California Love: Holy Hail on Monitor Pass
If at any point we thought the rain we’d run into on the Sonora Pass was going to be the toughest part of our day, we had another thing coming.
We watched the lightning striking and listened to the rumble of thunder echo between the peaks of the hills towards Monitor Pass. Was this payback for us skirting around the rain a few days prior? Was it finally time to cash in our rain chips?
The higher we climbed the more threatening the clouds became. We stopped at a pullout on CA 89 weighing our options. I asked two guys who had come down the pass what the conditions were like further up the road.
One of the guys said the road was covered in hail but if we stuck to the tire tracks that were already on the road, we should be fine. He sounded pretty easy going about the whole thing so we opted to continue up. How can you not trust a guy who rides attached to a poodle?
As we were about to pull away, a pickup truck stopped to tell us the road was covered in ice. ::sigh:: Maybe we’re just a bunch of idiots, but we kept moving forward.
I proceeded cautiously. Again it was difficult to tell if the fresh shiny black pavement was just wet or if it was icy. That is until the potential hazards became obvious.
Riding through the hail was just as poodleman had suggested. We stuck to the open tracks and were just fine. There was no sensation of the road being anything other than wet.
Apparently one of these guys didn’t do as well though. He came through before there were any tracks to ride in and wiped out. Some other riders were helping him get his bike back together to head down towards 395.
The rain and lightning seemed to hang stalled over CA 4. Sadly this was one of the routes I really wanted to ride. Taking stock of the situation, we’d been served several warnings that maybe we would be pushing our luck by heading into the brunt of this storm. With one more aggressive crack of thunder and a few bolts of lightning it became clear that was time to err on the side of caution.
With the afternoon light burning and a storm that we couldn’t shake we decided to make tracks for Lake Tahoe to get a room for the night. It was the smart thing to do. CA 4 would have to wait.
More Posts From This Trip:
- Here It Is! The Greatest Road Sign In The World
- Hello, San Francisco - So Good To See You Again
- California Love: It's Time to Hit the Road
- California Love: Mount Hamilton and Lick Observatory
- California Love: Seaside Sandwiches in Big Sur
- California Love: Chasing Lightning on Route 58
- California Love: Rendezvous at the Big Shoe
- California Love: Golden Fields on Hot Springs Drive
- California Love: Sequoia National Park
- Hello, Handsome! Hayward, California Muffler Man
- California Love: Finding Gold on CA 49
- California Love: Rain on the Sonora Pass
- The Tiny Topaz, California Post Office
- California Love: Holy Hail on Monitor Pass
- I Think I May Have Opened Pandora's Box
- Heading North Through Lassen Volcanic Park
- Muffler Man: Hat Creek, California
- Long and Lovely - California Highway 96
- OMG - I Saw Bigfoot in California!
- A Symbol of Hope and Inspiration on California's Route 36