I’d had the Daffodil Hill run on the calendar since March 17th, then the 24th, then the 31st. Finally April 1st was showing some promise. The skies were supposed to be clear, even though some rain was coming through the day before. Sunday morning came and it was COLD (for April). The weather at Daffodil Hill didn’t look any better.
The weather has been so on and off as of late, I didn’t know if Daffodil Hill was going to be open. The recording said that they’d let us know by 9 am that day. We had to leave earlier than that so it was either a ride to Daffodil Hill or a short jaunt up 88. I met the San Jose crew in Fremont and we headed up over the east bay hills for some good twisties:
I’d timed the stop in Stockton incorrectly, so we got there with plenty of time to spare. San Francisco had just arrived. Daffodil hill was closed today due to snow. There was weather off to the east so we figured head to Volcano, get lunch and head up the mountains and see what was there. We decided on the general store in Volcano as 1) somebody knew of it and 2) it was warm inside. With chow in the imminent future, bikes were lined up and parked!
Country Store (C is average. No grade inflation here):
|Seating||C||A little small for larger groups. We were at group of 9 and took about 1/2 the tables.|
|Atmosphere||B||It’s rustic and worn, but adds some charm to the place.|
|Wait Staff||D-||I liked the host. I really did, but she forgot to cook my burger. I can’t in good conscience give a passing grade when this detail was missed.|
|Food||C-||Most of the menu was not an option as it was pre season, but the burgers were the Costco kind you get in bulk.|
|Value||C||Par for what you get.|
|Overall||C-||The food was reasonable, the place was warm, and the host was very welcoming. I’d go back when I see Daffodil Hill, but I’d not go out of the way to eat here.|
With Daffodil hill being closed, there were a few splashes of color out there:
What transpired next I didn’t really expect. The weather forecast called for the snow line to be down to highway 49. That’s pretty low for this late in the season. We didn’t see any snow at 88 and 49 and none was in Volcano. We were all surprised that Daffodil Hill was even closed as we didn’t see any snow at all. When riding up Shake Ridge Road, for a few miles we saw some white spots on the sides of the road. Then after about a mile spring transitioned into full on winter. The road was full of snow with tire tracks of pavement. I decided to press the groups luck as it was only a “little bit more” to get back to Highway 88. The tire tracks got thinner as we went on and some of the crew had sport bikes not really meant for snow. 😯 Being so far in, we couldn’t get the bikes easily turned around anyway. With a mile to go we had some car decide not to use the tire tracks of the other cars and sprayed us all with snow. 😈
But alas, we got back to 88 stronger for it!
The snow thinned out quite a bit near 88, but there still was quite a bit there near the back of the photo.
A few snowball fights later, it was time to roll.
I’d decided to press our luck a little bit more and head up 88 into the mountains. It was a beautiful ride with the falling snow from the trees, white all around, and a clear highway. After about 10 or so miles, I figured the group was having enough “fun” and decided to head back for home. We made our way back to 26 and down to the valley for the 4/5/205 slog back to 580. I had some time to kill so took a little jaunt up from the top of the Altamont pass to the country by ways.
The hills were green and the wind not to be found. 🙁
I’ve been watching Last American Cowboy on Netflix so it was interesting to stop by one of the cattle farms in the area and just see the cows grazing. This calf wanted to come up and see what the hell rode up!
But alas, the day was ending and it was time to roll back down to San Jose. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday!
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