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Tuesday May 10: Baker, NV to Milford, UT

This was our longest day yet at 83 miles, and in the rain too. We got up early to avoid the strong south wind still being created by the big storm sitting over Oregon. The plan was successful with respect to the wind, but we had constant rain for the first 2 hours of the ride. We crossed the border into Utah only 6 miles from our motel in Baker. One small climb and two major passes during the day brought us through the mountains and down into Milford. Nana drove ahead, and left the trailer and a big dry-bag with just enough of our clothes and things to keep us overnight. She then drove on to Las Vegas to meet the Bittenbenders, who flew in from Massachusetts.

We have now experienced sun burn, wind burn, road rash and now snow abrasion. This occurs when you start down a long downhill stretch, and the snow pelts your face at 35 mph.

Eric shows us his custom rain footgear
Eric leads us into the rainstorm
Typical view today, with rain clouds drifting past us
John helps Annie change a flat tire, she picked up a thorn somewhere along the highway
Two baby birds in a nest found just off the highway
Over the hill a rainbow promises better weather to com

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Wednesday, May 11th: Milford to Cedar City, Utah

Fifty three miles today with headwinds the whole day. We thought this would be an easy day, but Eric woke with a pounding headache, which delayed our start. Then the driving headwind held our speed down to 4 or 5 mph for a large part of the day. We left Milford at about 10:30, and arrived in Cedar City at 6:30. The Bittenbenders came out to meet us 5 miles from Ceder City to find out if we were still alive or not. We are going to take a day off in Cedar City to restore our strength, do our laundry, tune up the bikes, and generally get refreshed for the next climb.

Lunch on the lee side of the road
Scenery over Minersville
Dinner in the big city (Cedar City) with Karl & Doris

Thursday, May 12: Day off in Cedar City, Utah

No pictures from today. We slept late, went to the bike stores, went to the supermarket, went to the Jacuzzi, and generally hung out. John had a very sore left knee, and after consulting with the local doctor, started icing it, taking anti-inflammatory drugs, and generally keeping a low profile. We had dinner at the resturant next to the hotel, as we had the previous night. Karl was suffering with a major cold, and stayed in bed most of the day, so both of us got the rest we needed.

OK, I found some pictures, here they are:

Nick checks email on the porch, where the wireless network works
Annie opens up the bike shop for routine maintenence
Annie's bike shop, spread out at the edge of the parking lot.
Bikes lined up on the second floor balcony

 

Friday, May 13: Cedar City to Bryce Junction, Utah

Still under doctor (Annie)'s orders, John did not ride the first 18 miles, which included about 4000 feet of climbing. You will note in the 5th picture below, that John's bike is on the car. John met the rest of the team at the turn to Cedar Breaks, which you can see is closed due to the depth of the snow on the road. The rest of the ride was absolutely beautiful, and mostly down hill. We are spending the night just east of Panguitch, at a tourist trap that does not seem to be fully up to speed yet, but is comfortable and able to feed us. Lots of pictures today, weather was beautiful.

The morning ride included some curvy roads
Moving into red rock country.
Avalanche signs have to be mounted so high bikers can't see them!
Annie uses local resources to ice her aching knee
Karl, Doris and John say hi to the riders on their way to the top. Note John's bike on the car ...
John handing out watermelon for lunch. We finally ate it Nana!
Road to Cedar Breaks was not taken for obvious reasons ...
Staying the night at Western Town, a new-old establishment
John following Annie's directions and example for his sore knee
John busts into the bar looking for trouble
The whole gang for dinner in an empty dining hall
Annie & Nick improvise while waiting about 50 minutes for dinner to be served

Saturday, May 14: Bryce Junction to Escalante, Utah

On the road by 8:20, after trying to pull an old horse wagon. Five miles down the road we entered Red Canyon, where the park provided about 6 beautiful miles of bike path to keep us off the main road. Then we rode across a high plateau and a long downhill into Henrieville, where we ate lunch. After lunch we had about a 1400 foot climb, and then a long fast downhill all the way into Escalante. This is a relatively small town, where the cafe advertises wireless internet, but we were unable to either send emails or upload files, so I guess it will be the phone line again.

Karl tries to whip the bike team into action first thing in the morning
Entering Red Canyon
More Red Canyon scenery
Riders crest a rise on the Red Canyon bike path
Having lunch in Henrieville
Air freshener strategically applied to Eric's bike
Climbing through the Utah canyons headed east on Rt. 12
Eric comes up through a cut in the hills
Bikers ride up a Seuss-like winding road toward the last summit of the day
Nick & John at Powell Point, overlooking the valley below
Annie's bike services are available wherever needed
The old bikers need to ice their joints at the end of the day

Sunday, May 15: Escalante to Torrey, Utah

This was the day of the big climb. It took us from about 8:30 AM until 3:30 PM to do the first half of the trip, but that also included the 4000 feet of climbing. We knew today was a climbing day, so we arranged for SAG to pass us during the climb, and bring us back-up water supplies. Being Utah, we had fabulous scenery all day, but by 6:30 when we pulled in, we were pretty happy just to see a Comfort Inn. Great dinner at a resturant facing Capitol Reef, with a fabulous view out of every window.

Early break beside the road, John photographing flowers
Getting ready to ride on
Nick looking cool
At the edge of the canyon, sighting the road ahead
The four riders at the edge of the canyon
SAG replentishes our water supplies for the big climb
Climbing
View while climbing
Still climbing
Finally at the top, buying a few items for loved ones at home :-)
The tippy trucks indicate good news! Downhill ahead!
Coming to the Comfort Inn in front of Capital Reef

Monday, May 16: Torrey to Hanksville, Utah

Wow, a much easier day. We did 45 miles downhill with a wind behind us much of the way. The plan was to ride beyond Hanksville, but because we turn south here, and the wind was in our face, we decided this was far enough. The current plan is to start early tomorrow, when the wind will either be quiet, or swinging around to the north west, depending on who you believe. Beautiful secenery all day as we came down the Fremont river, past Capitol Reef, and then through the reef as we followed the river down the canyon.

Riding down along Capitol Reef
Looking back towards the hotel
Down through the canyon beside the Fremont river
Chimney Rock and Annie
Just another beautiful mesa
Rest break in the canyon
The land changed from red to grey
This cafe had excellent fresh made coffe, bread and rolls!
Nick shows us his helmet induced suntan stripes

Tuesday, May 17: Hanksville to Fry Canyon, Utah

We learned a few days ago that Fry Canyon, which is not a town but instead just a hotel in the middle of nowhere, was closed. Apparently their wells dryed up so they are closed for the season. So today we rode to Fry Canyon anyway, and Karl picked us up in the car and wisked us into Monticello. Tomorrow morning we have to ride back to Fry Canyon, and complete the ride into Monticello. Nick has what is hopefully only a 24-hour bug, so he took the day off. He will likely take tomorrow off as well. We stopped for lunch at a rest area, where 30 German tourists were also having lunch, on their way by bus to Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon.

Leaving the Wispering Sands motel in Hanksville. Nick has a bug and is riding SAG today
Riding down into the first big canyon of the day
Flowers, don't know what these are but they are pretty!
John eating a bit of gorp to keep up his strength for the later climbs
Eric is bored with the continuous fabulous scenery
John & Annie ride into the canyon
Cactus blooming beside the road
Eric and Annie clinching their sponsorships for the next ride
View off the bridge over the Dirty Devil River
Annie breaks a chain and needs to do roadside repairs
The doctor's hands, in medical gloves, doing the chain repair
Karl picked us up at Fry Canyon, and transported us to Monticello for the night

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Wednesday, May 18: Fry Canyon to Monticello, Utah

Jumped up at 5:30 this morning, and were in the car headed for Fry Canyon by 7:30. Started riding shortly after 9:00, and climbed, and climbed, and climbed, and climbed (well you get the idea.) Eric says this was the second largest amount of climbing we have done on the trip so far. (Eric is definately our statistics man). I refer you to the schedule page, where we have detailed alot more stats, at the request of our fans. Anyway, Doris & Karl went to Natural Bridges National Park, and then met up with us as they passed us on the highway, and refilled our water bottles. We cranked along to finish our 74 mile day, getting in about 6:40 PM.

Cheese Box Mesa (really!)
One of Annie's wildflower pictures
Tilting rock, right beside the road!
Approaching the cut at the 'Combs'
Entering the cut.
Eric waiting at the cut to take the previous 2 pictures ...
Leaving the cut
There are still big mountains here with snow. Flood warnings along streams today due to snow melt
John modeling his temporary sun shade, Karl's handkerchief

Thursday, May 19: Day off in Monticello, Utah

Not much happened today, as we were resting from the last 6 days of riding. Karl & Doris went to Canyonlands National Park for a hike, and returned by about 3:00 PM. We did laundry, food shopping, catchup on the web site, tuning of the bicycles, and we frequented Hustons Cafe, where both the breakfast and dinner foods were great. In the evening Karl, Doris and John went for a drive up into the mountains to see wildlife and the stars, but light clouds and a bright moon hid most of the action. We saw many mule deer, a rabbit, a turkey and a large owl that divebombed the car during the return trip.

Eric tries out a new seat to find one that makes him less sore
But it does not appear to be working.

On to Colorado!

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