Day 81 - Coldest night during the entire trip

Distance: 48.22mi | Time: 6:05 | 2868kcal | 6218 vertical feet

el-capitan-with-half-dome-from-highway-120-yosemite-national-parkriding-highway-120-yosemite-national-parkToday we started the ride towards the Tioga Pass from the Yosemite Valley. Due to the information of the ranger from the valley it’s an “easy” ride which is usually done in one day by bicycle tourists. We were quite skeptical when he said that, because the entire pass is on 9945 feet elevation and almost 60mi away from the bottom of the valley. We started early at 8:30 since the road was opening at none and let’s sum it up the entire day was almost only uphill. We rode through massive granite rock formations which are usual for this National Park. Sometimes the road was just cut in one gigantic block of granite. This was very impressive. To our surprise we found sometimes trees, which were just growing out of this rock and might have found some soil between two of these massive blocks. As we expected, we couldn’t make it over the pass and so we camped at the Tenaya Lake, which is at about 7200 feet. This was the coldest night we had so far on our trip, our down sleeping-bags still kept us warm the entire night.giant-pine-growing-on-granite-yosemite-national-parkcamping-on-tioga-pass-at-tenaya-lake

Day 82 - The highest elevated public phone in the US

Distance: 42.31mi | Time: 4:57 | 3144 vertical feet

freezing-cold-temperature-at-tioga-pass-on-bicycleon-the-way-to-tioga-pass-yosemite-national-parkIt was 20°F in the morning and we were extremely cold once we crawled out of the tent. The first few miles of riding weren’t much better. Mathias put the silk inlets of the sleeping-bags around his hands and Caro was wearing the covers for the air-mats around the shoes as an extra layer – That’s how cold it was. But fortunately the sun came out about one hour later and we could warm up at around 8100 feet with some peanut butter and cliff bars :-) We were quite surprised how high the trees actually grow and we still found some at the highest point of the Tioga Pass at 9945 feet. The landscape really amazed us; we saw very tall pine trees and some incredible views to the mountains around the valley. When we finally arrived at the highest point of the Pass we couldn’t believe our eyes but there was a public phone at the highest point – we tried to call Germany but it was unfortunately out of order. At the other side of the Sierra Nevada the landscape made a complete change. We came up through the forest and rode down in the desert with only bushes around us. It stayed like this until our today’s campground at Oh Ridge National Forest.highest-elevated-public-phone-in-the-us-9945-feet-tioga-passhighway-120-down-to-lee-vining-from-yosemite-national-park

Day 83 - Taking the Freeway through the desert

Distance: 72.05mi | Time: 5:28 | 1703 vertical feet

freeway-395-on-a-bicycle-californiasmall-hut-from-the-gold-rush-highway-395-californiaFrom the campground we rode the entire day on the Freeway 395 down to Big Pine. The landscape made the complete change and we were surrounded by small bushes and sand. Once in a while we passed a lake which seemed surreal in this dry land. The coolest part of the today’s ride: Tail-wind and a downhill for 8mi (2500 vertical feet). This really made our day today. In the morning we had another time about 20°F and we could not drink our water, because it was completely frozen. So we first had to keep riding until a gas-station where we warmed up with coffee. But from the last few cold days we feel now a little sick, so we decided to skip camping and went to a motel in Big Pine.riding-on-highway-395-to-big-pine