Sacramento – South Lake Tahoe – Bend

After indulging in all that San Francisco had to offer, it was time to head up North East towards Sacramento. I was going to see a Kenyan pal who lives just outside of Sacramento. But before getting there I detoured into Davis where one of the University of California Campuses is (UCDavis) and also home to one of my good friends I worked with in Nairobi. It’s a small community with a great cycling lanes all over town. It’s one of the bike friendly towns in America.

The drive from San Francisco was short. There wasn’t much to see on the road. Sacramento is big but nothing too special about it that we saw. We headed to Elk Grove on the outskirts of town and I got to see my elementary school sweethearts. It’s been 20 plus years since we hang out. We had roast beef (Nyama choma as we call it back home) and Ugali (Corn bread comes close to explaining what it is) and Sukuma wiki (Kale). Best home food ever. Thanks Wangare and Nzengu.

Our destination for the day was South or North Lake Tahoe. We were advised that South Lake Tahoe was more scenic. It was a short drive to the resort town. What we hadn’t expected were the snow like conditions we found. It was low 30s when we got there. It was chilly and luckily the hotel rooms have heat.

We arrived at night and it was a surprise the next morning to see Lake Tahoe right on the edge of town. They even had man made snow for skiing. It’s a small town with cabins and just a great feeling to it. The wind chill was painful to bear. We tried hanging by the shores of the lake in vain. We toured the town briefly but it was too chilly to enjoy anything. At least they had a great breakfast place. Americans serve portions for 3 I tell you. It’s too much food and too rich. We over indulged seeing as we couldn’t venture out too much.

The California/ Nevada border is right in the middle of town. All the casinos and flashy lights are on the Nevada side and the mountain town feel is on the California side.

We headed out to nearby Carson City and on to Reno not too far away. We re-entered California again and headed north into Modoc National Forest. The temperatures dropped quite a bit and soon we were below zero Celsius. The roads became slick and snow was falling heavily as we went through the forest and crossed the state line into Oregon. As were on back roads it felt very rural all through the parts of Oregon we passed through. Old one street towns with a single gas station type places. At least they had fried chicken..yea I know. I got some of that for the road as we would be getting into Bend late into the night.

The drive into Bend was treacherous to say the least. We couldn’t barely see as snow was by then falling heavily. The roads were 2 way so crossing onto oncoming traffic was easy. We drove slowly and made it safely into Bend, Oregon the northern most point of our journey. Bend is a small town with lots of outdoor activities but with the freezing weather and no time. We were going to start heading home East bound. If I had more time I’d have loved to go into Seattle, Washington…There is always a next time.

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