Soaking it all in.
|START||Zion NP, UT|
|END||St. George, UT|
|07:30 AM||wakeup, pack up, eat breakfast|
|09:30 AM||start riding|
|01:00 PM||arrive in Hurricane, have lunch|
|05:30 PM||arrive in St. George and check into motel|
We had breakfast at Cafe Soleil again and lunch at the Dairy Queen in Hurricane.
We stayed at the same Dixie Palm Motel as the beginning of our trip since they were kind enough to let us keep our car there for the week. We booked the night in advance because there was a marathon in town and we were warned that the rooms could fill up.
We had to walk multiple sections today because of the difficult rocky and sandy terrain. Also, Hwy 59 has fast moving traffic and no shoulder at all (plus rumble strips on the side AGH!). We also missed a fork on the dirt road into Hurricane and ended up on Hwy 59 again sooner than the route planned.
After saying goodbye to Zion and filling up on breakfast, we headed out for the last day of our ride.
It was all pretty easy going until Rockville–which by the way looked like a cute town that we wish we had more time to explore.
After crossing the bridge, we immediately started to see signs warning us of the extremely steep and rocky road.
They weren’t kidding. I made it up as far as I could but eventually had to clip out. Even Robert had to push and he is a much more skilled cyclist than I am.
It eventually flattened out and we were rolling again. Some spots had some serious washboard and it felt like my brain was in a blender. Could have used some suspension bikes here.
Once the dirt road ended, we had to cycle on Hwy 59 for about 4miles. It was a tense ride as the cars and trucks were travelling very fast and there was only 6in of shoulder with rumble strips on the side. I felt pretty good about keeping my line and the thicker tires added stability when there would be debris and plants on the narrow shoulder.
There was a convenience store at the 2mile mark where we stopped to get a soda.
We made the turn back onto the dirt road (South 2700E) and things were quiet again. This section was a little confusing as there are multiple forks in the road (for offroad activities I assume) so we were always checking the maps to make sure we were still on the right route. However, we still managed to miss the left on the final fork and we ended up back on Hwy 59 three miles sooner than planned. C’est la vie.
We stopped in Hurricane to find a spot for lunch. Somehow we ended up at a Dairy Queen which neither of us frequent. I ordered a salad and it came with ice cream AND a milkshake for $5. What? It’s a good thing they don’t have any in San Francisco or I’d easily become overweight on ice cream.
As we were on the road leaving Hurricane, a family in an ATV passed us about 4 times. They were obviously lost. Eventually they asked us if we knew of a lake nearby. We said we didn’t and were sorry we couldn’t help. But something about the situation was funny to me. A white American family in Utah stopped to ask some Asians on a bike tour for directions. It’s actually really nice when people don’t automatically assume you’re crazy foreigners. America! Gotta love it. Later I checked my map and saw the lake they were looking for and wished I could have thought to bring that out earlier. I’m sure they found it eventually.
Warner Valley Road was the final dirt road of the trip. It was this section that we ended up walking more in our entire trip combined. The sand in some sections was so deep my wheels kept slipping. It was a constant game of riding, wobbling, and almost tipping over. I found it funny but Robert did not.
The ATV’s and dirt bikes that passed us were all very friendly. Two guys in an ATV asked me if I was sure I was okay and if I needed any help. Probably thought we were crazy for being out there. The worst sand was only about 2mi from the end though so it was just a matter of patience.
We made it back onto the main roads that led into St. George but of course about 1.5mi from the end, Robert got another FLAT!
We finally reached our end destination and were ready to totally decompress. We tried to dust off as much as we could from our belongings, took a shower, had some pasta, and went to bed feeling like normal humans again. Bike tours definitely make me appreciate the simple pleasures.
Well, this was the last day of our trip and I already can’t wait for the next one! I’ve only ever biked long distances on paved roads so all the dirt/gravel/sand was truly a learning experience. I loved the peace and quiet off road, but really appreciate the efficiency of smooth pavement. I think I’ve gotten better at listening to my body, gauging my fitness level, and building mental toughness. Utah has some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet and it’s amazing how much of it is accessible by bike. Thank you for everything and see ya later, Beehive State!