Most of the time we were riding in the 4500' to 5500' range.
Beautiful morning at our camp after a cold night. Our water bottles had lots of ice in them. One of our goals was to make it to Lake Hovsgal which would be our furthest northern point of the trip. When we started we thought it would take us 4 days from Ulaanbaatar. It was now day 6 but we weren't concerned. We were just going with the flow. Even so, we wanted to make it to the lake today.
First river crossing of the day right out of camp.
We had been seeing a bunch of amazing birds like hawks, falcons, eagles and vultures. This would continue for most of the trip.
Getting into the higher terrain with nice sections of single track.
This guy presented himself. He's what's known as a Little Owl.
We climbed up above 8000 feet to a divide that separates Lake Hovsgal from the other drainages we'd been in. We were searching for some hot springs we'd heard about. We could see a little snow on the highest peaks in the distance.
Dropping down from the divide we thought we'd found the location of the hot springs. It was kind of an odd scene with this abandoned Soviet era resort of sorts. We stopped and had lunch.
Just down the road was another little resort that was doing business. We stopped in and finally were able to communicate that we were looking for hot springs. They gave us some salty tea and some sort of soft cheese. The cheese was pretty good, the tea just ok.
The caretaker gets on the back of a Chinese bike and runs us back up the road about a kilometer to the hot springs.
They weren't quite what we were expecting. They were inside these little shacks.
They ended up being a deep but very narrow wooden container to catch the thermal water. We decided to pass. It was time to push to the lake.
It took us a while to figure out the route. We finally did and it crossed this stream with boulders too large to freely ride over. We walked the bikes to try to keep dry.
The next thing you know, we're up in a high country marsh. It did not look good but we were way too far in to turn around. It was totally flooded with water which stunk bad! The mud was greasy and everything was super soft. We were really slipping the clutches trying to muscle through this stuff. It felt like we were asking a lot out of our Chinese all terrain mopeds. Also, the sky was starting to look a little ominous. We were hoping for smooth sailing after this marsh.
No such luck. It ended up being one marsh after another. They were about as long as a football field. Minxter went down trying to charge this one.
She's a real trooper. She held a good attitude and kept charging. "Thank you!! May I have another?!"
After starting to get a little worried we were going to get pinched and have to stay the night up there, we got into the forest which seemed like it was descending toward the lake.
RELIEF!!! We hit the lake at just about perfect timing for a nice evening.
This campsite was amazing!!!
The lake was still just warm enough to quickly dunk under and wash up.
Guess what's for dinner?
This was just what we needed after things getting a little tight up in the marshes.
100km for the day.