Saturday, September 3, 2011
And We Would Bike 5,000 Miles, And We Would Bike 5,000 More!
That's right! As of August 31, Adam and I crossed into Utah and have officially biked over 10,000 miles this year, touring 45 states and crossing the continental divide only 9 times (whew- glad to be done with that).
Throughout this tour, there have been times when we stopped to smell the roses, and there have been times that we really pushed ourselves. Well, for the past few weeks we had been taking it easy, enjoying the sights and visiting with so many people. After we left Boulder, sad to say goodbye to Papa P, we were ready for a good push to get back into the swing of things and within a few days we found ourselves heading downhill into Utah.
Linda Guerette, who found us a few months ago on Facebook, also found us the other day on US 6 coming out of Vail, CO. Instead of continuing uphill, she turned around to ride with us for a few miles.
Well, a few turned into many, and we soon found ourselves in a Canyon 10 miles from Glenwood Springs with a closed bike path and an interstate illegal for bikes. Our only option? A shuttle. I guess we could have hopped in one of the rafts heading downstream, but I don't know if the bikes would have made it. It was here that Linda turned around to climb the hill we'd been enjoying all day and we strapped our bikes to the back of a van for a whopping two mile ride around the eroded bike path.
Safe on the other side, we continued a car free ride all the way into Glenwood Springs ending the day at 59 miles.
But this wasn't the killer day. Our ride from Glenwood Springs to Grand Junction was close to 95 miles but somehow, we've figured out a way to make these days enjoyable. We found ourselves tasting wine at a Winery (I swear we thought the sign outside said "peaches").
A little further down the road we really did find peaches and got to snack on them, fueling us the last 15 miles of the trip.
Our destination that night was with Eileen and Jim, Warm Showers hosts who took us in, gave us a warm shower, a hot dinner, a scrumptious breakfast, and an incredible sneak-peak of the scenery we were about to enjoy in Utah.
We're back to a land where towns are few and far between, where a shade tree is a God send, and where we need to make ourselves get up and on the road before the sun and it's heat. But we're also in the land of crazy natural wonders. Where rocks jet out of the ground hundreds of feet above you. Where canyons fall hundreds of feet below. Where the rocks glow red as the sun rises and sets.
Our introduction to the Utah scenery looked mostly like this:
But soon enough, we were riding through a canyon on our way to Moab.
This day was one of the hottest on our trip, and we were stuck riding smack in the middle of the heat. Not to worry, the muddy Colorado river was our savior and a dip in the water cooled us off enough to ride another 15 miles to one of our favorite camping spots of the trip.
Only problem? No drinking water. We had to grab some muddy water from the Colorado River. Filter process? Pour water through Christy's sock (clean) and into water bottle to seperate particles. Use SteriPen to zap all the bacteria.
...Adam still thought the water tasted like my feet.
The next day into Moab surprised us with even brighter colors and higher cliffs than the day before. We hadn't even entered a National Park and already we were in awe.
We made it to Moab before the sun got too hot, found a cafe to relax in... (we love it when yesterday's pastries go on sale for 1/2 price), and when deciding where we would spend the night, we were donated a room by the Ramada Inn Moab! How awesome are they! They even had a separate locked room to store our bikes!
To celebrate our 10,000 mile marker... We rented a car to see the national parks instead of riding through. We left our bikes in the bike room and spent the day covering 145 miles in Canyonlands NP, Dead Horse State Park, and Arches NP. The pictures will do more justice than any words could.
That night, we got a total of 3 hours of sleep (thanks to the wind and intermittent rain) before we woke up early and biked out of Moab.
Some fun with the camera: