Posted by: rustymccain | June 20, 2011

The Longest Day

Yes, we did it! Today was one of the big concerns for me on this trip. There was nothing between Hanksville and Blanding, Utah except 129 miles of gorgeous desert and one store. The store is located at a marina where the Colorado River empties into Lake Powell. We were really concerned because the store was 50 miles from our starting point, which meant we had to take enough fluid for the final 79 miles with us from the store.

Happy in the Canyon near Lake Powell

Our ride started with a gentle 20 mile climb out of Hanksville. We were feeling a little anxious, so we kept the pace very reasonable. We were blessed today with a beautiful day for riding. Temperatures here can easily rise above 100 degrees and I have already talked about the wind. However, due to the cold front that beat us to a pulp yesterday, we were left with a sunny day and crisp, cool air. We even had a gentle tailwind for the first part of the ride. At about mile 20, we started a long downhill of about 20 miles. Not only was it fun, the canyon was unbelievable to see. At about mile 45, the road started up and down until the final climb up from the Colorado river to the marina store.

Colorado River near Lake Powell

We got as much fluid as we could carry for the final leg. We didn’t know if we had enough because we were in the desert and when we left the marina, we had a 50 mile climb. While it was not completely uphill, there was about a 4000 feet elevation gain and it seemed it was uphill about 98% of the time.

Though uphill, the 50 miles was really pretty. I think we picked the right year to do this trip. Like Nevada, they have had an abnormal amount of snow and rain over the winter and spring and as a result, the desert here is very green as well.

The only excitement was when Ray almost ran over a rattlesnake. I saw it and yelled at him but he did not see it until he was right on it. It was dead, at least I think it was, but Ray didn’t know that. As a result, he almost tore his cleat off his shoe. I think he almost did a lot of things.

We hit mile 110 and thought we had hit the jackpot with a long downhill. Life was getting good! The problem was, we hit another wall about 10 miles out of town. We had three killer climbs going up to the finish. I set another speed record as I found out you can stay upright on a bike at 2.8 mph. I wish I was joking.

Near Blanding, Utah

We finally cruised into town, content with the fact that we made it through what we hope is the toughest day on this ride. Tomorrow is rest day!! I will try to post some more pics. We are still hanging in and still having a blast. Day after tomorrow, we will be in Colorado! Thanks for checking in.


  1. My favorite line… “I think he almost did a lot of things.” Congrats to you both on a great day!

  2. You made a comment previously about had I came along, i’d already be at the Atlantic…. Well, I’m not sure I’d have it in me to do what you all are doing. I’d found a pawn shop somewhere back 500 miles ago, sold my bike, took the money and purchased me a flight home. Keep it up guys, can’t wait to see you soon.

  3. I check in and read every night – more people in the world should see things through your eyes. It is incredible journey that you are on and the adventure/experience is something that you will both always have to cherish. I also ride and can chuckle along with you as I read!!! Enjoy.

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