Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In the land of the Dinosaurs and lacking emission standards

Perfecting the over-the-shoulder shot
Bittersweet to be in my last state
A very candid high five with Nick in front of the summit elevation sign w

We are in “Colorful Colorado,” land of Dinosaur. Yesterday we enjoyed 90 miles of changing landscapes starting in a nice green canyon, climbing up an 8% grade into mountain meadows and beetle-ridden forests (reminding me a lot of field work last summer), and then descending into the generic Utah red rocks dotted with sagebrush.

Today was a tough day of 92 miles--the theme of the week. From this ride’s experience, this section of Utah is not a bicycle-friendly place. We rode on highway 40 all day, which had a rumble strip perfectly centered on the shoulder, leaving about 8 inches on either side to navigate. I can say we did not fall asleep. We had the choice of battling traffic on the one side or debris on the other. And the traffic was not friendly. There was a large ratio of pick up trucks on the road and a large ratio of these trucks emitted hideous black exhaust as they honked, yelled, and revved their engines as they passed.

On the upside, our route was scattered with weathered, off-colored dinosaur statues of various sizes. The best was the town of Vernal’s famous pink dinosaur with long eye lashes.

The last 10k (I must be surrounded by Canadians), I was the closest I have ever been to bonking on a bike. I’m blaming my exhaustion for allowing myself to spend $4.80 on a frozen coffee drink as soon as I got to town.

I am falling in love with early morning cycling. If only I could learn to go to bed on time.

We’re losing so much salt, my sweet tooth is pretty much gone these days—by the end of the day, I’m covered in salt, and the best treat is dutch licorice (thank you Krabbe’s and Walter), jerky, or salted nuts.

Its bittersweet to be in my last state of the tour. I didn't realize it would be such a big deal to leave early. What a great community I will be leaving.

1 comment:

mcscholt said...

Good luck on Berthoud Pass. It looks like a fun way to end your tour!