Unfortunately, my anxiety over Day 18, has made it difficult for me to sleep tonight. I woke up at 1:30 and after tossing and turning for two hours, I am up and writing this overdue blog post. The blog has helped me deal with the loneliness, but with Chris around, I haven‘t had as much time to wrote. And this post will be short as Bruce and I will be leaving early today.
All that said, I feel like I have to share the rides of the last two days before they blur into the rest of the trip. These last two days we rode through incredible beauty. While Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks are the most well-known in southern Utah, there is so much down here. And while Nevada was pretty similar day after day, in Utah, it seems like every 20 miles the terrain is a different color, different view, or just something new and incredible. My photos and videos cannot do this place justice, I encourage anyone reading this to see for themself.
Day 16: 66 miles, 4367 elevation (3 wheeees, 0 aarrgghhs)
So much on this ride. I rode this mostly alone as my chain fell off coming out of town and then a climb had me too far behind to catch Bruce and Dave. This ride had so many spectacular vistas. There were also some challenging climbs. I swear we had 8-10% grades early on for five miles (well, it only felt like that, but even a half mile of that was hard). Later in the ride there were some stretches of 10-12% grades. These are tough hills. But there were also some really pleasant descents. And the beauty. It felt like I needed to pull off to take pictures every 10 minutes because each pullout provided a different take on the landscape. My weak attempt to share some of this is in the video below. (Ooops, should say Day 16, but it will take me too long to edit right now).
Day 17: 84 miles, 4521 elevation (6 wheeeees! and 0 aarrgghhs)
How do you compare back-to-back rides like these? This day started with a 3 hour climb with a lot of 6% plus grade. We started the day at about 6500 elevation and topped out this climb at 9600. It was a slow grind for me at 5-6 mph. But it was beautiful. After the long climb it was mostly downhill from there. Ahhh. Then, lots of wheees on the way down. I caught Bruce and Dave at a Subway in Torrey (about mile 35) and we rode in together from there. So why hasn’t anyone ever told me about Capital Reef National Park? OK, Paul and Jeff, you have, but why didn‘t I listen. This area is so cool and so different from Bryce, Zion, and Moab, all of which I have visited before. Again, it seemed like every 20 miles there was something new and different to see. And you see it all when you are slowed down on a bike. Again, my Relive video is a weak attempt to show some of this beauty.
No time for a topic, pictures or stories. I need to get ready for my mid-term exam. Today is a tough ride. But as you may recall from an earlier post, Chris will sag for me today. So my bike will be lighter and there will be someone bringing me food and drink along the way. Let’s hope I can knock it off in one day (if not there is a backup plan).