Day 5 - Cedar Ridge to Cameron – Wednesday, April 20th

When camping during the night, we encountered the same problem we had at Wahweap Marina (the thorns), rendering my self-inflating pad useless. Again, Malcolm slept without a pad, letting me use his. I don't know how he did it.

Camping 'in the sticks' – we didn't use the shelter because no rain was forecast, though we had it handy

We had no problem with rain (or snow) this whole trip. It was the wind that caused us problems.

We had camped about 4.8 miles before Cedar Ridge, which is the top of the gentle climb, after which the road does a gradual descent to Cameron, which is a gateway-community to Grand Canyon National Park (the south rim).

Profile from Bitter Springs to Cameron

We started cycling early this day, at 9:10 AM. There was hardly any wind at all when we started, but they were howling at full strength late in the afternoon.

Climbing toward Cedar Ridge, in the early morning

Near Cedar Ridge, still climbing

After Cedar Ridge, it was downhill, which helped. Unfortunately, there was about 3 miles of road construction, with the traffic escorted through, one way at a time. Per the flag-man's directions, we went at the end of a group, and cycled (for the most part) on the side of the road not used by the cars. It turned out not to be the problem I had feared.

At the end of the construction, was the first store since leaving Page, the prior day, at a place called “The Gap”.

The first store since Page – a welcome sight!

Here we replenished our supplies, both of food, and water. We purchased sandwiches for our lunch, and also hard-earned snacks. The person running the store gave us useful information, as well.

Still there remained 30 miles until the next store (in Cameron). It was downhill now, but the crosswinds (and a partial head-wind) kept increasing.

We cycled onward. At first, the winds weren't a problem.

Cliffs, east of the road

Empty, desolate lands, as we came nearer to Cameron

The crosswinds became very strong (30 to 40 M.P.H) as we neared Cameron. There was a very real danger of being blown into the traffic. At times we walked (holding the bicycles against the wind) to avoid this danger. Yet we wanted to get to Cameron soon to increase the chances of getting a motel room.

When we finally reached Cameron, there were no rooms available, but there was a place in the gravel at the end of the RV park across the road we were allowed to camp for free. The problem with this, is that the only restrooms were in the Cameron Trading post, which was closed between 9:00 PM and 6:00 AM. At least there were no thorns here!

We met another group of cross-country cyclists, and were excited to camp with them, but when we finished eating dinner at the restaurant, they were nowhere to be found.

It was a cold, windy night. During the night, the wind changed directions, blowing the bicycles over on us. If we had used the shelter, it probably would have been blown away, or destroyed. Some of our stuff was blown away, and we had to find it, and gather it up the next morning.

The wind was so strong, it blew right through our sleeping bags, and it was cold! Again, it was necessary to sleep in our sleeping bags with our coats on.

It was difficult waiting for the Trading Post to open in order to use the restroom.

On this (past) day, we traveled 44.3 miles, with an average speed of 7.6 miles per hour. The very strong crosswinds had made cycling dangerous.

Next Day

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