Day 3: Tuesday, June
In the morning, refreshed, it was time
to decide. I checked the climb & drop figures printed on the
profiles we had with us. The 1,500 foot climb scheduled for this
was actually a 2,834 foot climb when the climb/drop figures were taken
into account, which was something we could do.
But the climb of the next day was a 6,942 foot climb instead of the
3,000 foot climb I was expecting. The most I have been able to do
day-hike is 4,000 feet - so we couldn't do it in a day, and we would
have to carry food for at least two days. And the wind (as
had changed so it was coming from the south - again a headwind.
The climb after those two days (now in 90-degree heat) would be 5,672
feet - again more than I could do in a day. Neither of us had
for that kind of climbing, and it would take a rigorous training regime
to do so.
Reluctantly, we decided to turn back to Panguitch, giving up on the
rest (and more scenic parts) of the trip. Malcolm suggested that
hitch-hike back to get the truck, but to me, it just made the failure
even more ignoble.
"Hey," I said, "This is a tactical withdrawal - not an utter defeat and
Having made the bitter decision, we ate at the cafe across the street,
which is one of the better cafes I have ever eaten at. We
our supplies at the store, and headed south, into a significant
Again the up-and-down nature of the road continued to dog us, as we
climbed, then reclimbed (after a short downhill glide) the same
elevation, though the elevations tended downward on the whole.
Heading south, back toward Otter Creek Reservoir - note the climb,
though generally it tends downhill.
Malcolm took this picture of the scenery, as seen by a bicycle racer.
Some dreams die. Do we sound discouraged?
On the way back to Otter Creek Reservoir, we noticed something that
would have been an even bigger problem than the prodigious
temperature, which was forecast in this area to be in the mid to upper
80's, was rising toward my maximum useful temperature of 94
I have a problem of having too few sweat glands, so if it gets too hot
(toward body temperature), I cannot cool off, and progress to heat
stroke. Knowing this risk, I had my trusty spray-bottle with me,
kept spraying myself down. Being as hot as it was, the spray
evaporated, and I was needing it again and again.
Malcolm finally came up with the idea that got me up the last big hills
before the RV park. Where we had a good supply of extra water, he
poured it over me, rubbing it into the fabric of my top. With it
sopping wet, it lasted for more than 10 minutes, and kept my core body
temperature down even after we reached the coolness of the
Again, a steak dinner was in order, as well as a welcome rest from the
endless climbing and gliding. We also refilled our water
(which were now almost empty).
Given the problems I had with the heat earlier, Malcolm didn't want me
to continue toward Kingston. I was much cooled-down at this time
though, and was able to convince him that the canyon going west didn't
have anywhere as much up-and-down as the trip from Koosharem, and we
would also have a crosswind rather than a headwind.
Reluctantly, he agreed, and we started west toward Kingston.
were a few short up-and-down sections, but (as I had pointed out), it
was mostly downhill.
As we progressed into the canyon, the wind (forever dogging us),
changed to an up-canyon wind from the west. However, the
downhill slope really helped. I never did get close to
I finally saw a place on the roadside where we could get out of the
sun, and turned off the road into the shady pull-out. Malcolm
eagerly, wanting to get out of the hot sun. Unknown to us, the
temperature in Circleville had risen to 97 degrees that day - 3 degrees
above my effective maximum temperature.
A shady turn-out on the road west to Kingston
Impressive rock formations, as seen from the turn-out
We stayed there a long time, listening to the water running over rocks
in the streambed below. Malcolm wanted to stay until the
significantly less. We stayed there at least a half-hour, and
Eventually, noting that we seemed to have a down-canyon wind - a
tailwind instead of a headwind, we got back on our bicycles and headed
west. True to form, the tailwind turned out to be an eddy-current
in the canyon, and we quickly met our old friend, the headwind.
But it was downhill almost exclusively, and we made good time.
Soon we made it to Kingston, and briefly said hi to our friend of the
day before, then continued west toward highway 89.
It was uphill to highway 89, though the climb was gentle. We now
had a crosswind from the south. But on reaching highway 89, where
we turned south, we again had our headwind, as we did the gentle climb
In this section, a group of cross-country cyclists on road-bikes passed
us, whom we greeted in passing - fellow travellers in a wide
After what seemed ages, we reached the place where the road turns west
into Circleville, and lost our headwind at long last. We pedaled
on past a restaurant, which had a sign on it that (to my amazement)
appeared to say "F**kers Welcome", but on getting closer, it actually
said "Truckers Welcome. We stopped finally at the RV park where
two days before.
Given the headwind we had experienced going south, and given the 97
degree temperatures in Circleville, Malcolm decided it would be better
to hitch-hike back to Panguitch to get the truck. Given the
temperatures, I didn't protest this time, and I set up camp while he
tried to hitch-hike.
Given the small amount of traffic on this backwater of highway 89, he
was not successful, and later joined me for supper at camp.
It was a restful nights sleep, but in the night, forever dogging us, a
very strong wind came, trying to blow down our shelter. The
shelter (and my setting up of it) passed the test, as it didn't blow
down or get deformed in any significant way.
On this day, we had traveled 43.0 miles, with an average speed of 8.5
miles per hour. The bicycles were moving for 5 hours and one
minute. It took us 8 hours, 50 minutes to do it.
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