on the big two lane dirt, Bernie had spotted a road up ahead that would lead us to the lake shore we had been trying to reach for about two hours now.
A mile or so down the road, a line of bright green running through the sagebrush and sand prepared me for a second water crossing. We approached it straight on and besides being a bit longer was about the same as the previous one.
Without hesitation I dropped to first gear, picked my line, and throttled through. Partway across as I felt the water starting to fill my boots I realized I had underestimated the depth and strength of the current. Before I knew it I was going over, instinctually snapping the kill switch just before most of the bike submerged. Before I knew what happened I had it back upright and running, apparently blasting about a gallon of water out of the muffler. Bernie had run in to help stabilize and we had her back on dry land in a few seconds.
Bernie and then Shawn picked their way across more cautiously (probably even using the clutch) as I drained half a gallon of water out of each boot and let it run out my sleeves and pant legs. I was completely soaked - but the bike and camera were fine. I got myself back together and we found our way to the lakeshore - a good place to dry out for a bit.
We pulled up to a boat launch ramp just as a research vessel all the way from Jersey was launching. We learned from them Mono lake has about four times the salinity of the Pacific ocean and about the only thing living in it are brine shrimp. It was a nice spot to relax for a little while.
It was mid afternoon by the time I had dried out a bit and suited back up. More than a little hungry by now, we made our way through town back up to the Yosemite access road where there was a gas station with what looked to be a decent restruaunt inside.
Decent would be an understatement. This place served some mean mexican dishes - my fish tacos were awesome considering the location and price.
Reinvigoriated, it was decided we should make for camp and enjoy a hike and a dip in the river before the cold set in for the evening.
Trying to build a good head of steam climbing back up to 10,000 feet on the mountain road I really started to notice the lack of power. I'd drop to 5th, 4th, no pull - it just made more noise - 3rd, finally she'd pull hard again. Climbing, amazing turns, amazing views, more climbing. Back in Yosemite I enjoyed riding each corner the opposite direction and soaked in a new take on the scenery.
Back at camp - a good beer, a good swim, a warm can of soup, a good nights sleep. Tomorrow would be a big day.