I’ve been trying to figure a way to tell all of the flatlanders in MD what it’s like in the high Sierras and Inyo Mountains. A remarkable opportunity opened itself to me as we were traveling to church on Sunday.
We passed a great many bicyclists out in the hot sun, peddling slightly uphill like they were racing. My son-in-law Padraic said he thought it was the Everest Challenge. Indeed it was just that. These hearty souls climb 29,035′ in two days in the unrelenting heat and sun of Death Valley and Bishop. Fortunately for them, the weather wasn’t scorching, only in the low 90’s. And no, I will not EVER attempt the challenge. I know my limits and don’t want to be hobbling around after my grandchildren.
The map shown on this page: Everest Challenge, details their two day odyssey. Since the route east of 395 uses part of the pass that comes into Deep Springs valley, I was able as a car passenger (for a change) to take pictures out the front car windshield of the cyclists as they began the last climb of the race. This also shows just a portion of the 26 miles that it takes to go in and out of the valley.
I’ve included several shots, all showing yet another turn to go yet higher. They are part of the Westgard Pass.
Each turn of the road brings a slightly different view of what the Inyo Mountains look like.
Yes, there is a one lane area through the rocks that of course you cannot see what’s coming from the other direction.
The cyclists finally reach a turn off toward the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest where they climb even further (see map link above). For cars entering the valley, the descent begins when they’ve reached 7,400′. Keep in mind, I’ve not pictured every turn or climb.
This picture shows Deep Springs (that far off dark line in the back of the photo) on the last part of the pass.
The very last shot is of the Gilbert Pass coming into the other side valley from Nevada that I drove the RV through. All of these shots are from my iPad, as I’m still having difficulty getting photos to my iPad from my other camera.