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  004 06/07/06 Jackson Kirkwood A granny gear day Gene  
Keith, Dyan & Sue
Bear Lake
Kirkwood Meadow

Wednesday June 7, 2006 52 miles - Total so far: 199 miles "A granny gear day"

Inquiring minds may wonder...what's a granny gear? It is the lowest of our 27 gears used for the steepest uphill climbing. One point is clear...travelling at 4 miles per hour is the optimum speed for listening to birds singing, snow melting, and the wind whistling in the pines. We left Jackson (elevation 1,200 ft) at five thirty in the morning and by the end of the day we had reached in excess of 8,000 ft. The last half of the day we cycled through the El Dorado National Forest and you can see from our photos that the vistas were fabulous! For both of us it was a long hard day...we each consumed over 10 bottles of water, and of course fueled ourselves with several peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. We were very fortunate that my wife Sue and friends Keith and Dyan will be following us across California and Nevada...providing food and water and moral support as well as hauling most of our gear.

Along the way we met several other cross country cyclists. Cooper was on his way to New York accompanied by his godfather, Craig, who was riding with him as far as Kirkwood. A young German named Teno had left Jacksonville, Florida in early April and was obviously excited to be descending the last stretch to San Francisco.

We reached our destination of Kirkwood Ski Resort around 6 pm. In looking back we were both satisfied with a major effort to ascend the western slope of the Sierra Mountain Range.

One final note: for a portion of today's and tomorrow's route we are following the historic Emigrant Trail, one of the routes where the earliest wagon trains entered California led by scouts such as Kit Carson.

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