Pacific Coast Sierra Cascades Bike Trip Day 35 – A Delightful Day

I slept comfortably under a sheet and blanket in the hostel with the AC running most of the time. My roommate rebuffed my attempts at conversation. Up at 5:30 to pack and ride two blocks to the Eastern Sierra Transit pickup point at 6. The bus arrived at 6:10 with three people boarding. On the ride to Bishop, I enjoyed the scenery and the steep Sierras. In Bishop, we passed by Eric Schaat’s bakery but, alas, didn’t stop. After changing buses, we headed north to Mammoth and Lee Vining. The landscapes reminded me of the Colorado mountains with pine forests at higher elevations and lots of mountain sagebrush and bitterbrush shrubland at lower elevations. After breakfast in Lee Vining, US Hwy 395 dropped down to Mono Lake, a potent symbol of western water conflicts. The 9-mile, 1,600-feet climb to Conway Summit went well mostly with a decent shoulder and moderate grade. From the top I zipped downhill for 9 miles then gradually for 8 more miles past sagebrush and bitterbrush to Bridgeport. I ate lunch in front of the poorly stocked market (no chocolate milk or produce). But I drank a Gatorade and refilled my water bottles. I rode across the surprisingly green Bridgeport valley, made so by several streams. Plenty of cattle grazed the moist pastures. The 1,700-foot climb to Devil’s Gate Summit followed a creek lined with willows and beaver dams. In no time, I reached the summit and headed downhill soon along the West Walker River. This portion of the ride featured the rushing river, interesting geology, and recently burned forest. Numerous vehicles parked along the river discharged anglers and picnickers (see photo). I passed two Forest Service campgrounds and continued my geology field trip to Walker where I got a cold drink. Then another four miles to the Colville KOA for the night. Today’s ride was wonderful in several respects: fine scenery, mostly good roads, moderate traffic, thin cloud cover that kept temperatures moderate, and two tolerable climbs. 61 miles today.

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