Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Finally a rest day in Utah…then some serious climbing! (days 9 thru 13)

We’ve been away from internet for a while so we figured we’d give you a double dose on the blog and hit you with two entries…

We finally crossed into Utah (and changed over to Mountain Time – can I get a ‘hell yeah?’) after what has already seemed like months we’ve been on this journey. Our days are long on the bike, but we sleep like rocks and then we get up and do it again without any even thinking, which makes the time (and the miles) fly by.

For the first time today we were on a road lonely enough so that we could draft behind the van (ride really close behind it, for the layperson). This was fun and significantly easier because of the lack of wind resistance, it was however, highly dangerous due to possible carbon monoxide poisoning and the potential for epic collisions.

The long, boring days in Nevada finally paid off as we took a well deserved rest day in Cedar City, Utah. We were able to relax, reflect and not have to sit on a small bike seat for the first time in ten days. The highlights of the day were going to the movies, taking hot showers and even enjoying some dental floss.

Sadly, we knew that our coddled lifestyle with Ben in the van was coming to an end. With this in mind, we put our gear on a diet and mailed home many superfluous items and even went so far as to cut our toothbrushes and our utensils in half to save some ounces. This is probably more of a mental thing but the next day we were thankful because of an almost impossible headwind (42 mph – believe it kids) and a climb from just under 4,000ft to almost 11,000ft.

This began our tour of the amazing national parks of southern Utah that included Cedar Breaks Natl. Monument, Bryce Canyon Natl. Monument, Natural Bridges and many others. Riding through the red rock canyons was breathtaking both due to the ludicrous 16% grade and the views from the tops, but more on that in the next post…

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