After a nice chilly morning at our campground in Camp Nelson, we flew down the 15 mile descent into Springville for some morning coffee and the first service we’d had in a few days!
After eating some breakfast and checking in with friends & family, we started biking towards the Yokohl Valley... this place ended up being WEIRD. It was full of smoke from a nearby fire and seemed to never end, plus there were no houses or people in sight and the place gave us a very eerie vibe. We moved quickly through there and headed towards Three Rivers! This was a sweet little town and where we ended up sleeping that night with our friend Peter (who is currently working for the USGS in Sequoia National Park). We spent a beautiful evening swimming in the Kaweah River and laying out on the boulders in the river which we’re still warm from the hot sun. The highlight of the day for me was swimming under a little waterfall and getting a back massage / half drowning underneath it ~ they called it the “Donkey Hole”! We spent the night sleeping in the floor of the house Peter and a friend were renting. The property was beautiful and the owner had a ton of goats, dogs, and peacocks running around (which was cute during the day but led to some funny noises to wake us up in the morn).
Day twelve was a HUGE day. We started out in Three Rivers for the massive climb up into Sequoia National Park - the total for the day ended up being about 8,300 ft of elevation gain, most of which was in the first 30 miles... That being said, we all felt super good and the road through the park was absolutely amazing.
Riding underneath some of the largest trees in the world, and getting there solely by man power, was something we’ll remember forever. The trees in the park are just massive. Way too big to even comprehend. We walked the loop around the General Sherman tree and then headed over to a campground to make some lunch. After this, we kept cruising through the park until we came to some road construction - apparently if there are machines running in the construction zone, cyclists can’t ride through. So we threw our bikes into the back of one of the worker’s trucks and he drove us a few miles to the end of the section! The day ended in a 20 miles downhill which was super smooth and super fast. Our friend and roommate Parker was kind enough to reach out to his family (who lives about a mile off of the road we were riding down) and they took us in for the night! We ate a wonderful home cooked meal for dinner, slept in real beds, and were sent off in the morning after some coffee and a big breakfast!