Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 5 Natural Bridges - Blanding

I woke up rested and feeling much better than the day before. I woke up at 5:45 and one of the guys was already pulling out of camp. Crazy! I came on this tour to see things, not bike in the dark.

Before long, I came to the highest summit of the trip. 2500 feet lower than last year but with a better view (even if you can't see it in this pic).

There was a ruin on the side of the road that I stopped at. But there was a better one further down the road, about a mile on a gravel road and then a mile hike. I was really excited to see it...but by this point in the ride, I had a total of four cracks in my rear rim and the first one was getting worse. I started down the road to the ruin but decided against it, hoping to keep my rim intact as long as possible. That was a bummer but I quickly got over it.

We went down a REALLY nice downhill. But then it turned a corner and I saw this:

It doesn't look as scary in the picture as it does in person, trust me. It looks a lot like the road in Snake River Gorge I took when I went touring with Jasmine. It took us over an hour of huffing, pushing up that hill to get to the top...not to mention all my water. But my fears weren't realized. It only took about 20-30 minutes and while hard, it wasn't bad enough to have to get off and walk. In fact, I never did have to walk this trip.

After getting over the cock's comb there was another opportunity to see some ruins. These are the Butler Wash Ruins. There were 3 different alcoves with ruins in them in various states of disrepair. It was about a mile long hike (round trip) to see the ruins and well worth it.

Cock's comb from behind.

As the day wore on, the hills began to get steeper and steeper until we were regularly doing 10%.

There were only about 5-8 miles left but a woman stopped her truck to give me water. She filled up all my water bottles. I had enough to get me to Blanding but she didn't feel comfortable leaving me without something. She stopped and offered the guys ahead of me water as well. Very nice lady.

The vast majority of the next three days were spent on the road we turned onto to get to Blanding. It was busy (especially when compared to the desolation of the last 4 days) but the shoulder was ample.

I stopped at Subway and ate lunch and spent a long time there before finding the motel we stayed in. It was only $13 a room and it was clean and didn't smell like smoke. I got a shower and washed my clothes in the sink and hung them to dry on the railing before heading over to a restaurant where everyone was having dinner. I just had dessert since I had eaten not too long before that.

I slept ok...but not as well as I was expecting.

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