Today’s ominous warning from the Adventure Cycling maps I’m using: No services for 84 miles. BYOEverything!
After diner breakfast I headed out. I planned to start earlier but it was too cold out. Wimp.
The ride was gradually uphill out of Milford for ten miles before riding up over Frisco Summit at 6,723 feet. It’s just west of the abandoned (and apparently obliterated) mining town of Frisco.
The 13-mile climb was rewarded with a 12-mile (maybe longer) descent into the huge Wah Wah Valley. Every George Harrison fan should ride here. It’s wide open ranch land as far as I could tell. In fact, all across Utah I’ve seen signs for Open Range but until today haven’t seen many bovines. The roads have cattle guards which are perfectly safe to ride over (at a right angle). It’s a bit unnerving to cross one at 30 mph but I’m still here so no worries.
Today for the first time I saw cows next to the road. One giantess seemed to want a word with me. No thanks, bossy. Please don’t approach.
One aspect of these valleys is that it’s almost impossible to tell distances or slopes. I was cranking along for what seemed like hours and the other side of the valley was still out there. The other side of this valley included a deceptively long and increasingly steep climb.
I am also in the land of dust devils, wee tornados of dust. I saw two today.
I burned out spinning up the hill and decided to save my legs for the second half of the 84-mile day. I hoofed it to the summit. Near the top a motorcyclist stopped in the middle of the road and asked if I was okay. Sure, too much mountain, not enough legs.
With the Wah Wah Summit behind me I went flying down another miles long hill into another vast valley. Then I started the gradual then steep climb up the other side. Once again I ran out of legs and walked to Halfway Summit.
This time the descent was more gradual. All day I’d been getting nailed by side winds. Toward the end of the day the turned into tailwinds. The temperature climbed into the mid 80s but the wind had a cooling effect. Did I mention that for the entire ride there was no shade whatsoever?
After the blink and you’ll miss it town of Garrison I headed into Nevada! Oh joy.
Eight miles of grinding later I was in a motel room at an RV park in Baker. It’s managed by the big brother of one of the diner staff back in Milford.
Dinner tonight is at Kerouac’s, a surprisingly cool place in town. I could have eaten across the street at a less chic place but my friend Michelle is a huge Kerouac fan and she got married on Saturday, so it seemed fitting to eat here.
They are open for breakfast so I’ll be back to fuel up before the 60-something mile ride to Ely. The ride features two summits over 7,000 feet. There will be walking.
With the heat and lack of services I’m making good use of the two two-liter water bladders I brought. I was down to my last liter today.
Miles today: 83
Tour miles: 2,238.5
Top speed: 30.4 mph