Saturday, June 9, 2007

Over Donner Pass--in the Snow!

I really struggled deciding what picture to post today! We rode 78 miles, from 1500 feet, to over 7000 feet (over Donner Pass) before descending into Truckee, California. Wayne, with whom I rode much of the day, is from Lexington, KY, and is raising money to support the family of a dear friend who died.

As we rode mile after mile uphill (and downhill, knowing that every foot of hard-earned altitude that we "gave up" we'd have to climb again, Wayne got so hungry he understood why the poor Donner party resorted to eating their own dead when they were stuck below the pass in the winter of 1846-47 on their way to California.

One moment we were taking pictures of huge pine cones in the warm weather. An hour later we were shivering in the SNOW! Wayne and I spent 100 minutes in a Burger King along the Interstate (Route 80), waiting for the snow to pass. Several riders came in snow covered. Wayne massaged Erin's frozen feet, while I held Arlene (a sweet 67 year old grandmother from Alabama) to warm her up because she was shivering when she got to the BK. My wife, Carol, has always said she married me for my body heat, and Arlene now knows why!

These riders are tough! My congrats to everyone today. We climbed over part of the Sierras, through all kinds of weather--a journey that took the emmigrants several days at best. With macademized roads, pnematized tires (or tyres, as our English friends spell it), and fairlylight weight bikes, we use only man (or woman) power to travel amazing distances in a day.

For Wayne and me, the descent from Donner Pass into Truckee was fantastic. The road was dry, the light was perfect, and our tired legs enjoyed gravity on our side for a change!

No comments: