We left Major’s Station and enjoyed an extended downhill before making the climb up to Sacramento Pass on our way to Baker, Nevada. Along the way, a wind farm and an active mining site provided the scenery.
The air warmed on our way down from the 7154 foot (2180 m) pass. Our twelve mile (19 km) decent, the longest downhill to date, was delayed by a bovine blockade.
In Baker, The Great Basin National Park visitor center provided a welcome respite from the heat. We relaxed and watched an informative film overview of the Great Basin and booked the Lehman Cave tour for the following day. We also made plans to spend the following two days camping in the park.
In the park are groves of Bristlecone Pines. These trees can live for thousands of years. I wanted to stand in the shadow of a living being that had been around long before humans began writing, walking like Egyptians or contemplating the mathematical concepts of zero or infinity.
Additionally, the Park has an evening star program, which in an area with almost no light pollution, was sure to be a treat.
That night we stayed in Baker, at the campground / RV park / hotel and busied ourselves with the domestic duties of napping, laundry, and gear repair. We capped off the day with great conversation and beer¹ (with a little bit of homemade peach moonshine) at the bar.
Viewed through the lenses of our old lives, it would have been an unusual day. But now, on the bikes, even an ordinary day can seem prismatic.
¹If you can get your hands on some, Wander Wheels heartily recommends Ruby Mountain Beer, some of the best microbrewed beer on the tour to date. The Bristlecone Brown Porter and Angel Creek Amber were true to style and very well made.