Del Puerto Canyon Ride

I met Chuck and Bill in Newman early... and it was already warm.  Bill rode the 20 miles out to the road up the canyon and then turned around and headed home (he had a prior engagement).  Chuck and I rode the 25 miles up the road... plenty of shade, few cars, lots of turns and subtle climbing (subtle, but long).  The last mile-and-a-half was harder than I remembered from the 9-20-03 ride.  I have ridden a couple of thousand of miles since being here but I still was not able to get that last big climb without a breather.When I finally got to the top I confirmed with Chuck that the junction store was only a few more miles up the road.  I did tell him that my big fear kept flashing before my eyes.... we get to the store and it's closed (for the record, it was 10 am and the store didn't open until 11!!!! "Don't worry, it's open... I was just here a couple of weeks ago" Chuck said.... famous last words of a fool.... you guessed it.... it was closed!!!! Chuck and I trespassed on the property and nervously filled one bottle each of the nasty yellow water that came from a huge tank.  I got up that damn climb partly because of Chuck's tantalizing account of all the wonderful food and drink that awaited us at the store... gatorade a plenty... powerbars... clifbars... rice crispy treats... cold water... it's a cyclist's heaven. We eventually made it back to Patterson and got refilled at the AM/PM... but after 70 miles. There were some nasty winds on the last 20 miles but overall it was a great ride.... about as great as can be expected as 6 hours or Chuck talking smack can be.... ha ha! 90 miles... a lot of climbing... Next week.... Diablo, Morgan Territory... etc.... 104 miles.... a lot more climbing.... ouch.... I can't wait!