In an effort to make the most of my time on Earth I decided to take a little road trip with one of my best friends. Just one night in Tahoe, CA but we were going to take the road less traveled to get there and hit Apple Hill on the way home. Awesome ideas right? Yeah, it was mostly an awesome plan. Her sister has a condo in Tahoe we can stay at for free so it really seemed like a win-win situation.
Our trip started out awesome. I have fallen in love with the Roadtrippers website and app for planning journeys. We had this down. So we start out and get a bit lost looking for the covered bridge. We ended at a dead end road with no bridge in site. So we backtrack to an area where groups of people were gathering to go white water rafting that we passed on the way in and ask them if they know where the bridge is. They point behind an giant abandoned building. Yeah, it never occurred to us to search behind a giant abandoned obvious horror movie in making building in the forest with no one around to hear our screams. Yeah, it sounds like a horrible idea. So we head off in our capris and flip flops to the giant abandoned building…because why not?
As we get closer to the building we see a small ranger station off to the side (a good sign) but they are closed and do not open for a while but without any fencing to keep us out we head off down the path to the spooky building and the bridge that lays beyond. We instantly decide that the building is the PERFECT set for pretty much and B horror movie, post-apocalyptical movie or a gangster or crime movie where they either hide bodies or kill people. But, we are determined to find this bridge so we continue on.
As we round the far end of what is left of the massive structure we finally see the bridge and what appears to be the old dirt road that use to cross it that looks as if it meets up with the dead end road the GPS took us to around a familiar looking hill. bushes, trees and tall grass have since grown over the parts of the road farther from the bridge explaining why there was no sign of it or the river below from the dead end. We have arrived! We wander around the area exploring, cross the bridge for a look from the other side and find a nice picnic ground that you can access from another road that would have made a much easier route than the one my GPS took us on.
As we are leaving other people start to show up and we stop at the ranger station on the way out and look at the cute museum about the gold rush, mining, logging and the wildlife in the area. There is even a photographer taking portraits of a couple models outside the abandoned building. We continue along our journey stopping at anything that looks interesting and eventually stop for lunch.
After lunch the small towns thin out and we start to see more signs for camping and little to no signs of civilization. then all of a sudden we round a bend in the road and the road thins out to one wide lane and a truck is coming straight for us. We scream and pull over. But we can still read the street signs so we figure this was just an idiot that didn’t realize or didn’t care that this is obviously only one way and he was going the wrong way.
About 30 min later we are desperately looking for the end to this road from hell. It is indeed 2 way, with apparently no rules and a massive cliff on both sides one going up and one going way down (on our side) there are no shoulders or guard rails just a fall to your obvious death on the lush green carpet that is actually giant trees that are so far down they look like shag carpet. We are obviously going to die.
We stop at every area that allows us to stop and catch our breath getting out of the car to see all we can of this area we are NEVER coming back to again. We also understand why the road is closed in high winds, rain, fog and snow. Totally makes sense. It is a death trap with no cell service. We finally make it out and almost cry with relief after several close brushes with death over the last few hours. We scrap the rest of our stops on our trip and just go straight to the safety of the condo in Tahoe.
The rest of the trip was uneventful and we decide to go back to Tahoe (staying on 50 and not taking the “road less traveled” ever again) to explore more of the area. It is beautiful and the condo was perfect for us. I am currently pondering a gag gift for my friend for Christmas to do with this road trip. I am not sure what exactly I will come up with. Perhaps a travel mug with “I survived Ebbetts Pass” or something. We were kinda hoping for a gift shop at the end with such items and were sad when there wasn’t one. I now feel the need to create an item of some kind for her with that sentiment. I had to take a LIVE A GREAT STORY photo at one of our stops along the way. Because we absolutely got a story out of it! We even have video of some of our 360 degree turns with death defying drops just inches away from the edge of the small, steep road. It was obviously made for horses and not cars. But, hey…If you are feeling adventurous in good weather give it a go. Make sure you have a full tank of gas, an empty bladder and steady nerves before you go.