We were told by many that we would not make it through the Sierra Nevada Mountains in less than three days with all of our gear. Hah. Okay, I'm not going to lie...it was rough. Our legs and the state of California are DONE.
We left Pine Grove, CA for the mountains with a loose idea of what we were up against. This was solely based on the input of people living in that area because they DRIVE through there. Cars do not equal bikes, they're very different. We took route 88 east towards Kirkwood and found it to be quite beautiful. We drank all the water we could, not knowing when we'd run out of gas stations and random bars. As we climbed over 5,000 feet the first day and over 32 miles we ended up camping off the highway. We used our filter bags to catch melt water from the rock face nearby. At 7,000 ft, our camp overlooked much of the mountain range to the south. The temperature dropped quickly as the sun went down and our temporary home was waiting. We ate our kashi rice meals quickly and watched the sun set before passing out.
Sunrise, and highway 88 is once again alive with the sounds of truckers breaking through the passes. We knew we had to get to our highest pass (8,600 feet), nearly 30 miles away. BUT, before that, we dropped deep into a valley only to climb right back out. It's hard enough on your body to take that, but knowing you lost all the elevation in minutes...rough. We stopped to snack and make a video of how we filter our water and kept uphill for a few more miles. We arrived in the ski-town of Kirkwood. Do any of these people work? it was 2 pm and there was NO shortage of people skiiing and snowboarding. We ate a HUGE lunch at the Kirkwood Inn...and headed out for our summit. Once we hit our 8,600 ft summit....it was all downhill into Nevada.
45 MPH and loud yelling sums up the 18 miles that followed. The rest was flat land with mountains on both sides and cattle running away as we cycled by.
I think we need to rest here in Minden, NV.