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  005 06/08/06 Kirkwood Carson City (Nevada) Coasting DavidGene  
Monster Pancakes
Carson Pass
Hope Valley

Thursday June 8, 2006 58 miles - Total so far: 257 miles "Coasting"

We joined Sue for a breakfast of monster pancakes (see photo) then left Kirkwood for our glide into Nevada. Before our descent down the eastern slope of the Sierras we climbed to Carson Pass (elevation 8,573 feet) then dropped down into Hope Valley. This valley is breathtaking, the kind of place one wishes his ancestors had settled, a place one hopes developers never find. Just imagine lush alpine meadows with multiple trout streams and no buildings. We talked to one fisherman who hooked a seven pound rainbow trout last week. After Hope valley we plunged down the Carson River Gorge into Nevada. For a cyclist letting it rip on a downgrade where you can see a clear road far ahead is the supreme exhilaration.

Before reaching our destination of Carson City, the state capitol of Nevada, we rolled into the little town of Genoa, the first settlement in the state back in 1851. We stopped at the general store for a bowl of ice cream. Across the street is the oldest bar in Nevada. Nowadays, instead of horses tied up out front you see Harleys and bicycles, and inside you will find bikers in their leathers beside cyclists in their spandex...go figure?

We have now crossed the Sierras, the first of three mountain ranges in this journey and are now setting our sights on crossing the desert regions of Nevada.

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