Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Price to Duchesne, Utah July 12

July 12------61.7 in 5:50. It started out as a cool, great day to ride, with a chance of rain later on, especially in the mountains, where we were headed. Six miles out of town, north on US 191, was a town called Helper, which seemed to be a small coal mining town. We got off of 191, and cruised through the one mile business loop. It was a very old town with a huge statue of a coal miner, 'Big  John.'
Big John

Big John

 Right outside of town, Route 6, split off to the left, ad with it much of the traffic going to Salt Lake City, and US191 headed out a different canyon, with about ten miles of of gradual, well maybe a little more than gradual, uphill. As the climb then began to get serious, Pam came by and we stopped to get rain gear and jackets, because it was drizzling, looking very ominous up in the peaks, and quickly cooling down with wind picking up. As we left the RV, the rain started getting serious, and thunder rumbled from somewhere up there, but we were prepared with the right clothes. The next 4-5 miles were major climbing, pouring rain, and burning leg muscles for both of us. We summited at 9114 ft, in the clouds, literally, with continual rain. My total ascent for the day was 4007 ft, the second time I've done over 4000 in a day. Buddy rode all of the ascent except maybe 250 ft that I had as I came on Rt. 40 to the campground.Once again, Pam and the RV were there, with the opportunity to get warm, add dry layers for the windy descent, and Buddy decided to call it a day, even though he wanted to reap the benefits of the climb, namely, a fun ride down the other side. The roads were wet and potentially slippery, and it was damn cold for desert dwellers like we have been, with those many 100+degree days in Moab. We had basically ridden 26.8 miles of uphill, and it was a wise decision by Buddy to call it a day. I started down the hill, and dropped  immediately into an 8% downhill. I had three sweatshirts or jackets on, but my fingers turned blue with cold, and the brakes were hard to grip. Fortunately it didn't take long for the road to show dry spots, so most of the rain had been on our side of the pass. I maxed out at 38+mph because of the wet wind and cold, but I must have traveled over ten miles at 20mph or better before I had to pedal. The canyon I descended was quickly turning into a farming valley, with lots of open range, and lots of cows, several right next to the road. The thing I enjoyed the most though, was the many magpies that I saw in the area. I really like the black, blue, and white birds for their brilliant colors, and I saw many more today than I have ever seen in my life. The sun was also breaking back out, and I was really dressed warmly. Just as I was getting hot, there was Pam again, on the side of the road, to take the sweatshirts, and I was off again for the final ten mile leg into Duchesne, and four miles west on US40. The same US40 that runs through Washington, PA. Many kudos go out to Pam for being there when we needed her as we ride through our first rain and cold weather in a long time. Today was actually the first time on this entire trip ( since October)  that I have ridden in rain. That's ten months of rainless days. The last time we saw rain was in New Orleans when we were at Mardi Gras  with Bird and Giselle.
     After supper, spaghetti on the picnic table , on a nice cool evening, Buddy and I headed back into town to the cemetery, to find the tombstone of the Sundance Kid, of Butch Cassidy fame. We found it, but it turns out he was exhumed in 2008, and found not to be Sundance. Other sources say that Butch and Sundance died in a shoot out in Bolivia, and their remains were never found. Just watch the  Paul Newman and Robert Redford movie from the 70's!. It was a fun adventure though.

"Tell me again why I flew out here from Pittsburgh?!!"

Looking a little wet, but happy!

Gotta watch out for the wildlife!

Mike and Buddy at the summit - looking a little damp too!

Panoramic view at the summit

Mike leaving the summit
The Sundance Kid's grave - but not after the 2008 DNA test!

Sunset over Starvation Reservoir

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