Pictures of the Year 2019

Well, once again I wasted untold hours posting this inane blog. In for a penny, in for a pound. So here goes with the pictures of 2019. With one, regrettably from a few years ago.

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I finally made it to the Kenwood neighborhood in Bethesda. Cherry blossoms are one of the best things about DC in the spring.
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The bike valet at Nationals Park is the best. My bikes spent a lot of time here this year
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Nothing says bike touring fun quite like two weeks of thunderstorms.
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Springfield, Illinois just around the corner from the grave of the Corn Dog King
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Mark, Corey, and me taking shelter from a storm in a church in Kansas
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Kansas was an ordeal. Little did we know that the Rockies would be brutal. The sign was pretty neat though.
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Electrically equipped apartments in Pueblo, CO
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Flooding in western Missouri and eastern Kansas on the way west
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Part of a farm building that was obliterated by a tornado near Golden City, Missouri. Three people died here.
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I rode to the top of this beast. The ride down was epic.
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Indomitable French sisters in Boulder, Utah
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Rocks out west
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Stupidest sign of the year
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More rocks near Bryce Canyon
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Hoodoos in the Amphitheater at Bryce Canyon
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The Mule poses next to the Cedar Break National Monument snow bank in late June
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Survival indeed
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Gio and Christina from Italy in Eureka, Nevada
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I thought these climbs would never end
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Downhill through California wineries
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Salt flats in Nevada
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Morning view from my motel room – Caples Lake, California in the Sierras
Sugarloaf with sticks
Hiking Sugarloaf, Maryland
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Lotus blossoms at the Anacostia Botanical Gardens
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Apollo 50 on the National Mall
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The Mule comes home
Dinner view
They won the whole damned thing. Unreal.
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Tired? Not me. Emilia at the Great Pumpkin Ride
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Autumn in Fort Hunt Park near home
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A stellar human being killed by an out-of-control driver. Still hard to believe Miss you Dave.

 

 

 

No Name Tour: Day 48 – Over the Top

My stay with Warmshowers hosts Joan and Greg could not have been more relaxing or not enjoyable.

Greg, Joan,and Ellie

They both assured me that the big climb from Carson City to Lake Tahoe was something I could handle easily. Thx fully they were right.

I kept plugging along, thinking this climb is going to get tougher but it never did. I came over the top and, at Greg’s suggestion, stopped before getting to close to the lake for an amazing view. Seeing the snow covered mountains reflected in the deep blue water was a Wow moment.

Once I arrived at the lakeshore things got much busier. Car traffic was terrible and a real shock to me. Also the road undulated up and down so much that I had a hard time finding a pedaling rhythm.

There was no sign indicating I had left Nevada and entered California. I could tell by the fact that the big casino hotels were replaced by casual eateries.

I had second breakfast at IHOP, a mediocre meal but necessary to gurl my engine over the mountain.

After leaving the lake the route followed the Upper Truckee River. It left the highway and followed a windy, bumpy parallel road that became very steep. I walked the steepest bits then got on the bike and powered my way back to the highway. Climbing over my second summit was hard but I got it done.

A fun descent took me to an intersection where I had considered camping but I was feeling strong so I decided to tackle 8,500+ foot Carson Pass.

This went fine for about six miles then the shoulder of the road disappeared. It was about this time that I started feeling lightheaded. It was unsafe to wobble all over the road so I walked the last half mile.

At the summit I talked with a woman who had passed me on the way up in her Trek Domane. Then a father and son came walking out of the woods carrying skiing gear. They confirmed for me that people ski year round on this mountain. At the summit, the road crossed the Pacific Coast Trail. A through hiker was lying on a bench. His tales of hiking the trail blew me away. I thought my trip was hard but his included using an ice axe to get over Mt. Whitney!

After chatting I rolled down the western side of the pass thinking of food and lodging. I passed up a lodge at Caples Lake and continued down hill to Kirkwood. There I met Dan and Spencer, two guys who install road signs all over California. The lodge was closed so Spencer called a number on the front door. They wanted $180 for a room in a town that was practically deserted. No thanks.

In short order we found out that Caples Lake was the only place around at a moderate price. Dan and Spencer hoisted The Mule into the bed of their big pick up truck and gave me a lift back up to Caples.

After getting cleaned up we headed out for dinner and beers at the Kirkwood Inn. Everything seemed overpriced but the portions turned out to be huge.

We ate and drank until sated then headed back to the lodge where Spenser started a fire in a pit next to the lake. I went to bed tired but satisfied with having completed the last big climbs of the trip.

Lots more pix on Instagram

Miles today: 64.5

Tour miles: 2,779

Top speed: 35.1 mph