Archive for September, 2017

Farewell Utah, May We Never Meet Again

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

First of all, a big thanks to my Uncle Jim for the donation. It helps, Utah seems to be more expensive than other states.

If anyone else feels generous you can help me continue this adventure by clicking on the donate button on the front page of this blog.

As the title to this post suggests, Utah was not my favorite state. It was one of the few states I had not visited and I was so excited to get there. Everyone said how beautiful it was and I had seen photos so I was really looking forward to cycling there. But as often happens, the reality is quite different from the imagination. I had some miserable days. It is very touristy so there is a lot of traffic–Rvs, campers, trailers, trucks hauling boats, etc. Plus the roads had narrow shoulders with rumble strips so it was nerve-wracking to ride on them. The weather was not my friend either. My first day in Utah it was 95 degrees. 10 days later it was 21 degrees. I had rain which turned roads into mud, extreme winds of 30 mph, and hills with awful rocky roads. I had one or two good days but every day seemed to present another challenge. Plus it was expensive: $150 for a Motel 6?

Here is a typical road, but it is deceiving. I fought a very strong cold headwind, limiting my speed to 4-5 mph.

One night I camped in a cow pasture.

Interesting vegetation. I camped next to these and that night I dreamt I was attacked by snakes. Note to self: don’t camp next to weird tree roots.

Leaving Kanab I was stuck on a terrible highway, US 89. It was uphill with a strong headwind and hardly any shoulder. Trucks and RVs whizzed by at 70 mph. The wind blew my bike onto the road several times. After 5 miles I decided it was too dangerous so I rode back to Kanab and planned a new route through the mountains. It was slower but safer. But the roads were awful.

I only made 12 miles one day due to the bad roads, and I walked my bike 11 of those miles. I was so tired I quit early near a nice canyon. It was quiet with a  great view.

Leaving the canyon and riding back down to highway 89. There were some great views.

Finally, out of Utah!

Downstream of the Glen Canyon dam near Page, AZ.

One thing about Utah: it was not boring. Here is a summary of my time there:

Miles
Day 1: Not too miserable: long uphill climb at end of day 40
Day 2: Mostly miserable: tough climb uphill then a nice downhill, but terrible traffic on road to Moab. No shoulder, very hot. 41
Day 3: Miserable: Bad traffic, no shoulder, rain, mud 31
Day 4: OK but some drizzle 21
Day 5: Semi miserable: 30 miles uphill. Slow 38
Day 6: OK 43
Day 7: Miserable: uphill, traffic, no shoulder, very windy, expensive hotel 29
Day 8: Miserable: very strong headwind. Had to quit early. 8
Day 9: Miserable: uphill for 20 miles, very strong headwind 33
Day 10: Miserable: extreme headwind. Unable to ride, walked bike 8 miles then quit. 8
Day 11: Mostly miserable: OK in am but strong headwind again in pm 36
Day 12: OK but cold and expensive hotel. Temps in 30s. 28
Day 13: Miserable: cold and windy, quit early. Temps in 20s 23
Day 14: OK but still windy, hilly and cold 34
Day 15: Cold but downhill most of the day. Expensive hotel 37
Day 16: Miserable: Sore neck, uphill, headwind, traffic, no shoulder. Rain. 11
Day 17: Miserable: Uphill, headwind, bad roads 31
Day 18: Not miserable but very strenuous. Hills and bad roads. Walked bike for 11 miles 12
Day 19: Not too bad but bad roads and then busy highway. 37

I am now in Arizona headed south. I hope AZ is kinder to me.

Here are a few more product recommendations from Amazon. I carry this pepper spray for dogs (or people if needed).

SABRE RED Pepper Gel Spray – Police Strength $9.99

I never go anywhere without my Swiss Army Knife.

Victorinox Swiss Army Pocket Knife $28.99

I charge my cell phone with this portage solar panel. It is a little slow but it works.

Anker 15W Dual USB Solar Charger, PowerPort Solar $51.99