I have been taking an awful lot of unexpected rest days in Utah. I am beginning to wonder if the ride is wearing on me. When I’m on the bicycle, I feel like I’m 20 years old again. Unfortunately, I am not. Yesterday, I had another unexpected rest day, after only two days of riding. I didn’t sleep well the night before and didn’t think I would be able to ride up and out of Escalante.
Today, the clouds were low and it was a wet ride. The forecast called for two more days of rain. I didn’t want to stay in the same place for so many days, so wanted to get on the road again, even if it turned out to be a short day.
There was a long steady climb out of Escalante. It was gradual, so not bad. The downhill on the other side into Henrieville was much steeper. Since I didn’t have to pedal much and with the wind created by my forward momentum, I was frozen by the time I reached Henrieville. The rain, which had been mostly mist so far, started picking up. Fortunately, there is a large picnic pavilion in Henrieville. I took shelter there for a while to try to dry out a little, warm up and wait for the rain to pass. My hands were pretty much numb by the time I stopped. I still had a hand warmer that I had bought in Colorado. Even with the hand warmer, it took almost an hour for my hands to warm back up.
After the rain slowed, I continued on to Tropic. Once I started pedaling again, I warmed right up. In Tropic, I called a local campground and they said they were full, even their tent sites. All the motels were full as well. It was getting late and I knew I couldn’t make it all he way to Panguitch, but thought I would have to find a place outside of town in the wet. As I was about to head out, someone staying in an RV at the campground said there were tent sites. I rode back to the campground. The person who I spoke to on the phone must have misunderstood me. When I asked if they had somewhere I could pitch my tent, she said, “In this rain?” They have a large lawn for tents and I was the only one there. After setting up camp, I took a nice, long, hot shower. It was probably the best shower I have had since Cumberland, MD.