On our trusty steeds we continue our way South, through the Central Valley and into the Wild West. In this blog it gets hot, steep and sometimes a little boring. Like many times before, we've met some really nice people. But that never gets boring!
After Yosemite the plan was to stay a little more in the sierras. It was getting really hot in the valley so we thought that it would be nice to stay higher up, where it's cooler. We were correct! But there wasn't really a road that stays on top coming out of Yosemite. The road went all the way down to the central valley, which we had to follow a while to get to our next highlight: Sequoia National Park.
What goes up, must go down. But if you want to be up and you're down, you must go up again. Get it? That's what we did. We went up... We went up a looooooong climb towards the Kings Canyon National Park gate. It was really hot and there were no services in the 30km of climbing ahead of us. We filled up our drinking bottles at the last gas station and hoped it would be enough. It wasn't.
After about 17km we finished our water and were getting really thirsty. It was already later in the afternoon, the sun was starting to go down a little bit. We didn't really know what to do. Our plan was to try and stop a car and ask for water. But we couldn't really afford to be idle for too long because it wouldn't be really safe to ride that road in the dark. Luckily, most Americans have a good habit of bringing extra water everywhere they go. So the 6th of 7th car that passed us topped of our bottled.
We reached the little town on top a while later, still a little dehydrated, and very tired. There was only one campground open within (our) cycling distance. So we went there, hoping to find a spot. There weren't any. Could this day get any worse?
Our luck changed pretty quick, because Ben found us! He was staying on the campground with his girlfriend Daniela. Without giving it a second thought, he invited us onto their spot. Ben and Daniela live in Tijuana (but that's for the next blog!). We ended up having a lovely evening with chips, beers and a campfire. It was a good day after all!
We must have good cycling karma, because our luck didn't end there. While having lunch in Sequoia, Autumn passed us. She asked about what we're doing etc. Afterwards she told us she lives in Bakersfield and that we would be welcome to stay with her if we would pass through there.
We didn't really plan ongoing through Bakersfield. But like we said above; there is no road that stays on too of the sierras. So the coming days would involve some more climbing and would be very hot and dry. The beautiful thing about traveling by bike is that you can go wherever you want. So we decided to go down to the Central Valley once again and go to Autumns house. Right from the moment we entered the house we were ordered to eat pizza, give our dirty clothes for laundry and relax on the couch. We like those kinds of orders! The day after, we took a rest day and Autumn showed around Bakersfield. We had a really great time there! From Bakersfield we decided to take the bus to Los Angeles.
LA wasn't really our thing. It was very loud, chaotic and... Just another big city, which we are usually not really a fan of. We shared a warmshowers with Flo and Rachel, a Swiss couple who was cycling the West Coast. They were planning on renting a car in San Diego and doing a good old-fashioned road trip. So we invited ourselves.
From San Diego we road-tripped to Joshua tree, Las Vegas, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon and some smaller stuff in between. Although the hours in the car were long, it was all worth it! The landscape around there is so vast and so beautiful, you'll never be done exploring. It's hard to do it justice in a blog though, you'll either have to go for yourself (which we really recommend!) Or watch our YouTube episode after this blog.
At the time of writing this blog, we are cycling through the desert in Mexico. But let's not jump ahead too far. We have some nice stories from the first days in Mexico, which we will share with you in the next blog!