|Ride time (hours)
|Ride time (hours)
Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
The day starts out innocently enough, I pack up and hit the road late, around 10am. I ride against the wind across some plains that soon turn to red rock mesas. I arrive at a junction where I have to make a decision: left up 89 towards Vermillion Cliffs and eventually into Las Vegas, or right up through Tuba City towards Monument Valley and Utah. When I got up this morning I tried to talk myself into the left towards Las Vegas route, it is the more sensible thing to do for several reasons, but when I arrive at the junction I turn right anyways. I have it in my head to see Monument Valley and my head is not to be denied.
I stop in Tuba City for lunch then continue oblivious to the idiotic move I've just committed. The back tire goes flat a while later. I pull two pieces of wire out of the tire and swap out the tube.
This landscape is not amenable to stealth camping: it's mostly flat and devoid of vegetation, plus the road is well fenced. I ride right up until sunset before seeing a spot where runoff has created a small gulley under the fence. I take off the bags, scoot under the fence, and find a spot to set up the tent behind a tree. When I'm setting up I realize that my laptop bag is nowhere to be found. Shit! I must have left it outside the restaurant in Tuba City. I suspect I put it on the ground while I was attaching the handlebar bag and just forgot to repack it into the pannier. Either that or someone nicked it outside a store but that seems unlikely. I've been lucky to get this far without losing (or having had stolen) anything of consequence on this trip so I suppose I was due. It leaves a bitter taste however, such a dumb thing to do. Oh well all I can do now is call from the next town tomorrow to see if anyone has turned it in.