We met up with Jen at Will's house, and she shuttled us around town in his truck to grab the necessities- coffee and donuts. She drove us out the highway, which was what Adventure Cycling recommended. I'm glad we rode and walked Rocky Canyon instead.
Jen dropped us off right where I got my mechanical, and we were off again! We really only lost a few hours, despite the setback.
The day was long and gorgeous. We followed a reservoir and the river that fed it. Temperatures climbed and the scenery became more and more dramatic.
It was barely noticeable at first, but we rode at least 40 miles on a slow incline. They're not as grueling as big climbs, but at least with big climbs you get a big descent.
Instead we rode until my legs were jelly. The goal was to make it to Granite hot spring right before the next big climb, and we succeeded.
The surprise was that the hot spring itself was scalding, like so hot I thought we might get burned. It flowed right into the river, which was freezing. The best we could do was sit in the convergence of the two flows with one cheek in the hot spring and one in the river and hope for the best. But it wasn't a bad way to end a tough day.
We met our first fellow tourists as they flew by, three guys who kept riding even though the sun had set over the ridge. But I was so tired I was losing higher level cognitive function. I wouldn't figure out how to unpack things or put up the tent, and my eyes were puffy and closing. We set up camp on a blocked off ATV trail above the river, and I fell asleep at 8:30.