Today we finished our climbs over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and entered Nevada. After yesterday's exhausting ride, we enjoyed a beautiful 30 mile ride to, and along, Lake Tahoe. This gorgeous lake is filled with water from the rains and (mostly) snows of the Sierra Mountains which surround it. It is at about 6200 feet altitude. The Truckee river runs from it, and is the main water supply for the Reno area. Interestingly, no water from the lake, or from the Great Basin east of the Sierras ever enters the Pacific Ocean. It is used for agriculture, people,etc.., but then returns underground or is evaporated.
After a slow, leisurely day, Bob (from the DC Area), Andrew, Wayne and I started up Mount Rose. This was an 8.2 mile climb from about 6200 feet to 8900 feet! It was steep, relentlous, and had beautiful views. Wayne and Bob are good climbers, and today was my day to "bring up the caboose". We caught Arlene and Erin at a scenic view stop, but they soon continued with Wayne and Andrew ahead of me. Despite my slow pace, Bob stayed with me the whole way--telling stories, setting a pace I could maintain, and stopping when I wanted to catch my breath. We all felt the altitude, but the riders again showed true toughness.
After a rest at the top of the mountain, we descended into the Reno area, and ultimately ended up in Sparks, east of Reno. As tired as I was on the ascent, I felt fantastic with the descent (my bike riding friends all envy my ability to descend so fast--a skill that weight loss will adversely affect--and by the time we dropped 4000 feet I was riding again with ease.
So thanks again to Bob. As you can see, while he climbed the mountain first, I got higher!