Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Day 8--Tunnels, bridges, 2 mtn passes

Got up at 6:30. Left Newhalem at 8:45 (that's just how long it takes to pack everything). Immediately noticed the extreme headwind. It did abate somewhat when we were climbing. We stopped to take a picture of Gorge Dam. Continued to climb to the first tunnel. As we were going through the tunnel I realized how dark it was. Then I remembered I had my sunglasses on--duh...Anyway, we climbed some more up to the bridge over Gorge Creek. It was very high so Kyle wouldn't walk out on it. I, of course, went out to take pictures. Back on the road going up, we came to the second tunnel. This one was shorter and this I could see better. We continued to climb with an occasional bit of downhill. We finally made it up to the Diablo Lake and Dam Lookout. At that point, I was in need of some food. We ate some and took pictures. Back to climbing and climbing and climbing. We stopped at a trailhead and ate some lunch, but there was no piped water.
After lunch we continued up (literally) the road. After awhile, we realized we were going to run out of water soon. We decided to stop at the next opportunity and get some water from a creek. We found one with east enough access and filled up the 2 liter pot. We pit some iodine tablets in the water. After they disolved, we dumped the water into 3 of the water bottles (we had 5 bottles). A few miles later I noticed an RV sitting at a pullout. There was an older Filipino lady sitting outside in a lawn chair. We asked her if she had some water. She gladly filled out 2 remaining empty bottles. We thanked her and continued climbing. We stopped to rest many times and even walked a short bit to get off the bikes, but still make forward progress. Finally, we reached Rainy Pass (it was very sunny). We took pictures at the summit then had a fast 2 mile downhill before starting the climb to Washington Pass. I thought we were never going to get to the top. At this point, we had already been on the road for about 10 hours! When we reached the pass we took more pictures then started the best part of the day; 18 miles of screaming good downwhill!
We made it to Klipchuck Rd and from there only had a little more than a mile to go to the park. Alas, once again, no showers. Oh well, the downhill dried all the sweat anyway.
This was one long hard day; probably the hardest day I have ever had cycling. But, we lived to tell the tale.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Well GOOD job Colleen!
If YOU say it is hard IT MUST BE KILLER!!!
Is Kyle even talking to you at this point? :>)

1. You're now drinking stream water... freaking me out. No matter how hungry you get remember: Kyle is your son, you cannot eat him. Good thing your family is into survivor man. Or is it?

2. You know how I feel about those down hills, be careful! (You know I have to say it even though you know it!)