Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Statistics for Week 3

Milford, Utah to Lake Powell, Utah

Picture 2.png

268 miles.
10 summits, maximum elevation 11,300 feet

Day 15 - Sunday June 29 DAY OFF!

Someone's thought (who could that be?) was with only 58 miles to the next real city (first in a week), we should rest tomorrow.
But after a midnight 'cramping dance', the decision to rest in Millford was not argued. Not much here other than the railroad,

so we rested, caught up on emails, the blog and amused managed to amuse ourselves (thought of you Walton).
Hope to see you tomorrow in Cedar City!

For the Record: Mr. Grizzly has become a lean, mean, biking machine. I, on the other hand, have not lost a pound, but it's not all bad. Having a chocolate muffin for breakfast, chocolate milk at the end of the ride and ice cream everyday is pretty tasty!

Day 16 - Monday June 30 - Milford to Cedar City Utah

Good early 6:15 start today. But what's up with the wind? It doesn't matter what time we start; one hour into the ride the wind turns on, hard and in our face. We couldn't even maintain 10 mph going downhill into Minersville.

.....note the flag straight out.
Luckily, as we left the town, we turned so the wind was at our backs. The landscape changed a bit today (thank goodness). Besides the green pastures in Minersville,
the road was lined with wheat shining golden in the sun
and darker green cedar trees broke up the pale green of sagebrush.

But all was not a 'bed of roses'. We got to our one summit (6300 feet) 25 miles into the ride and were greeted by the wind in our face, again. Though we could see our destination of Cedar City in the distance, traversing the next 29 miles through the desert proved to be very difficult in the wind.
By early afternoon, we made it to the base of Black Mountain where Cedar City sits. Time enough for a couple of massages at Pura Vida before dinner, yeah baby!

ps. Kenny Wayne was' up! Have you been moonlighting in Utah?

Day 17 - Tuesday July 1 - Cedar City to Tropic Utah

Our day today, actually started yesterday.
On our way into Cedar City we stopped at the visitor's center (which is a tourist attraction in itself, beautiful) and met Ron, who worked the information desk. We were discussing our trip with him and he told us several must see sights 'kind of' on our way. He, along with everyone we spoke with in town, said not to bike the 4500 foot incline to the top as there was no shoulder on the two lane road and lots of blind curves. Best of all, Ron volunteered to take us to the top.
So this morning we loaded our bikes in his truck and piled in with Ron and his wife, Cris.

The rest of day is beyond words.
Our tour guides extraordinaire, took us to Cedar Breaks National Monument, Brian Head and Bryce Canyon National Park. Words and pictures (we took close to 150 pictures) just cannot explain the incredible beauty that abounds. But, I'm obliged to try.

The snow was still melting on the way to Brian Head (elvevation 11,307 feet)
and at the top you can see three states and the curvature of the earth.

The 'HooDoo' formations are staggering.
and it goes on for miles.
you can literally drive through
part of Red Canyon.
The colors and formations are unbelievable. Utah has got quite a treasure and one we think most don't know about. We highly recommend putting it on your MUST DO list.........and of course, there's sking!
We did actually bike the last seven miles downhill into the wind (but we're not complaining) in to the very small hamlet of Tropic!
An Incredible Day, thank you Ron and Chris!

Day 18 - Wednesday July 2 - Tropic to Escalante Utah HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY STEVE!

Another incredible day............except we biked it this time.
You'd think that at this point in our bike trip that a 40 mile bike with one 7600 foot summit wouldn't kick out butt, apparently no such luck. The grade was steep,

but the scenery spectacular.

We passed actual Indian dewlings,
and it wasn't hard to imagine or even see Indians hiding among the rocks.

We'd gotten another early start this morning (6:00 am) so we got to the summit by 10:30
.......notice at this point they don't even name the summits as there are so many?!........and continued our next 15 miles downhill into the wind to Escalante, but you've heard that story before. We have a short ride but tough climb tomorrow and a killer one on Friday, so we stopped early today. Hope to see you in Boulder Utah tomorrow.

Day 19 - Thursday July 3 - Escalante to Boulder Utah

Good Morning Sunshine!

good morning sunshine.JPG
Got out at 6:00 this morning, but it was very slow going. Not because of wind or mountains, but the spectacular work of Mother Nature before us;
colors of morning.JPG
we kept having to stop to take pictures.
Our bike today went right through the best part of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.JPG
Factoid (our version): a monument is the same thing as a national park without the status (ie:funding)
Grand Staircase.JPG
We began our climb about three miles into our 30 mile day. Note the line that winds through these shots...
our road to cross.JPG
......that's our road!
winding steep road.JPG
We did have a nice drop to the Escalante River where the shade cooled us.
But what goes down, must go up. It didn't take long for our 8% grade to turn into a 14% grade.
We traversed the 'million dollar road to Boulder' built in 1940. Very slow going but a vista (and climb) that you cannot imagine.
million dollar road to boulder.JPG
Made it to Boulder Utah
getting to Boulder.JPG
just in time to have breakfast and begin our rest for tomorrow's straight up climb. All in a days work!
all in a days work.JPG
All of us
Ducky III & Quackers.JPG
would like to wish all of you a wonderful and safe Fourth of July...............and thank you vets for our freedom!

Day 20 - Friday HAPPY July 4 - Boulder to Torrey Utah

We pulled out of our motel

bright and early, okay just early (5:45), into a stiff head wind. Never mind that we were facing a 2700 foot climb; guess Mother Nature felt we needed the extra challenge.
Luckily the morning was cool and our 13 mile, three and a half hour climb took us past beautiful streams,
green pastures,
and the Grand Staircase Escalante Monument in the distance.

Though the mountain once again kicked out butts, we made it!
and still had time to sit, relax and have a quite moment with Ducky III.
The 20 mile descent was beautiful,
we just didn't stop to take many pictures.
We hope everyone had a fabulous July 4th!

Day 21 - Saturday July 5 - Torrey to Lake Powell/Colorado River, Utah

Footnote on yesterday. We dined on the outside patio of Cafe Diablo and had absolutely the best meal of the trip; beautiful, plentiful and delicious, worth the three weeks.
We had been told Torrey was a beautiful place, and while the town is cute we wouldn't have ranked it as beautiful......and then we biked out of town (at 6:00 am, again).

What lay before the miles ahead of us was beautiful, stunning and amazing......a true Gift.
Today made every hot mile in Nevada worth it.
Biking through Capital Reef National Park was like the perfect drift dive; you see everything that is beautiful at an easy pace.
And you just can't believe all that we saw.
It did help that the first half of the ride was downhill as we stopped probably every mile to take pictures. After 25 miles we tried
to stop taking pictures and put some miles under our belt.
The scenery changed enough that we could go three to five miles without stopping, plus we had a little climbing to do.
Our goal today was 100 miles, as that is where the next campground lay. And while the scenery kept changing, it still kept us awestruck!
We (as in: Randy, Jerry and I......Slackin' Zack
could only do 90 miles) reached our 100 miles crossing the Colorado River.

The only disappointment was the campground was a hot slab of rock with a hole in the ground for a bathroom. We decided to pile in the back of Randy's SUV (more on Randy's family later) and head to the next town for a better pillow.