Wednessday was a whirlwind. We woke early to catch a bus that turns out doesn't run after labor day to Tuolumne meadows. Instead we had coffee for a bit and sat outside. Mike showed up again and we sat and talked a minute before we rode off.
We went to the Valley exit where I spent the next two hours hitchhiking. I made Phil sit in the shade out of sight because I was sure he was ruining our chances, being dirty and bearded and all. I spent part of the morning plucking my own beard out in the cafe's bathroom so I was just dirty. Lots of people stopped without realizing the amount of gear we had, bikes loaded and all.
Until finally when I was exhausting my patience a rape-esqe white van pulled up. We threw our bikes in with the deal we would go 25 miles for 20 bucks. Well, Greg our lovely ride ran off the road right before we hit road construction so once we stopped for the cue I switched places with him behind the wheel. Perfect place for me to be as many of you know I am a terrible passenger. So I ended up driving the big white van all the way to Tuolumne Meadows. I thank goodness for that because my nerves would have been shot otherwise.
When we got there we got a camp spot together. Greg was an interesting guy, very funny. He was adamant about setting me up with Phil, he started calling himself Cupid and bought a bunch of wine. Really just ended up making me uncomfortable. We cooked, shared dinner and wine. When it got dark we walked into a good clearing and looked at the stars.
Greg left early in the morning to go to the Reno air races and left us with all the leftover wine which I finished off last night.
Yesterday's ride was pretty awesome. We climbed out of the meadow and reached our higher altitude for the tour on Tioga Pass. The long downhill was awesome and terrifying with a very steep drop to the side. When we got to Lee Vining we had lunch at Bodies BBQ which was quite nice.
We then rode to Mono Lake. The tufa formations were very cool, and we both got in the water overcoming our fear of brine shrimp and alkali flies. I was able to float very well, and had it not been kind of cold I would have stayed in longer. Unfortunately the alkali water was kind of nasty, slimy and once dry made me all streaky white feeling like a mummy.
On the ride to the campground after that I spontaneously burst into tears. I hardly ever cry but it over took me. Scared Phil a bit, I jut wanted him to ride on ahead like he usually does but it was hard to hide. I have been very stressed about money, my sister Kate, my ability to keep up, and such worries. It was a good cry but Phil is getting tired of my mood swings. I figure if you ride cross country with someone you will see all of their moods at some point. So I got reprimanded, but I haven't seen him cry or get angry yet.
We started a fire when we got to the June lake camp ground called Oh Ridge. We both got to take a quick shower and then had some smores. Phil lost his sleeping bag somewhere along the way yesterday, and I didn't see it though I was riding behind him most the time. It was a very cold night and he didn't believe me that the Girl Scout solution to this problem is to strip down and get in the same sleeping bag. So instead he put all of his clothes on and suffered sleeping under his tarp. I could have saved him much heartache and chill if he wasn't so terrified of cooties. He thinks he will catch my crazy.
In the morning we packed up camp and Merv one of the hosts came by to talk to us. He brought us coffee and that was awesome, he was a funny guy making fun of Phil. We rode out, on the road I saw a lot of road bikers tearing it up. We did more than 60 miles today, and it was very pleasant. We stopped at Tom's Place to eat and have dr pepper in the middle of the ride.
Half of the miles were on 395, the other half were on rock creek rd. Rock creek was the most scenic and fun. There was one killer hill where I almost got hit by a car, but other than that it was downhill, super fun, very curvy. Now we are in Bishop and I feel as I we have made progress. A little nervous about the night ride through Death Valley but also quite excited.