Over 3,500 feet in elevation gain
Woke up to a beautiful clear sky this morning. We are perched on a bluff above the surrounding town and lake. We can see the mountains ahead of us to the East. The big mountain is called El Capitan, not the same as the Yosemite one, but still beautiful.
The riding today is mostly uphill, with very little flat or downhill. We know to pace ourselves and go slow and steady, taking breaks when we need them, but making sure they are short. This slow and steady works well for us and we make it up this hill with determination and steady pedaling. This is the largest hill on our tour so far. Greg says that he likes hills for the rhythm they put you in as you are ascending. Greg started having knee pain again today. Carrying a large load slowly up a large hill on a bike that doesn't quite fit right takes its toll on him. Ibuprofen and leg massages should help us get through this pain.
We stopped in a little town for a milkshake and a snack. Greg filled up his water, but I forgot to fill up mine, I thought I would be able to get more water at our campground, about 10 miles from here. We got to the Boulder Oaks Campground on the Cleveland National Forest with about 40 minutes of light remaining. The campground was really nice and situated in an oak forest. There were lots of birds and other animals around and the sagebrush reminded me of Montana. Unfortunately when we got to the campground we discovered that there was no water available. A water test showed that water was unsafe to drink so the water had been temporarily shut off. We were pretty upset because we had planned on having water when we got here. We had just enough water to get through the night, but were empty by morning. We even drank our pasta-cooking water, mmm, starchy! I wish the campground had left water on with the water safety warning, so that we could have boiled or used iodine to drink the water. We also cut it close today with our fuel. We didn't realize we were almost out and had just barely enough to cook supper with. It gets very cold as soon as the sun sets in the desert. During the night the wind howled and blew outside, violently shaking the tent, and we slept while coyotes yipped in the brush.