Ute Canyon, Where We Watch The Sun Rise.

Day 47: Grand Junction, CO to Moab, UT
Total Mileage: 63 miles

Grand Junction is known for Colorado’s National Monuments (The Monuments). We didn’t have any time last night to explore the Monuments, so a group of us decided to wake up before the break of dawn at 4AM to watch the sunrise there. Most of the team wanted extra time to sleep, so only 7 out of 26 of us went. I figured, when am I ever going to be in Grand Junction again with an amazing group of people? Gotta make the most out of your time, especially when stunning canyons on the Colorado Plateau are less than 5 miles away from you. Watched the sunrise a little passed Monument Canyon, visited Grand View and Independence Monument, and sang Ute Canyon the entire way (thanks Caiti haha).

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IMG_4210Today’s ride was in dedication to Michael Kozar, who passed away from kidney cancer in 2011.

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We didn’t realize we’d spend so much time exploring the Monuments, so we got back to the university a little later than expected. We didn’t have breakfast lined up for us this morning, so we had to find a local breakfast joint to eat. What was supposed to be a quick dine and go turned out to be a 2-hour hangout in downtown Grand Junction. Thanks to the donation Lamie’s aunt made, we were able to eat a hearty breakfast at Main Street Bagels. We visited bike shops, played with Winston (a stranger’s dog), and kept ordering food after we finished our main meal cause we all wanted smoothies and frappes. First group rolled out of Grand Junction around 10:30AM, which comes in second place to our late departure from Mammoth Cave National Park. With over a century to ride, things weren’t looking the best in terms of finishing the day.

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IMG_4233Today’s team name: Team Super Group with Sasha, Amy, Katrina, Gloria, Rachael, Will, and Dany. We formed our own groups and decided to super group it up after I got my second flat of the day. It’s really frustrating getting all these flats the past couple of days since I bought my Gatorskins less than a week ago. The entire time, I had a slow leak. My brake pads were installed incorrectly on my back tire, which made a gash on the side of my tire. Because of that tiny hole, small pebbles were piercing my inner tube and causing the flats. Again, we had to be shuttled cause part of the route called for interstate riding. After we were shuttled past the interstate and through creepy Frisco, I got another flat. I decided to just go in the van since I was wasting so many tubes and there were no spare back tires to use. In total, I only did 40 miles. A bit frustrating since I really wanted to bike through the Moab canyons, but my tire thought otherwise. Guess it’s time to buy a new one… again.

IMG_4266Caiti and Sara, the van drivers of the day, turned the day around and made it a lot of fun for me. Did my first wine tasting with them at Castle Creek Winery and had great conversations at the restaurant right in front of the canyon. Great views and great company.
IMG_4712Oh, and this is how 4K bathes when we have no showers. Gotta love it!

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