So this morning we hopped out of the tent feeling good and ready for our first big climb. It was only .4 miles long so whats the big deal right? Pushing a bike with panniers is easy enough but when you are on a steep grade with rolling rocks the panniers only slap you in the butt every time you try to take a step and how poor Hans pushed that trailer up this hill I dont know. It was slow going at best but then we were on a beautiful path through the forest that was made when they put in the power lines.
Im busy trying to name all the wildflowers and feeling happy that I can see the trail ahead with no big hills in sight when I hear that sound that dolphins make when they pop up next to Vamonos. Huh? I look over and see a bear, then a cub, no more than 100′ away. I quickly remember the difference between a dolphin and a mamma bear and lets just say I can pedal pretty darned fast sometiimes. When I yelled to warn Hans the cub turned and ran and mamma just sat and watched us so I imagine she has seen a bike or two before. The rest of the day we rode through their habitat but saw no more of them. “Buck” was a jerk today and again! threw me off onto the side of the trail. This time it was soft grass but he is really pissing me off. Its like having to learn to ride all over again and the scenery is way too awesome to have to pay so much attention to the trail. I am more black and blue from that stupid bike jacknifing and tumbling onto me while standing next to it than i am from falling off. So I decide I am just tired and Hans agrees to stop at the next possible spot which turns out to be a single picnic table under a perfect shade tree next ro a raging river. We wade in the cold water and even bring out the stove to whip up some mac and cheese. Quite the celebration is going on when 2 guys from Holland, doing the same ride, roll in and start setting up camp for the night. We feel like amateurs as they tell us how they have ridden through Norway, Italy, and Vietnam before doing this ride. We decide to press on to the next town since a hotel and dinner sounds worth the 50 miles we will have ridden by then. Had to bundle up and ride in the rain for a bit but yea, the hotel was worth it:)
Day Totals – 50 miles, 4 hrs. 30 mins. ride time, 1800 ft. climbing, 2800 ft. descent
Ride Totals – 4 days, 135 miles, 18 hrs. 20 mins.ride time, 8591 ft. climbing, 8577 descent