Wednesday, July 20, 2011

To Boulder Town

Just so you don't think it's all sweetness and light riding a bike everyday, here's a peek at the other side of touring. We packed up camp this morning together and drove from Bryce to Henrieville so I could start my part of the day's ride. That took a bit of time and I could feel a bad attitude coming on. "10 am! I should have been DONE riding by now." "It's HOT!" "I hate riding this bike." "I hate riding uphill" and that's what all of today would be for me - 13 miles in 3 hours. The first hour wasn't so bad, 6 miles.
The second hour was steeper and slower.
The third hour brought me this hill.  It was so steep, I had to stop a lot, then it was hard to get going again.  Finally I had to walk, and then I started to cry.  I asked myself why I was doing that, and frankly couldn't come up with a reason, except that I was hot and tired.  I made it to the top where Dick was waiting, he could tell I'd had a meltdown.
He encouraged me to ride a bit further because of the glorious downhill ahead.  I said "OK, but just 5 miles."  He said he'd wait 15 minutes and drive to meet me.  I pedaled hard, smiled, let go of the anguish and managed to squeeze out 7 miles before he caught up with me.
And there was still plenty of downhill left for Dick.
A panoramic view of Escalante-Grand Staircase:
There's the road Dick descended.
Can you see the neon yellow speck at the curve?  That's Dick, going fast, a bit too close to the center line.
A bit further down the road.  Can you spot him?
It was quite the thrill ride and frankly, I'm glad it was him and not me.  I drove down at about 25 mph.
Boynton Lookout on SR12:
Calf Creek Campground was full so we drove 10 miles, across The Hogback, to Boulder Town and got a motel (oh, darn).  Our AC map describes The Hogback as "the highlight (or terror) of this map section . . . a 3-mile stretch of narrow two-lane road along a ridge spine with no shoulders or guardrails and has drops on both sides.  Ride carefully and defensively."

Boulder Town has been described as the most remote outpost in the USA.  Until the 1940s, mail was delivered by mule.

Miles = 891

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