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Day 16: What’s Your Motivation? Mine? Bakeries.

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

It was rather nice riding at 3:40 AM if I’m being honest. It sure beats riding in 118 degree weather! It was the first time I've had to use my lights, both my headlamp and my taillight. If you haven’t picked up on it from my pictures, my outfits are entirely black. Both my jerseys and my bib shorts are black, so no matter what I choose to wear that day, I'm always in dark colors. This meant I was highly reliant on my lights and reflectors on my bags to make me visible to the infrequently passing cars. But I never felt particularly unsafe as I stayed on the shoulder, and my light in back can be blinding, so cars were well aware of me.

Around 5:00 AM the sky was becoming lighter, but I was also pretty tired. From Moab to the first significant town, Naturita, it was 80 miles of riding. I had covered about 30 while it was still dark, but I had a ways yet to go. I am virtually by myself on these roads, and I found myself closing my eyes for five seconds and riding blind to rest my eyes. But at around 6:00 AM, whatever hormone your body produces to wake you up kicked in, and for the rest of the day I really wasn’t tired!

I was riding on Highway 46, which is on the south side of the La Sal mountains. I had originally planned to bike right through the La Sal mountains all on dirt, and so several days of bikepacking, but at the time there was a fire on the mountain and the smoke and fire prevented me from doing that portion of my planned trip. I wasn’t too bummed about it since looking at my timeline, that section would have taken several more days than my current route and I didn’t know if I had the time to spare and probably would have skipped that part of the route fire or not.

After riding Highway 46 for a couple hours it dropped down a beautiful canyon, and at the bottom I found a fun sign! Progress!

You can see that the sun is still pretty low in this picture, and by the time I had reached Naturita, CO, it was barely noon. I stopped to get some food. With Claudia’s chastising of my diet of gas station food, I bought some blueberries, yogurt, apples and somehow a donut snuck in there...

I had gotten some intel that the next town, Norwood, had a bakery. I thought I would stop in Naturita for the night, but with it being so early and me being energized again, I decided I would push on to Norwood with thoughts of the bakery driving my pedal strokes.

On the way, I encountered a fun group of guys. All three of them were bleeding from their heads and were clearly more than a little drunk. They had been slap boxing and seemed to be having a great time. They gave me some more water and offered to let me join in on the slap boxing. Not being as drunk as them, I declined. After waving goodbye I was back on my way with plenty of water to get to Norwood.

Once in Norwood, I went directly to the bakery. It was closed. Unlike the La Sal Mountains, this time I was bummed. I ended up crossing the street to eat and had some fish and chips. I asked my waiter which cake was better for dessert, (the chocolate mousse or the cheesecake). On a recommendation from another person just leaving, I decided on the mousse. It was really good. However, before I could leave, my waiter offered to buy me the cheesecake too. I must look really thin or something. I certainly didn’t have the mental fortitude to refuse and enjoyed the cheesecake as well.

I was pretty sure I would stay in Norwood, so I quickly checked around at the motels to see what the prices were, but it turns out none of them had any vacancy. It was still just early afternoon and I was feeling alright, so I checked what was still ahead. In another 20 miles there was a hostel. After calling them, they had great prices, free breakfast, and limited space. I took off going hard with hopes of making it there while they still had beds left.

The hostel (The Bivvi) had just became operational three weeks ago, and the staff seemed incredibly friendly over the phone, so I was set on making it. As I was getting close, I see a car pulled over ahead of me. As I approach a guy gets out and says “are you Peter?” I have no idea who this is, but I am Peter, so I introduce myself. It turns out that my mom had reached out to him previously when I didn’t have service to see if he could host me. He was not able to when she asked because he was in Telluride (where I was going) but his house was in Norwood. When he saw me, he guessed I must be the guy he had heard about and stopped to say hi. He also had been to the Bivvi three weeks ago at their opening party, and he confirmed my belief that the people there were great! Our conversation was pretty brief, but it was a really fun experience that someone stopped and knew my name! I would love to have some more interactions like that in the future!

Not long after I was at the Bivvi, just in time to snag a room. I was greeted by Tito, the man I spoke to over the phone. He gave me some beer and watermelon while the room was being cleaned and gave me the tour of the place. I got to enjoy the hot tubs while it rained on us.

Tito was a really fun guy who spends three nights working at the hostel and four nights camping nearby. He loves it compared to the normally extreme rents of Telluride. On top of his work at the hostel, he also works at The High Pie, a pizza place in town and offered to take me to it tomorrow for dinner. Sounds like a great plan to me!

After meeting my other hostel-mates, we decide to all meet up tomorrow at the restaurant. Claudia, who came via an alternative route, will also make it to Telluride tomorrow, so it’ll be a fun get-together! But tonight I am pretty gassed and before long I’m asleep..

Enjoying the hot tub in the rain!

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kelly here. glad you found The Bivvi! too bad the bakery was closed but hopefully the cheesecake and moose made up for it.

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They did! It was delicious :)

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