I originally thought I’d start out at the crack of dawn. That idea was tossed aside when I got up at 05:00 and really wanted to sleep some more. I just hoped the weather would be more of the same — temperatures in the 70s.
Waking again at 07:30, and feeling much more rested, I ate breakfast — raisin bran, s’mores granola bars, triscuits, and yogurt, then started pedaling. There was a short uphill then a 9 mile downhill. Always good to start off with a downhill.
Heading north off route 6 onto Utah highway 68, the sign said 58 miles to Salt Lake City. Riding by cornfields and cow pastures until the road got closer to Lake Utah when the land then was BLM land. I suppose one could camp on the BLM land as the signs said you could for up to 14 days at a time, but it would not be my first choice due to what everyone was doing. For about the next ten miles, in the hills to the west of the road, cars and trucks were parked and the reports of gunshots could be heard. The BLM signs said that you had to remove all shell casings and targets. Plus, you were not allowed to use glass bottles or cans as targets. It was a Sunday so I guess that would explain the couple hundred people out shooting into the hillsides. It took me a while to find a good spot for lunch without anyone shooting target practice.
When the BLM landed ended, insta-suburb began by the name of Saratoga Springs. The monster houses that had all the architectural styling of the crappy villas popping up in China — easy to see where the Chinese got the idea for theirs — were stacked next to each other separated by small patches of green lawn. Each had something to be pulled on a trailer like an RV, ATV, jet ski, or motor boat. After a few miles, I hit the older suburbs of Salt Lake with modest ranch homes and sometimes even horse farms or cows. With about twenty miles to go I tried the Jordan River Trail. It is a bike path that follows the Jordan River into Salt Lake.
I had read about it online on the Utah Department of Transportation website. The website said there were some gaps and the signage was not consistent. At first I did not mind as it was welcome change from riding on city roads. The trail wound along side the Jordan River which was pretty high and actually flooded the trail at one point. My first dead end was pretty minor only having to double back about 100 yards. Then a second about the same due to no signage. Then I rode through the standing water about a foot deep where the river had overflowed the banks. But then the trail came to a dead end in South Jordan. There was no way around it surrounded by chain link fence. This time I had to go back almost two miles. I went back onto normal roads. I am sure the trail will be nice once it is all connected and they add signage but for me it was too frustrating. I was also starting to be a bit tired having gone 70 miles. I just wanted to be at my friends’ house.
For some reason my perception of Salt Lake City was that it was all flat except for the sides. That was not the way it seemed while riding a bike. I guess hills are remembered better on a bike. The last five miles was all uphill. I had to push the bike for a bit up one hill. That was more just to keep moving. It was good to arrive, shower, and head off to a birthday party with a good dinner. Then come back and fall asleep in a comfy bed with nowhere to go the next day. My first day off in a week.
Start: Eureka, UT
End: Salt Lake City, UT
Today’s mileage: 79.5 miles
Total miles so far: 1005 miles
Average speed: 11.9 mph
Max speed: 40 mph
Travel time: (09:00 to 17:30) 8.5 hours
Total travel time: 134.25 hours
Weather: sunny, clear, 55-85 F
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