Sunday, June 1, 2014

Day #27: It's All Downhill From Here

Today's Route: Crane Flat Campground in Yosemite National Park to Lee Vining, CA (62 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 1,024

Today the trip odometer passed 1,000 miles. Woohoo!

And today was our big climb up and over Tioga Pass! At 9,945 ft, Tioga Pass is the highest point on the Sierra-Cascades route.

Just 1,945 more feet to go!

At exactly 25 miles into our ride, BJ and Lilia drove by us in their rental car. They were on their way up to Toulumne Meadows for another overnight backpacking trip. This was the last time we'd see BJ and Lilia. Although they still have another week of vacation, they are going to head south next week to explore Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks.

Alex talks with BJ.

The first 15 or 20 miles of our ride on Tioga Road this morning was okay. But after we got further along Tioga Road, there were lots of great views, such as those at Olmsted Point, Tenaya Lake, and Tuolumne Meadows.

Olmsted Point, with Half Dome in the distance.

My lunch spot in Tuolumne Meadows. Ah!

Just 945 more feet to go!

Today we came across our first bike tourist heading south! The cyclist (I didn't catch his name) was from France. He's been biking around the US for a few months now, and he has 21 more days of biking until he needs to return home. He said we were the first tourists he had seen. We didn't doubt this, as he shared his non-stop monologue of all the places he'd been, and all the camps where he had stayed, and all the lakes he'd seen, and all the trees he'd seen... You get the idea.

Me and the French tourist.

After some more pedaling, we arrived at Tioga Pass. Tioga Pass is the north entrance to Yosemite National Park, and so by reaching the pass, we were exiting the park.

Shirley and the most anti-climatic elevation marker.

Randy, Alex, and me at Tioga Pass.

I couldn't resist attempting to make a snow angel.
Alas, the snow was too stiff for making proper wings and legs.

After arriving at the pass, we had twelve very quick miles downhill to the town of Lee Vining, where we are camping for the night. The road was super-duper steep. I reached my max speed on this trip -- 44.6 mph. Alex exceeded 50 mph!

My max speed -- 44.6 mph!

I can't believe I'm saying this, but it's nice to be back in civilization again, because civilization brings with it a warm shower and laundry!

Hanging out while waiting for the laundry.

I started the day with a sore muscle hangover from our hike up Half Dome two days ago. It's surprising that nearly seven hours of riding today helped to nearly overcome the soreness. Ah, the wonders of the body!

There is still a lot of climbing left on our trip. But now that the highest summit is in our past, it sorta seems like it's all downhill from here


  1. Hey Sarah. You are in Paradise. I know this area. If it is not mentioned elsewhere, a lot of people check out the famous Whoa Nelly Deli in the gas station at the end of 120 (Tiaoga Pass Rd) 100 yards before you hit 395 near Lee Vining.
    Bridgeport and the Vegetarian Challenge:
    In 2008 there was a second small grocery store on the north end of town (now closed). My hiking partner and I asked at the meat counter if they had tofu. The guy behind the counter went and talked to two other guys behind the counter trying to figure out what "tofu" was. ☺ At the other grocery store in the middle of town we found some fresh carrots and some brown rice to take back to our kitchenette apartment.
    There is a little deli tucked away next to the outdoor Mexican place. There is a diagram at the counter labeling the different cuts of meat on a drawing of a cow. The cow's stomach is labeled "Vege Burger".
    Bridgeport is a cow town. You will see signs for Harris Farms beef. Also my landlords/neighbors have some cows near there. They raise organic beef for Whole Foods.
    There is vege food there in Bridgeport, but not everyone in Bridgeport knows what vege food is. Vegan? Sorry Alex. That might be a tough one.
    Thank you for the letter in the little pink envelope. That was a very nice touch.

    1. Ha! Reminds me of the time I went to Atlanta for a work conference. The hotel was having a burger buffet one evening. I asked if the chef could make a veggie burger. He said "Sure, what veggies would you like on your burger?"

      You're most welcome for the little pink envelope. :)

  2. I saw that the French guy has a bike trailer. Is there any advantage or disadvantage of a bike trailer compared to how you carry?

    1. There are pros and cons to trailers. In my mind, a trailer is just one more thing to worry about -- an extra wheel to go flat, one more large thing to ship to/from your starting/ending point, an excuse to carry too much gear, etc.

  3. It is funny... Yesterday, we did the same thing here in whistler when we saw a patch of snow.

  4. 40mph... Holy shit... Isn't this dangerous?

  5. Looks like you guys are having a great trip! Very much enjoyed the blog posts and am stoked to see you both again in Shasta.

    Safe travels

    1. Thanks, Ron. Looking forward to seeing you, too!

  6. You know, not everyone can look fanatastric in a luandramat! Just shows cycling makes us all good looking! Or in my case, at least smiling! Great job lady!

    1. Ah, thanks! It's amazing what lots of make-up and some photoshopping can do. ;)


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