The day started with 2 cups of hot chocolate and one cup-o-soup for breakfast at Porcupine Flats while waiting for gear to dry. Everything had frost on it this morning. We're guessing temps in the 20Ěs, but I stayed warm all night.
Today the pictures will speak. It's after 1:00 a.m. on the 14th now and I've got to get some sleep. Tomorrow I venture out into that desert and cross into Nevada. Forecast is for temps in the low 100's. This will be a serious day.
But... today! One huge hurdle crossed; Tioga Pass at 9900 feet. And I met two transcontinental cyclists; we went over the pass together and are sharing the cost of a motel room tonight in Lee Vining.
To the pictures!
The beautiful high Sierras of California
In my years of cycle touring, this is the first time I've seen this sign. I hurried through.
U.S. History students: The Great Depression hit during the 1930's. The CCC was one solution. My question; why don't we have something like this today? I think there would be so many young people who would want to be a part of helping to fix up their country and this type of program would enable them to feel they are a real working part of their society.
I ran into Steve, left, and Joe, right, at the Tuolomne Meadows ranger station. They're going across the country, too. From Lee Vining, they will head up to Idaho to see friends, then east to New Jersey by Labor Day.
Steve approaching the summit of Tioga Pass, a major accomplishment.
New friends at the Tioga Summit. It's Joe's 29th birthday today. A good way to celebrate.
The trip down the east slope of the Sierras took 20 minutes. ThatĚs right; two days up, 20 minutes down (see "orographic effect"). Much of it at 7% grade. My top speed was 54.5 mph. I was tailgating a pickup truck so closely, it finally pulled over to let me pass, then followed me down the rest of the way. The scenery was beautiful, although a blur. Obviously, no pictures.
And all of a sudden we were in desert heat. Bam, like that.
(Note to my drug-using friends: the incredible high of this downhill experience would not be so great if I did it every day. In fact, I would have to probably increase the slope and the speed in order to get the same rush. This would then be detrimental to my health. What makes this experience stand out is that it is rare. You can't have your cake and eat it, too.)
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