Monitor Pass (90)

We climbed and we climbed and we climbed up high; we climbed as high as the clear blue sky.

We were nice and chilly at the campsite this morning. We had three climbs ahead of us. The last climb was too big, the middle climb was too small, and the first climb was just right. 

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As we cycled steadily upwards from Mono Lake to Conway Summit, the motorcyclists who had spent the night in the tent site next to ours passed us and gave us a rousing round of honks.
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We stopped at 10:30 AM for hot dogs, chicken sandies, and ice cream in Bridgeport. Too early? I think not!

While we were there, Chris made his daily post office calls, trying to figure out if his wallet had turned up anywhere. Lo and behold, it had finally arrived in Vegas! He will have it sent home to hopefully end this wild goose chase.

We then trekked up to the Devil’s Gate Summit.
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In Walker, we stopped for some donuts, and Chris’ tire went flat by the time we were ready to leave- story of our lives. This morning, Chris had asked why I put the tools at the top of the bag, making it top-heavy. I said it was so they would be easily accessible for when he got a flat tire later in the day. When he wound up with one, he asked me, “Rach, you pick up heads-up pennies and wish on fallen eyelashes; did you have to say that I would get a flat today?”  This one was the result of an old patch gone bad.
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He patched it, and then found $70 dollars in cash on the ground. Score!

The tire went flat as soon as he got on the bike, though, so he gave up on that tube and put a different patched one in.  This time, he was successful, and the tube stayed inflated.

Just before leaving (finally), we talked to a fellow for a few minutes who looked like a true child of the desert, with dark lines hewn into his face by years under the sun and with a dark mop of dreadlocks on his head. He offered us some cannabis and handed us a copy of his literature, which he told us he had written ‘for the world’.  After he explained how 9-11 was God’s punishment to the US for their cruelty to animals in some oil spill, we said farewell and began the climb up to Monitor Pass.

  
It was a steep climb with big switchbacks and a great view. The air began to cool down as the sun began it’s descent, and cars were few and far between.

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After a big surprise, which you can read about in the next post, we ended the night at Carson Resort. The owner gave us a little area with a picnic table for free!

Trip stats, to date (Day 90)

Lee Vining, CA to Markleeville, CA

Daily mileage: 85.5 mi ;  Trip total to date: 5,345.9mi
Daily riding time: 7hr 27min;  Trip total time: 467hr 03min
Daily ascent: 6,451 ft;  Trip total ascent: 285,589 ft
Flat tires: Rachel – 4; Chris – 7