Day 78 - Heading East

Distance: 54.89mi| Time: 5:34 | 2447kcal| 3521vertical feet

131029-Highway132-to-yosemite-national-parkToday we started very early in SanFancisco. Our train left at 8:20 and we took it to Modesto to go around the busy roads around the cities here. During the weekend there was a snow storm in the Yosemite National Park and the Highway 120, which goes over the Sierra Nevada and up to 9945 feet, is temporarily closed. The forecast for the next few days was just sun and a temperature increase and therefore the park ranger was optimistic to open up the road again before it closes completely for the season. The alternative would be to go down all the way to Bakersfield and to go around the mountains far south. The more beautiful route would of course be right over the mountains using the high Tioga Pass in the Yosemite. We decided to take the risk that we might have to turn around and rode our bikes from Modesto towards the National Park. We made it almost to Greely Hill, where we were invited by Tyler, who is currently restoring the ranch of his aunt. There we could take a shower and were talking about his passion, playing Frisbee-golf and that he is currently creating a Frisbee-golf course on the ranch. Thanks for the warm place next to the fire! :-)

Day 79 + 80 - Yosemite National Park

Distance: 54.67mi| Time: 6:49 | 2894kcal| 6260 vertical feet

131030-changing-tires-in-the-snow-yosemiteFrom Greely Hill it was not too far any more to the entrance of the park, but we made slow progress due to the steep climbs towards the Yosemite. At about 3900 feet the snow started and we saw some smalls heaps of snow from the snow plow. Around dusk we reached the entrance of the park, where we got the information, that Highway 120 might open up again tomorrow or the day after. We first wanted to camp at the campground directly next to the entrance but unfortunately we forgot to get cash and we haven’t seen an ATM for a long time, so we were forced to make it further down the road until the Yosemite Valley. We had another 24mi ahead of us and about 7mi just uphill. We kept riding and once it got almost dark a car stopped in front of us. A couple from Czech Republic asked us, if they can help us to bring some of our gear down to the valley, so we don’t have to carry it. We were very thankful for this little help and packed the cars with our gear. Meanwhile a ranger car stopped on the other side of the road and couldn’t really believe what we were doing here in the middle of nowhere. And just in that moment Mathias was realizing he lost almost all the air of his rear tire. That was really not our day! As fast as possible we changed tire and kept going, while the sun was gone already long ago. Suddenly it became freezing cold. Our speedometer showed 33°F and we still had to go 20mi. Thanks god there was a downhill passage of about 12mi directly ahead of us, a ride within a nice mountain coulisse and a dream for every rider... Unfortunately it was absolutely dark and ice-cold. The hands were so cold, we hardly could make the movement to brake and after another 45min of riding, we finally arrived at the campground, where we could warm up in our down sleeping-bags. On the next morning we asked for nice places to visit in the valley and the road conditions of the Highway 120 in the Information Center. Sadly it would open today and we were asked to wait until tomorrow. Therefore we decided to discover the area around the El Capitan, the famous climbing cliff in the Yosemite National Park, by bicycle.131030-yosemite-national-park-1