|Distance||83.87 kms||52.20 miles|
|Climbed||871 meters||2,858 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||6.22||-|
|Avg speed||8.3 kph||-|
|Distance||26,664.94 kms||16,568.86 miles|
|Climbed||278,583 meters||913,986 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||1,892.08||-|
Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
Miles pushing the bike: .5 (0.8 kilometers)
As I make breakfast my eyes keep wandering to that snow-capped ridge I climbed half way up last night. My foolish self and my sensible self are battling it out, foolish wants to climb but sensible is not up for it.
Sensible: We read on the Forest Service web site that the road goes up to 11,000 feet, we can see the snowline at 9,000, that means 2,000 feet of climbing on snow and probably mud.
Foolish: So what? We can do it.
Sensible: It's going to be freezing up there, especially with this wind.
Foolish: Quit whining. The sign said 11 miles to Route 72, how bad can it be?
Sensible: It can be pretty bad. We're going down the valley.
Sensible: Shut up and eat your pancake.
In the end sensible wins out, although there is another argument when we reach the fork with Thousand Lake Road.
Plenty of downhill to start the day as I make my way down from the mesa to the valley below. Great scenery again.
At the lower elevation the road starts to get sandy again. I dismount and push when necessary.
Hardly anyone around again, I only see three vehicles until I get back on the pavement. Before that, however, I have to ford the Fremont River. It looks deep and swift. I'm standing there contemplating how I'm going to do this without getting completely soaked when a Forest Service Ranger pulls up behind me in his pickup truck. Want a ride across? Hell yes! We load the bike in the truck and go across. It would have been a struggle for me to ford this.
We chat for a bit about the area. He tells me if you go directly over the ridge on Thousand Lake Road it only gets to 9,000 feet, the 11,000 foot road is a separate loop.
Foolish: I told you so you wussy!
The ranger has an M-16 in his truck. Seems like a lot of firepower for a ranger. He tells me he carries it when doing hunting patrols.
Back on the pavement I head towards Torrey.
I run into two other long-haul tourers, Dave and Cathy, who are headed down towards Natural Bridges. We chat for a bit about touring and routes, I say how happy I am to have the wind at my back heading west, a rare thing.
5 miles later the wind turns on me in a big way, I should have kept my mouth shut! The temperature drops and there are some snowflakes. I was planning on stopping at the campground in Fruita but its full, I continue on to Torrey.
I stop at an RV park/campground to ask about tent sites. The guy says he's full which is obviously a lie, I can tell he just doesn't want me there. I don't even bother to respond as I head to look for something else.
I find a motel a few miles down the road. The first price she gives me seems awfully high, I name another, she gives me the look of death but caves and lets me have the room at my price. It is a nice room.
I thoroughly enjoy sleeping in the bed, I haven't had a night in one since Grand Junction, CO.