July 19, 2008
Today was a very long day, with 2 big climbs and a couple of smaller ones -- well over 5000 feet of climbing. Most of the first 60 miles was fairly flat, but it was all urban streets and roads with lots of traffic and no scenery, at least not the kind I enjoy. Ist CRC in Salt Lake City had refreshments at the church and that was a very welcome relief. At the church we talked to a reporter from the local newspaper and he took pictures of us as we started back out. (Video footage on the sea to sea site.) Not far from the church we had to climb a very steep portion for about 1 block. It was so steep that I almost couldn't make it because I was slipping the front wheel every time I pedaled. The reporter told us that the rest wasn’t as steep, and it wasn’t. The rest of the first climb really wasn’t too bad, just long, hot and slow. At the summit of the first climb was a refreshment area set up by Covenant CRC. It was VERY well received and I think it made the last long climb do-able. I was also able to meet John Bendixen, who had contacted me earlier. It was nice to chat with him about recumbent bikes for awhile. The downhill from the first climb was a disappointment as it was quite rough and hard on the brakes. It also meant having to start a major climb again. The second was about the same steepness as the first but was on I-80 so it was very hot, dirty and noisy with no shade. A few of us actually outclimbed a semi truck. And we passed 2 stopped semis, a camper and a couple cars that had all broken down in the heat making the climb. Once we got to the top, we thought we were home free -- little did we realize that we still had 20 some miles to go with some pretty difficult climbs. The second climb was over an hour in length and I emptied both my water bottles. We had to buy water at the gas station at the top, however just a little ways down the road Walter was waiting for us at the sag stop with more water. We somehow made our way to camp; I helped Fred Myerink with a flat. We arrived at camp and to our dismay we found out that where the kitchen is and where our tents are is about ½ mile apart and accessible by a walk path only. The showers are about ¾ mile away back past the kitchen and meeting area. The camp is in Jordanelle State Park, which really is a beautiful place with a lake below us and mountains all around. I set my tent up on a cement pad as the grass is very rough and uneven. Although it was a very tough day, it was still a good day. Right at this moment the sun has set behind the mountains to the west, but is still shining on some huge thunderstorm clouds beyond the mountains to the east, giving a magnificent view -- hopefully the pictures turn out.
We also just finished a very good supper. After grumbling a bit about the camp conditions we quickly decided that we still have it really good -- a whole lot better than most people in the world have it every day.