We awake to a clear sky, it was looking like a glorious sunny day, there was a chill in the air, we are still quite high up here.
A goodbye to Joy, Sammie and Audrey (but they are cycling faster so they will overtake us soon) and we were back on track again.
We cycle some simply stunning forest riding to begin with, always checking for bears!
There was a section damaged by a big fire and pine beetle, very different but strangely beautiful.
The track we follow is the 114 forest road for a lovely 10 miles generally trending down and almost no traffic (keep in mind these are forest tracks not normal roads). Then we got to 10.30 and it was like the whole of America got up and decided to go for a drive down our track (well we saw a few more cars).
A few more miles and we were at the junction of Red Meadow Road, it was here that Joy, Sammie and Audrey passed us. They were off to the campground after the one we wanted to get to (Whitefish Lake Campground). We waved goodbye again.
12 miles to go and it was really nice cycling, this continued for 9 out of the 12 then became a lot more difficult. But the most important thing happened, I managed to photograph a butterfly, hurrah.
At 11 miles the skies changed to a solid black bank of clouds and rumbles of thunder pealed across the mountains. Then the heavens opened, we were in the middle of a massive thunderstorm. We tried to shelter under a tree, yes I know you should not shelter under trees in a thunderstorm, but remember we are in the middle of a dense pine forest with nothing but trees. It then introduced some hail into the mix. We had gone from nice and dry one second then soaked through to the skin the next.
As we were only a mile from camp pushing the last part was the only thing to do, the road resembled a river by this time. As we found the campground we headed directly to the compost toilets as they have a porch section which will just accommodate a bicycle. Looking out forlornly at the rain, thunder, lightening and hail (did you spot the one you cannot look at?) Wondering will it ever stop, yes was the answer in 50 minutes. Follow the link for a short clip.
There was one other couple on the site, geting ready to start a two and a half week hiking trip. They were also under shelter waiting for the rain to stop.
Finally we got the tent set up, it was a lovely spot, right next to Red Meadow Lake (hence the campsite name!).
Nothing else for it but to get out the fishing rod, I got 3 rises (sigh, this means the fish look at the fly then swim off, not what you rude people are thinking) but no fish.
There were a pair of comedy squirrels who were used to being fed so hopped everywhere after titbits (not the magazine for you older people, squirrels cannot read, but come to think about it titbits “readers” couldn’t either).
Total today 30 miles with 2388 feet of height gained, working at about 1500 calories burnt (think of the cakes).