Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hanksville to Green River, Utah June 29

June 29 -----57.63 in 5:07 . Another early start today because of the oppressive heat that is forecast. Salt Lake City, which is about 200 miles from here, set an all time high today of 105. The hottest temperature ever recorded on earth is 134 in Death Valley, and it was 129 there today. That is just on the other side of Las Vegas, which is not real far from here as the crow flies. It was 114 in Zion. It was in the 80's when I left at about 8 AM, but it really wasn't stifling, until about half way through the ride. There were two other groups of bike riders in our campground, and I spoke to some of them for a few minutes before we left. Two guys were from Connecticut, but they started their cross country ride in San Fransisco. They were college students and they were headed south, and I was going north. The other group of about six, whom I didn't talk to, were MIT students who were riding across the country, teaching math and science at predetermined venues.
Yesterday, I felt like I was riding on the moon's  surface, because of the colors of the ground, but today I definitely felt like I was riding in the desert. The sand, sagebrush, and absolutely no shade, even had the lizards keeping a low profile. I was on Scenic Byway Utah 24, and it is a main route for boaters going south to Lake Powell. I was passed by tons of trucks pulling boats, which was really weird in the middle of the desert.   One good thing is that there was very little traffic going my way, and the road had a great shoulder, and was smoothly paved. All day long on my left , I followed the Waterpocket Fold, which is a mountain formation in the Capital Reef National Park that we just visited. To my right, was the desert. I climbed and descended about 1500 ft both ways, with the hills being long and gradual, which was fortunate, considering the heat. Wind was not a factor, just enough of a headwind to keep me a little cooler. Early in the ride, I found a pretty big hawk feather near the road, and stuck it in my helmet. People may have thought I was already nuts to be on a bike where I was, so I figured I may as well go  all out. The last eleven miles were ridden eastbound on I 70 to Green River. The shoulders were nice and clean for an interstate, and traffic wasn't a problem because many miles had a lane closed for repaving, and they weren't working because today is Saturday. I had a lane to myself for quite a way. 
     Green River is an oasis in the desert, that is named after the river of the same name that flows through it. The Green River is a pretty big river that meets the Colorado downstream. It actually carries as much water as the Colorado before they meet, and when they DO meet, the Colorado becomes the badass river that it is. Our campground told us of a beach about ten miles out of town, where rafting companies take out, and where there is a nice sandy beach. We found it after the grueling day of heat, and spent a few hours there, sitting on the beach, and dipping in the cool water whenever we needed to wash the heat away. As we sat, heavy gray clouds moved in, the wind really kicked up, and after we left we witnessed a Utah haboob, and actually had about a dozen rain drops hit the windshield in the Jeep.

Even flowers can bloom in the desert!

View from the road


Getting a little flat.......



Mike sitting on the beach next to the Green River.  The clouds were starting to roll in

Our Utah haboob!


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