Day 18: Sunday, June 20: Lee Vining to Mammoth Lakes

I decided to have breakfast in Lee Vining and try to fix my kickstand. I stopped in a little hardware store and bought angle brackets, hose clamps, and epoxy putty. I straightened the angle brackets by pounding them with a big rock, then used them as splints, along with the epoxy putty and hose clamps. While the epoxy was hardening, I had a nice chat with the woman who was running the hardware store.

Initially, the road went downhill, but soon started going back up. Some more climbing brought me to the top of Deadman Pass. From there, it was mostly downhill to Mammoth Lakes, a ski and sport resort town. I had been warned about the road going uphill to Mammoth Lakes, but found that it wasn't too steep. However, the intense headwind made up for its relative lack of steepness. I took the flags off the bike, moved the bags to the rear of the bike, and tried to become as aerodynamic as possible, even removing the bandana from my helmet.

Finally, I was in Mammoth Lakes. I went up (everything in this town is uphill!) to a bike shop and bought a new kickstand. A trip to the hardware store provided me with the extra hardware I needed to beef this one up for the demands of a loaded touring bike.

I decided to get a motel room, as I still needed to fix my rear rack, and didn't want to ride back up to Mammoth Lakes. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a cheap one, so paid $46 for a room. I went out pretty late to find some food, but ended up just drinking a couple of beers at the local brewpub and listening to a good band from San Diego called Wise Monkey Orchestra. I got pretty buzzed from the beers (and the altitude!), and actually wanted to dance. But I couldn't get any of the women there to dance. So I left and went to sleep (making sure to drink lots of water first).