To Fruita Utah 118km
To Torrey 30km
I've been to Utah several times before, rafting and mountain biking, and driving through, and each time I've been impressed with how awesome the scenery is, but cycling through, adds another level of awesome. On the lonely roads I'm cycling, I can be alone for up to an hour with the towering Buttes, and the mighty canyons. I feel miniscule, in wonder at the magnitude and the magnificence, slowly weaving my way, over, beneath, and eventually, past, the majesty.
Today I'm passed by a group of about thirty souped up sporty cars. They've all got a sticker on the door, as if they're in some sort of rally. I'm pretty sure they're the same cars that raced past me on the Million Dollar Highway. Difference here in Utah, is that they've got a very large Police escort, Motor Bike Cops, Sheriff cars, and flashing lights.
I meet two "American" cyclists. He is from Boston. She is from Mexico City. She is loving the cycling and feels she may want to go beyond the East coast of the USA, but she wants to ask questions of any other solo female cycle tourers. He is having trouble with his knees, and wonders whether he will make Virginia.
A little later, I meet father and son from Perth. They've only got a three month visa and want to get to New York. I advised them to not fret about schedules, enjoy the ride, and get a bus if they run out of time..... Hmmmm. Perhaps I should heed my own advice. I've got 1500km to go to Pacific Coast, and only 23 days...... before Ju arrives......
I was feeling pretty chirpy when I met the Aussies. I was cruising down a very long hill. Fiona hums going downhill, but today there is a different tune...... bother. My trailer has a puncture. Many people ask whether the trailer effects my ride. Honestly, I often have to look behind me to ensure I have connected it. And then I forget to do maintenance on it. The tyre has worn through beyond the threads. The tube is sticking out. Bother. A couple of layers of Duct tape should get me to the next Bike Shop in Cedar City. That tyre only lasted 5000km, from Lisbon. Others have lasted twice that distance.
I rest for a couple of hours at a very small shop at Hite, out of the heat, eating ice cream. Then I get to cross the Colorado River. I wasnt sure I would see it on this trip. Then I climb a sharp short incline to a rest area. I'm stuffed. (too much ice cream). There is no sign forbidding camping, but it is signposted "Rest Area Only". I cycle to the very back, and rest. Just before dark, I stretch my sleeping mat out on a picnic table, under a shelter...... I'm not camping. I'm resting. And the the storm start. Huge thunder. Dazzling lightening. For several hours. I can't sleep for the noise and flashes.
Next day, and I'm carrying 15l of fluid, and having to ration my intake in case I run out. It's hot. But, I'm on a familiar road. Juliet and I drove this road three years ago on our Mtb tour. It leads me to Fruita, Utah, and a National Park. I have to stay at a designated campsite..... $20. But it's all but full. I negotiate with a young motorcyclist to share his site...... although it's not the "done" thing, it allows a Dutch family in a campervan to have my site, instead of driving another couple of hours. Whatever. Once again I'm knackered.
Up early, and straight away I'm climbing. Damn. My legs are shot. My whole body is tired. It's not as if I haven't been eating, drinking or sleeping. I need a rest. 30km gets me to Torrey, where I eat a second breakfast. Afterwards I still feel knackered. A guy on a bicycle is looking at Fiona. "Can you tell me where I might find some cheap accommodation?" "Sure. Follow me." We cycle a few hundred metres."You may as well come to my place. I've cycle toured in NZ. They really looked after me." Thank you NZ. Paying it forward.