No Name Tour: Day 33 – Bonking for 51 Miles

Last night I was so tired that I could barely eat two tortillas with peanut butter for dinner. Following in my previous night’s junk food dinner this did not bode well for today.

Breakfast was two tortillas with peanut butter. This didn’t bode well either.

After taking a picture of the moon in the west, I loaded up The Mule and began to climb back out to the main road at 6:30. Two-mile climbs are a bad way to start any day.

The climb was followed by a steep descent to the Colorado River then a long slog back out of the canyon. This involved some walking as my legs were dead from yesterday’s adventure.

Even though the climb was a bit of a drag, the scenery was hard to beat. Glen Canyon is truly awesome. After seeing it, the next 40 miles paled in comparison.

I kept rolling along a gradual uphill following the road along a river. This was punctuated with a few climbs around mesas and buttes.

My body had nothing to offer. Pop Tarts didn’t help. Water didn’t help. A Fuji apple helped but it’s beneficial effects faded as the sugar wore off.

Ride. Stop. Drink. Calculate the miles remaining. Repeat.

When you’re this bonked you spend most of the ride looking at the ground in front of you. What a waste of spectacular geology.

I arrived in Hanksville hoping to find people dressed up as Woody from Toy Story (“Reach for the Sky!”). My luck was bad except for the very first shop, a hamburger joint named Stan’s. Double cheeseburger, fries, and a large vanilla shake.

What a gut bomb. Did it ever taste good, too.

I ended up grabbing a cabin at an RV park. It’s expensive but has a shower, TV, WiFi, and quite.

After making some phone calls (l’d been out of cell phone range for two days) I fell asleep writing yesterday’s post.

When I woke up the wind was blowing and rain was falling. This is pretty much the norm for a summer afternoon in Utah, it seems.

Total miles: 52

Tour miles: 1,941.5

Top speed: 37.1 mph

No Name Tour: Day 32 – I’ll Have a Double

The plan was to do a short day, 40 miles to Natural Bridges. This would be the first chunk of over 120 miles with only one stop for services.

Last night I ate done junk food for dinner. This morning I had a mediocre motel after a motel breakfast. Enough said.

Before heading out I had filled my 2 2-liter water bladders which made The Mule feel leaden.

About 5 miles into the ride, Yoni pulled up along side me. He had been camping in the RV park next to the motel. We chatted for a half hour before he jetted away, hoping to ride over 120 miles to Hanksville. (He did.)

I tooled along feeling pretty spunky. Down I went into a canyon. Then came the climb out only to go down into another canyon and up to a 7,000+ foot summit without walking. What a stud. When I stopped at the turn off for Natural Bridges, I realized that I had been riding a tailwind. Doh!

Rule number 1 of bike touring: never pass up a tailwind. So I didn’t. Natural Bridges has three interesting aspects: an 11 mile loop road, three amazing rock arches with a strenuous, steep hike to get to see them, and excellent stars. Given how hard I’ve been working the prospect of anything strenuous didn’t sound appealing. Also, I figured the stars would shine elsewhere.

It was a wise choice for another hour or two. Buttes out the wazoo. More chasms than you can fathom. Look at all those rocks in Fry and White Canyons. Some look like people or animals, some look like abstract sculptures. Some cliffs have caves in the sides. Others look like hoodoos. This is the Utah I was expecting.

Then the wind changed direction. 18 miles of hard work later I found myself exhausted, chatting with Maggie in the store at the Hite Recreation Area in Glen Canyon. She told me she had seen Yoni earlier in the day. And she gave me some good news about places to eat in a town on my route.

Maggie reminded me of my friend Katie B

I chugged two massive bottles of Powerade during our chat. Then rode down to my campsite.

Glen Canyon is crazy beautiful. It seems to go on forever in every direction.

I was dog tired so all I wanted to do was pitch my tent and go to sleep. For the next hour I struggled putting the tent up in a howling wind.

Of course, 20 minutes after I crawled into the tent the winds abated.

There were no stars. The incredibly bright full moon was a decent consolation prize.

I’ll post more pix on Instagram.

Miles today: 78.5

Tour miles: 1,889.5

Top speed: 34.1 mph