Pacific Coast Sierra Cascades Bike Trip Day 34 – A Change of Plans

Another warm night at 5,600 feet of elevation. Last night the folks in the next campsite, who drove up for the evening to escape the heat, gave a Gatorade. I can’t get enough of cold liquids. On my bike at 6:15 in the morning heading mostly downhill for 16 miles on the Angeles Crest Highway. Many areas of recent forest fires (see photo). I left Hwy 2 (Angeles Crest Highway) for the Angeles Forest Highway. After descending for 7 miles through increasingly arid terrain, I biked through a tunnel then began a 1,700-foot climb to Mill Creek Summit. Good Road conditions and minimal traffic going my way. Plenty of commuters going the other way. My energy flagged for the last two miles. I crossed the PCT at the summit (I remembered getting water from a fire tank of doubtful purity) and headed briskly downhill for 11 miles to Hwy 14, a freeway. I more or less paralleled it for a mile then turned north on Sierra Highway (A better name would have been Mojave Desert Highway). The intense heat, bad roads, steep and long climbs prompted me to abandon the official route along the eastern side of the Sierras for US Highway on the eastern side. Plus I didn’t want to ride through the Mojave Desert. The high today was predicted to be 117. After checking Google Maps at 12 pm, I found that the Lancaster Metrolink station lay only 12 miles straight ahead. From there, I could board the Eastern Sierra Transit bus at 2 pm and be in Lone Pine at 5 pm. I got on the bus and enjoyed the scenery of creosote bush and low shrubs (from the air-conditioned bus). I got a bunk at the Whitney Portal Hostel for $34, showered, laundered my dirty clothes, and ate pizza and beer (scoring three pieces from an adjacent table). I was unable to locate the hole on my air mattress in the bathtub. The photo shows the view of the Sierras to the west. 35 miles on the bike today.

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