Had a rough start this morning. Doug and Jenn pulled out around 8:30am, and it looked like I was going to get out at 9 until I decided that my rear tire could use a bit more air. Unfortunately, I was using a Lezyne pump that has a hose that screws onto the value, and when I unscrewed the hose it took the valve core out with it! I hastily screwed it back in and now I was worse off than before. I don’t have a valve core tool (note to self: get one!) so I hand tightened it and tried again – same result. Except that now the tire had lost so much air that it was leaking air around the bead — I am running it tubeless. Now I was panicking. I had a spare tube but I sure didn’t want to use it for this. I flipped the bike over, removed the wheel, pumped it up to about 10psi and then started doing the Stan’s shake-n-bake with the wheel. Amazingly, I got everything to seal back up! But I didn’t get on the road until 10am, and I had a grueling day ahead and barely any water left.
So I was on my way (off-route) to Toponas Creek campground to get some water when I saw the unmistakable icky green of a USFS truck approaching. I flagged him down to ask if he knew whether there was water at Toponas Creek. He didnt know and recommended that I filter some creek water. So I got to try out my chlorine diox tabs. Had to wait 2 hours to drink it but it was good. (BTW, he told me he uses a SteriPEN and it takes only 3 minutes to do the job!)
Today was as hot as yesterday but since I was between 9k and 10k feet all day it felt great.
At 10k feet I crossed an unnamed continental divide crossing.
Yup, I am definitely on the east side of the Divide now!
I was getting really tired by the time I saw the signature rock formation that told me I was close to Rabbit Ears pass.
Tough day with over 4,000 feet of climbing. Absolutely fabulous riding however, with the last 35 miles being on non-technical FS roads at high elevation in perfect weather. (I saw only 4 cars in those 35 miles!) I made it to the Dumont Lake campground just north of US 40 by 5:30. Very nice except for the epic mosquito population.