All the seasons in one day

  • Left Plymouth bright and early on Monday morning, to begin our climb through beautiful Shenandoah wine country
  • In River pines, we meant John who preached the virtues of “blue energy” aka hydroelectric power. He had to move to the middle of nowhere because he had crossed the men in black in proselytizing against wind energy. He even had a jaunty little tune about hydro, which I regretfully did not record.
  • we continued our climb up omo ranch road, which was quiet, beautiful, and steep
  • All three stores on our route were closed, so we did our best with the meager offerings from the Aukum grocery/hardware store
  • Fate did smile upon us in that Gary, owner of the closed Ham’s station bar/restaurant (closed), allowed us to pitch our tents behind the store, which proved to be a gorgeous campsite
  • Glorious egg and processed tomato breakfast burrito
  • Absolutely beautiful bike riding into the mountains along highway 88
  • The lack of open restaurants or bathrooms continued to plague us
  • The weather turned shortly after silver lake, transitioning quickly from blue skies to a thunderous hail storm
  • For a brief while, we had to find respite under some trees to avoid being pelted by the hail
  • as we rolled our soaked carcasses down the hill to Kirkwood, my thermometer read 38 degrees
  • We had been looking forward to warming up with some hot grub at the Kirkwood inn, only to be denied by a sign saying they were closed today for a ‘maintenance issue’
  • We dejectedly roamed the potholed streets of Kirkwood village in search of any shelter, but alas all doors were closed to the bike bums
  • The lack of food, the exhaustion of back to back days of solid climbing, and the fickle mountain weather led us to the decision that our best course of action would be to hitch a ride the last 30 miles into Tahoe in lieu of attempting two more mountain passes
  • We quickly found a ride from a woman who worked at Kirkwood, who somehow crammed us,our gear, and our bikes into her hatchback and shuttled us into Tahoe
  • We joined up with Andrew, who had been patiently waiting, and are now warming up and drying our gear in a hotel
  • Tomorrow Jim and Nick venture on to Truckee where Amtrak awaits to return them to Urban Ore, whilst Andrew and I will continue on into Nevada and parts unknown

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