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Day 141: 12/12/17 Bike The Parks: a somewhat frustrating day from Milford, UT to an exposed campsite

Miles: 57 Steps: 0? Vertical gain: Strava Knows! Liquid consumed: 96 oz. Wildlife: Whole lot of cattle! Faith in Humanity: thanks again for the hotel room and opportunity to present in Milford! It was a truly great experience for me and I thank you so much for the opportunity! Oh man, what a challenging day today! I woke up and tried to get ready somewhat quickly, but my normal super organized backpack is now in totally different arrangement and on a bicycle! I got everything On the bike, thanked the hotel again and checked out. Brrrr, it was cold today! I laughed as the first sign on my bicycle indicated that my destination was 89 miles away and the next sign reads “next services 88 Miles!” Wow, what a way to do the first day on a bike i’ve never ridden with a bunch of gear I've never used, temperatures are barely breaking single digits, and I’m about to ride on a smaller , less traveled highway than the “loneliest highway” which is about 40 miles North of me! 9 miles in, the pedal fell off! Oh no! I was really worried! Thankfully, it was only very slightly stripped and I quickly repaired the issue. Phew! If it was totally stripped I would have been screwed! Hard day of 3 climbs that I realized I’m really not in cycling shape yet. And the downhills? The “fun” part? Absurdly freezing cold! The bike is pretty good though, so that’s good! No traffic really at all on this lonely highway so that’s also good! Not having my routine down, but knowing where anything is anymore? Frustrating, especially because of how cold it is! I was hoping to do about 90 miles today... I did 57! Still pretty good, but I overestimated my ability a bit. And the terrain! It was hard! Up out of a canyon and over a pass, freezing cold down to the bottom of another canyon and up over a pass. Very hard. Some of the most exposed terrain I’ve ever been in: almost no vegetation other than some sage, some places not even that! Hiding out to camp? Ha! I just walked a couple hundred yards from the road and I’m just hoping nobody messes with me! Definitely had some negative thoughts today: what am I doing?! But, it’s also mid December in literally the most remote area in the lower 48. Gotta keep pushing! It’ll get better! I’m sure some days will be worse, but even though my organization has been completely disorganized, I don’t know my limits on a fully loaded bike, I don’t know proper clothing, etc., I learned a lot today. Definitely super challenging though! I was really ready to quit for the day when I look at the map and immediately see fences on both sides of the road indicating a “Desert Experimental Area”. No camlung there, so I pushed on. Definitely not in an ideal spot at all so close to the road and so out in the open, but I have faith no one will mess with me. I’m about 32 miles from Great Basin, hoping I can make the 1pm cave tour tomorrow... we shall see! I hope I can get more organized soon. It’s really important right now for 2 reasons: 1) limited daylight, it’s silly to waste time and 2) its so cold, mistakes are punished more quickly in the cold do it’s really important to have my act together! Nice to cover 57 miles in a day though I’ll say that! Very nice to have my tent back too! Just need to get organized, learn more about bike pacing and proper clothing and I’ll be happy again. Winters gotta end at some point right? Keep pushing!

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