Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Eastern Sierras - Rock Creek and Crowley Lake Roads

Wednesday, Sept 10th

In the words of The Boyfriend, "What, no firemen, no strapping runners stripped to the waist, not even a BF reference!  Your followers will drift away without their daily titilation."

Apparently, someone is miffed that I have been remiss in not being titillating.  As Steve Martin once said, "Well, excuse me."

Today's ride was 51 miles with 5900 feet of climbing.  And what would be known as The Real Ride at our daily happy hour.  You see, only Miss P, Tony and I did the "real ride" whereas everyone else for various reasons didn't do it all.  Yes, at happy hour, of which Miss P and I were late (because you know, we did the Real Ride), we went on and on about doing the real ride, all 51 miles.  But, let's back up to the beginning, shall we.  I wouldn't want to continue mentioning how Miss P., Tony and I, slowest of the gang, did the Real Ride.  I wouldn't want to rub it in, you know, about how Miss P., Tony and I did the Real Ride.

First, we did Lower Rock Creek Road, a 9.3 mile slug of a climb with only a short but beautiful descent for a break (first photo in this blog).  Everyone passed me of course.  Miss P. caught up to me and we began our journey together.  I suppose at this point, to be titillating, I should mention that when I bought the hat for the hike (back in Mammoths Lakes), I had two young strapping men wait upon me, eager to please. They did a good sell.  That is all I will say.

Back to the ride.  After Rock Creek, we came upon US-395 being paved.  We had only one mile but it was dicey until the construction workers told us to get in the middle lane protected by cones.  How fabulous to be on a highway and insulated. We stopped at Tom's Place (elevation 7100).  We went up Rock Creek Road, again under construction.  This is where most of the other riders didn't realize that it was fine to do so.  We had a lovely chat with a construction worker who told us about encountering bears.  The photo above has nothing to do with this bit, it comes later (McGee Creek Road).

 Having done the bit that others hadn't, we were far far far behind.  That was okay because, you know, we were the only ones doing The Real Ride....  We were told that next up was McGee Creek Road and that it was really hard with 13% pitches.  Not.  Miss P. and I and Tony laughed as we did the climb.  Miss P. said that it was probably only 8.9 percent or so.  Maybe a pitch here and there was steep but like for a second.  I think the other riders did everything so hard and fast that they burned out and forgot to smell the roses, you know.  Did I mention the shirtless runners that I followed while walking around in Mammoth Lakes.  Ah, so young, so fine, so lean, so nice to watch.  But I digress, from you know, The Real Ride that we did.

McGee Creek Road affords wonderful views of Crowley Lake, a reservoir on the upper Owens River in southern Mono County, created in 1941.  We made it to the bakery at 2:30pm (it closed at 3pm).   Boy did I need a snack, especially after doing The Real Ride.  We hammered it back to base camp, aka The Best Western in Bishop, a bit late for Happy Hour, but then again, we did The Real Ride.  Miss P. and I did come across a lone male cyclist on yesterday's ride, who fired up our engines.  He probably could have taken us on a real ride, too....

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Eastern Sierras - Pine Creek

Tuesday, Sept 9th

The gang headed to Bishop for the next round of rides on our Eastern Sierras trip.  Next up, Pine Creek, with 48 miles and 3550 feet of climbing.  Guess who's here!  My ride partner, Miss P.!!

Leaving Mammoth Lakes means leaving behind a lovely resort town full of lakes but also dropping considerably in elevation (until of course one climbs).  The air is warmer and the scenery drier.

Apparently, only Miss P and I read the route sheet, different from last year's ride, and we were blessed with riding in a canyon with a river.  What a lovely surprise.

It was quiet and beautiful.  The gang truly missed out.

Miss P. later learned that this is pumice.  It was much pinker in person.  We had a blast.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Eastern Sierras - Crystal Lake Hike

Monday, Sept 8th

Today, most of our group decided to do a hike, starting at 9,020 feet, in Crystal Lake, a short drive from Main Street in Mammoth Lakes.  It was a "take it easy day" or do what you want day.  Good thing because the weather was iffy and we got rained on a bit.

The BF and I only did 2.6 miles but boy it was stunning every inch of the way, except for the smell of horse doo doo. 

The sky turned gray but the scenery remained spectacular.

A view of the lake.

A view of The BF.  The sun came out and blue skies returned briefly.  What I love about this trip -- incredible vistas, hang out with nice people, bike, eat, sleep, recharge the batteries, and repeat.  Pretty darn simple way of life and much appreciated, at least for a short while.  Vacation -- it does a body good.