Hey Everyone! This will be an easy day –only a 50-mile ride to a place called Hite, and since I’m leaving at 7am, I’ll avoid the heat (which is supposed to hit 108 degrees in the afternoon). If I had some cookie dough, I could bike *and* bake at the same time (Bike N Bake… nice ring to it, eh? :))
The map was a little confusing, so Matt and I weren’t sure about an exact place to meet. However, Hite was so small, smaller than Hanksville, that we would find each other, even if our cell phones lost reception. I began my ride out of Hanksville by going up a steady 3-mile climb (thank goodness it wasn’t another 15-mile climb like Cedar City!), and began seeing the most majestic colorful rock formations as I went through the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It seemed around every turn was yet another jaw-dropping view of the Canyonlands. At one point I was speeding down a canyon road at about 38mph (trust me, that’s fast on a bicycle!), and came upon The Dirty Devil River located near Twin Corral Box Canyon. Just before arriving into Hite, I came upon The Colorado River… the principal river of the southwestern United States and northwest Mexico (about 1,450 miles long). I went across the bridge, about 100 ft above the river — and had to stop the bike and take some pics. It was amazing! Like a little kid of course, I had to let go of a good spit and watch it fly all the way down to the river. 😉
Hite! Yes, I’m here and I’m feeling OK, and arrived on time at 12pm. I went to the convenience store, grabbed a snack, and asked about a guy who was probably here a little earlier. The woman running the store didn’t recall anyone who matched Matt’s description, and in fact there had only been four other people who had come by within the last three hours. My goodness it was getting hot outside, so I stowed away in the store, hoping I’d see Matt shortly. An hour went by and he still didn’t show. My phone wasn’t getting any reception. The nice lady offered her land line phone. I gave it a try and sure enough, I was able to get in touch with Matt. He told me he could not find Hite on the map, and therefore decided to drive to the next town, Blanding, *another 75 miles away*! WTF. I could not camp as Matt had my tent and sleeping bag, there was no hotel/motel and only 3 residential homes. I had two options: 1) knock on the 3 homes and ask if I could crash at their place (I’d cook dinner for them… or do something in return) or 2) bike another 75 miles to Blanding in this weather, without having any rest areas (not even a gas station) until then. After another hour, I decided I would pack some more fluids, food, and just go for it… all the way to Blanding (125 miles total for the day….a new record for me, and in this weather).
Long story short, I freaking did it! I was spent for sure… and downed two Core Power in quick succession upon meeting Matt at the hotel in Blanding. I also drank about 32 oz of water, and had some Honeystinger waffles. I asked Matt about my concern that if next time we lose communication, and we’re not sure where to meet, should we 1) go back and let me know, or 2) just pull over and wait for me to show up… but not just take off to the next city *especially* when it’s so far away. Matt had thought there was probably a hotel/motel there. I told him there wasn’t and that we can’t assume things, especially in these tough conditions.
I feel asleep like a rock.