I left not-so-tropical Tropic a little later than I would have liked, but was happy that I spent some time that morning rearranging my panniers. It is funny how on a trip like this you become a little obsessed with organization and accessibility of items. Not to mention weight distribution. I'm definitely not anal retentive like that usually... *cough* *cough*
Enter The Grand Staircase, National Monument. Why is it a staircase? My route is just this flat road between these rock walls? Oh, I go up the walls? Ah...staircase. The climb, however, was an enjoyable one, and led me to 2 Israeli cyclists.
Jacob and his daughter were also doing a bit of a cycle (Jacob started in Virginia), and were heading west. A nice little chat later, and Jacob left me with an extra lip balm! Thank you, mouthed my chapped and burnt lips. (Sorry mom, no pics of the nice Israelis...camera out of order, remember?) I don't think he was using it anyway - Jacob was wearing more clothes than a Canadian in winter - including what appeared to be a balaclava! For reference, I was sweating in bike shorts and a t shirt.
Fast forwarding through my lunch break in Escalante, and let me take you to the Hogback. According to my map, the Hogback is, "the highlight (or terror) on this section." "It is a 3-mile stretch of narrow two-lane road along a ridge spine with no shoulders or guardrails and has drops on both sides. Ride carefully and defensively." Yes, sir!
Quivering in my clips after that experience, I came to Boulder, Utah. I stopped at a convenience store, hoping that they would sell blankets that would make my sleep a little warmer. After complementing me on my backside (really, and quite eloquently, I might add), Cindy the storekeeper told me that there was a couple who had also done a transamerican journey by bicycle, and that they had instructed her to send all bikers their way!
Enter Scott and Chris. Heroes! I'm sitting now in the little cabin they put out back of their place to house grandchildren and cyclists. It has a bed. *shivers with comfort*
Scott and Chris were fantastic. They shared stories of their travels, and were such a help - thanks you two! Mom: again, no pics...I know, I know...the memories. Well, I doubt I will ever forget their generosity. Plus, I offered them both a place to stay should they ever make it to Toronto (which apparently they might - they travel a lot).
Today (Day 12): to Hanksville! Or Caineville. Or somewhere I feel like stopping.