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Day 10: Hello Fellow Travelers!

Updated: Aug 28, 2022

I hate packing. The worst part of every day is getting all my gear into my four bags. It makes leaving really slow even when I have a place to stay, such as at Pat and Ken’s house. When I finally got out the door it was around 8:00 AM. We took some final photos together at their little library on their front lawn and then I was off.


Thank you, Pat and Ken for being great hosts not only for me, but for so many others! More on that later...


What faced me now was a daunting 25 mile climb up to Cedar Breaks. I don’t recall a single descent for that entire stretch. However, right out of the gates I was greeted by my first red rock up close, which gave me plenty of motivation to continue.


Nevada was fun, but by the 4th day of the same desert and shrub scenery I was excited for a scenery change.

Throughout my entire trip, not a single car has stopped for me to ask if I needed anything. From talking to other cyclists, apparently that’s a pretty common occurrence normally. While I have gotten assistance on a few occasions while I have been stopped or while I was at camp, no one has ever pulled over for me until today on the climb! I think it’s likely due to me being entirely bundled from head to toe, which understandably makes me less approachable. If I wasn’t so scared of constant UV rays due to sun exposure for 14 hours every day, I would definitely go with a more casual look. Not because I really need the help, but part of the idea of my trip was that I want to talk to a bunch of people from all over, and I hope I can get more interaction going forward.

The guy who stopped for me was offering a ride to the top of the climb, but while it was a slog, I wanted to complete every part of this trip under my own power, so I had to turn him down. But, by doing so I got to experience some awesome views and rock faces on my slow ascent! In one part the rock completely overhangs the cyclist part of the road. With “beware of falling rocks” signs all over the place and plenty of rocks on the road, I was a tad worried, but the cliffs themselves were the only eventful occurrences I had until I rose out of the canyon.

Once out, I could see all the way across Utah, likely back into Nevada, or pretty close. At this point I was above 9,000 feet of elevation. I started at 5,800 in the morning.

Another near 1,500 feet later and I had finally made it to the top of Cedar Breaks. Although I was taking it pretty easy on the climb, I was quite happy with my time. I was up around 1:00 PM for some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen.



After tearing myself away from the first view, I continued down the road only to find another and another.

Cedar Breaks is a busy area and every viewpoint had a crowd. However, while biking along I found a clearing with no parking access and ”no parking” signs posted so no one could get to the clearing easily by car. Not a problem for me!


Once across the clearing I found myself alone on the very edge of the canyon. The only other signs of humans was an elevation marker placed in the 1980’s and I enjoyed 20 minutes to myself on the rim of the canyon and flew my drone around without disturbing anyone.

As I was heading back across the field, another cyclist was waiting for me at the edge of the road. We passed each other at one of the other viewpoints earlier, but I was talking to another group at the time and not wanting to make the space too crowded, especially with my bike, I ended up leaving that point without talking to him before.

Now that we have a chance to talk he tells me the other cyclist he was riding with is riding to Montreal along my route and if I hurry I can probably catch her and ride the rest of the day with a partner, which is always fun!

I thank Phil, which as I would learn later, was one of my potential hosts in Cedar City and sprint off to catch this other cyclist. It’s really not easy to sprint at 10,000 feet… but before too long I see her and yet another cyclist who was fully loaded on the side of the road!


I pulled up to meet both Claudia and Rob. Rob was heading the opposite direction of Claudia and I, but he has crossed the US three times in the last three years! Amazing stuff! He’s a college professor in New York and in his off time travels by bike. You can learn more about him on his blog found here: https://westernexpress2021.blogspot.com/

It would turn out that he was on his way to spend the night at Pat and Ken’s house and I hope he has as great a time with them as I did!

Soon Claudia and I were on our way again, thankfully down a descent almost the entire way to Panguitch, UT. There we rested for a bit and planned where to sleep that night. We found a campground just down the road towards Bryce a few miles. It was near a river and eager to swim I took off hoping to recover from the heat and have my first real swimming experience of the trip.


When I arrived I met DJ, the woman running the campground. You won’t find anyone more friendly. After personally escorting me to my site for the night, which she said Claudia and I could split the cost of, she also said she would bring us free coffee in the morning to our campsite and for $5 she would make me breakfast. How could I turn that down! I can’t wait for tomorrow morning!

After a fun swim, Claudia arrives and received a similarly warm welcome by DJ.

Claudia, unlike me, has not abandoned a very healthy lifestyle while on the road. For me it’s great because I can literally eat as much as I want of whatever I want and I won‘t gain weight. This is best exemplified in that four times since finishing that burger challenge in Middlegate, I have been told I’m especially skinny and need to put on some more fat to make regulating calories easier. If I miss a meal or two I’ll still feel fine if I have more weight, but supposedly not at my current weight. I haven’t missed a meal yet, so I doubt that’ll be an issue going forward.

Regardless, Claudia is traveling pretty heavy. This was indicated by her two huge bags and once her tent was assembled, she pulled out a whole cucumber and ate it. I do not envy her up any of the climbs she has in her future, but with that heathy diet she’ll complete her 5,000 mile journey eventually no problem (even if every hill is a challenge as she’s weighed down by cucumbers). Meanwhile, I am subsisting on beef jerky, candy, protein bars, and cereal. I could probably take after her example at least a little more than I currently am… but all the towns we pass through are so small it’s hard to find a market outside of a gas station.

Claudia and I nearly met at several different times on our trip. Initially, she had also reached out to Paul, my first host, but being focused on me he missed her message until it was too late. Then, she was potentially going to be staying at Pat and Ken’s, but their message didn’t go through and instead she found Phil (the cyclist from earlier), who I was potentially going to be staying with!


It seemed our meeting was inevitable at some point and today it finally happened. Tomorrow, we head to Bryce. Claudia plans to stay there for a day or two and hike while I need to continue on until Escalante, because the following day I have another host arranged which I don‘t want to miss. However, we may run into each other again in Telluride since I plan to take some slower days before then, and she’ll likely be right on my tail if not ahead of me by then!


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What a cool adventure so far Peter! Let us know if you want a case of cucumbers sent somewhere along your route...

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Cucumber: a less efficient way to get water :)

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That's so cool that you brought your drone along. Nice that you're meeting up with other riders along the way. Are the hosts people that are part of a network known to cross-country cyclists?

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Generally, yes. I have been using warm showers, which is for cycle tourists, but also Couchsurfing, which is more generic backpacking hosts etc

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