Day 73: Torrey to Boulder

For dinner yesterday I had an Outlaw Burger and a root beer float at Slackers Burger Joint. The burger was very filling and the root beer was good, too. When I came back to Sand Creek RV Park there was a young couple who had set up their tent behind me. I decided to chat with them.

A root beer float and an Outlaw Burger

Alexis and Jacob are college students. They’re traveling around Utah before they begin school again on the coming Monday. I told them that this trip has been the best time of my life. Just when I thought today is the best day the next day is even better. I really appreciate whatever a new day brings me.

After taking some photos of the sunset, I decided to set up my sleeping bag in the bike tent. Unfortunately, the tent has a lot of sand in it. I decided to put down my tent’s footprint, then lay my sleeping pad on it, then lay out my sleeping bag. It worked well only if I didn’t roll off my sleeping pad or else I’d get sand all over me. My sleep was interrupted by what I thought was the sound of rain. As it turned out, it was the wind blowing the tree leaves. What a strong wind!

Sunset in my backyard

This morning, I woke up a little after 6 and packed my things by 7. I rode to Castlerock coffee shop and had some eggs, ham, hash browns, watermelon, and a cup of coffee. Even though I will ride only about 40 miles, I enjoyed a good breakfast to start the day.

At 8 AM, I started my ride from the coffee shop to Boulder on route 12. Much of the ride was spent in Dixie National Forest, where I either rode or walked my bike up a giant hill. I couldn’t believe that the day before I was riding with mesas and rocks, now I’m riding in a forest!

Forest with a great view

There were several overlooks not far off the route and all of them were breathtaking. The best one was the last one. The panoramic view of the mountains in the background and the forest in the foreground was amazing.

The best overlook

At the overlook, I chatted with Frederick, a French guy who actually stayed in front of my campsite last night. I noticed his colorful van. He is doing a tour of the western United States. I told him he has probably seen more things on his trip than most Americans ever will. Just when I was about to leave an older couple named Peggy and Harry started talking to me because they saw me going up the hill. Both of them worked at the Johnson Space Center in Texas. They are retired now and just doing some traveling around Utah. Peggy gave me two NASA patches. I accepted them as good luck charms, like the previous ones I had received.

I passed by many cows today because it’s open range around here. The cows are curious but also afraid. I felt like I was herding them because they kept on going in the same direction as me. Luckily, none of them got hit by cars.

Herding cows

Good thing about going up the hill is the downhill. I was going between 25 to 35 mph to Boulder. I loved cruising down.

8% decline toward Boulder

I saw the Anasazi State Park Museum on my left so I pulled in. There was also the Magnolia’s Street food truck right next to the museum. I had the best tacos on my trip there and drank a cup of hibiscus iced tea. The admission fee to the museum was only $5. I was interested in the local history and wanted to support the museum, so I decided to check it out.

Magnolia's Street food truck

Replica of an ancient Native American house in the museum

After briefly going through the museum, I filled up my water bottles at the water fountain. The guy at Magnolia’s told me there’s a campsite behind Hills and Hollows Market. I rode to the market and bought some iced tea and a bar of soap. The clerk charged $5 to use the shower inside and told me about the campsite behind the store.

The campsite is very sandy. I thought about riding another 10 miles down the road to another campground. After taking a shower, the store clerk told me I can stealth camp on a location that’s about two miles down the road. I think I might do that when the temperature cools down a bit.