Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bristlecone Pine Forest

Friday, September 14th

After driving across the spectacular Sonora Pass, The Boyfriend and I finally arrived in the thriving metropolis known as Bishop (CA).  Just in time for the daily happy hour! We're here in the Eastern Sierras along with other Western Wheelers and ACTC cyclists.  Our hosts Dick and Donna have been offering this 3 week get together for the last several years.   We did a different section last year.

The BF:  Ready to do some serious cycling!
Me:  No, but I'm ready to do some serious socializing during cocktail hour.
The BF:  Sigh.

The first climb for us was Bristlecone Pine Forest, a 48 mile out and back beginning in Lone Pine, CA.  We started at 4,000 feet.  The temperature was 64 degrees but being the desert, the sun shone bright and hot and the air turned dry and tight.  The temperature quickly climbed and certainly faster than me.  If I had a hot flash, I didn't know it....

Not sure what the grade was but I do know by 9,000 feet, my legs said, "So long honey bunny."  I think there were pitches of 10-12% but mostly the road was 6-9%.  The BF and I both realized too late that we had not acclimated and this ride was really hard.  When's happy hour?

Above, what I missed since I did not make it to 10,000 feet.  The BF of course did.  It took me 5 hrs to do 42 miles.  Yay, time for happy hour ....  But first, from the Bishop Chamber of Commerce:

"The trees of the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains 15 miles to the east of Bishop are the oldest recorded living thing on earth. A millennium older than the Giant Sequoia trees in the nearby Sierra, many are well over 2,000 years old and the "Methuselah" tree in Schulman Grove is dated at more than 4,773 years old." 

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