Day 1: We left SLC, climbed up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Guardsman Pass, descended to Midway and Heber, and then climbed up into the Uinta National Forest. We were surprised and slightly disappointed to log only 62 miles for the day. But climbing 10,500 feet with 50 pound bikes is a worthy challenge. As the sun set, we were happy to find a campsite in an idyllic setting.
|Somewhere between Heber and Wolf Creek Pass with High Uintas in view. Day 1.
|Camp 1 in the Uinta National Forest
Day 2: We awoke early, anxious to get to Wolf Creek Pass. On Duchesne Ridge, we were met with snow. Much of the time, we were able to ride our rigs across the frozen snow. Sometimes though we were met with muck and slush. We connected to pavement at Wolf Creek Pass and descended through Hanna and Tabiona, and then rode to Duchesne. From Duchesne, our GPS route led us into an alfalfa field. After we got that straightened out, we pushed out of Myton into a brutal headwind, riding through the Uinta Basin and the thumping of oil/gas wells. A few minutes before all the light of the day was gone, we turned off the road and set up camp. On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being "I wish I had a flame thrower," swarming gnats were a solid 9. We threw up our tents and dived inside for cover. 101 miles, 4044 vertical, and 14 hour day.
|Aaron fighting his bike and the "Pig" (his drybag strapped onto his rack) on Duchesne Ridge
|Oil Wells in the Uinta Basin
|Nine Mile Canyon was dotted with mostly-abandoned ranches.
|I found an orange safety vest on the side of the road near Duchesne. I was glad to have found it and wore it religiously when our route went on the pavement. About to merge onto I-70.
|Day 3: We pitched our tents in the cracked desert outside of Green River. We awoke to threatening clouds and barely got our gear packed before a short but strong dust storm.
|Good morning Green River!
|If we are riding on rubber under power lines during an electrical storm . . . ? Outside of Moab.
|Kane Creek road leading to Hurrah Pass.
|Early morning light on Lockhart Basin road. We got an early start, hoping to avoid the heat of the day.
|At one point, the road almost touches the Colorado River.
|The GPS said we were on track, ATVs had followed this track, but it didn't seem like the right track. Aaron pushing through sand.
|Things got ugly.
|And then dire. I'm a cyclist, not a power lifter, or a cross-fitter.
|Me, riding over the top of the Manti Lasal range, onto the Elk Ridge Road.
|This road cuts through a massive formation between Blanding and Hanksville.
|It's been a long day. More pedaling to come though.
|Having a destination was motivating and, at times, daunting.
|Aaron pedaling out of Bullfrog Bay.
|The heel on my Pearl Izumi shoe rode too high and irritated my Achilles. After a couple days of pedaling without a sock (to make more room in my shoe) and at times on top of my shoe, I cut out the heel part of my shoe, which helped.
|The waterpocket fold in Capitol Reef National Park.
|Aaron climbing up the Burr Trail switchbacks.
|This nice French lady asked if I needed water. Never turn down water in the desert.
|What a cool expedition vehicle -- a customized MAN (the brand).
|Aaron and I took a much needed rest in the shade of towering cliffs and cottonwoods. Here, we shared a kipper snack. I drank some of the oil in the can. Kippers felt nourishing and didn't taste all that bad.
|Stocking up at a the "Country Store" in Boulder, Utah.
|At the summit of the Aquarius Plateau at about 10:30 at night. Riding at night under a full moon was energizing.
|View from the top of the Boulder Mountain, looking down towards the Burr Trail, the Henry Mountains, and Lake Powell. Riding through the Henry Mountains sounds interesting.