Started the day at 6:40 with an hour and a half pre-breakfast ride to Mazama.
Had the usual hearty meal and began the climb to Washington Pass, our fifth pass in five days. This one was different from the others in that the roadway was much more open (we weren’t down in the trees or in rain the whole time), so we had majestic, sweeping views for most of the ride through Cascades National Park.
The umbrella has served us well!
That slanting line of rock is the road...
Who needs guard rails?! On the left down below is the road where the previous picture was taken.
After several grueling hours of climbing, we took a quick break at Washington Pass, then enjoyed a few miles coasting downhill before another shorter climb to Rainy Pass, the second pass today and the final mountain pass of this trip.
Lysander S. Panda helps morale over the passes!
After Rainy Pass we enjoyed the most massive descent of this entire trip. The first portion was suchlike the other descents we’ve had, wide open with sweeping curves, but today’s had grand mountain views (and surprisingly strong cross winds). This was followed by a section of coasting through a canyon and following a river as it wound its way down, cruising along with rock cliffs and the occasional waterfall towering on either side of us.
The river cooled the air quite effectively, leading to a pretty unique and very welcome phenomenon: blasts of colder-than-air-conditioning air every now and then breaking up the 90-plus-degree heat–nice!!
We descended to the shore of Diablo Lake, a beautiful turquoise lake near a series of three dams, and down into forests of moss-covered trees.
Yawn, another breathtaking scene...
Stoped for a quick break in Newhalem and, after studying the elevation map, decided to press on to Marblemount. Arrived at our campground shortly after 7PM, thoroughly exhausted after 87 miles, 4000+ feet of climbing, and over 9 hours in the saddle. A set up camp while J made dinner, had some very welcome showers, and collapsed for the night!