This morning was freezing. And by freezing, I mean freezing. After our breakfast at a local diner, the local sheriff told us he wanted to take out a life insurance policy on me since because it was so cold. Believe you me, it was that cold.
Here's a funny sign. I don't remember what highway/route we were getting on, but the DOT made sure we knew we were not getting on Highway 89. Have you ever seen such a sign? This is not Interstate 495. This is not Route 66. This is not Highway 1.
Today promises to be lots of climbing. Unusual, at one point, I felt a slight push of a tailwind helping me up a hill. Was nice. Every little bit helps, right? I was afraid of getting sick from it being so cold, and then I'm all hot and sweaty from the climbing and then it feeling cold again. At mile 7.5, we already climbed 1060 feet and only descended 10 feet! I told you there'd be lots of climbing today. Here's some snow on the side of the road at 7880 feet.
Today we entered the Dixie National Forrest. We had a few flurries today. So cool from seeing hoodoos yesterday to today's abundance of trees. After much climbing, we came to some flatter lands with cows and water.
This is Lake Panguitch.
For lunch, we stopped at the local (only) general store for some warmth and food. Seeing as it's the only place to stop, the women's touring group also stopped there. Actually, all day, we either passed or were passed by the cycling ladies. Their SAG wagon kept doing loops around us trying to keep track of their slowest rider. Inside, we joined the ladies by the fireplace as we bogarted some of their food but also ate our own food. Hot chocolate was definitely on the agenda. Recall the sheriff and his life insurance policy - it was really, really cold today.
After slightly warming up for a bit, we had to brave the elements again. We got a change of scenery with some beautiful aspens. I love the colors.
Here's proof of how cold it was. Did you notice our elevation, too? In case you can't read, it says 1050 ft x 10 (and for those who can't do math, that would be 10,500 feet above sea level). This is what my computer said. A cyclist man who cheated and had his wife drive him to the top of the mountain said his thermometer was saying 29 degrees. All I know is, it was cold. I have no idea what the wind chill factor is.
A very overcast and cold day. I guess I should be thankful it wasn't snowing, right?
We entered some national park while trying to make our way to Cedar City. I honestly have no idea what national park it was because we were so cold that we didn't really care. And, it was more hoodoos. This is indeed beautiful but because we were so cold and we were just at Bryce yesterday, other than this obligatory picture, we didn't look around at the vista points at all.
In fact, after the above picture, we saw a tourist man get out of his car to look at the view. When he was done, I asked him if he would mind if we sat in his car to warm up. It was so cold! I swear, it was freezing. The man was kind and even turned on the heat for us. We warmed up a bit, but it's no fun knowing that we still had to get out in the cold and descend the mountain that we just climbed. Can you believe it? I didn't want to go down a mountain I just worked so hard to get to the top of. Had there been a truck that came by that could take our bikes down the mountain, I would have hitched a ride! It was just too cold.
I have no idea why I took this picture. I image at the time, it was significant and pretty.
Okay, so out of the man's car we left. After riding just a tiny bit, we came to the entrance of the national park that we had no choice but to ride through. The ranger thought she was going to get money from us. I told her we were just cycling through. Didn't stop to smell the roses. Very interesting because whether you wanted to go through the national park or not, you had to. But, we did use their bathroom to put on every last bit of layers that we had.
Next, down the mountain we descended. It was so cold that it pained me to use my brakes. It seriously hurt my hands to use the brakes. Did I mention my feet were frozen to death and my face was beyond cold? In my notes, I have that the first downhill it was so cold I could barely squeeze the brakes. The second downhill, we had nature's brakes - wind! Great, as if it wasn't cold enough that I had wind in my face, too. The ride down was pretty but there was no stopping. It was too cold to stop and take a picture. Somehow I made it to the bottom incident-free. Like I said, I could barely use my brakes. I'm still a chicken and need to use my brakes going down steep mountain sides. I really wanted to die, it was so cold. Basically, today was 32 miles of straight uphill, then 26 miles downhill. On a non-30 degree weather day, this could have been an excellent riding day.
Here we are at the bottom of the mountain, smack in the middle of Cedar City. They were having a street fair type of thing. Here's a picture of some puppies waiting to be adopted.
At the bottom of the mountain, it was significantly warmer, but it was no day at the beach. It was still pretty cold. After walking around a bit looking at useless street fair trinkets, we sought out to find our host's house. We went down one street, per directions from Cheryl the motel owner last night, but when we got to the number of the supposed house, it was nowhere residential. So, I called up Kyle, the son, and he gave us the correct address/directions to his house. 15-30 minutes later, we arrived at his house. Ahhh, it was so nice to finally be indoors after this long, cold day.
If I remember correctly, just like most of our host families, Kyle let us into his house, showed us where everything was and left. It still amazes me how kind and trusting people are. After settling in, we went out to dinner. Don't know why, but we went to a Chinese buffet. Maybe because we were in a big city (Cedar City is actually pretty big - there's a university, tons of strip malls, Walmart and a few bike stores. It's the biggest city before we set forth to the Nevada deserts.). I remember being very wiped out at dinner. I'm sure people again couldn't imagine how a little woman could eat so much (and still look this good!).
Back at home, we (I) did laundry and passed out on the sofa. I was so tired that I didn't even remember Kyle coming in at some early A.M. hour - he is a college student, after all.