Monday, June 2, 2014

Day #28: A Girl Has Gotta Do What a Girl Has Gotta Do

Today's Route: Lee Vining, CA to Bootleg Campground (8 miles south of Walker, CA) (51 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 1,075

The day started with a long slog up and out of the town of Lee Vining. This meant an average pace of roughly 5 mph as we climbed. There were some sort of gnat-like flying creatures, and they were EVERYWHERE. They were flying in our mouths. In our noses. In our ears. It seemed as though every two stroke we were either swatting at the little boogers or spitting them out from our mouths.

After a few miles of riding through these masses of flying annoyances, I finally stopped to rearrange my Buff (the blue thing I wear around my neck to help prevent sunburn) into bank-robber mode. The Buff did a great job of keeping the creatures out of my nose and mouth, with the trade-off being that it was a wee bit more difficult to suck air as I climbed.

Wearing my Buff in bank robber mode.
A girl has gotta do what a girl has gotta do.

Oh, and those nasty little boogers left round, red bite marks all over my arms and legs. Grrr.

I saw this sign on the sign of the road. It reminded me of an entertaining book I read last fall called "The Great Typo Hunt" (refer to my Hunting Typos to Save the World blog post for further info on this book).

Something just don't look write hear with this sine.

We saw on our maps that the Travertine Hot Springs were located just outside of the town of Bridgeport. My understanding was that the hot springs were just off the road, which sounded cool. But when I learned that the hot springs were more than two miles off the road, the hot springs sounded less cool. And then when I saw that the road was not only uphill, but also dirt'n'gravel, the hot springs sounded downright avoidable. Alas, Alex wanted to visit the hot springs.

The Travertine Hot Springs.

It was a warm day to begin with. And after traveling the extra distance to get to the hot springs (some of the distance requiring that we push our heavy-ass bikes up the steep gravel sections), I was very toasty. The thought of immersing my already warm body in hot water wasn't very appealing; I have a tendency towards light-headedness in warm waters, and that wouldn't be any good considering we still had a good 25 more miles to ride.

Nonetheless, I put my legs in the hot springs for a few minutes, until one of the local's chatter about bicycles drove me out of the springs. I enjoyed the views of the mountains off in the distance, while Alex soaked in the springs.

Alex in the hot springs.

We met up with Randy in Bridgeport and rode the final miles to the campground together.

Pretty yellow wildflowers in the foreground.

I enjoy riding with Randy and Alex. On the downhills, Randy and Alex ride way ahead of me. It's fun to watch them sail down the hills, leaning into the turns, and gaining momentum as the road steepens further. On the days when they both wear yellow jerseys, a new Olympic sport comes to mind: synchronized bike touring.

Riding while enjoying the beautiful snow-topped mountains ahead.

When we arrived at Bootleg Campground, we learned that potable water is not available. This is often the risk of staying at a USFS campground. Fortunately, we each have some water reserves. Although we may need to ration our water a bit, we should be able to refill our water bottles early on in the morning, as the next town is only eight miles away -- and it's downhill.

The pink sign in the bottom right-hand corner proclaims "no drinkable water."

Although the water was not potable, the water faucets were still working. So, I washed my hair and had a nice shower-of-sorts in the out-of-doors. Then I did some yoga, I went for a long walk around the campground, and I relaxed. It was a tough afternoon, but I was just doing what a girl has gotta do.


  1. "Wooly Mule Ears".... That's what them yellow flowers is called ;-)

    1. Ah, muchas gracias! I hadn't had a chance to look that one up yet!

  2. Love the bandit look!! And excellent self editing in regards to bike chatter at the hot springs!

    1. Thanks! Regarding the self-editing...some folks are great fun to talk to...others less so. :)

    2. Sarah I concur!

  3. Replies
    1. The hot springs AND the campground with the gliders (from a few weeks ago). You took your bike tour one year too early, Mr. Brownson. :)

  4. I agree with you about hot springs and hot weather not exactly being a match. However, when is snowing outside, then hot springs could be the best place to be in...


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