Wednesday, July 27, 2005

California Here We Come...

We've finally made it into our last state! And what a way to
welcome us in - a day off at spectacular Lake Tahoe.

It's hard to believe that this place is nestled away just a day's
ride west of the desolate Nevada desert. We've traveled our way
along Highway 50, affectionately known as "The Lonliest Road in
America." The only towns we've seen on the route have been the ones
we've stayed in, traveling from one small town to another through
miles and miles of nothing but Sagebrush and mountain passes.

The day before yesterday served as a fitting culmination to our
rides through Utah and Nevada, with a 120-mile ride into Fallon,
Nevada. The ride didn't turn out to be as difficult as I had
feared, with two of the four passes of the day early on in the
cooler temperatures and an amazing paceline consisting of nearly our
entire team to fight the headwinds in the valleys. I arrived in
Fallon tired, but proud of my achievement and my teammates.

We headed over to Reno for the evening so we could experience a
little civilization after the endless desert. The casinos were
definitely a sight to see - I was actually a little disoriented by
all the sights and sounds of the flashing lights and slot machines.
We had the ride to Lake Tahoe ahead of us, so most of us had to cut
our enjoyment of the city shorter than I would have liked.

The ride to Tahoe was our shortest in quite a while - we cut off a
few miles by heading into Reno early. We slept in until a leisurely
6:30 AM before setting off and arrived at the lake in the early
afternoon. It's just beautiful, I can't even begin to describe it.

The climb up was difficult, but nothing we haven't been doing every
single day since leaving Kansas. It's funny - I don't think I'd
know what to do with myself if we ever had a flat ride on this trip.
Even Kansas was uphill a little bit.

We're celebrating while we're here in Tahoe - Karan and Andy are our
lucky birthday boys. Should be a great time all around, before we
head on to California. Maybe it will even be downhill from here -
but I think that's wishful thinking looking at the Sierra-Nevadas
rising up around me and the lake...