|Distance||48.47 kms||29.83 miles|
|Climbed||480 meters||1,575 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||4.23||-|
|Avg speed||7.1 kph||-|
|Distance||26,528.96 kms||16,484.35 miles|
|Climbed||276,689 meters||907,772 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||1,879.73||-|
Monday, April 28th, 2014
I go for breakfast first thing at the restaurant next door, hanging out there for a good hour to let the laptop charge. The waitress keeps asking me if I want more coffee, finally I have to say no otherwise I'll be too jittery to get on the bicycle. I chat with a Canadian guy from Calgary who drove down with his wife in their camper to see the sights. He says his water lines freeze at -10 Celsius and that they got close to that a number of times at the higher elevations around 4 Corners. I pack up and go shopping. The clerk at the market is the waitress I had yesterday at breakfast at the restaurant, nice lady. She apologizes for the lack of selection, saying their order is coming in later today, but I manage to put together a pretty decent pantry with what's there. I get the last pack of tortillas! Stroke of luck.
I'm finally on the road at I don't know what time, it's late morning though. There's a 20 mph sustained WNW wind with strong gusts... today my trajectory will take me west then northwest so there's no point in fretting about it, just have to grind it out. On my way out of town I go to the BLM office to find out more about Cathedral Valley. The woman working the desk can't answer my questions, and the people she calls looking for help aren't answering, but she does give me a great map of the area. This was the map I needed when I was riding down from Goblin Valley.
I retrace my path west on 24 back to the Factory Butte turnoff. It takes me about 3 times longer in this direction due to the wind. Eventuallly I get to Cainesville, or more precisely I ride right by Cainesville until I realize it at the Cathedral Road then turn back. All there is in this "town" is a Rodeway Inn and a couple of ranches. I turn back because I want to pick up a snack and the inn has a sign out front that says Convenience Store. The pickings are slim let me tell you... some candy bars and some soda. I'm glad I came back though because there are 3 or 4 hummingbirds buzzing around.
A few minutes later I'm back to the dirt Cathedral Road. I get sandblasted for the first few miles before the road climbs up onto a mesa that has less sand and more vegetation and rock. There are some stiff climbs (up to 16 percent) into the wind. No problems getting up these however, the sand is packed down hard.
I see a big rock formation that forms a kind of crescent with the cradel facing east; the perfect place to camp out of the wind. As I'm picking my way through the rocks with the bike to get over there I realize that I am missing a 1.5 liter bottle of water. It fell off the back...shit. I need to get a new cargo net because this one is too stretched out to be effective. The lost water complicates things a bit, I will have to make straight for the Cathedral Campground tomorrow to try and scrounge some. It changes the dinner menu as well: I cook dry, meaning no rice or pasta that would require water. The meal comes out decent enough.
Tonight is a special night in the desert: we have entertainment! I downloaded an episode of Game of Thrones while I was in Hanksville.
It's going to be cold tonight. I've got the full package of clothes on before the sun even goes down.