Day 21 (70 miles) Hankville to BullFrog, UT
Our 4th of July celebration began with a grueling ride through the hilly desert of Southern Utah, where we experienced the full force of desert heat. We spent the night in the town of Bullfrog, which is located on the north shore of Lake Powell. It was kind of a let down. Not as pretty as the other side of the lake in Page, Arizona. I would like to tell you that I saw spectacular fireworks exploding over the beautiful desert reservoir, but in reality I was asleep by 8:30.
That day my dad had flown into Grand Junction Colorado and my mom and sister went to pick him up. My whole family was now together on this adventure. My mom and sister, along with my dog, have been acting as an extra support crew helping to keep us alive and pedaling. My dad is cycling with us for the first time and it is great to be able to ride with him.
Today was another tough ride through the desert, although it was still very scenic. We rode to the town of Blanding, the largest community we have seen in a while, and stayed in a National Guard Armory. For dinner we were expecting to be hosted by a local scout troop, but it ended up that only the troop's scoutmaster showed up. We all pitched in to help cook, and it was a great dinner none the less.
Day 23 (82 miles) - Blanding, CO to Dolorus, CO
Today we started to feel less in the middle of nowhere. For the first time in a while we passed through multiple towns in one day. We also finally reached our fourth state: Colorado!
My family has a number of friends and relatives in Southwestern Colorado. We spend every Christmas with them in the town of Durango. Some of these friends just so happened to be en route to Lake Powell for a vacation and were driving the same road we were on. The people in their first vehicle saw us riding by and stopped where our support bus was parked. As I rode in to take a break I was surprised to see their familiar faces there to greet me! Then, as we stopped farther down the road at the Colorado sign, the rest of their group, who were driving a bit far behind the first, met us there. What a welcome into Colorado!
The next day was a rest day, so we met back up with the ESCAA team in Mesa Verde National Park to explore the incredible Anasazi cliff dwellings built by the natives thousands of years before. They are definitely architectural wonders considering they were built so long ago by such primitive people.
My family then returned to our cousin's house in Durango, stopping along the way in the town of Mancos, where I ate a huge lunch to refuel for the days ahead.
My second cousin, Mike, will be riding with us from Dolores to Durango tomorrow. It will be fun to have him along. I'm excited to ride into the Great Rocky Mountains!