel and head for Oakdale and view the sights, leisurely.  To avoid confusion, only the hard copy from maps.com would be used.

​PLAN TO ACTION.  At 9.15 am we hit the road at the intersection of CA 120 and 26 Mile Road heading North.  Approximately 14 miles is the intersection with CA 4.  Turn right and now heading Easterly.  The country side is dotted with various types of agriculture.  Driving through the towns of Copperopolis, Angels Camp, Vallecito, Murphys, Avery, Arnold and Darrington.  Elevation going up. About 3/4ths of the way into Bear Valley is the small settlement of Bear Valley.  Probably does a good business during the Winter as it would be the last source for fuel 'till after Ebbetts Pass.  Pushing on, passing beautiful streams, rivers and partially frozen lakes and there are still 8 to 10 feet of snow still on the ground.  The area is pristine.  Found the roads to be good to very good.  The road through Alpine County had a better surface but was mostly a glorified 1 lane road.    It is amazing to be at 8,730 feet above sea level in the middle of June when the temperature is above 100 degrees and there is snow on the ground.  After Ebbetts Pass, heading east, the road is more steep and more curvy.  More than once was there a comment made like "how did the pioneers get through this area in a covered wagon pulled by mules or oxen.     Now we are at the intersection of CA 88 and CA 89 and turned left on to CA 88.  Could have sworn that the sign said, South Lake Tahoe 30 miles.  More exquisite mountains and scenery.  Silver Lake and  Kirkwood go by.  Hmmmmmmm don't recall that Kirkwood was on our route.  Had already gone 30 miles and there was no Lake Tahoe.  At 40 miles out stopped and talked with some Locals.  They said to go back the way I had come and at the Junction of CA 88 and CA 89 turn left.  How was that for operator error?  Arrived at Marriott's Timber Lodge at 3:30.  Not a short day and surely not 3 hours and 1 minute driving time.  Arrived at Marriott's Timber Lodge at 3:30 pm.  Not a short day and surely not 3 hours and 1 minute driving time.  The Marriott Timber Lodge is excellent.      

The return trip was longer in time as we stopped along the way.  The mileage was within 1/2 mile of what Maps.com had planned and far more enjoyable.  Driving the mountain roads in the morning was  the way to go.  Some of the upper lakes were still or mostly frozen and the scenery spectacular.  Stopped for lunch at "The Growler", 164 East Hwy 4, Murphys CA.  Just off the road.  Staff very knowledgeable and good menu.  Waiter was Brian.  For beer drinkers, "The Growler" is also a Craft Brewery with mini brewery right on premises.  Remember to have a sober designated driver along.  Stopped at most outlooks to enjoy the scenery, beauty, peacefulness and vast expanse of wilderness.

​Once again, how did the pioneers get through these mountains in a Conestoga Wagon pulled by oxen? 
Travel Idea for October...


Here's something to look forward to when traveling US 5 in the Lathrop, California area.  You have heard the old bit about "are we there yet'?   Now everyone can look forward to a stop at the GHIRADELLI CHOCOLATE OUTLETT, 11980 S. Harlan Road, Lathrop, CA 95330.  Phone 209 982 9304.  Set your GPS NOW.