July 4, 2018


I learned my lesson from past Fourths of July: Don't sleep in. To the early arrivals go the pancakes.

Almaden Reservoir on a windy day with fog blowing in over the hills, San Jose, California
My post-pancake aspirations were modest this year. As tempting as it was to head up to the summit of Mt. Umunhum (which I have still not visited?!), I had other plans for the afternoon. It would take me at least an hour, I calculated, just to get to the top—bracketed by more riding.

The day was windy and unseasonably cool—I stepped into the sunshine at breakfast, just to stop shivering. The subsequent climb up the backside of Hicks warmed us up handily, of course. To get there, we looped past the Almaden Reservoir, where we had a clear view of the fog blowing in from the coast.

After 33 miles and 1,945 feet of climbing, I got cleaned up and embarked on my next challenge: Heading out on another road trip, this time solo. Apprehensive about my stamina for a drive of four-plus hours, I scoped out motels for a few “halfway” points along the route.

Could I make it as far as Auburn? We'll see ...

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