Day 31 Wed Feb 18. Tahoe – Kirkwood XC – Monterey

Another frosty morning – even a little frost on the sand on the lake shore – nice.  Could have done another few hours at Squaw or at Alpine Meadows, but couldn’t really get enthused.  Besides, I had remembered / rediscovered yesterday that Kirkwood has XC skiing, and figured I should finally put the second pair of skis to some use.  So headed up route 88 to a stunning plateau and the Kirkwood XC centre – just down the road from the downhill area.  Around the centre looked about as appealing as Royal Gorge had been, but was told the skiing in the meadow was holding up OK so headed there.  Basically just a few loops in an open area with mountains on all sides – not too taxing which suited me just fine.

Temps were again around the 15C mark and they’d done an amazing job keeping skiable trails here.  Marginal cover in some spots but quite good in others, but even in the short time I was out on them they softened to the point of water skiing in parts.  A pleasant time nevertheless.

This was then the farewell to the mountains and the snow – a great drive along the crest of the range before slowly descending through the foothills to emerge into the California food bowl. Always seems to take forever to make your way from the mountains to the sea here, and no exception today, so once again I found myself arriving in Monterey after dark.  Had a late lunch en route so took my time before wandering downtown.  Another town, another brewpub, another saison – am really getting a taste for this stuff.  And some delicious mussels to accompany it.

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