Tuesday was my first time riding my bike while on our adventure. The ride was great, although there was quite a lot of wind. Only the last 5 miles were straight into the wind, but it was brutal to end that way. It did not take away from the wonderful ride though. About 13 miles from where we are staying is a place called Twin Lakes. We had already checked out this place by car earlier, but I wanted to ride all the way around it this time. By car that is not possible, because there is a stretch that is really just for hiking. I had to pull and carry my bike over boulders and fallen trees, and across a few streams. It was all worth it. While I was heading back on the paved road on the other side of the lakes I spotted a dirt road going up the side of the mountain, which I had noticed earlier on my way up. I decided I wanted to make this ride worth while, so I turned into the road.
I was not completely convinced yet if I wanted to actually trek up that road, because it looked quite steep and I was already not so fresh anymore. But the adventurous spirit in me won again and I decided to go up and check it out. The dirt road was pretty well maintained. I was not sure yet where the road was going, but I quickly discovered that it was the road to the buckeye campground, trail and hot spring. I had read about the hot spring and it apparently attracts quite a few people. This explained why the road was in a good state and it made the ride up not bad at all. A bit washboardy at times, but there usually was at least one track that was relatively smooth. I saw the sign for the campground, the trailhead and the hot springs, but I did not see any of the actual sites. I did see some of buckeye creek and it looked very nice with plenty of trees.
By this time I had figured out that the road, if it did not dead end, would most likely connect me to the 395 a few miles above Bridgeport. The condition of the dirt road past the creek was far from what it was before the creek, but most of it was going downhill by now and it was not all bad either, just more bumpy and rocky. The further I was able to guess the destination of the road, the more convinced I was it would connect me back to the 395, and it sure did, although maybe a mile further from Bridgeport than I had hoped for. Not too bad, because I started off with some downhill once I got to the 395, but it quickly flattened out and turned straight into the wind. Those 6 or 7 miles back to the trailer were my real challenge for the day.
All in all a very fun ride with plenty of surprises and challenges. It was exciting to try out roads without consulting a map and aiming for success. After all I could have turned around if needed. But it is so much more sweet when it all works out in the end. Yay!