The Sierras (83)

Today, we had some exciting and intimidating activities to look forward to. One of the primary reasons that we wanted to enter California so far south was so that we could experience the giant Sequoia trees. In order to get to them, though, we had to climb up to over 7,000 feet again. 

We stopped for some coffee and muffins in Kernville this morning. It seems like a cool little town, with plenty of eateries, inns, and small shops catering to outdoor sports enthusiasts. The Kern River appears to be a great spot to fish, raft, and kayak. 

  

As we cycled upwards, the smell of smoke from nearby forest fires was unmistakable. Hopefully it doesn’t get too hot during the day here!

   
Suddenly, around a corner, we found ourselves under tall trees. After seeing only bushes and shrubs for days, we fully embraced the shade!

   
 After some more climbing, we made it to the Trail of 100 Giants.

   
    
 These behemoths were absolutely awe-inspiring!

   

  
 We sat on the huge stump of a downed tree to eat our lunch: peanut butter and cereal wraps.

The rest of the climb up The Needles on CA-190 was pretty easy, followed by what we both thought was our best descent yet. It was fast, with too many switchbacks to count!

We went to a town called Camp Nelson part of the way down the hill, where we were planning to tent for the night.  However, the campsite was rented out to one big group.  While we weighed our options, we met a really nice family outside the town general store and tavern. They gave us some useful tips on where to spend the night. 

  
We went down the hill a little more to Piermont Springs, where we ended up getting a motel room again…   we are on a long streak! We had dinner (cold hot dogs and canned fruit) and watched a movie in the room (Lightening Jack) and got to sleep.  There is no AC, but since we are in the mountains, it should cool down significantly.  

We discussed night riding today and agreed that we both enjoyed some aspects of it, but that we are looking forward to a more relaxed routine for the rest of the trip.

Trip stats, to date (Day 83)

Lake Isabella, CA to Pierpoint Springs, CA

Daily mileage: 67.4 mi ;  Trip total to date: 4,923.6 mi
Daily riding time: 7hr 23min;  Trip total time: 426hr 27min
Daily ascent: 7,343 ft;  Trip total ascent: 243,516 ft
Flat tires: Rachel – 3; Chris – 5

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