|Distance||51.69 kms||32.31 miles|
|Climbed||671 meters||2,201 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||5.77||-|
|Avg speed||5.5 kph||-|
|Distance||26,349.70 kms||16,373.13 miles|
|Climbed||275,171 meters||902,792 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||1,863.78||-|
Thursday, April 24th, 2014
Miles pushing the bike: 3 (4.83 kilometers)
The theme du jour is sand: sand on the ground, sand in the air, sand in my eyes, sand on the bike, sand in my lunch, sand in my... okay better stop there.
This morning I resolve to not even look at the clock until I need it for something like calculating how many hours until sunset. Before I leave the river I fill up every bottle I have, filtering 6 liters is an exercise in patience. I drag the bike through the sand back out to the bridge.
The main road is getting progressively sandier, there are long stretches that are impossible to ride, so I push. One section requires a mile of walking which has me worried: will I have to walk for miles on end? If I do, will I run low on water? I just keep going hoping for the best, and the road does become rideable again. For the rest of the day I contend with spots where I have to dismount but for the most part I am able to ride my way through, it just takes a lot of patience and energy to fight the sand.
The same pickup that asked me how I was doing yesterday passes me again today in the opposite direction. They stop and ask if I need water, nice of them, but I'm all filled up. At the turn for Horseshoe Canyon I decide to go up and take a look. This smaller road is even sandier than the main one, plus it climbs quite a bit, so it's a chore to get up over the ridge to see the canyon. I pull into a parking lot area where there are a fair number of vehicles. It appears people are camping and there is an outhouse. I end up talking to a group who has come to hike the canyon. One of the guys hitchhiked and bused his way down the Panamericana to Chile 50 years ago. He stayed in Santiago for a year teaching then another year in Brazil doing the same.
His friend gives me a bag of chocolate Easter eggs. Tonight we have dessert! I was thinking about hiking this canyon, apparently there are some interesting rock paintings and the people I met offer to watch the bike, but it's all a bit sudden and I'm just not up for it. I should do some work on setting myself up to be able to do hikes like that, I've been thinking about it but haven't gotten around to it. Back down to the sand. I struggle along for another 7 or 8 miles then give up and roll out to the dunes to camp. Hard won 30 miles today.