Finally, I got up and staked down the flaps and tightened the cords to stop the noise. At last I got some sleep.
|Sunrise over the dry lake|
The hard part was figuring out which bag had what. I had everything I needed but the organization left a little to be desired. By 11 I was reorganized, repacked, and on the trail.
Only 2 1/2 miles off the main trail my little side trip had started as a Class 2 road, then became a Class 3, and then a Class 4 in places going up a steep hill. The trouble was that there was no place to turn around. It was onward and upward only!
Luckily, the AT is extremely dirt worthy. Torquey engine, supple suspension, and grippy tires made the bike dance across the ruts like a billy goat. Not that I didn't feel all 500 pounds of it but I had confidence that I could trust the bike and it didn't let me down.
The road east was Class 2 & 3 so it was pretty easy going. Riding through the canyons exposed some pretty amazing rock formations. All went well until I came to the junction I thought was for Fletcher but turned out to be for Aurora. My map book wasn't any help since I had lost it along the way. I wish DeLorme would use a less slippery material for their covers. It isn't the first one I've lost.
Aurora was a mining town like Bodie but is pretty much gone by now. I have no idea what this strange building was for but it looked cool so I stopped and took a picture.
The temptation to take roads at random that headed south to see if I could pick my way back was great but I also wanted to keep to my schedule so I could spend time in Death Valley. So I back tracked to the road with a sign that said Hawthorne 22 -> and took it. I had no idea where Hawthorne was but it sounded civilized.
|View from Lucky Boy Pass at where I had come from|
|Boundary Peak - 13,147 feet|
I ended up at the Starlight Motel in the town of Big Pine, CA and had dinner at the Kozy Kitchen diner. I'm back on schedule and ready to hit the trails in Death Valley tomorrow.
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