Here’s the plan for the bums in twenty-sixteen:
We’ll take the amtrak down to Bakersfield (the Nashville of the west), Andrew and Greg will head right into the sierra foothills to Lake Isabella, over Wilson pass, and into the Owens valley and highway 395 along the majestic Eastern Sierra. In the shadow of Mount Whitney, we’ll head northward, doing our best to stay cool as we traverse the Owens valley – it’s unclear whether we’ll be sampling any of the many hot springs we’ll go by, given that the forecast pushes into the 100s. After ascending Sherwin summit, the weather should cool down a bit, and we’ll surely take a dip amongst the June lakes. Shortly thereafter, we’ll meet up with Morgan, and after Lee Vining the trio of gadjes will veer west to make the climb up to 9900 feet at Tioga pass and into Yosemite national park. Hopefully we’ll get in a hike in the beautiful Tuolumne Meadows high country before descending back towards the central valley. Along this section, we’ll be joined by Alice (ukulele in hand) and Anton. Turning the corner after Sonora, we will begin the long climb up to Ebbets pass along highway 4, the least traveled Sierra crossing. From there, we head through Markleeville and up to scenic Lake Tahoe (previously seen in bike bums 2011 and 2015). There our merry band will finally be complete as we rendezvous with Erin and her crazy recumbent bike. Our sextet will include two ukuleles, two clarinets, and a melodica! I wouldn’t be surprised if we manage to book a gig somewhere.
From Tahoe, we’ll head north to Truckee, then head eastward into the central valley once again, coasting down through an assortment of funky mountain towns until we reach Oroville, where Andrew bids us adieu. Next, we’ll travel through the feather river canyon, one more time heading up into the sierra. We’ll take a dip in Lake Almanor, then catch a rail trail into Susanville. Somewhere along the way, the bums crew week whittle down to two, as Morgan, Alice, and Anton will all return to the rigors of non -bikebum life. Erin and Greg will continue to carry the torch northward, across the modoc plateau, heading through Alturas, along Goose Lake, then into Oregon. We’ll pass through Lakeview, and then veer eastward, picking up a hundred mile long time trail that will lead us right to our terminus at Klamath falls, 1100 glorious biking miles from our origin.
Every trip is a different adventure – stay tuned to find out how this one unfolds!