Saturday, June 25, 2011

You, Sir, Must be the Shepherd!

When I went to bed last night, it was a little chillier than usual. That should have been a clue to me that the morning might be a little cold as well. But, no, I still planned to wear my lightest weight jersey and didn't bother to dig out the knee warmers or my long finger gloves. I woke up at 5:40 (Just as an aside, there are usually three things that will wake me up in the morning, my watch alarm goes off, loud birds or, and most commonly, I have to pee.). It was so cold I put my down jacket on to go to the restroom. Would have been a good idea then to pull out the knee warmers and gloves...but, no. I just figured I'd move fast. I think I would have had to be bionic to move fast enough to keep warm! By the time I was digging out my stuff to make breakfast, my hands were numb (Another aside here. In the morning, I pack up everything before I fix breakfast. Then I just have to put the cooking stuff away and I'm ready to go.). This was another day I had to light my stove with a match as I could not operate the lighter. Once I got some hot chocolate in me and some oatmeal, I was a little better. STILL, would have been a good idea to pull out the knee warmers and gloves because for the first 4 miles or so it was downhill...and in the shade. At one point, there was a patch of sun on the other side of the road. I rode over to it to get warm for just a moment (usually, I will cross the road for a patch of shade!). There were a couple of tiny uphill parts and I was thankful, but then I would be back to going down. The only thing keeping my feet on the pedals was the fact that they were clipped in. Either Stella was also cold and shivering, or my shivering was causing quite the shimmy. I was singing the Raffi song "Mr. Golden Sun" (you know the one--Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden Sun, Please shine down on me! Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden Sun, Hiding behind the tree!) as I was shivering my way down to Sierraville. When I got to Sierraville, I stopped at a little store to get water (remember, no potable water last night). As I purchased the water, the lady looked at me like I was crazy. I asked her if she knew the Mr. Sun song and told her I had been singing that all the way down the hill. She said, "No."

Once I got onto the flat (WHAT? No mountain?), I warmed up pretty quickly. I had several miles of just gently rolling, but mostly, flat road. It was all in the sun and quite nice! These are the times when "Morning Colleen" (I'll explain later) is in the house! As I started the first little climb, I saw a guy and two dogs cross the road ahead of me. Then I heard them...the sheep that is. In the trees on the right side of the road there was a large flock of sheep grazing and baaing. As I rode past the guy and the dogs, I said, "And, you Sir, must be the shepherd!". He nodded and waved.

As I was continuing up the summit with no name (even says, "un-named summit" on my map), I noticed I was getting bit by Mosquitos. I stopped and put on my insect shield bandana, but that only kept them away from my face. Finally, I stopped and dug out my bug spray and spritzed my arms and legs. When I reached the summit, I christened it, "Mosquito Summit".

The rest of the ride was pretty easy. Outside of Graeagle, I came upon three cyclists changing a flat tire. Of course I stopped. They asked to use my pump as the one they were using was very small. Turns out they had done Sierra Cascades from San Diego to Lake Tahoe. They were a few days ahead of me. Now they were just doing day rides then going in a car.

When I got into Quincy, I stopped to map out where my Couch Surf Host's house was. It's just right off the route about two blocks. Shannon is not even here, but he is letting me stay! I got here about 12:45 (like I said, easy day of 52 miles). I've showered and done laundry (the first time I've actually done laundry in a washer and dryer on this trip). Stella is parked in the back porch. It's very nice here and I will add Shannon to my list of Super Heros!

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