Yesterday we traversed the Sierras on one of the lesser known roads, Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway. We left Turlock (in the Central California Valley) about mid-morning and drove up into the foothills to the gold rush town of Angels Camp. Angles Camp is famous as the home of Mark Twain's "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County".
Heading up Highway 4 out of Angels Camp, we passed another gold rush town, Murphys. Murphys is now filled with wineries. We passed through the logging town of Arnold and then spent a few hours in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. That would be a nice place to camp.
As we continued up the road to higher elevations the road narrowed until it was basically a one lane road. Two cars could pass but if you met up with a medium size or larger truck, one of the vehicles would need to back up to a wide spot. Fortunately, the traffic was light yesterday.
I think this road had more curves than any road I have traveled. The elevation tops out at 8736 feet. About 20 miles of road is narrow - narrower than my two car driveway.
I couldn't help but think of our ancestor, James T. Lorton. Even though no wagon trains used this route, it was one of the early routes over the mountains. In a modern car this was a difficult drive and I can't imagine what the pioneers like James T. Lorton went through on their way to California.
To make matters worse James T. Lorton stated that they arrived in late November, 1849. Tomorrow is Oct, 9 and the weather forecast is for 2"-4" of SNOW above 6000 feet. We will see what it is like in the morning.
Click on the link for a little history and photos of Ebbetts Pass
Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway
|North Fork Stanislaus River (Calavaras Big Trees State Park)|
|View South across the Stanislaus Drainage|
|Switchback on Highway 4 |
(It would be next to impossible to pass another car on the corner)
|One half-mile stretch on the Highway|
|The road widened out at lower elevation and finally had a center line.|