Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Disappointment strikes but the team deals

Since Dave and I began planning our route we had been looking forward to stopping at the Hite Recreation Area on Lake Powell in Utah. Our maps spoke highly of the area and the park's website showed pictures of a beautiful lake surrounded by high red mountains. As such, we scheduled one of our off days there. Yesterday we had a short 50-mile day to get to the park and we were anxious to relax by the water and enjoy ourselves.

Sadly, things did not turn out as we wanted them to. The last 10 miles or so were difficult, not because of the terrain but because of the heat. It was near 1 PM and the temperature was over 100 degrees. When we finally pulled into Hite we found the beautiful lake we expected, but the shore was bare, facilities were few and far between, the heat was blistering, and we were constantly pestered by gnats.

Trying to make the best of the situation we headed 4 miles up the road to Farley Canyon, another point of access to Lake Powell. We swam in the lake for a little over an hour and enjoyed the sun, but soon the heat got the better of us and we headed back to Hite to find some shade.

In the evening we enjoyed a small dinner in the car and then went for a swim. After wading to waist deep water I dove forward, thinking the water would get deeper. However, the water actually got slightly shallower away from the shore and I ended up scraping the sand on bottom. I came out with some scrapes on my chest and forehead. Though unsightly, the scratches are surface deep and should be gone in a week or so.

By the time we were done swimming it was dusk. Tired, we opted to forgo pitching the tent and sleep in the van for the first time. This turned out to be another terrible decision. It was hot, uncomfortable, and didn't offer as much space as we expected. We woke in the morning not very refreshed and greeted with another 100+ degree day.

The night before we had decided to push on to our next stop, Blanding, and take our rest day there. So Dave and I were back on the bikes and pedaling. It was a 75 mile ride through extreme heat and dry weather. The first 40 miles or so were a steady uphill so both us riders were pretty spent. All in all we spent 6-7 hours in the saddle because of the constant uphill and heat.

We're currently in Blanding and will be taking our rest day here tomorrow. We might take the hour car ride to the Four Corners, so I will try to get some photos of that up. Lauren's parents are driving up from Albuquerque tomorrow and are graciously putting us up in a hotel, so thank you very much! As always, thanks for reading and check back for more soon.

Answer to the last Trivia question: beehive. 10 points to Katie O'Neil!

Answer to the BONUS question: Allosaurus. (Dinosaurs are cool).

Today's Trivia Question: What are the middle names of Dave, Lauren, and Austin? (5 points a piece)

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