Day 406: Great Basin National Park

Today the kids did some cookie decorating in the RV:



Trish made mini apple pies:


Meanwhile, I decided to ride to the summit of the road up Wheeler Peak.  The ride starts in town at 5,318 feet and ends 15.6 miles later at 10,163 feet, a vertical gain of 4,845 feet.  Outside Magazine listed this ride as one of the five best North American hill climbs.  The climb is longer and as steep as the Tour de France’s Hors Categorie climb of Col d’Izoard.

I left at 11am, and the first half of the climb was really hot.  Eventually, I climbed past 8,000 feet, and the temperature dropped considerably.  Up here, it’s already Autumn:


Looking at the switchbacks in the foreground and the start point, the town of Baker, in the background:


The higher I went, the deeper into Autumn I travelled:



At last I reached the summit, nearly one vertical mile above my start point.  The climb had more vertical than Whitney Portal but less than Horseshoe Meadows:



Wheeler Peak in the background:


I suffered two flats on the way down, but it was still a great ride!

Back at the visitor center, the kids received their Junior Ranger badges:



We watched the Park’s excellent video in the modern visitor center:


It was a little late to drive on to a new location, so we settled into a great dispersed camping spot I found on BLM land:


As I write this I can hear the swiftly flowing stream a few feet from the RV as well as a host of crickets.  Good night from Great Basin National Park!

UPDATE: The kids produced a podcast for today’s adventure:

Day 405: Cathedral Gorge State Park
Day 407: Flat Out at the Bonneville Flats

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