Days 69, 70, 71: Blanding to Natural Bridges, to Hite, then to Hanksville

After I left the library in Blanding, I rode back to the Four Corners Inn. It was an early afternoon, so I decided to eat a weed gummy, take a shower, and see what will happen next.

The effect of the gummy kicked in about 15 minutes. I was watching some finance videos on Facebook and browsing Instagram when I started to laugh. In Telluride, when I ate half of a gummy I was sleepy. This time, a whole one gave me some energy and made me high. I started to get hungry and ended up eating all of my trail mix and beef jerky.

Since John was taking a nap in the room and Sarah was at the Homestead restaurant writing her blog, I decided to walk to Pop’s Burritos and get dinner. The burrito was so good! On my way back, I stopped by an ice cream parlor and got a cone. The ice cream was also very good.

When I got back to the inn I went to sleep. I was only awaken when Sarah came back. She didn’t finish her blog after all.

The next day, I woke up around 6:15 AM. Sarah and John aren’t morning people even though they were both in the military. After we got our bikes ready, we rode to Pop’s Burritos for breakfast. The owner was manning the counter and we talked with him for a bit. I decided to leave before Sarah and John, so I can buy some food supplies at grocery store since I had ate most of my supplies the day before.

At the Family Dollar, I bought trail mix. The cashier was very friendly so we talked for a little while. Down the street was Clark’s Market. I bought a bag of beef jerky, a can of spam, a pouch of tuna, and more trail mix. Sarah and John showed up. After they bought their things, we left Blanding.

We didn’t ride far. I decided to buy an ice cream bar at the last convenience store before we enter no man’s land. After that, we started our ride to Natural Bridges. It was already 9:30 AM.

I was riding ahead of Sarah and John. There were gnats, or some kind of flying bugs, that kept on circling me and my bike whenever I walked up a hill. The most annoying thing was this one single fly that kept on buzzing around. I guess the bugs were a good motivator for me to keep going.

Sarah caught up with me while I was walking my bike up a long hill. We chilled on a large rock, taking some photos of the view. The strong wind blew my bike over. Luckily, nothing was damaged.

Posing on a rock

I kept on riding while Sarah ate her leftover burrito and waited for John. Around 2:45 PM, I arrived at Natural Bridges visitor center, which is about 4 miles off route. After inquiring about the campground and the park, I filled up my water bottles with their brand new water fountain, sat under the shade, listened to some music, and waited for Sarah and John.

Two hours later, Sarah rode in. John was behind. Sarah and I picked out a campsite. I cooked a bag of ramen and ate a can of spam. I noticed spam is actually a very good food for camping. I should get more next time. After dinner, I walked back to the visitor center to refill my water bottles. When I came back John has finally arrived.

Ramen and spam make a good combination

After we set up our tents, we decided to visit one of the three Natual Bridges. We rode our bikes to Sipapu Bridge overlook and watched the sunset over the mountains. John wasn’t able to ride his bike up the hill back to the campsite, so Sarah walked with him as I rode back.

John and Sarah

Sipapu Natural Bridge

That night, I could see the stars through my tent. And I believe I saw part of the Milky Way. I wish I was more awake and had a better camera to take some photos of the night sky.

The next morning, I got up before 6 and made some beef stew that was dry freezed. Since Sarah and John didn’t even get up, after I packed my bike, I started riding at 7:30.

There were beautiful views of the canyons and mesas. I saw some wild goats crossing the road. A driver even stopped to offer water and juice. I declined. But in hindsight, I should have taken his offer. It was very nice of him.

I reached Hite around 12:30 PM. It was getting very hot by the time I got there. I bought an ice cream bar and a root beer at the convenience store and talked with Jon, the only clerk there. After resting a bit, I realized it’s too hot to continue. I was planning to camp at Hog Spring rest area, about 15 miles ahead. Jon told me that James, one of the cyclists I had met at Monticello, had stayed at the ranger station across the street. I decided to do the same.

Hanging out with Jon

With so much time to kill, I decided to buy a Corona. After drinking it, I ate a gummy. I got the munchies again, so I ate two more ice cream bars. Jon gave me some gold fish crackers to eat, too.

It was five minutes before 5 PM when Sarah showed up. She was glad to see me and even more glad that the store is still open, at least for the next five minutes. After buying some supplies, Sarah and I said goodbye to Jon and set up camp across the street at the ranger station. I made a bag of ramen and ate the tuna.

The sun beats the earth with its heat rays and I was feeling so hot. It must have been over 100 degrees, but my phone had no signal so I couldn’t tell. I tried to lay down in my tent, thinking that falling to sleep might help. John finally arrived before dusk. I ended up falling asleep in the heat.

It was hot, but I had a great view

This morning, everyone woke up early, before 6 AM. Soon, we finished packing up our things. I ate some macaroni and cheese that was dry freezed. I had put too much hot water. It was like eating macaroni in cheese soup. I ate it all because I needed the nutrients.

Not to my surprise, I was the first one to start riding. I passed by the mesas and over the Colorado River. Soon the scenery started to be more barren. I met Daniel, a cyclist coming from the opposite direction. He told me to be prepared with water when I first cross from Utah to Nevada. There will be no water for over 80 miles. I told him about the ranger station in Hite. It’s nice to meet an incoming cyclist and exchange information.

Me and Daniel

Love the water and the mesa

No more mesas

After riding about 50 miles, I arrived at Hanksville around 12:30 PM. At Stan’s Burger Shack, I had a Duke burger that was delicious after all the ramen I’ve been eating. I refilled all my water bottles because they were all empty from today’s ride. I decided to check which motel is the better one since there are two in town. I came back to Stan’s and waited for Sarah and John so we can decide which motel they want.

As I was enjoying a pina colada shake, Sarah came in. She had already checked into the Whispering Sands Motel. She wanted time for herself so she got a room by herself. I decided to order two 2 liter Platypus bottles from Amazon and ship to Cedar City's post office, so I can carry more water. I also got a room in the same motel with two beds, so John and I can stay.

After taking a shower in the room, I cleaned my clothes. John is still on the road and Sarah wanted time for herself. I ended up going back to Stan’s to use the internet and get some fish and chips for dinner. I’ll continue riding to Torrey tomorrow.