We woke up and talked about where we were in the trip and what we wanted to do for the rest of it. It was decided that we would like to see the Gobi Desert, so, we came up with a new mantra; "Get to the Gobi!" That was our new mission. The valley we were camped in was desolate except…..
Here comes our first visitor of the day with his heard. He was very curious about our scene.
He just walked around our camp checking things out, then, off he rode, tending his heard of sheep.
We packed up and took off, instantly stumbling onto a great section of single track!
Then up a wide valley on smooth two tracks. We were trying to get over a medium sized mountain range by an obscure route.
We came across another Soviet era resort with hot springs again in these little buildings.
These were a little more appealing but it was early in the day and we had our mission; Get to the Gobi!!
Some locals were just leaving and they liked the iPhone gps mounted to my handlebars. They had a stereo system mounted on the front of one of their bikes and the owner proudly kicked it on with a remote control from about 10 feet away. Too funny!!!
Now things start getting interesting. The route is getting thin and we come to a difficult river crossing which doesn't go well for Minxter.
She goes down in the middle of the stream. The boulders were very large, too much so for the suspension on our bikes.
We pushed forward crossing the stream a few more times. We resorted to just creeping through with our feet in the water to steady the bikes. Minxter needed a hand with this being only 5'4" tall. Then the route ended.
After exhausting any possibility of advancing, we had to retreat to the last intersection back down the valley where we studied maps and eventually flipped a coin (actually a rock) to decide our fate.
The rock toss had us backtrack to a better mapped route going through the range over a less intense pass. This turned out to be the best choice as we looked back and saw the clouds lower and start raining along the high country.
Meanwhile, we enjoyed buttery two tracks along a beautiful river.
And of course, nice little sections of single track.
Late in the day we come into this logging town and restock. The weather doesn't look to good as we head out of town.
At the edge of town we stumble upon this little ger camp with hot springs. Bingo!! We're in!!
We settle into the ger for the night.
Not exactly a natural hot spring but this suited us just fine!!! The camp uses thermal springs and pipes it into this rock basin that they built. They filled it as soon as we showed up. I can't tell you how much we needed this!!
There was a light rain while we soaked in the tub and relaxed. This stop couldn't have been any better. We really needed it. Perfect!!
We decided to get dinner at the camp rather than cook our Steppe Stew and we weren't disappointed when they brought out our Buuz, which are steamed goat dumplings. Another beer and a couple shots of vodka and LIGHTS OUT!!
125km for the day.