Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 39 - Utah...where have you been all my life!

I just want to start out by saying that I LOVE Utah! I knew Utah had a lot of rocks, Mormons, and that it hosted the winter Olympics a few years back, but I never imagined how beautiful the landscape and the people are here.

Yesterday, Tuesday, we rode from Escalante to Penguitch, Utah. The 64 mile ride took us 5 hours and to our good fortune, we were finished unusually early, by 2:30pm. We had a rest day planned for today, Wednesday, which was much needed as all 3 of us were a bit physically and mentally drained.

Yesterday's ride was another beautiful trek. Our route meandered us over sheer cliff faces, hallowed canyons, rivers, and over two small mountain passes with steep descents. In the early morning hours, I hopped off my bike to tackle a big boulder I thought I could easily turns out that the boulder won that battle. I only made it halfway up...but if I wasn't wearing my biking shoes, I am confident that I could have conquered that boulder (see picture). We stopped for lunch in Tropic and were kept company by a little yellow lab we decided to call "Rex". Sam fed Rex, against my good advice, left over PB&J crusts.

Our ride was all down hill after lunch (literally). It was the most surprisingly beautiful descent we've had and I think it caught all of us off guard. As we made our way to Penguitch we had to pass through The Red Canyons. They are rock formations that are several brilliant shades of red. There are two rocks that have been hallowed out and the road actually passes right through them (see picture). We all ended the days ride on a high. The scenery could not have been more spectacular and we still had the rest of the day to relax and enjoy to ourselves.

Sam and I toured the town of Penguitch and met the nicest people! As we walked from shop to shop, people inquired about our travels and what brought us to their town. They were very eager to hear more about our bike trip and several folks gave donations to the orphanage. We had a great dinner a Cowboy's Cafe and watched a thunder and lightening storm roll through.

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