Km’s Pedalled – 32 km’s in Arizona plus 21 km’s in Utah
Destination – St George
Some Notes – A very cold, long night. I shivered most of the night and my shoulders and back were sore from being sun burnt while fighting yesterday’s fire. Whenever I closed my eyes last night all I saw was little flames
Slept on the ground about 1,000 ft from the Pilot truck stop
Biking through Virgin River Gorge was not as tough as I thought it was going to be. I am glad I biked the whole way and never found a ride. One last trailer flat leaving Arizona
Virgin River Gorge Arizona
When I finally had some decent internet signal, I reached out to a potential Warmshowers.org host. I went straight to the McDonald’s in St George. I couldn’t even order inside because of an employee shortage. I went to Best Western to check my options while waiting for the potential host response.
A short but very dangerous section where you have to bike on the actual Interstate
With no response from that potential host, I ended up checking into the Best Western on points. That turned into a massive headache. I had to bike to another Best Western across town. I kept my cool but Best Western you make your points system too difficult. A major FAIL!
My first priority after checking in was to find a host (online). I found a host through Follower Patrick Sisk who is friends with another long time ride Follower Perry Stone. I am so exhausted and my mental fatigue is through the roof.
Some Notes – I started my morning with a Facebook Live show (that recorded sideways) to finally give everyone an update about the fire and my situation. My YouTube guy Brandon edited the video and put it on YouTube so you can watch my Facebook Live HERE.
I then went to my St George host – Matt & Stephanie Hoag. I than lied down for a few hours and am now feeling much better.
I started going through and sorted my stuff out and made a list of what was lost in the fire. The main stuff lost was my tent, sleeping bag, sleeping insert, sleeping pad, front panniers, a dry bag, bike helmet, spare folding bike tire and all my spare bike parts. Everything else I will categorize as miscellaneous such as a t-shirt and my sleeping pants.
I edited a bunch of photos before bed.
Some Notes – Most of the day was organizing and acquiring my replacement gear. Matt supplied me with a sleeping pad, sleeping bag and bike helmet from his garage. He then drove me out to purchase a Big Angus Copper Spur tent. The Copper Spur was the tent on my radar. I almost bought one Las Vegas. I am so glad I didn’t. I can’t believe how unbelievably lucky I was the outdoor store had one in stock. The lady behind the counter had just waited 5 months for her 3 person Copper Spur tent.
Big Angus Copper Spur tent
I then went out looking for front bike panniers with no luck. I picked up some spare bike parts and more camping stuff. I ended up all over town. It was a long day. All I am missing is the hardest item to find anywhere – front panniers.
I have all my photos edited and video uploaded to Dropbox. I also worked a little on my magazine article final draft (from Las Vegas). I had my little brother proof read my article.
Some Notes – Matt (my host) has a friend who is currently in Las Vegas for the day. I spent 25 minutes on the phone with the REI location in Henderson and they were able to find one last set of front panniers. I cannot believe this stroke of luck. I expect this to be the only and last set of front panniers in all of Las Vegas and it just so happen Matt’s friend is in Las Vegas to bring them back to St George.
Between the tent yesterday and the front panniers this morning I am beside myself with how everything has turned out. Four days ago I thought I was finished.
Some Notes – A largely uneventful day. I actually took it easy and mostly marathoned the TV series Yellowstone. A great TV series by the way.
My rear panniers were waiting for me this morning. I am basically ready to get back on the road.
I attended my first Mormon church service this morning. Mormon missionaries came over this evening to talk to me about the Book of Mormon. I guess I will describe it as an interesting and informative debate.
Km’s Pedalled – 78 km’s
Destination – Watchman Campground at Zion National Park
Some Notes – After spending 4 nights with the Hoag family I am back on the road at 11am. I am very thankful to this family and to God that I was able to replace most of all my important stuff, regain my strength and get back on the road in 4 short days.
With Matt & Stephanie Hoag. These people really came through for me
It was a sunny day and I found out that as of Saturday in Utah Covid-19 masks were no longer required. Finally!
I had few stops for supplies on my way out of town. I picked up 2 dry bags (for organizational purposes of some of my gear), a spool of flexible wire (to replace all the spare bike nuts and screws I lost), sleeping pants, a pool noodle and I had my rear brakes adjusted at the bike shop in Hurricane. I ended up going far further than anticipated even with all the stops I made. But with the sunset now at 8pm, what a difference to how long I can bike for.
I did not expect Zion National Park to be what it was. The town of Springdale was all fancy and high end hotels and dining. Everything is built up with basically no option for stealth camping. I thought I was in huge trouble to find a place to camp. Joe and Liz Leenen and Winnie (the dog) let me camp on their site. I was told this place is way to busy to ever expect to get a camping site.
FYI to other cyclists. Stealth camping is not likely and because of how touristy the place is. I suggest setting up camp before Springdale if you can’t get reservations at the campground. Good luck.
Km’s Pedalled – 47 km’s hiked & biked
Destination – Zion National Park
Some Notes – Joe offered to let me leave my tent and gear at the campsite to go explore the park. So, I left my gear and biked into Zion NP. I hiked to the very top of Angels Landing. A very physical long hike that took many hours. You only need to hike about halfway up for the view but if you want bragging rights you need to go to the top. From Angels Landing I biked to the end of the park. On my way to the end of the park I saw some mountain goats. There are also lots of deer and turkeys here in the park.
Views from Angels Landing
And then I came back to the Angels Landing trail and I took a trail that went the opposite way to Emerald Pools. I only hiked to the middle pool and it was far from emerald, more like a puddle. But glad I took the time. I also photographed some kind of different bird on that trail. It sort of sounded like a blue jay. My research suggest that it was a black-headed grosbeak.
A Black-headed grosbeak & wild turkey
The climb to Angels Landing is tough
No doubt about Zion NP, the park is pretty much as beautiful as anyone can hope for. Probably the most beautiful inland part of the US I ever visited. I am very glad I made Utah part of the ride. Considering a week ago I thought all was lost and considering that if it wasn’t for a second wave of Covid-19 I might have cut Utah right out of my ride to make up for lost time.
More views from Angels Landing