Friday, June 23, 2006

Big Hills

Today, 87 miles in 7 hours. From downtown Salt Lake City, I rode up Emigration Canyon Rd. A nice ten mile climb, then dropped down a couple hundred feet to get on the I-80. Four more miles of climbing on the interstate, and I was able to get off the freeway and follow frontage roads past park city. Eventually I had to get on hwy 40 for about 10 miles. After which it becomes a smaller, slower road in the town of Heber. After stopping for lunch, I continued east on the 40 and climbed one seriously long hill to Daniels pass, then into the Strawberry Reservoir Recreation Area, where we camped.

Looking back down Emigration Cyn. towards Salt Lake City.

The Mountain Dell Reservoir. I took that little bend of road below towards the 80.

Riding uphill on I-80. Not my favorite thing in the world. There's adequate shoulder, but the slow lane is all torn up for repaving, so the concrete is very rough.

After reaching the top of the hill, and getting off the freeeway, this is one of several nice frontage roads that helped me stay away from all the high speed traffic and gravel trucks. (you can see the 80 just to the left)

The ski jump platforms from the olympic games. I lost my bike lock while in Salt Lake, so I went trolling around looking for a bike shop as I passed beneath Park City. I found one right at 10:00 am just as they opened. The guys running the shop were friendly and helpful. They gave me good directions on the best way to get to Heber with minimum freeway miles.

After running into a group of handicapped bicyclists (recumbent bikes with hand-cranks, pretty cool) I rode onto the 40. The shoulder was clean, but the grooved pavement made a very loud whining noise against all the passing tires. I was glad when the freeway came to an end.

The first sign of the end of my trip. Denver.

A fun downhill section of the 40 past Jordanelle State Park.

Lots of ski areas around here.

Nice views of the Wasatch range aqpproaching Heber. These are the same mountains we saw towering above Utah Lake and Provo on our way to Salt Lake City.

Downtown Heber.

I stopped for lunch at this cafe...

And got this amazing quiche. Take a look at the crust. It was no joke. A good salad and a cup of OJ too. I did not expect to find such good food in this town.

After visiting with the folks at the cafe while digesting my food, I headed on to climb up Daniels pass. Later this evening, a guy at the lake told us that it's the 2nd highest pass in Utah and that the road is an uninterrupted 6% grade for over 10 miles. I was out of the saddle climbing for so long that my toes started to go numb. I stopped at this general store at the top to get some cold juice, and refill my water bottles.

Nice change of pace to cruise downhill towards the Strawberry Reservoir.

First view of the water.

I took a nap under this tree while waiting for the girls to arrive. I also spent some time in the Visitor Center hanging with an old couple who work for the park service through the summer months. I learned alot about the reservoir, fish, snow, trucking, atlas missiles, mining timber, among other things. It was fun to hear about their lifestyle. The husband retired 25 years ago, now they spend 6 months every year living on this beautiful lake manning the visitor center, fishing and hanging out.

After the girls showed up, we rode another 12 miles to the Soldier's Creek campground.

We've been seeing lots of these guys around. The folks at the visitor center told me they call them "pot-bellies". I think they're prairie dogs, but I'm not sure.

The water is super clear, you can look right into it and see little tiny lobster-looking guys (are they crawfish?) hanging out all over the place.


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