Day 12 was torturous. We began with a 1,000 foot climb up yet another mountain, but this was the easy part. The real fun began the moment we turned onto Hwy 93 to head south to the town of Pioche. We immediately hit a headwind stirred up from the deepest level of hell. It averaged at least 20 mph, sometimes getting up to 35 mph. No matter how hard we pedaled, we could very rarely get above 10 mph, normally we were traveling around 8 mph.
To make matters worse, we ran into another bad road, which also slowed us down for quite a few miles. And the scenery NEVER changed. It looked almost the same all the way to Pioche. In fact, for many miles we could SEE Pioche, but we just could not seem to get to it. Although we had left at 7:30 that morning, we did not finish riding until 8 PM. That's almost 12 hours!
In the end though, we all made it. 111miles in a 20 MPH headwind! I can check that off my bucket list.
We slept outside in a city park that night, and it felt amazing. We all slept in for the first time on the trip, until 8:30 or so. I was awoken by a local Pioche dog that seemed to appear out of nowhere. He was quite friendly and ran around our camp all morning begging people to pet him. We even played fetch with him for a time with a tennis ball we found.
The ride on day 13 was the exact opposite as the day before. It was only 20 miles, basically a rest day. It was such a short day because we were headed to Cathedral Gorge State Park. Cathedral Gorge is like a mini Grand Canyon, with rock walls sculpted through millions of years of water erosion. Even though we slept in, we still got to the park by noon. After a quick lunch, Max, George, Mr. Atkinson and I set out on a hike to explore the landscape. We started out by exploring a network of canyons and caves carved out of the sandstone. It is quite spectacular what mother nature can do.