07.04.12 Day 4
Gravel Pit to Wiseman
76.92miles, 242 trip miles
10 avg mph, 30.3 max
7:07:03 ride time
Almost 90% gravel
Rain off/on, some sun, 50?
Day 1 of rain
I started my morning by poking Mike in the eye a few times as I slept. I recall doing it and him asking me what I was doing and me saying I didn’t know and that I was sorry. He says I smirked and rolled over. The whole time I had my sleep mask on and couldn’t see a thing. I recall it but don’t know if I was dreaming or subconsciously messing with him for farting so bad as we got in the tent the night before.
We left our food on the ground up the bill from us next to the gravel pit. As we walked up to it, or should I say dragged our tired asses, we witnessed a ground squirrel attacking a hawk that was sitting on his pile of rocks.
As we finished breakfast I saw movement across the road and pipeline. It was a lone wolf making his way north along the river. He was amazing. We watched him through the binoculars. I waved down a passing car and they got to see it too. At one point the wolf looked over his shoulder as if he could sense me watching him.
The ride started off hot but soon the rain moved in. By the time we reached Atigun Pass the road had turned to shit. The mud was horrible. It became a cross race but with trucks. The climb was tough going and the descent was just hell. I wore through 3/4’s of my rear brake pads in maybe a quarter of a mile. The descent was two in total. Our bikes were ruined. Mike hates for his bikes to get like that and the rest of the day I could tell it was eating at him. He even cleaned his bike in a river at lunch.
By the time we got off the pass and few miles beyond the sun came out and it got hot. Real hot. We had lunch to let the road dry out as it was clear it would happen fast. We found four different body parts of animals while having lunch. We see hooves all the time and once in a while a backbone and rib cage.
Some time after lunch we saw some major weather moving in and the rain gear came back out. We chased a thunder storm down the valley and got wet for a long time. As expected the mud returned and we got filthy again.
Lunch wasn’t until almost 3 pm so by 7 I was fading as my stomach thought it was past it’s normal feeding time. We still had a long way to go to Wisemen but decided to move on.
We hit pavement about 5 miles from Wiseman and it was heaven. Our speed rocketed up and so did our moods. That said we were both cooked at this point. We didn’t have much left in the legs. Who knew bike touring was so hard.
Third to the wolf and epic cycling conditions was the arrival of trees. Yes, trees. I had not seen a real tree since I left Seattle on June 30th.
In Wisman we met Jim, one of the locals. He told us we could stay on his lawn under a bug gazebo so we wouldn’t get wet. He showed us the gold mining museum he had and told us stories. He even let us use his house to wash our bikes. Mike was thrilled. Jim has live here 45 years! Note, Wiseman has about 16-30 people depending on the time of year. It looks like you’re in the 1800’s.
It’s now 1:04 am and I can barely put thoughts together. G’nite.
Glove count: 4
Tie Down count: 8