1996 Cross-Country Tour. Day 4, May 21, Jamestown, CA to Hodgon Meadows
Tuesday May 21, Jamestown, CA to Hogdon Meadows campground
"Climbing Toward Yosemite"
Our shortest day so far was also our toughest: 47 miles and
6050 ft of climbing. We decided to take Old Priest Grade, that
bypasses the climb on Hwy 120 after it splits off from Hwy 49
on the way to Yosemite. It is shorter and we figured it
would have less traffic than the highway. Unfortunately we
discovered that many drivers have also found this shortcut.
Also, "shorter" up a hill means "steeper" as well - 14.6% AVERAGE
grade. We walked much of it, on the narrow shoulder with cars
|Old Priest Grade. That's Hwy 120 in the distance.
Not advisable for bicycles either :=)
The constant cold rain showers in the afternoon didn't help
make the day any pleasanter. As we pulled up in the rain to
the Big Oak Flat entrance station we got our first "You guys
are crazy" of the tour (from the Ranger). We are now camped
at Hogdon Meadows campground a few miles from Yosemite Valley.
As we were getting ready to prepare dinner, we noticed a camper
circling through the campground looking for a site. All the
sites were filled so we offered to let them park in our driveway
since we obviously weren't using it. We found out they were
from France, here to see the famous Yosemite Valley.
The wife spoke no English and Frank was very impressed that I
was able to chatter away with her in my 25-year-old college
French. Fortunately he couldn't hear all the mistakes I was
|Vista point on Hwy 120 past Buck Meadows
(Frank) I have learned to hate down hills. On a normal ride I
usually ride up the hills, then get rewarded with the downhill.
Well, we are planning to camp way up the hill, and until we get
high enough we have to keep climbing. It's raining, I'm a little
cold, and I'm really tired. Hoping to get reservations in
Yosemite, we pushed most of the day. We have fought for the
elevation we have with our 60+ pound bicycles, and every time we
go down, we will have to climb that elevation again. For the
first time in my life I dreaded the downhill. Downhill just took
us further away from camp.
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