We departed from the motel before the continental breakfast, as we often do to beat the heat. There was already light shining over the mesas and buttes to the east, but the air was still cold and crisp. Unfortunately, our shadows arrived quickly, but the air remained cold for a while.
We were bummed to find that there was no ripe fruit to pick in the park. It is amazing that such fertile land can be surrounded by hot, dry areas!
Further up the hill from the park, we met Eric from Burlington, VT. For his birthday, he got 8 weeks to cross the country on his bike. He has a very lightweight setup, so we were a bit jealous! Nice to meet you, and good luck, Eric!
We decided to take a break from the climbing in Torrey, with lunch at a convenience store.
After passing through a town called Grover, the road turned uphill, and we gained elevation very quickly.
We knew the climb to the “summit” was going to be tough, as it was 5,300 feet above where we started this morning. In addition, the elevation profile shown on the map revealed some very steep sections. As we pedaled along, we determined that the Utah road builders must not like switchbacks, which had us missing Colorado. Fortunately, the grade wasn’t as bad as the map forecasted (the worst that we know of was 10%), although we were both in full-on zombie mode by the top. This climb might have been the most difficult big climb yet for the trip, and we even carried a full supply of water to the top.
After dinner, we considered getting a motel in town, but decided instead to ride to Calf Creek Campground. The Hogback section of Route 12 was incredible.
We arrived at the campground just before dark, and, to our dismay, it was full. Luckily, two very nice girls from Salt Lake City offered for us to set up our tent on their site. They also gave us drinks and s’mores! Thank you; you two were life savers!
Trip stats, to date (Day 70)
Hanksville, UT to Boulder, UT
Daily mileage: 95.2mi ; Trip total to date: 4,193.6
Daily riding time: 9hr 06min; Trip total time: 363hr 55min
Daily ascent: 7,503 ft; Trip total ascent: 209,495 ft
Flat tires: Rachel – 3; Chris – 2