Friday, June 22nd
We awoke refreshed, checked-out of the motel, and resumed cycling at 10:00 AM.
The route took us west about 6 miles on highway 30, before highway 34 split off, heading south. Most of this distance we were passing a reservoir to the south of the highway. This was a good road, with wide shoulders.
The Reservoir Southwest of Soda Springs
Soon we came to the junction, and headed south on highway 34. About 5 miles of pedaling brought us to the town of Grace, Idaho, where we stopped for (you guessed it) ice cream. It was a cool respite from our hot day of traveling - a far cry from the frigid temperatures and snow of Sunday.
Malcolm: I passed out information about a website I created, www.dvorakTyping.com there.
We continued on to the town of Niter, where we stopped at a convenience store, drank a soda & Gatorade, and replenished our water supply.
Continuing south, we passed through open farmland, crossing occasional drainages.
Treasureton Reservoir - One of the Drainages We Had to Cross
Most of these drainages were not a big deal to cross. We glided down into a Bear River crossing, and this more northern part was also not too bad.
Climbing Up Out of the More Northern Bear River Drainage
We had challenges climbing out of this first Bear River crossing as the road turned more westerly, and kept climbing hills. We stopped and rested is the shade a few times to break up the trip, and we started using the spray bottle (filled with water) to cool me down, where I have comparatively few sweat glands. The spray bottle helped a lot.
On completing our climb out of the Bear River drainage, we started feeling smug and confident of our hill climbing abilities. Still in the back of my mind, I remembered the cyclist we talked to the night before mentioning two Bear River crossings...
We knew we were getting close to Preston, our goal for the night, and we were feeling confident.
Then we saw it - a deep valley with the Bear River flowing down the middle of it. It was an exhilarating glide down into it. But of course, we must remember Aere's 1st Law of Bicycling: For every pleasant, downhill glide, there is an equally obnoxious uphill grind.
From the trip to Yellowstone, I knew there was a campground at the bottom of it, and I suggested to Malcolm that we camp there, and take on the hill in the cool of the morning. But we were only 6 miles from Preston, and Malcolm didn't want to stay with our goal so close, so we started up the hill.
It was very hot, and I was totally depending on the cooling I could get from the spray bottle. Malcolm very kindly kept spraying me down, so I never lost my reasoning ability (which often happens to people getting heatstroke). The problem was that this particular hill was very steep - too steep for my 18-speed, and I could not cycle it. I had to get off and push. To make it worse, it was about a mile and a half before the slope became gentle enough to cycle it again. Of course, SLOPES HAPPEN...
About a Mile Up the Walk-Up Hill, Coming Out of the Bear River Drainage
We finally did get to where we could cycle it again, and after a mile or two of hard climbing, finally made it out of the drainage to the relatively flat areas beyond. We passed a reservoir, climbed some more, then continued generally downhill toward Preston.
Entering Preston, Idaho
We were hot and tired, and it felt good to reach our goal for the day. We ate food and ice cream at an Arctic Circle drive-in, then asked where any motels were, not having seen any on the way in. The only motel turned out to be just a bit further down the road toward Logan. But when we arrived there, we were greeted by a No Vacancy sign. We inquired if there were any place to camp, and found there was none (except probably the place at the bottom of the monster climb we had struggled out of over an hour before), and we weren't going back there, no matter what. Someone also said the nearest motels were in Logan.
With that news, we continued on our way, hoping to reach Logan before it got dark (but we still had 20 more miles to North Logan).
At Franklin, Idaho, there was an RV park, but they didn't allow people with tents to stay there - even in an emergency. So we continued on.
At the Utah Border, Just South of Franklin - Note the Lengthening Shadows
Malcolm suggested we just camp somewhere out of sight, but it was all private land, and I said I would prefer to forge on to Emily's place in North Logan.
So we continued. Sunset turned to dusk as we passed through Richmond, and it was dark when we made it to Smithsfield. There was major road construction there, and we avoided some of it by going east to 1st East. We returned to the main street at 2nd South, but the construction was still going. We pushed our bikes along the dug-up gravel side of the street, avoiding the narrow lanes of heavy traffic. At long last, we came to intact road, and continued cycling.
This was hard in the dark, but there was a lot of light from the headlights of cars coming behind us. Eventually there were street lamps, as we entered North Logan. The problem was that we couldn't read the street signs because they were on the opposite side of the busy highway. The thing that saved us was that I remembered the street to turn east on was the same one that went west to the Logan Airport, and there was a sign for the airport.
A little more difficult navigation in the dark (sometimes crossing the street to read street signs) brought us to Emily's place, at 10:40 PM.
We could have loaded our bikes in the truck and drove home, but we wanted to involve our family in a victory dinner, and Emily offered a place for us to stay the night. We took her offer, and as usual, slept soundly.
On this day, we traveled 77.6 miles, with an average speed of 9.0 mph. We were pedaling for 8 hours, 35 minutes. It took us 12 hours, 40 minutes to do it. This was our longest day of traveling, though that outcome wasn't our plan.
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