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Journal for 13-May-2004 : Mt Shasta

Freezing night again, as expected. Our camping gear did not cope with this at all well, and we both slept very poorly. Linda was cold, I was just too uncomfortable wearing all my clothes, and I mean *all* my clothes!

Could not start a fire this morning, but the sun was warm enough.

With everything packed we pushed out into the snow. We both wanted to continue yesterday's misadventure, but common sense told us it was insane. We didn't have enough food, water, or tolerance for cold to cope with another night up here.

Out on the snow we got a pleasant surprise. The morning snow was colder, icier and harder. Our bikes only sank 4cm into it rather than 15cm in the slushy stuff yesterday. We were able to walk along at the amazing 4kph! For a brief moment we considered turning around and heading back up the hill. After all, the summit was so close!

If the snow was easier the bitumen was just a tad more challenging. Most of it was liberally decorated with black ice, which made the snow a substantially more stable proposition. It only took us two hours to make it below the snow drifts, where we cleaned the snow, needles, leaves, dirt and various undefinable pieces of rubbish out of our brakes and chains. A sign indicated we'd covered 2 of the 6 miles to Lake Medicine, what we *assumed* was the summit. It was so close!

We sped down the hills we climbed yesterday, and up the steep short jump ups we'd hardly noticed yesterday till we reached the highway. Lots of trucks and other traffic on the 89 as we careered down and up a road with a topography rather like a roller coaster. Mercifully the road got wider at McCloud. It also got busier and we stared an 8km climb.

We were both pretty tired by the top, and suffering the effects sleep deprivation: not thinking rationally.

Checked into the first motel we found in Mt Shasta.

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