Day 3, When a mountain is not a mole hill

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Day 3 would turn out to be our hardest day yet. Getting our earliest start, we preceded to climb out of Placerville, only to decend about 5 miles later and re-start our climb. The towns got smaller and the services became more sparse. For lunch we stumbled across the Fair Play hardware store, which happened to have a small assortment of groceries and sandwiches. The proprietor was very friendly and mentioned that he had started to stock more bike friendly goods as he’d seen several groups of riders pass through this summer. Apparently a couple and their two teenage children had passed through on their way to Maine, in the early summer. The Sierra’s were still experiencing snow fall at the time. We hope they made it and will search for documentation of their exploits when we have time. Also there is a solo rider several days ahead of us making the same route to Yorktown, but it’s highly unlikely we’ll catch up with him.

The heat in the lower/mid Sierra’s really go to us, and caused us to make frequent stops to rehydrate. The climbs generally consisted of a 2-4 mile stretches, with an occasional flattening out at the top, followed by a mile decent. One of the more scenic areas we passed through was Eldorado National Forest. Filled with large pines and low lying juniper, we got a constant waft of piney juniper through a good portion of the day. Our day ended at Bear Reservoir Campsite, about 47 miles out of Placerville. Unfortunately 2 miles off route, all downhill. Next time maybe we’ll bite the bullet and camp off the roadside to skip the additional climbing and mileage.

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