Seems much drier here in Provo and Denver was pretty dry. After a very long summer’s sleep, I did the ride Bret suggested today, solo, since he wasn’t able to come along. It was an excellent suggestion as even though temps were cool-er today, they were still in the high eighties when I got back mid-afternoon. The West Alpine Loop was reached by the Murdock Canal trail which is smooth, new blacktop and about 20 feet wide. The climb up to the summit was through woods and shaded by the mountains. There was even a mountain stream next to the road for most of the ride up. “Up” was 8,000′ at the summit, and in 42 miles I climbed 3,700′. I also had a “light” bike today as I left the front rack off after reassembling it from the box.

Back at Bret’s and Nora’s, I did some needed work on Papa Hobo — cleaning and shift adjustments, and putting the front rack on for tomorrow’s trip to Salt Lake City. After that and a shower, I joined Bret and Nora for dinner and we had both a tasty and filling meal and great conversation. After that, I excused myself to make some phone calls, work on my planning and write this little snippet.

Planning: going to hell in a handbasket. The Mosquito fire in CA is causing air quality alerts in the Tahoe area, particularly in South Lake Tahoe where I was planning to ride. I’m continuing on current itinerary for now, but will be watching the fire closely and may have to alter my plans to avoid that area. If so, I may miss Nevada altogether. That would be a bummer, so I’m hoping for a wind shift, or better, some rain to tamp things down. Of course, my ride and my little routing problems are nothing compared to the folks who are under mandatory evacuations because of the fire. I hope that everyone gets out safely and that the rains do come for their sakes, too.