We have made a decision; 80km in a day is the optimum length to go in a day for us. Any less and it feels like you should have gone for longer and too much over 80 and you don’t have time to stop and smell the roses or you end up in bad weather (hot, windy, rainy, cold – it all seems to happen in the afternoon).
Today’s bike ride was shorter than 80km, but our poor legs mightn’t of been able to handle any more after the massive mountain we had to climb today. We started off at Garden City at 5800ft and then climbed 2000ft to the top of Beaver Mountain, part of the Rockies, at an 8% incline. Our legs were in lactic acid city, but the view over Bear Lake at the top was well worthy it.
I was expecting a quick climb down a mountain and being presented with desert, instead I was pleasantly surprised that we went through Cache Park, downhill for 55km, in a forested valley, with winding rivers, hidden springs and caves and rock climbers clinging to the cliffs on the side of the road.
Unfortunately the road was very windy, busy and with no shoulder, I never felt unsafe, but it meant we couldn’t stop to get pictures that often, but trust me when I say that this was stunning. Think of the Blue Mountains (for you Australians playing at home) on crack.
Cache Park seemed to be full of amazing sights. Rick’s Spring was my favourite, it was used as the area’s water supply for 50 years in the 1800s until they finally made the link between it and why everyone was always mysteriously getting sick after drinking from it. The water is so clear you can’t tell where it began or ended.
We declined a sip, but it was a great cool spot for lunch.
You get a great view as you leave the park over Logan, home of Utah State University. It is the valley we’ll be following all the way to the south of Utah. The home stretch feels very tangible.
Logan is the largest town we’ve been in since Denver and it seemed as if to remind us of this fact there was a packed artisan’s markets at the Logan Tabernacle. We hadn’t seen that many people in one spot for quite a while and still we managed to run into the only other Australian in the town as he was asking a German why he was wearing an Australian Soccer team shirt.