Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Boulder, Utah to Torrey Utah June 26

June 26......37 miles in 3:48. I started climbing when I walked out the front door, and didn't stop for over 20 miles. I am soooo glad we stopped in Boulder Town yesterday, instead of trying to pound more miles. By the time I summited Boulder Mountain, I had climbed from 6600 ft to 9600 ft. (Note: I really wish I would have hit 10000 ft since I was so close!).  When I started out, I broken to an immediate sweat, which is not the norm in these parts, but humidity was all the way up to 22%, and the temp was almost 80 at 8:30 in the morning. By the time I had passed 8000 ft I could feel the cool mountain air. Utah 12 was a fantastic road on this stretch, smooth with decent shoulders and a lot of scenic turnouts. In contrast to the rock terrain of yesterday, Boulder Mountain was as green and plush as anyplace we've been since Florida. Cattle were everywhere, including the road, with open range in the Dixie National Forest. I was dodging piles of cow dung in the roads, and smelling the aromatic cow pee stains on the road. I also saw another dead cow near the road. Life must be tough on the open range. All the way up the mountain,there were green meadows and rolling streams, to keep all the cattle watered, and there were lots of cattle, the most I have seen in  a single day on this trip. Just above 8000 juniper forest gave way to beautiful aspens, and at 8500 ft, I just had to stop at a stream as it came near the road, and soak my head in the cold mountain flow. By 9000 ft the aspens gave way to open meadows with volcanic rock strewn amongst the grasslands. I saw one female elk amongst all of the cattle. Once again the climb wasn't real hard, breathing was good in the thin air, but by the time I summited, my legs were just TIRED.
      At the summit I ran across a biker going the other direction, Dave was from Chicago, about my age, fully loaded for a trip to California, and he didn't want to hear my advise about the difficult miles ahead. I warned him to stay in Boulder Town, but he was set on Escalente. He had already had one massive climb up Boulder Mtn., and had two more to go in the heat of the day, but he didn't want to hear that I took two days, and I highly recommended it. We will never know if he made it, but he wasn't as tall and bulletproof as he thought he was. And if he was, he was gonna pay the next day, I promise.
I also met a couple from Poland that were riding from New York City to San Diego. They knew the language well, and we had a nice conversation. Anna and Peter had a much better grasp on the task ahead, and were only going to Boulder. Peter mentioned that in the Alps, the mountains were barren and the valleys were plush with green, and its just the opposite here. Good observation.
      After I summited, I spent 15 minutes talking to a Midwestern dairy farmer ( In a rest area), about my trip and my bike. He was 65, and told me he liked what I was doing, but he would personally rather fish with his free time. I told him I'd start fishing when I got old. He just looked at me and wished me luck on the journey. The ride down contained some steep descents and a lot of rollers that tenderized my already tired legs. I descended every inch I climbed, and a little more, into the 90 degree heat of Torrey Utah. We got a great campsite overlooking irrigated fields with cattle, horses, and ducks, with the mountain I had just conquered in he background. Total ascent was 3777 ft, not quite the 4000+     I had done the other day. Pam and I went to a cowboy bar called the Saddlery and had good steak salad and steak sandwich. The place was huge for a town of 200 people but the waitress said they get real busy on the weekends with live bands, and local cowboys.

This is the spring that Mike soaked his head.

Then the bike wanted to pose!!!

Aspen trees

Looking out at the other mountains

We don't have little mountains out here!!

At our "cowboy bar", the Saddlery - you can throw darts with a bighorn sheep

Talk to a buffalo.....

But don't get too close to the bull!!!!

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