The next day was trip day. I woke up and packed... Did a quick run for gas and I was off! The goal today was Garmisch Partnekirchen. When I left it was slightly overcast with the temperature was at about 70º. When I made it to the Mosel valley the weather stated looking dark and on my way up the hill toward the Hunsruck the weather turned for the worse. It started raining, so I stopped to put on my rain gear. Only a few minutes later I had to stop again and wipe the fog out of my visor. I rode for just over an hour when I stopped for cheep gas at Ramstein Air Base. It was at Ramstein when I realized that I was soaked from just an hour on the road. I decided to stick to the Autobahn to save time after I got gas, but the rain was really heavy going toward Manheim, so I called an audible and rode toward the B-10 through Pirmasens and Landau. Just past Pirmasens there was a detour for road work that sent me on the 427 through Dahn. This road would've been great on a dry day, but today in the rain and following the slowest drivers on earth, the road sucked. After a bit I was back on the Autobahn and I was through Karlsruhe.
I was wet, this much was certain. My hands, my feet and my legs were soaked. Until then the one piece of riding gear I could count on was my €20 rain pants and jacket because they never let me down. Today, the pants leaked like no body's business. I stopped just after Stuttgart and I wanted to quit. However I threw on a thermal top and I pressed on. Just before Ulm I stopped to get gas. I went in the bathroom of a rest area, stripped down and put on my running tights and wool socks. Then I got two plastic bags from the girls working the register and put them over my socks in my boots. I ditched my soaked gloves and switched over to my summer gloves with rain covers and I continued on. Past the rest area the rain cleared up and the sun came out for a bit. I cranked the bike up to 100mph and made for Füssen Germany. Once I got to Füssen the rain came back, but I only had a little bit of riding to go before I got to Garmisch. While Riding through the mountains toward Garmisch the cold was getting to me. My coordination was suffering and I wasn't to trusting of the bike in the rain. (the tires had spooked me a few times over the course of the day.)
I made it to my hotel, The Olympiahaus, about dark. The clerk at the reception asked if I was hungry because the kitchen was about to close in 10 minutes. I asked for a schnitzel and they had it waiting for me after I unloaded the bike and got changed. Great Place! It is also worth noting, that I stayed in the Olympic ski stadium from the 1936 games. My room was on the 2nd floor where the Chancellor of Germany at the time had watched the winter games from that very balcony.
Inside my right (Big) pannier after riding through the worst rain we have had all summer. (It has been the best summer ever in Germany.)
The balcony where the Chancellor watched the winter games in 1936. I slipped in here while the maids were cleaning and snapped a few pictures. This spot gave me an uneasy creepy feeling.
The plan for my day in Garmisch was to hike to the top of the Zugspitze, but when I woke up at 6:00am it was Raining Cats and Dogs! So I did what any good American would do, I went back to sleep. I woke up later on, I had a good breakfast and around noon the rain had let up enough for a hike. I set out from the Olympic Ski Stadium and hiked up the Partnach Gorge. The gorge was amazing, a cross between caves, tunnels and a water ride at an amusement park.
The Partnach Gorge
Me in the Gorge.
After the gorge I decided to hike to the Bockhütte, the first hütte on the trip to the Zugspitze. The lady at the gorge said the Bockütte was 2 to 2.5 hours from the gorge. Me being cocky about my hiking skills, I thought I could make it 1.5. It actually took me about 1:45, but I stopped to take a lot of pictures. The hike was awesome. Once I got to the Hütte, I stopped for pea soup with wurst and coffee. They were delicious!
I asked the girls working at the Bockhütte how they got supplies to the Hütte and they said "Motorrad" and sure enough, after a bit a few dudes showed up on bikes loaded down with supplies.
After the Hütte I kept on hiking toward the Zugspitze and I found the best toilet in the world. There was a small cabin in the woods and on a rocky point down the valley from the cabin was an outhouse with no door and the throne was situated so you could see down the valley while you do your morning business. I assure you, that was the greatest view you could ever have from a toilet.
The view from the toilet.
After a great hike I headed back. I had a great dinner of pork medallions with mushroom gravy and cheese spätzle. The food was amazing! After dinner I decided to hike to the top of the ski jumps to work off that Spätzle! Tomorrow I ride into Austria!