Hi, welcome to the road. To find out what is going on, please click on any of the markers and this will bring up the blog post for that day. Once the trip has finished there will be a story post below picking out our favourite bits from the trip. I hope you enjoy, and if you have any comments or suggestions please contact me 😄
Off the road story
Sierra-Cascade was an incredible route, although extremely challenging the views were well worth the struggle. We were rewarded with beautiful snow covered mountains and amazing lakes as far as the eye could see. Here are a few of the highlights and surprises we had along the way.
Problems do happen
Before setting off on our trip we knew there some snow along the way, but never thought there would be enough to completely close roads. We had originally planned to take Tuolumne pass out of Yosemite knowing that it might still be snowed shut but exploring the area there was still serious snow. We were incredibly lucky with our alternative route, turning up to the Alpine State Highway (4) to find it had opened the day we arrived. This trend continued throughout the trip, finding Lassen Volcanic National Park under 14ft of snow, the rim road of Crater Lake National Park under 5ft at least, and staying in Paradise Lodge in Mt. Rainier the night they opened the road to continue through. This did lead to winter wonderland views but a bit of last minute route planning, so I would recommend staying flexible at this time of year.
One of the best places that we went to, as a result of the change in plans, was Lava Beds National Monument, found just after Tom had fallen off his bike and wrecked his arms (I'll spare you the photos, he is all better now). The area is covered in old lava flows which have formed a network of tunnels that have largely been made accessible to the general public. The staff at the visitor center were extremely helpful and informative when we went. We took our bike lights and helmets to go in but they did have equipment available. Some of the caves are more accessible than others and there is a good range to explore, from ones you can easily walk through to crawling through tight spaces. None of the main caves need ropes (we didn't stray way from the main loop) but a torch is essential as it is pitch black without.
People are great
It is very easy to listen to the media and decide that everyone is awful but across all of my trips I have come across wonderful, helpful people from receptionists giving me little goodie bags to people providing amazing accommodation and local insights. For this expedition we made use of Tom's Warm Showers account. For those unfamiliar, it is like CouchSurfing for tour cyclists, so fellow cyclists advertise that they have space to host and you can message them to arrange a night. This is probably the best way to find out about local routes that aren't on the maps, and the inside scoop on road and traffic conditions. It can also be really useful in large cities where it can be difficult to find cheap central locations. I can not recommend the system highly enough and it is a global, not just in America.
If you are interested in seeing more from the trip, click on the tags for daily or visit the gallery. Also, let me know about your own trips and experiences in the comments.