Gordon: Today the rain held off long enough to allow us to ride from Bicaz to Lacu Roșu (Red Lake). The scenery along the gentle climb up the Bicaz valley was reminiscent of Switzerland, with intensely green fields rising above quaint villages. The gentleness of the climb made Ruth nervous, because she knew that we had to climb 600 metres to our destination. Twenty kilometres into our 32 kilometre ride we were only 150 metres above our starting point. And then we entered the Bicaz Gorges National Park and hit the wall. The river valley narrowed to only 30 metres in width while the limestone walls of the gorge rose 300 metres above us. The road twisted and climbed its way through the canyon, but with only one short stretch that was uncomfortably steep to cycle. Although the gorge is in a national park, there were numerous souvenir venders wherever the shoulder of the road was wide enough to fit them. Regardless, the ride through the gorges was spectacular.
At around 1000 metres the road flattens out around the basin containing Red Lake. This small and murky lake was created by a landslide in 1838, and there remain numerous stumps in the lake that attest to the drowned forest. It is a tourist circus on the shores of this popular lake, with rides, souvenir stalls, junk food, and all the other things families on vacation seem to hold dear.
We were walking along the shore of the lake when we noticed there were things hopping around our feet. Closer inspection revealed multitudes of minute frogs. We realized with horror that we had probably been inadvertently crushing them underfoot as we walked. Returning along the highway was even more of a horror show, as the frogs were crossing the moderately busy road by the hundreds. If we were in England they would build an underpass for the frogs, if they didn’t just close the trail and road for the frog migration season. In any event, there were lots of frogs so enough must be surviving to perpetuate the species.