|Distance||111.37 kms||68.97 miles|
|Climbed||776 meters||2,546 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||7.26||-|
|Avg speed||9.5 kph||-|
|Distance||25,801.56 kms||16,032.61 miles|
|Climbed||270,911 meters||888,816 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||1,824.51||-|
Sunday, April 13th, 2014
Number 1: Cold
It's freezing when I get up. I break out the hat, the neck warmer, and the parka while I'm packing up. There are thick clouds in every direction, giving me a vaguely sick feeling about the day ahead. The occasional break in the clouds as I start riding gives me a glimmer of hope.
Number 2: Wind
The wind is downright vicious today, blasting me from the northwest as I inch my way northward towards Monticello. A few miles before the town it starts to sleet hard, giving me a good soaking that is rapidly converted to misery by the cold and the wind.
Number 3: Snow
As I arrive in Monticello the sleet turns into heavy, wet, wind-driven snow. At times like these I really feel the loneliness of the road: I'm cold and wet in some little town in the middle of nowhere and don't know what to do. I sit inside a gas station that has tables and stare forlornly out the window at the snow. I am saved from my loneliness by a nice couple from Michigan who are on a two-week hiking vacation in the area. They were on their way to Canyonlands Park but have stopped to wait out the weather like me. We talk for a half hour about travel and whatever else comes to mind. A guy stops by to show me the Doppler radar on his smart phone, it appears that the worst of the squall has moved off to the east. I take my leave of the Michigonians to try my chances again with the weather.
Not 2 miles down the road I get wacked with another batch of sleet riding in on a 40 mile per hour crosswind. That stuff hurts at that speed.
Number 4: Mud
I get blown off the road a few times with the help of some trucks. When I do the ground that has turned to sticky red clay completely gunks up my wheels. Every time it happens I have to spend 5 minutes clearing out the mudguards and the brakes with my knife.
Later in the afternoon I get some sunny breaks in the weather. The pattern is an hour of sun, then a 20 minute blast of sleet, then sun again. It continues like this all the way to Moab, on the way into town the wind has me down to 6 mph on the flats.
I arrive in Moab completely exhausted and find a motel. I show up at the same time as an Irish motorcyclist who started his day in the snow in Twin Falls, Idaho. We commiserate about being on two wheels in this weather. He tells me he is paying 120 dollars per night at Motel 6 and is here looking for something cheaper. 120 bucks a night for a Motel 6?? Yikes! I was going to turn down this motel because it was pricey but now it doesn't seem so bad. I'm too tired to go look for anything else so I take it.