I woke up early enough, before the sun was all the way up but everyone else was already packing up. Some had already left. Everyone but me went to a restaurant for breakfast. I left about 30 minutes after the last person. I had made biscuits the night before and in the morning, I made gravy to pour over the biscuits. That and hot chocolate was my breakfast.
We passed through a beautiful red rock canyon for the first part of the day. We passed the entrance to Arches but that was as close as we got to it. This is on the road going into Arches...I was on the main road going past it.
Past that, the rocks got even more red.
The day before, at the bike shop, the bike tech gave me a handy hint that I forgot to use on the first 15 miles of the day. He taught me how to turn the knob on my brake cables to loosen the brakes and tighten them back up. He said to loosen them up while I go uphill and tighten them back up while I go downhill so I would have brakes. The cracks had gotten so bad that my wheels were always rubbing the brakes even when they were loose but it did make a difference. By about mile 30, I saw a biker, it was Cheryl. I actually caught up to her! I wish I had known that trick earlier in the ride since I had been fighting that brake with each pedal stroke for about 4 days.
Here was my one view of Arches NP, from a distance of course. You can see the 2 window arches.
Here's a closer up picture of the window arches. About the middle of the rocks you can see 2 holes in the rock, that's them.
I spotted this root cellar or dugout, not sure, next to a train track. I went in and explored. I couldn't figure out what it was meant to be...maybe a home for the guy who worked on the rails, hanging mail for the cars to take or something...?
When I made it to the gas station at the intersection of the interstate there were 5-6 people there from my group as well as a solo cyclists heading the way we just came. After a break there for chocolate milk and carmel creams, it was time for a short 5 mile jaunt on the interstate. It wasn't too busy and the shoulder was wide and clean in most areas. And the scenery was still nice.
I was supposed to get off at the first exit and take a side road into Green River. Everyone else got off but I felt like I needed to stay put so I took the interstate all the way to Green River.
In the end, I found out that the side road was AWFUL and everyone hated it. It was so bumpy. I think my rim would have fallen apart if I had taken that road.
Here's one side of the worst crack.
Here's the other side. Compare it to the spoke beneath it...that's what it's supposed to look like. The spoke was pulling the rim out and it was cracked on either side of it. I had 4 of those and 2 of the crocks in the above picture when I got to the car.
Green River was having a melon festival so I stopped there. They were giving out free slices of watermelons and the whole park was covered in booths selling various things. I bought a Navajo taco for lunch/dinner, ate it while listening to a live band, then got on the road. The canyon was very pretty on the drive home.
It was a tiring, exhausting, painful trip. I was glad I was able to do it and glad that it was over. There are so many beautiful things in this world and I feel very privileged to be able to see some of them myself. There are so many awe-inspiring views out there. Who else but God could make something so beautiful? No one.
Back when I was 13-16 and I was in pain all time because of my knees I was given doctors orders that for the next year I wouldn't be allowed to do any walking that wasn't absolutely necessary. I spent lots of time in bed, reading or watching tv that year. During the summer especially. Summer was the worst time because at least during the school year I was allowed to walk to the bus stop and from class to class during the day. But summer was a special kind of torture. I could hear everyone outside playing, running around and having fun. I would stand and look out the window at them and wish with all my heart that I could join them. Even if I had been allowed though, I wouldn't have been able to do much because it hurt to move much. Finally, the year was up and I was so excited to go running and playing (because some of the pain had finally left) that I was crushed when the doctor informed me that for another year I wouldn't be allowed to run. But I was out almost everyday mowing the lawn with that old reel mower just because I COULD. I guess I was always an active type of person, even before that but it was through that experience that I learned how blessed I am to have a body that works, that heals itself, that allows me to do ANYTHING I want it to do (with work and practice). I cannot squander that blessing because I know what it feels like to be without it. Someday I will be old and feeble and won't have the complete use of it that I have today and I don't want to regret not taking advantage of it. Maybe I am wrong but it feels like using my body is a way to show Heavenly Father I am grateful for it, for the chance to do these things again and that I am not taking this opportunity and sweeping it under the rug. So maybe you can't understand why I would enjoy this form of torture...but I tell you, it's the best thing in the world to have the ability to do. :o)
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