Up the gondola to the Top of the Sierra 11 053' and really windy....Just a little intimidating....and a group of French men were asking me for directions, so I guess the fear wasnt showing...But the views are awesome, and this was certainly the highest we had biked since Tibet.
"Off the Back" is an 8mile (14km) blue run, mainly cross country, not too technical, but with an altitude loss of 2000'. Lots of fun, but we took it cautiously, stopped lots for photos, and to check we were going the right route (pronounced rout). Chatted to a group from Southern California, and even helped them when they took the wrong rout. We decided to back track a little....and felt the effects of the altitude even though it was only a small climb...hard to breath and very tiring...Best to keep going downhill. The whole run took us close to two hours.
Second swipe (of our pass) took us back to the summit. Another run down "Off the Back" linking onto "Gravy Train" which took us along the front of the Mountain to link up with "Brake Through". These tracks were not as well used, and quite a bit rougher and bouldery. Had to work a lot harder, and the odd bit of uphill hurt. Eventually linked up with "Downtown" and cruised like forever on a smooth non technical track all the way back down to the town of Mammoth. Another two hours, and we had done enough for the day. Clever Juju. I jumped on a shuttle without my bike, and went up the hill to collect the van. Ju window shopped.
Great day. Good intro to Park riding, but we don't want to have to spend every time we go riding.
A quick grocery shop, and trying to sort out our phone....no luck yet. Sorry Scott. Can't contact you yet. Then off north. Ju really wants to visit Tuolumne Meadows, the northern part of Yosemite National Park. The drive in is spectacular, and a gorgeous National Park Ranger almost accepts my marriage proposal because she want a NZ passport. Unfortunately the Park is a zoo. There is a huge forest fire West of the park, and everyone had come East. All the camping sites are full. No problem. We head back east, and just out of the park find an old road where we can freedom Camp. Already there are a bunch of camp leaders on their apres camp road trip, so we exchange stories. But perhaps it is the altitude (9000') but neither of us sleep well. Oh well. Tahoe tomorrow.