The wind continued unfettered all through the wee hours, but we scarcely noticed through the fatigue of our first day out. In short, sleep was very, very good.
Up and rolling shortly after sunup gave us superdelicious warm light to ride in, and through, on our way north.
"Hey, lookit me, lookit MEEE!"
A good chunk of the day was spent riding near to and inside of Zion National Park. You can't "see" Zion from any road, but still--this kind of preview didn't suck.
Because of strict no-bikes-on-trail rules in the park, as well as all of the private land surrounding it, we spent the lion's share of the day riding dirt and paved roads. We knew that Dave had agonized over where and how to send the route, and figured that the options must have been slim indeed. We had to get north somehow to tie into the alpine trails that we hoped would follow, so we enjoyed the views and tolerated the roads.
The higher we climbed the more the wind prevailed, and the more evidence of full-time wind existed.
TO seemed not to mind the soul-crushing roads quite as much as I did. Truth be told he nailed it on the head when he said, "You have an exceptionally low tolerance for 'em". I guess I just don't understand why anyone would choose to ride a mountain bike somewhere that a car can be driven. So limiting, so uninspiring, so lacking in challenge and, more importantly, fun. A seaweed fueled break, complete with micro-nap, gave me the gumption to get back on the bike and unwind more not-so-skinny.
Kolob Reservoir provided another welcome respite, as well as water to get us through the rest of the day.
Above Kolob we climbed out of the red rock and into lava underlaid aspen groves.
Not a single cloud blighted the sky all day. We looked *hard* for 'em, fearing the incessant wind would bring snow to end our trip early. Not one.
Above Cedar City.
The GPS track led us onto the "C" trail, and the best riding of the day immediately assaulted us. Wall ride!
Arriving in town at sunset left us little choice but to stop for the night. The ensuing road climb up Cedar Canyon is narrow, twisty, and long, and people drive fast on it, none of which sounded appealing to us in the dark. We sprung for a forty-dollar room and indulged in a hot mexican meal at the burrito joint next door. Then, of course, some bad TV followed by blessed sleep.
More to come.