Right after the cabin, we were in for some crazy climbing. For the next three miles, the trail devolved into fragmented, loose rock and steep technical sections that never ended. The bikes were both boiling unapologetically and blowing coolant. We had to stop a number of times to let them cool down. With the promise of Oregon around the corner, we couldn't do much but smile at the last efforts of Nevada to consume us.
We came across another reservoir, but this one was pretty mucky. No swimming, but we had lunch and took some pictures. We'd take water when we could get it.
After lunch, we passed into the Sheldon Antelope Preserve. We saw a ton of pronghorn out there. They were a fun distraction from the sand and heat.
After dropping out of the preserve, we were treated to 12 miles of powdery sand. It was in a two track with the tracks 8-10 inches lower than the center. This section proved to be more than our riding ability could keep up with. I dumped once and John went down twice. The bikes came through generally unscathed but we both managed to get our legs under the bikes. I got my ankle under the foot peg and got smashed pretty good. A month later and I still have a nice knot, but the boots saved me any blinding pain or lasting injury. I'd say our pride was hurt worse than we were.
The sand finally gave way to a for-real gravel road. Thank you sweet little baby Jesus. We climbed up this road and got a nice view of the last valley we were to cross in Nevada.
A few miles more and we found the border. Fare thee well, Nevada, you were good...
California, get ready! We off our medication and here to ride.
Yep, today was a dusty one. I'm not usually such a nice shade of grey.
These aren't the droids we're looking for...
Even though we were excited to put Nevada behind us, we had to accept the sad fact that state lines are arbitrary lines drawn through a slowly changing landscape. Certainly more desert awaited. Or did it?
It was crazy. A few miles after the border, we dropped down into a beautiful little wine country town and immediately afterward found ourselves in trees. It had been days and we couldn't have been more thrilled. We stopped for gas inside the Oregon border and got to watch the cops arresting somebody over some mess involving an abused dog, a dognapping, and some death threats. Oh Oregon, you so crazy.
Camping a bit later. We were in the trees next to a creek. Compared to where we'd been, it was a bit surreal.
Not the easiest day on the trail, but quite possibly one of the most rewarding. I think we both slept well after that one.