On the 12th I left Ely, NV, and spent my last hours on US Hwy 50. I thought, at the time, that that would be the end of lonely, open stretches of road. I was prepared, at the time, to label US 50 "The Crone" - dry, inhospitable, lonely, but still beautiful in its own way.
I made my last stop in NV in great time (Baker, NV). I was faced with the opportunity again to either have an extremely short day's ride, or push on, through an 83 mile stretch of open desert. I had plenty of time to make this long (though admittedly difficult ride).
Let's do it! I was fully prepared to make this (Day 8), my longest day yet, at between 140-150 miles. Throw in five 1000+ foot climbs, and I was glad that I had stocked up on snacks and water.
I was then introduced to the new Crone. Perhaps US 50's spinster sister. I saw fewer cars on my 80+ ride through the western part of Utah than I ever did in NV. The flats were longer and flatter, the hills longer and hillier.
But still, I was making tremendous time, stopping every 20k or so for water and snacks, and to stretch out my legs.
That is, until I met the devil's herd. Frankly, I have no idea where I was when I ran into these Satanic bovines, but I do know that I was still quite far from my destination - Milford, Utah.
The herd stretched for at least a mile in either direction, and were particularly concentrated on the road in front of me. Two calves and two cows stared blankly at me as they blocked my path.
I inched forward. "Moooo", threatened the mother. "Moo", I said, trying to convince her to move off the road. "MOOOO!!", screamed the mother, as I tried to inch around her. She moved as if to charge.
Ok, I thought. I have time. I'll wait them out. After all, a road has no grass, has nothing to interest a cow. They'll leave soon. Nope.
I think I waited for those damn cows to move for at least an hour. I would bet on more. I might go vegan. I hate cows.
After that hold-up, it was late. The sun was setting. In fact, by the time I pulled into Milford, it had set. Thankfully, right on the town's border was the Oak Tree Inn and Penny's 24 hour diner. The noms ensued to a degree never before seen, then the sleeps did.
Fast forward 12 hours, and I was back on the bike for Day 9. A short ride, I promised myself. And it was (phew). I'm sitting now in Cedar City, Utah, at the base of Cedar Mountain, which I'll put off climbing until tomorrow. For today, pizza and icing my knee.
I've decided, instead of going vegan, I'm going to eat every cow on the planet. Look out, you horrible beasts.