Daily mileage: 288 miles
Overall average: 26.8 mph
I'm really really super proud of myself for waking up at 6:30. Arising from within my tent, I step out to sound of birds chirping throughout the canyon. The sun would come up any minute now. Immediately, I started packing and had a granola bar and some water for breakfast. When the sun peeked its ugly mug over the canyon, I quickly and efficiently struck poses and snapped away.
After said photos were taken, i got on the bike and set my sights on getting out of this canyon. Looking at my gps tracks, I was a little bit off the track, and that was how i happened on this fantastic site. The ride up and out was pretty steep, but nothing a wrr can't handle.
Immediately, The first section after that was deep sugar sand, a rude awakening. In retrospect, I am happy to have made the decision to go with my gut and set up camp where i did. That sand would have been an absolute nightmare last evening. I hadn't got my rhythm yet so I was riding all stiff and looking at my front fender when I shoulda been looking 10 to 15 feet ahead. Went down twice and the second time, my leg got caught between the berm and the bike. I had no leverage whatsoever and it took me 10 minutes and a lot of sweat to get out from under there. Bad things went through my mind as I was laying there and struggling -- felt like a mouse caught on those gluetraps, weak from struggling to get free. Finally, I took the wolfman duffle off and used the other free leg to push the bike up and off my other leg. What an effort. After loosening up I was able to flow and ride more smoothly and outta there and proceed to emery, Utah for gas. From here on out, I get gas whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Just a note, for those that the TAT is all easy, that's not necessarily true. If you only ride the eastern part then yes, but Colorado and Utah have some challenging sections. I reserve judgement on Nevada and Oregon till I ride them.
The next big section happens after salina which takes me to an atv double track when goes up and down, through the mountain. Some of the trails are pretty tight and claustrophobia inducing. These tracks seem to go on forever and there some pretty steep downhills.
Finally, I get through that section to kanosh, ut for gas. the sections after that consist of wide fast sweeping gravel that takes you through valleys that, in the past, were burn sites. The valley was full of dead trees.
Some pictures I like from today:
There was a part of the day where the trail run and jigsaws under the interstate. It takes you through another TAT staple and that is the unfinished train tunnels cut through a mountian.
After more sweeping fast gravel, the trail takes me through the Paiute Indian reservation and from there it opens up into a vast horizon. The road is pointed into infinity and I just go and go and new object appear as I reach monuments which at an earlier point appeared as tiny shapes dotting the horizon.
Nothing is close to me. Just the road. Eventually, desert vegetation starts to appear and i know Nevada is close. The trail that leads to the highway before the bordertown hotel is especially nice. From the main gravel track, you makes a right onto a faint double track that goes straight into the desert. And then at some point you make a left into another faint track. Too cool. This is the first time, I feel like I'm part of the landscape and not on the trail looking out at it.
At around 6:30 I make it to bordertown motel, check in and was able to gain access to their monitor and mouse. I've now uploaded all of nevada and the first 3 Oregon maps.
Had a fried chicken dinner and then I crash. Until tomorrow.