Last night we came to a fork in the road where we had the choice between two routes to Panaca, NV. We chose well. While we’ll never know what the other had to offer, we had a lovely ride today through the Dixie National Forest.
The 22 miles of dirt road was better than we expected. There were areas with washboards and others with sand, but for the most part it was a pretty well maintained road, as far as dirt roads go.
Scott has mountain biking experience, so he goes over the rough bumpy parts and slides through the sand with ease. I, on the other hand, tried mountain biking exactly one time and spent more time flying off my bike than I did riding. I lack cycling grace. To my detriment, I hold the handlebars in a death grip and ride with all my weight in the saddle ensuring that every bone in my body feels every jarring bump, which I’m also not very adept at avoiding. This is one of the only times I appreciate the added weight on the bike as it makes for a more comfortable ride.
It was a wonderful relief to be back up around 6000 feet of elevation, where the air is cool and the landscape greener, adding a little moisture to the air. Camping last night in the national forest it was as if we had the entire place to ourselves. We were actually able to sleep until 8am without our tent turning into a sweatbox. And to think that just a few days ago we were riding out of Vegas, where it was so hot I was certain my brain was melting into my helmet.
Tonight we descended into the Cathedral Gorge State Park. We’re preparing ourselves for the long haul to Baker Nevada, 127 miles from here. There will only be one town at mile 8, our last opportunity for food and water. We’ve been warned that there’s a whole lot of nothing where we’re headed. It will take us two or three days to get to Baker depending on the wind pattern. We’ll be moving slower than usual because the bikes will be HEAVY with three days worth of water plus food.
And tonight, for dinner, we’re feasting on bacon wrapped turkey. Mmmm….bacon.