Quote of the day today from Seth: "You know what's depressing? Sometimes I move so slow that my speedometer says 0.0."
Slow was the game today as we climbed a net of 5000 feet in about 30 miles. We started early and took the route suggested by Dan, the Mormon Emigrant Trail. The beginning of the climb was fairly gentle, but about halfway up it got STEEP. There were sections where I would move about 50 feet and have to stop to catch my breath and rest my burning legs. It was frustratingly slow going and we took several breaks. I barely shifted out of my lowest gear all day! The views, however, were incredible! The Sierras are awesome and it became obvious we were gaining elevation as the day progressed...the trees all turned to evergreens and became much more sparse.
We finally made the 24 miles to the intersection of CA 88, where we joined up with our mapped route. George made it to the intersection first and someone driving by stopped and gave him two bottles of cold water. He shared with the rest of us; what a treat!
A few more miles of climbing and we stopped at a pull-off where a family was enjoying the view. They asked us about our trip and shared some string cheese and dried fruit with us! It's amazing how generous these strangers have been!
We were finally rewarded with a 3 mile downhill coast to a lodge on a lake. The lodge was expensive but they recommended a campground down the road. Seth checked it out and got us a free campsite! The lady in the office said that the manager told her to give a free campsite to anyone traveling the Western Express route! He said that God sent Moses up the mountain for a reason and he believes that God sends cyclists on this journey for a reason too.
George bought hot dogs and buns at the lodge's general store, and Seth and Josh rode back up the store to pick up some beers, so we boiled the hot dogs with George's camp stove and had ourselves a delicious dinner! It's an early night as today was challenging, and my body needs rest! Tomorrow we finally climb over Carson Pass!