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Day 142: 12/13/17 Park #11: Great Basin National Park

Miles: 37.9 Steps: 17,846 (it really depends where I keep my phone while cycling! Vertical gain: 1,741 ft. Liquid consumed: 128 oz. Wildlife: Cattle, dogs, that’s it. Faith in Humanity: Cool volunteer at Great Basin was super interested in my trip and really encouraging! Thank you! Another day, another state, another National Park! Yay! I’m already learning lots to make bike touring less frustrating. This morning when I hopped on my bike I knew it’d be downhill, so I bundled up! Tons of layers, thick gloves, hat under helmet, buff, neoprene booties on Feet, the works! Oh it felt glorious! Glorious!!!!! What didn’t feel glorious? My bum! Dang it hurt! Cycling is going to take some getting used to. I had about 30 flatish miles to Baker, Nevada. Obviously at the border I took a celebratory photo crossing the state line. 4th stare of the trip, and it sure is going to be a brief visit: the park is very close to the border. I was struggling a bit on the bike. Teresa I was much easier than yesterday but I was pretty sore using some new muscles! I arrived in “town” to a sign indicating that all of the restaurants and stores are closed and the closest place open is 7.5 miles one Way away, haha. The joys of off season travel! I was a little defeated as I was really thinking at least one place would be open for a hot meal after waking up to temps in the teens, but oh well! There was a hotel open, however and I chatted up the owner. She and her partner had traveled for a long time and ended up moving from Manhattan to Baker, NV population 70 and purchased a small hotel and restaurant (during peak season). She had a really cool hairless cat who was really friendly. She offered a discount on a rook so I went for it. I really needed to organize my things better, I could leave the vast majority of gear down here while I climb the hill to the park, and I can sleep in heat! I’m going to be excited when I get my zero degree sleeping bag silk though so I don’t have to worry about freezing at night. I relaxed a bit but then jumped back on my bike, now without the extra weight nd Gessele up the hill to my 11th National Park. I had what I thought was plenty of time to make the 1pm cave tour, but the hill was steep, and I was tired! Then, a half mike before the visitors center I had a minor mechanical issue and needed to flip my bike over to get the chain out from between the sprockets and the spokes. Oh no! I made it in time though, but I was exhausted. For some reason I really thought a restaurant would be open in Baker so I slacked on drinking water and eating food and was kind of bonking: time for a 90 minute cave tour, haha! I pounded some water and food as both items weren’t allowed in the cave and met the tour guide. I got really lucky: it was his last tour ever and there was only one other person on the tour! He said only 5 people entered the visitors center all day, crazy. This is some remote country! The cave was super cool and I got a bunch of photos. Tour guys was also super cool, thank you for everything. When the tour ended I took a brief hike on a nature trail, looked for anything consumable for sale in the visitors center (nothing...) and quickly bundled up and sped down the hill out of the park and to the hotel for calories! I ate a ton of food out of my food bag and I felt glorious! I was going to try to hang out with the owners of the hotel who seemed really cool or hit up the bar that was open tonight, but I was pooped! Exhausted! I organized my things much better (I hope!) and hydrated and ate and rested as best I could. Felt great! Another park down, another step closer to my warmer sleeping bag, yay! I hope I’m not as sore tomorrow!

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