We left the campsite around 6:30AM and headed up the hill towards Sequoia National Park. At the gate to the park, we met a local cyclist named Bill.
He hung back on his road bike to ride with us to Ampitheater Point. He gave us copious information about the park and the surrounding area, in addition to giving us incentive to climb faster. He has done the climb over 100 times, and he told us that there are 24 switchbacks and 240 turns. The extra company was greatly appreciated, and there was definitely more conversation than there would have been otherwise.
We made it to the top, Giant Forest, around 11AM. A number of people who had driven by us on the way up came over to congratulate us on completing the climb. One kind gentleman even offered us a place to stay in Baja California if we are ever down there.
Next, we stopped by General Sherman, the largest living thing in the world!
We decided to make it a shorter day, because it was getting late. We set up camp at Lower Stony Creek Campground, and we were warned about a black bear hanging around the camp.
Lane and his wife Renee had seen us come into the campground on our bicycles. Lane had done some touring, and he came over to our campsite to invite us to join their family for dinner. We had a great time chatting with them, and we played a fun board game called Labyrinth with their four kids. The kids were all adorable, with light hair and bright blue eyes, and they were very sweet and well behaved! Lane brought out his guitar and played a few songs, including Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, while the kids sang along. Thank you for your generosity, and good luck with your next touring trip and the hike up Mount Whitney, Lane!
Trip stats, to date (Day 85)
Three Rivers, CA to Stony Creek, CA
Daily mileage: 39.0 mi ; Trip total to date: 5,022.7 mi
Daily riding time: 5hr 20min; Trip total time: 436hr 40min
Daily ascent: 7,987 ft; Trip total ascent: 254,748 ft
Flat tires: Rachel – 4; Chris – 5