Tuesday 9/13. 44 miles. 1066 miles in total. 4347 feet of climbing today. I have forgotten to say “thanks” to Jon for helping us with bike repairs and adjustments. He changed Tara’s front brake pads yesterday (and patiently showed us how so we could do it ourselves next time) and today helped adjust my shifter. An earlier day he showed me how to adjust the brake lever. We are so thankful! We are at a Crooked Creek Cabin, partway up Union Pass tonight. We climbed Togwotee pass earlier at 9600 feet. Ended the day with a 90 minute 7 mile grind up Union Pass road. We are still about 10 miles from the actual pass with an elevation of 9,210 feet. We are over 8,000 feet at the cabin. We didn’t hurry away from the Hatchet cabin this morning but we were on the road around 8:30. It saves a lot of time not breaking down camp with the tents, cookware etc. There are electronic signs on the road saying “it is illegal to stop on the road for bears” and to “stay in your vehicle”. Hmmm, are vehicles don’t offer much protection! We stopped at the top of Togwotee Pass for lunch in the tourist pull out and a truck pulled in to warn us about 3 grizzlies just 100 yards away. Gulp! After the 25 miles up we went……down! We didn’t see the bears and decided to stay on the main road for a number of reasons: bears, Tara’s wheel had developed more cracks, bears, we hoped to get to Crooked Creek and thought staying on the road would keep us more fresh for the end of day 7 mile climb and did I mention bears?
In our travels today, we stopped at Togwahtee Mountain Lodge and then at Lava Mountain Resort and finally found hand warmers there, so some of my worries about cold hands and feet are alleviated. As we approached the lodge tonight, a large white dog with porcupine quills stuck in his nose came out with a few growls. We booked a room, made dinner on the porch and planned tomorrow. The weather is looking wet for the next few days so we plan to be flexible.