Last month I decided to try out another type of adventure, bike touring. I did a 450 mile ride over twelve days, alone. I rode from Green River, Utah to Pahranagat Lake, Nevada, through some amazing areas of Utah.
Crossing a wash on day one
My first day out of Green River was by far the hardest. It rained hard for the first few hours. I was quickly soaked to the bone and had to cross a few flooded washes. Luckily, the air temperature was not too cold. Eventually, the sun came and I dried out. After that the weather was great, not too hot or too cold.
One of my campsites
My second day took me through beautiful Capital Reef National Park. I took advantage of an old orchard planted by the settlers and filled my bike bags with apples.
The third day found me crawling up the side of Boulder Mountain (3000′ elevation gain). The views where spectacular looking down on the desert. The aspens were exploding in full fall colors. Once on the summit, like a wind up toy releasing it’s energy, I bombed down the other side hardly pedaling for miles. A quick stop for Ice Cream in Boulder, and I was pedaling up another hill into Escalante National Park. I rode a knife-edge ridge and then flew down a long 14% winding grade into the heart of Escalante. Back up another huge hill, and my legs were beat. I found a nice little camp site and settled in.
The next few days blended together into a blur of tired legs and stunning scenery. Looking down on Cedar Breaks National Monument and Cedar City, raised my spirits, knowing that I had a 4000′ ft hill to cruise down. The hill was no let down. I passed about ten cars flying down it. It was great to do the passing instead of being passed for once.
I took a well needed rest day in Cedar City, and then rolled across the border into Nevada. The second day in Nevada was bleak and empty, yet beautiful. Finally, I made it to Pahranagat Lake. Looking at the map I was unsure what to expect, but the lake was lovely and the bird life was stunning. It is part of the migration corridor for birds coming and going from South America to the Arctic. I spent the last two nights of my ride there. It is also very close to the Air Force Base comonly known as Area 51. I heard a few sonic booms while I was camping there.
Upper Pahranagat Lake
Eventually one of my favorite adventure partners, Riley, picked me up, and we drove out to Yosemite National Park. Of course we had to make a quick detour to the hot springs on the way. We spent a couple soggy days waiting out the weather, and then spent two days climbing the 3000′ Nose on El Capitan. We went light and fast, so we had one chilly night without sleeping bags, but it was worth it to have a light bag. Once we topped out, our friends met us up there and we spent another lovely night enjoying the summit and the views.
El Cap, Photo Credit R. Jordan
It was a memorable and adventurous few weeks!
Leading the Great Roof on the Nose
Photo Credit R. Jordan