Jess and I decided to try a bike-tour.
Here was our planned route:
This was not long after we'd finished fixing up Jess' bike (probably something we should post about as well).
We threw together basically our normal backpacking gear, put it all on rear-paniers on our bikes and set off.
It went quite well overall. We actually take the route listed there out to the bridge, but fairly close. One interesting thing is that you have to cross the bridge on the west-side. Not the east by bike, the other side is reserved for foot traffic.
Having crossed the bridge we noticed we have some other choices we hadn't expected. There is the route noted on the map there that goes up and over the mountains. This is fairly steep and apparently quite beutiful. We were feeling a bit wussy, this being basically our first bike-tour, and my knee didn't feel to great. So after a discussion with a competent looking cyclist we chose the bike-path. The path goes down to the west and back under the bridge. Then follows the water circling around and into town.
After passing through town and climbing tam (a pretty good climb for us, my bike lacks especially low gears, and Jess hadn't really ridden much before or lately) we stopped by the park headquarters. There we talked to someone in the gift-shop for a bit and got some tips on where to camp. Armed with this advice we continued onwards. Looking at our map though we noticed that there's a trail that cuts across the top of the mountain. I used to mountainbike a fair bit, and the trail looked kinda smooth, so I talked Jess into taking it.
It was beautiful, but a lot of climbing still, we mostly pushed our bikes though we both had a good time experimenting with our street bikes riding on the dirt :-). Jess' first initiation into mountain-biking. On the way we met a few other cyclists, mostly using very low gears our bikes didn't have.
Turns out the campsite we ended up at had a hiker-biker spot, and that the hiker-biker spot is something like 8 bucks a piece, instead of 30 for the spot. It's below the bathroom, so it smells a little, but it's a nice spot. We also found a can of soup there. After wandering out on a short hike to see the sunset and stretch our legs (different exercise from biking) we made a our dinner (burritos made with vegitarian refried beans, cheese, and instant rice), as well as the can of soup we found on Jess' homemade alcohol stove. That evening it actually rained on us, we slept fine under our tarp (see our backpacking gear for details on tarping, www.smalladventures.net/backpacking ).
It was surprisingly cold actually (note that this was over a month ago), even by our standards, though certainly not cold with our 10F bags.
Next day we rolled out of bed, and had a pleasent ride back! The ride back was of course *much* easier, but we were also quite exhuasted. A beautiful weekend though