|Distance||39.85 kms||24.85 miles|
|Climbed||461 meters||1,512 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||3.25||-|
|Avg speed||7.6 kph||-|
|Distance||25,099.80 kms||15,596.41 miles|
|Climbed||263,994 meters||866,122 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||1,778.08||-|
Saturday, April 5th, 2014
It was righteously cold last night. I can’t bring myself to get out of the tent until 7. I pack up and follow a dirt track that I think may be a shortcut back to the road and fortunately I turn out to be right. I would like to spend some time exploring these back roads but I didn’t play it smart with the water yesterday, by the time I’m back on the road all I have left is some Pepsi.
I stop in a little village that has stores and a visitor information office. The guy at the office is brilliant, he hooks me up with all kinds of maps, tips, and other information. He tells me camping and fires are free without permit in the national forest which relieves a doubt that I had last night. Farther along I pay my entrance fee to the park: 12 dollars. It isn’t warming up much today, I’ve still got my thick gloves on when I reach the Grand Canyon. Spectacular views, it’s as grand as they say it is. I get lots of weird looks with my grubby appearance and the loaded bike. After an initial gander at the canyon I go looking for the campground. Good news: only $6 for a hiker/biker spot. The rest of the afternoon is a flurry of activity as I set up camp, wash my clothes (first time since San Diego), take a shower, shave, pick up a few food items at the store, get on the internet, and eat lunch. I run into a German cyclist named Mathias from Berlin who has ridden from Miami to here with no particular time frame and no particular destination in mind. He has travelled in South America as well and it turns out we actually both know an individual who lives in Bolivia.
With all my chores done I head back to the canyon, this time further west, to take some pictures with the sun going down. A couple of people have some serious camera equipment out there. One couple is working as a team and they are taking it very seriously, complete with compressed air to clean the lenses and light meters. I feel sheepish with camera next to them.
Back at the campground I talk to another cyclist who is a couple of spots down. His name is Jim, he’s out for 4 or 5 days, and he has a Surly Disc Trucker that fascinates me. I can feel Noname’s jealous eyes burning holes in my back… We chat for a while about touring, he is familiar with CGOAB. I make a fire, the pit has a grill to cook on, tonight it’s eggs over easy on top of beans with onion, bell pepper, garlic, lime, chile, tomato, and cheddar cheese… nice to have things like eggs which are only possible when there is a store nearby.