As the Sierra Nevada Mountain range came into view I knew that our days in the desert were coming to an end. Still caped with snow they rose before us like an impassable fortress. Pleased to leave my 23mm tread marks in Nevada I welcomed the change in scenery with wide eyes. Our routine of constant cycling, constant forward motion, had put the past month into a blur. The natural obstacles of wind, heat, and elevation seem to be a relentless presence and any attempt at escape proves to be only momentary.
Yosemite, I thought it paradise and if not then a world from my dreams. The climb up Tioga Pass to the gate, so long, so steep it might as well have been the gates of heaven. For thirteen miles my quads burned like a forest fire, turning my lungs to red-hot coals. At one of the twenty plus waterfalls along Tioga Pass I stopped to fill up my water bottle and extinguish the flames and take in my surroundings. The water, ice cold and crystal clear strait from the late July snow melt quenched my thirst in an instant. I jumped back on old Tex and finished off the pass. Set back by the pure beauty of the surreal surroundings the 86 miles passed with simple wonder. Towering Pine tree’s created a canopy over the smooth strip of asphalt. They appeared and disappeared as the road dropped and rose in elevation. Creeks wound along brightly colored wild flowers and through open green meadows before dropping down over the edge of hundred foot rock cliffs. Despite the clear sunny day the air was thin and cold do to the 9,000 plus elevation and self created breeze.
Over the next few days we camped and explored the mountains. I could spend a long time this area, photographing and running the numerous trails. For now a long time in any area seems to be a day or two. It was beautiful but like any decent drifter I am content to see it fade and am enthralled with the road ahead.