After breakfast, we made a 9 o’clock departure on highway 4 toward Markleeville, county seat for California’s smallest county, Alpine. It’s only 36 miles but it took almost two hours of driving on a two-lane curvy road. It was scenic all the way with giant pines on all sides. There were numerous small lakes and campgrounds. After passing Mosquito Lake, we got to a peak marked 8,050 feet. We thought that was the main pass. Not to be. Later we came to the real Ebbetts Pass, 8,730 feet. This little highway was first cut through the Sierra in 1800. It was used by miners with some hope the railroad would come this way one day. But Donner Pass, some miles north, got the railroad. Highway 4 was dirt and gravel in its early days. It’s now well paved. But they don't even try to keep it open in the winter. Our turnaround point was Markleeville where we had a nice outdoor lunch.
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