After a good couple days of rest, being with friends, and taking care of things I left Salt Lake today with a ride out to Heber, UT that saved me a day or more considering the passes involved. Since I am a bit behind schedule that is good.
Despite my elevation profile for the ride from Heber to Vernal looking like it was mostly downhill after Daniel’s Pass, it didn’t really feel that way. Overall it might have been but there were some definite hills today. On the plus side, I seemed to be able to go up them without stopping and in a gear or two above the granny gear.
The scenery started out being almost alpine but changed to scrub brush and short juniper pines along the way. The aspens around Heber and Daniel’s Pass had all turned. Aspens with green leaves are magical in the sun, but the orange and reds with the sun going through them was even more so. I wish they had been close enough to the road for me to go among them.
Route 40 is not a bad road. The shoulder is quite wide and where it is not wide there are two lanes so cars and trucks have lots of room to pass me. One of the most common vehicles are double trailer oil tankers. They head east empty and west full. There is an oil field near Vernal keeping them busy. Watching the westbound ones go up some of the hills, I thought, “I could pass that…” Probably not, but they were slow. From the RV park I can hear them going by.
When I got to Starvation Reservoir four miles west of Duchesne, I saw Camper World. I figured in Duchesne there might be a motel but for camping probably nothing much better so I stopped there. Plus it was 5:00 so I’d have two hours before sunset to set up camp and have dinner. Not to mention, it had a shower.
After my shower, a guy from one of the four RV in the park asked me if I wanted to come by for a beer. I went over, but declined the beer as recently alcohol seems to disrupt my sleep somehow. I talked with Jim and Ed both from Heber. They were staying at the park for some fishing. The day before had caught a number of rainbow trout so I started off with some great smoked trout Ed made the day before. Jim had been the first vet in Heber and had some good stories from that. He and Ed had a lot of questions about my trip. Then came BLTs with tomatoes from Jim’s garden as well as corn. They insisted I eat up since I had to bike a lot. I had three ears of corn, and left stuffed. It was much better than the boil stuff I had planned. I left very full and happy.
Overall, a good day. Jim said the ride to Vernal should be pretty flat. I like that.
Start: Salt Lake City, UT
End: Camper World four miles west of Duchesne, UT
Today’s mileage: 56.4 miles
Total miles so far: 1056 miles
Average speed: 11.8 mph
Max speed: 28.6 mph
Travel time: (11:00 to 17:00) 6 hours
Total travel time: 140.25 hours
Weather: sunny, clear, 60-80 F
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