|Distance||42.05 kms||26.10 miles|
|Climbed||247 meters||810 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||3.65||-|
|Avg speed||7.1 kph||-|
|Distance||26,480.49 kms||16,453.90 miles|
|Climbed||276,209 meters||906,198 feet|
|Ride time (hours)||1,875.51||-|
Saturday, April 26th, 2014
Miles pushing the bike: 4 (6.44 kilometers)
The wind is just ridiculous overnight. It wakes me up a few times pummeling my tent and showering me with dust. In the morning everything in the tent is coated with it. When I set up last night I had cover from the south wind but it shifted at some point to the west, leaving me completely exposed.
The rain starts after dawn. I lay there for a while contemplating taking a day off here but I never end up doing that; when the rain lets up an hour later I get out to hike up the butte behind my campsite to check out the view. A fantastic view it is. Then I head back down to break camp.
It only takes 5 minutes of pushing the bike on this road to realize that I'm in trouble. The "road" is a track through black volcanic dust that has turned into the stickiest kind of mud there is with this morning's rain. I can only manage 50 feet at a time before I have to stop to clear the mud out of the wheels with a screwdriver. I release the brakes but it doesn't help all that much. I could take the mudguards off but I only have half of one on the front, my rack has a platform which serves as the front section of the mudguard, and there's no way I can take that off because I would have no where to put the front panniers and the sleeping bag.
At times I just pick the bike up and carry it. It's so heavy I can only manage 20 feet or so before I have to rest. Then it starts to sleet, the wind-driven horizontal kind right in my face. I'm thinking if this keeps up I'm in deep shit. I just struggle on as best I can. It takes me three hours to climb the three miles out of Black Volcanic Dust of Death Valley.
Another doctor's vist.
Verrückterarztmann: Du muss richtig kämpfen. (You have to really fight.)
Me: [Blank stare of incomprehension.]
Him: I mean you have to really struggle, fight, it's what you are built for.
Him: You used to dig yourself holes just so you could climb out, didn't you? I mean figuratively speaking.
Him: Why did you stop?
Me: I dug myself out of a big hole, made some money, was successful. I guess I just wanted to have a normal life and enjoy it.
Him: Mistake. This is why you are sick. You need to start digging holes again.
My ego wants to argue with him but I'm like a deer in the headlights; he has me pegged, he sees right through me, all I can do is nod.
Him: I don't know what you should do, put all your money where you can't get at it and go to Africa to help people or some such thing.
Me: Ha! Are you kidding me?
Him: Think about what you should do. Have something for next week when we draw blood again.
I finally reach a ridge where the black ash ends and rock begins. I climb up to a fork - oh shit... which way do I go? My maps shows the road going to the east of Factory Butte so I turn left, just because that's where I would put the road if I were building it to go east of Factory Butte. Could have gone either way, but thankfully it turns out to be the correct decision. On the downhill I almost kill myself because I forgot that I released the brakes! Look out below! Phew, that was a close one. Next I enter Yellow Mud of Death Valley. The quirk with this particular Mud of Death is that it seems to take a particular liking to my back wheel unlike the Black Mud of Death, which preferred the front. It "only" lasts a half mile though, then I hit a road that is packed and graded.
I come to a kiosk that has a map. I'm on the right track, only 7 or 8 miles until I hit pavement.
One more mudburger courtesy of the Brown Mud of Death then I'm home free, all I have to do is fight the 25 mph wind in my face until I hit the pavement in 7 miles.
Once I reach route 24 I sail for 12 miles into Hanksville. I get a spot at a campground, at $16.68 per night it's no steal, but they've got hot showers, laundry facilities, internet, power, friendly employees, and potable water. I make liberal use of all them as I unwind from my struggle of a day. There is one small grocery store that doesn't have all that much but it's enough, I was completely tapped out of food.
Heute habe ich ricthig gekämpft. (Today I fought hard.)
Espero que te haya gustado. Hijo de su chingada madre.