Turning towards the wilderness
Our days in the urban sprawl that is the Bay area are over. We are turning towards the wild, destined for the first National Park on our list. We got four days to reach Yosemite.
Day one: Fremont to Lake del Valle
We woke up well rested in a motel in Fremont. It is the last we will see for many days and opt for a breakfast of carbohydrates and protein in the form or muesli and eggs, which we prepared on the motel’s parking lot.
This time, it was three of us cycling as Sue decided to join me and Andreas. Our path led us north-east, first following main roads and later smaller roads that wound through woods, wine yards, and villages. It gave us an idea of the valley as a growing region.
Riding uphill with the steady support of the Yamaha system, we were coming closer to Lake del Valle and had a beautiful view on green hills and valleys. The lake is located in one of the latter and looks as if it belongs there even though it is actually an man-made reservoir that was created 48 years ago.
Lake del Valle is part of the California State Water Project. The SWP is among the largest state owned utilities in the world and supplies the Bay Area, the farms of Central Valley as well as Southern California, namely Los Angeles, with much of their water.
This lake serves as reservoir and flood control basin. However, California has seen droughts in recent years that led to toxic algae blooming in some of the still and unusually warm waters. Hence, instead of going for a swim, we took to the air and let our drone fly free for the first time. It has a “follow me” function and can easily be programmed to keep a cyclist firmly in its sights.
Travel tip of the day: Check with the park authorities on water quality and potential risk. The information is updated regularly.