Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Duchesne to Vernal Utah July 13

Saturday, July 13.     61.76 in a little over five hours( I forgot to turn off the GPS). Buddy and I set out with the same plan as the last few days. Bud planned on 35-40 miles, then we would hook up with Pam. The weather was great, and there wasn't going to be any killer climbs. We would be following US191, but it would also be US 40, which is a much busier road. We were hoping Saturday morning would be quiet, especially the trucks traffic, but that was not to be the case. We had rolling farmland along the Strawberry and Duchesne Rivers, but most of our attention was given to the traffic, especially trucks. This area is known as the 'hub of Utah energy', and we saw all the same trucks as we see in Houston, PA with the natural gas and coal industries. Haliburton trucks are huge and move in convoys at a fast speed, but not as fast as all the impatient weekend warriors who were backing up behind them. There were also many double tankers, which look like eastern tanker trucks, then they add another trailer. They displace a lot of air as they fly by. With Buddy with me, I worry more than I do by myself, so the ride is a little stressful even though we pass the time with great conversation. Today's topic was track and field, mostly. Beside traffic, there was plenty of trash and dozens of dead animals, especially raccoons and deer, but rabbits, prairie dogs, domestic dogs, and other unidentifyables littering the shoulders, and detracting from the appeal of the ride. A town called Roosevelt was about 34 miles into the ride, and Pam pulled over there, and that was the end of the line for Buddy, and I had some lunch before setting back out in to  conditions that had gotten much warmer.
     The second half of the ride was not bad at all, even though I was concerned about fatigued legs. I did have an800 ft climb that went on and on at a merciful grade, right before I descended into Vernal. When I was less than a mile from the top I saw a hiker walking the opposite direction, with a roller cart in front of him, and at first I thought it might be Josh, the transcontinental walker that I ran into in Moab, but it was a Japanese guy who was heading from New York City to Portland Oregon. He was following a very roundabout route, because he was traveling to the hometowns of relatives and acquaintances of a woman who was his mentor in college, and had recently passed away. He was walking in her honor, and was then going to write a book about his adventures, and to honor this woman. His trip took him from NYC to Philippi West Virginia, where Rebeca was born, to Chicago, to Cheyenne, and he was on his was to Salt Lake City before turning north to Portland. He had been walking or working to make some cash since March. His biggest problem was the balls of his feet burning, but he was enjoying the USA. He was from Tokyo, his name was Yoshi, and he was a comedian in Tokyo and New York. His act is called the Tokyo Circus, and he calls himself Ringmaster Yoshi. He knew English very well, and we talked for about 20 minutes. He was an interesting traveler to talk to. 
     As I had been doing my long, slow ascent, I had noticed some mean looking dark clouds sneaking up behind me, and I thought I was going to get soaked. They did take the sun away, which cooled things, but I got just a very few drops before landing in the Fossil Valley RV park to find Pam and Buddy.  Buddy had already explored the town in the Jeep, and discovered that there was going to be a big time rodeo at the towns arena. We told him to get tickets, and he had to stand in line for 45 minutes at a kiosk in downtown to get them. Vernal is a town of about 10,000, but it is the hub for a large area, and it had its own Walmart AND Kmart! It also had a state of the art rodeo arena, and the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo was LEGIT. We saw many of the best cowboys in the country in the world rankings, and watching the people in the crowd was probably better entertainment! Lots of cowboy hats, boots, and blue jeans. They had a very patriotic opening, and EVERYONE in the crowd sang the national anthem. Buddy and I had the longest hair in the arena, and looked out of place in shorts and flip flops, but Pam made up for it by wearing her cowgirl hat. About halfway through the show, the rain that had been threatening finally arrived and chased a lot of people under the grandstands. Most people, including us, stuck it out until the weather passed before the bull riding, which is the highlight of the rodeo.  Afterward, there was a rodeo dance, with a country rock band from Nashville, and we stayed around for one set, and a dance contest. The dancing is very entertaining out here, and Pam and Buddy watched while I made like a zombie in the corner. Buddy was yanked onto the dance floor by one cowgirl, but he didn't swing and twirl her like a Utah cowboy could. A good time was had by all, and we were still in the sack by midnight.

You see all sorts of things while on the road!!!

We are in Ute country and this is advertising big game hunting.

The same US 40 that runs through Washington PA

Bike needed a rest, so it pulled up a chair!

Ringmaster Yoshi

Perfect picture at the rodeo!  The sun was still shining and the flag was waving in the wind....

Before the rodeo started, the bucket truck lowered the flag as part of the opening program.
Looking across at the reserved seating area - eventually it was totally packed.

The chuck wagon race!

One wagon blew out of its rear axle!

This is team roping - one cowboy ropes the steer around its horns and the other rope the rear legs.

Rodeo clown!

Clowns for the bull riding

Enjoy the bull riding video!

More bull riding!

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