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  031 07/04/06 Rico Ridgeway Rain Gear David  
dirzzly day
Trout Lake
Walt and Steve

Tuesday July 4, 2006 62 miles - Total so far: 1,364 miles

This morning we packed up our tents (still wet from last night's rainstorm) and went to a gas station/market for breakfast and goodbyes. I had decided to continue the journey on my own, knowing I would miss Gene's companionship and humor but determined to try and finish the journey. Gene headed downhill towards Dolores and I began the steep climb to Lizard Head Pass. The day began with sunshine and clear skies and the mountain views were spectacular! By the time I reached the summit some clouds had begun to form and after a wild downhill ride I reached Sawpit just as the wind rose and a heavy rain began falling.

Just before Sawpit I met two cross- cyclists named Walt and Steve, who have a winery in Napa, CA (Moulds Family Vineyard).. They were doing the reverse of our route and gave me some clues of what to expect in the coming days...and I did likewise for them. These were the first cyclists I had met who were near my age and I enjoyed chatting with them for awhile.

I found shelter under the awning of a market in Placerville which was closed for the holiday...and a comfortable bench where I listened to my iPod and waited out the worst of the storm (including flashes of lightening). After about 3 hours the rain subsided and I decided that rather than looking for a (wet) campsite I would tackle Dallas Divide, another steep pass. I donned all my rain gear for the first time...waterproof jacket, pants, shoe covers, and a helmet cover...and started climbing. It wasn't long before the (breathable?) rain gear became unbearably warm, so I got rid of the helmet cover and jacket and let the drizzle and breeze cool me the rest of the way. I reached Ridgeway by 7 pm and found a great little pizza and ice cream place where I loaded up on carbs and salt (double anchovies!) and fats. A friendly guy named Brigham invited me to share a table with his charming wife and six sweet children. I really enjoyed their company and the recollections of pizza dinners at a large table with all my siblings. The owner of the shop, Lee, joined in our conversation and later tried to help me find a place for the night (all camping and motel options in the area were full). When she had no luck she offered to let me pitch my tent on a grassy area behind her restaurant. Thank you Lee and Brigham for your hospitality and generosity!

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