Day 53: Bryce Canyon, UT to Zion, UT
Total Mileage: 77 miles
Today’s ride is in dedication to Mama Barcelon.
Today, I was on wakeup duty and the ride directors told me to wake the team up around 5AM. Since there was minimal space in the room everyone was sleeping in, I decided to sleep in the space between the two fire trucks in the garage along with Gloria, Rachael, Abigale, and Sasha. At 4AM, I hear the garage open and see feet shuffling to get inside so the volunteer fire fighters can change into their gear. The last thing I expected was an alarm call from the fire station, and that’s what we got. Team members had chamois shorts, jerseys, and wet towels hanging from the fire trucks, so we had to rush and get them off so they wouldn’t drive off with them. We were confused and it was a complete scramble to get situated with the circumstances going around us. At one point, I sleepily asked the fire fighters if they needed any help, thinking I would be of use to them. They just chuckled at me and told me to move my sleeping pad so I wouldn’t get run over. Went back to sleep for about an hour only to find them back in the garage. At that point, I had to wake Gloria, Rachael, and Abigale up to move cause the trucks were backing into the garage and they needed the space. Today was probably the most memorable wake up of the trip.
Today’s team name: Team Wutang with Sara, Julie, and Michael. Ali’s theme was based off of members of famous rap groups. I ended up drawing Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The first seven miles out of Tropic into Zion were all uphill with 8-10% grades the entire way. We knew about the climb since we drove up the road yesterday on our way to Bryce Canyon National Park, so we were mentally prepared. After that, it was pretty much downhill into our first water stop. One of the memorable views from the bike trail we took was the Red Canyons. I GoPro’ed part of the trail through the Red Canyons, so when I get a chance to upload it on YouTube, I’ll post it on my blog. We lost Michael after the first water stop since he rode with Danny the rest of the day, so we were down to a three-person team. For the most part, the ride wasn’t too difficult. The last turn onto UT-9 was harder than expected, especially coming out of a 20 mile descent into lunch. There were a couple climbs that got my heart and breathing rate up, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, we just weren’t expecting it. We made it to our host at Clear Creek Ranch, about 3 miles from Zion National Park. Thanks to Katrina for securing our host there! As soon as we got there, we found a couple team members on a dock in the middle of a pond. Canoed my way there with Abigale and Sara and relaxed for a bit before heading to dinner.
Props to Kat and Lauren for a great lunch and for finding us dinner in Mount Carmel. Apparently July 24th is Pioneer Day in Utah and is a huge state celebration. The day commemorates the Mormon pioneers passage into the Salt Lake Valley from Emigration Canyon in 1847 (http://pioneer.utah.gov/research/utah_symbols/holiday.html). Kat and Lauren spoke with a lady from the town and told her what we were doing this summer. She invited us to their Pioneer Day celebration in town and welcomed us to dinner.