Page, Arizona to Vermillion Cliffs, Utah: Payback

Statistics for today
Distance 56.87 kms 35.42 miles
Climbed 626 meters 2,054 feet
Ride time (hours) 4.82 -
Avg speed 7.3 kph -
Avg climb 3% -
Max grade 18% -
Statistics for trip to date
Distance 27,186.32 kms 16,892.59 miles
Climbed 285,307 meters 936,047 feet
Ride time (hours) 1,930.07 -
On this page

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Arizona is an hour earlier than Utah (they don't recognize DST, except for the Navajo reservation), so even though it seems as though I wake up late I actually haven't. Bunch of chores to do: laundry (in dire need), internet time, food shopping, clean up the bike a bit. It only costs me a quarter to wash my clothes although the machine says 2 dollars. The dryer doesn't work, I'm saved by the motel manager who dries them for me in one of their industrial dryers. 25 cents for clean clothes!

I shop at Safeway. I feel like a kid in a candy store after shopping in rinkydink stores since Grand Junction, CO. I want to take the whole place with me but after a stern talking-to I only leave with 2 days worth of food. Already too much given that I´m probably going to stop in Kanab.

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Glen Canyon Bridge
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Glen Canyon
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Glen Canyon Dam

The wind is suspiciously quiet while I'm riding around town, even as I descend down to the Glen Canyon Dam to take a few pictures. I know it's out there lurking behind some butte, ready to pounce on me as soon as I round the corner. I start climbing up out of Glen Canyon. First crest reached, no wind. I'm starting to nervously look around... it has to be here somewhere. I reach the top of the second crest and... bam! The bastard hits me dead-on in the face with 20mph of chortling momentum stopper. I'm actually kind of relieved that it has made itself known and is not still hiding out there somewhere; we're like Spy versus Spy or Wil E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. Today I have the serenity to take it in stride... well, except for when I get caught in a dust devil that whips me with sand and sends me 5 feet off the shoulder. I couldn't resist a few choice curses after that.

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Lake Powell
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A tourism slogan I happen to agree with.

There's just not going to be much progress today with the climbing and the headwinds. It takes me all afternoon to reach the turnoff for Cottonwood Road where I joined the highway yesterday. Payback for taking the easy way out yesterday. It is getting late, time to start scoping out camping possibilities. I consider going back up Cottonwood but I know it will be some work to get to a decent place on that road. I keep going. The highway is thoroughly fenced in but I come across a wash where the fence is high up off the sand, enough to slide the bike under. I walk up the wash until I'm in a kind of canyon/amphitheater where I set up camp. I'm lucky to have good cover from the wind tonight. It's actually a beautiful place to camp, it occurs to me how I've become accustomed to such beautiful campsites. It won't be like this forever...

Dinner reflects the fact that I shopped in a real supermarket this morning. An episode of Game of Thrones to top off the day then I'm in the sack.

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Camped in this canyon
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View from the tent at dusk.