Never thought we'd spend so long in Lakeview but we ended up staying in this tiny town for four days. We tried to hitchhike out on Saturday so we could save a few days and try to meet up with the Trans America adventure cycling route, but couldn't find a truck willing to take us in.
This turned out to be an incredible fortune: the "barren" ride we had been warned about was one of the most spectacular of the trip. The ride to Valley Falls was cool and easy through a pine forest. Liz saw a majestic old fox run across the road, and we followed a little creek down to a solitary gas station, the last stop before two days in the desert.
We first passed Lake Abert, 18 miles of cerulean water bordered by a shoreline of salt flats. The reflection of the clouds on the dry mountains looked like the Sierras.
At the end of the lake, we were faced with a big climb to the rim, but even with 35 miles under our wheels by then, it wasn't even noon and we were still feeling good. It was a beast of a climb, but we were rewarded with a little shade and incredible views of the lake as we munched on a lunch of jam, almond butter, jerky and dried mango.
The ride down the hill was even better. I was expecting a Mojave-like landscape, but instead on either side, cliffs erupted from the earth and dark green shrubs flooded the landscape. We saw a swirl of dust in the distanced that looked like a tornado, but a guy named Alan at the rest stop assured us it was just a bit of wind, nothing to worry about. For the rest of the day, the desert and the full quiet that comes with it went on and on. The roads were smooth and empty. After 75 miles, we found a little dirt road that was probably someone's private property, rode down it a little ways, and camped with the ants.
Listening to: Love and Radio