DAY 19: September 13, 2011 (Tuesday)
McGee Campground to Lone Pine, California: 90 miles (806 thus far)
The creek outside my tent was great – put me right to sleep. Of course, the downside, which I didn’t contemplate last night, was that it kept me rain fly wet, as well as the lower part of my tent, so I had to pack the stuff away not really dry by the time I left after eating my granola and powered veggies/fruit. Later that morning, I rode down Sherwin Pass, an 8 mile downgrade of 6%, which, for those of you who are unfamiliar with percentages of road grades, translates into really fast trike speeds with no effort. Those 8 miles flew by so fast I couldn’t believe it! Another upside to this particular pass was that there was not a corresponding upgrade to reach the summit. It was just down! Awesome. Arrived in Bishop, California at 10:30 AM, and ate like a pig at a local market under that shade of a tree (turkey sandwich, quart of veggie juice, bananas, trail mix, and Greek style blueberry yogurt). Bought 3 more packages of salmon for occasional protein boost later on. Passed through Big Pine and Independence, both of which seem on the verge of ghost town status nowadays. Got more food at markets. Originally planned to camp at Diaz Lake, just south of Lone Pine a ways, a wonderful camping area immediately off the highway on a gorgeous lake with the Sierra Nevada Range right to the west, but it was really getting late by the time 90 miles passed under my tires and I arrived in the bustling tourist town of Lone Pine. So, I again succumbed to the motel bug that I got from Gary early-on and shelled out more than a Benjamin Franklin to secure a place with a shower where I could dry out my rain fly and tent. This was also considering a fierce south wind I had been battling for miles that didn’t want to let up on my tired body, and was a prime reason for my late arrival in town after the sun had already set. I barely got into the room with the twilight allowing me to see.