Friday, September 16, 2011

We Believe in Miracles

This week has proven to be one of the most inspiring of the trip and we've experienced miracle after miracle as we've ridden through Utah, one of the most beautiful, yet also most intense states. Green River was our first stop after Moab and it was here that we met Richard.  Little did Richard know that he was soon to be a savior of our trip.  I noticed the morning after we rode out of Green River that I had left a pair of bike shorts hanging in a tree at our campsite in Green River State Park.  Richard answered the phone and the first thing he asked was, "We were all wondering how'd you manage to ride out of here without your shorts?" Haha... of course I had another pair.  Anyway, Richard agreed to take the shorts, in his free time, to the post office and use his own money to send them to the post office in Zion.  Of course I sent him the money in an envelope that day to pay him back, but there is no way to pay him back for his generosity. 

One of the biggest miracles we've encountered here is the miracle of Utah! It is unexplainable in words how strangely beautiful the desert can be.  Cliffs, slot canyons, rivers, Hoo-Doos, and oceans of rock create a masterpiece impossible to re-create.  

The harsh landscape was not only candy for our eyes, but a workout for our legs. After our hardest climb of the entire trip, a 20 mile climb up 3,000 feet in elevation with grades as steep as 10 and 11%, we camped in Calf Creek Campground.  The six mile hike that afternoon through the canyon to a waterfall was the only way to end the day.

Along the way, we've had the good fortune of meeting a lively group of bike tourists on the same path as us. 

Being on the road for eight months with only the two of us has made us comfortable with each other.  We know how long it takes for each other to wake up and get on the road.  Adam has dealt with my insanely small bladder and looks for bushes on the side of the road for me to hide behind every half hour or so.  And I am (mostly) happy to stop or ride back and forth for Adam to snap pictures around every corner.  I was nervous at the proposal to ride for a few days with others.  I wasn't sure how this would upset our routine and so I was hesitant. 

Of course, all of my worries ended in silliness and we enjoyed day after day of biking, hiking, and camping with our new family of cyclists.  The meeting of the cyclists proved to be a miracle in disguise and we've found renewed excitement for bike touring... enough to push us through these last months. 

Katie and Cheney, married almost a year and 1/2, have been traveling the world since they got married.  This bike tour from Jackson, MI to Los Angelas, CA is simply the end of their 18-month journey together.  They've traveled through Southeast Asia, experienced Vipassina Meditation (11 days of silence) in India, basked in the sun on the beaches of Zanzibar, and are now biking home.  How can we not be excited to finish our journey after hearing all of what these two have accomplished this year?

We tried a little Meditation of ourselves while visiting Lyman, one of our Warm Showers hosts in Torrey, UT.  Not quite 11 days of silence but the picture is impressive, I think!

Mike has become our new biking buddy through The Loneliest Road in America.  Route 50 in Nevada has spans of over 80 miles with absolutely nothing.  On our map, it describes Nevada as having no shade except for 3 trees East of Fallon.  At least we've got Mike.  Mike's goal for riding this year is to build his faith in God and "show people that God is real and there is still love out there in this crazy world."  We are loving his company and the goodness he has brought to us while riding with him.  

Glen was our camp "Dad."  What would we all have done without him?  He invited us to share his campsite when all the rest were full, bought us all power bars to scarf down at the top of a 6 mile hike in Zion called Angel's Landing, supplied us with Gorilla Tape when squirrels chewed through our food panniers, and was always ready with a joke.  

Sadly, on Tuesday, Adam, Mike and I left our camping cyclist community in Zion but since then, we've been finding miracle upon miracle.  After making it into the Wal-Mart only minutes before the rain pounded Cedar City, we finally settled into a Starbucks to wait out the storm where we met Bob and Nancy.  We shared some great conversation with them, and they invited us to delight in some of the best apple and blueberry danishes we've ever experienced.  

We debated our camping options that night.  Stealth camping along a river bed only a mile or two out of town for free, or fork over the $30 to stay in the local KOA.  Since we hadn't had a shower in four nights, the KOA won, but as we navigated the back roads of Cedar City, we passed a church picnic and were invited to share the meal with them.  Scalloped Potatoes and Ham, burgers, salad, and ice cream for dessert was our dinner that night.  We were inundated with conversations and enjoyed dinner with what seemed like 50 or so others.  Before we could leave, we were offered two bags of leftovers, and a place to camp, shower, and do laundry... all necessities after spending a few nights in a National Park. Enoch was our host and we camped under his peach tree, met his family in the morning, and converted him to become a Warm Showers host. 

All of the food we got from the church gave us more than enough energy to ride 60 miles to Milford, UT, and finish our day carrying our bikes over the train tracks (I made a mistake in directions and we chose this route instead of riding a whole 1/4 mile back).  

We've made it to Nevada now... but that's for another post!  46 states down! And on we go....


  1. Hey guys, I met you on the porch of the Escalante Outfitters. I'm glad you got to experience the magic of the canyon lands. I know you'll be back. You're trip is truly inspiring. Onward!

  2. I love your photos! I will be driving through UT in April to CA and your blog has just made so excited I dont think i will be able to sleep tonight! Thanks for sharing and take care

  3. Awesome photos i really love it, How i wish to be there soon. Thanks for sharing!

    Road Bike Zion