July 26th - Sweepity doo dah

Sleeping out under the stars. Always nice, especially with a warm sleeping bag. Irrigated lawn notwithstanding, we are in a desert.

Rachel and I swept today (we were in back with the spare tire and medkit). In the morning, that meant we had to stop every few miles - someone had to take off a jacket that made more sense in the morning cold, some had flats. The state line was at mile 7, if I recall, and became our fourth stop. Fortunately, people started moving faster after the line; aside from Erin having continuing tire trouble, we didn't see much more till lunch. Robin and Alex both wound up in the van today; Robin's blood sugar was misbehaving, and Alex was just plain tuckered. 

It was a good day. Especially because every time we pulled over, Rachel started singing, then hollering "today is gonna be a good day."

July 25th - Rockets!

Helen and I slept out under the stars and got a nice view of the dawn.

The ride today took us from the small town of Brigham City to the smaller town of Snowville. Around here, we only pass towns every 20-50 miles, so anywhere we can stop is a good place. We rode about 60 miles, mostly on a quiet section of I-84W, the same road I take to get from home to school. 

Asking the way we passed a Orbital facility where they built and tested rockets. It's odd, to say the least, to see an office building designed for a hundred people 40 miles from anywhere. Out in front, they built a rocket garden of engines Orbital had some part in building. Their centerpiece was the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster, which was around 100' tall and 12' or so in diameter. It is huge. 

Later in the day, we pulled into I-84 (it's just about the only paved road between here and Boise) for a spell. The interstate wasn't too busy, and had a wide shoulder. For a few miles, resurfacing work forced all traffic into the right lane, so we had a12' buffer from traffic. 

In Snowville, we set up in a small city park, for want of anywhere to camp. It was a little weird. 

July 24th - Bike Trails!

We had to ferry all of our bags back upstairs in the elevator, then outside.

It's been a while some we were on dedicated bike trail for any length. Back in Aspen, I think. Today's ride covered a lot of trail on - I think - the same trail line as the trail into Carbondale: the Rio Grande Railroad. In a few spots, we actually passed old rail segments, exposed when the paved path turned to meet a road. As usual, the rail trail was very flat and covered some pleasant suburban scenery. It's been a little funny: this trip covers a lot of wilderness and occasionally routes through cities, but we rarely encounter suburbs. The cities just kinda peter out into farmland. 

July 23rd - Salt Lake City!

Sunrise! People should watch sunrises more often.

We ride Salt Lake day before Pioneer Day, which is a queer little state holiday. Pioneer day looks an awful lot like the 4th of July; they have fireworks, a parade, and tons of events. And everything is closed. 

A bunch of people out on the sidewalk overnight in preparation for the parade tomorrow. 

The ride into Salt Lake was nice, but unremarkable. Pleasantly easy, if anything. 

July 22nd - Building Fences

We rode to the build site in the morning. In a large group, we make quite an impression.

Literally. In the past three years, Bike & Build has rehabilitated this house from the ground up. Around five years ago, a developer bought the land around the house with plans to demolish the block for an apartment complex. Fortunately, the building was on a historic register and the developer was blocked from demolishing the building. They elected to sell the house to Habitat and develop the remainder of the block. In the past three years, Habitat has completely rehabilitated the house, replacing windows, removing lead, and  the interior. Bike & Build helped start the rehab two years ago, and we finished it. 

With a fence for the yard. 

The owners have already moved in, so we chatted with the wife. Her children helped a little bit with digging fenceposts. 

July 21st - Provo

Sunrise at the campground. A perfectly uneventful night. Neither to cold nor too windy.

We left Starvation campground today for a very tiring 100 miles to Provo. The ride was very pretty, but also climbed up first 40 miles. Alex (leader) warned of a climb, but thought the peak was early in the day. Unknowingly climbing all morning was a smidgeon demoralizing. 

But it was pretty. After the peak, we descended about 10 miles down a narrow mountain valley. After a final highway stretch around a lake, we jumped onto bike trail for the remaining milage and passed a tall waterfall. 

Provo itself is nestled in a floodplain between two mountain ranges - wherever you look, cliffs tower overhead. 

July 20th - Starvation Campground

These road cuts reminded me of a scene of of Pixar's Cars. I love the sedimentary lines on the dunes.

Today's ride brought us from Vernal to Duchense, something like 65 miles. We've been going back into a quiet part of the country, so the ride was mostly empty space. Valleys usually has small towns and farmland; hills were barren. 

July 19th - Tenth State!

Sunrise in Meeker. I live how our trailer looks now.

I biked to Utah. Weird. 

Bike & Build lists the route from Meeker, CO to Vernal, UT as 109 miles. I think that's what the cue sheet said, too. 

In Dinosaur, just before the state line, a liquor store crowed "last chance to buy real beer!" I think Utah has a 4% maximum rule. 

The ride was barren, but pretty. As we entered Utah, the terrain changed from rocky metamorphic mountains into something like petrified sand dunes, slow rolling sandy perks with only a hint of shrubbery growing on them. 

July 18th - Smile in the Sky

One last look at our quadruple bedroom in Carbondale. The house, as you may have read was huge: 20,000 square feet and 8 million dollars.

As I warned before, swathes of the country don't really have internet access. The past few days (before August 8th, I mean) have been a lot of camping and long days. I'll tell you about it when I get there. But for now, back to Colorado!

We headed out of Carbondale today, bound for points west (Meeker, CO). The morning was fairly uneventful, but lunch was definitely an event. Two Bike & Build alumni invited us over to their house in Rifle; since Zoe Goldberg had a birthday, we had a cake, too!

July 16th & 17th - Carbondale Construction

The format for this post is a little funky since it's a cross-post from sc2sc15.WordPress.com. I'll go back and keep writing articles from the 4th forward, but wanted to put this up today. Apologies for falling so far behind; we had a few hosts with no internet and some long riding days. I'll probably keep pushing pictures here after the trip ends till I've covered everything. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming. 

We just wrapped up 2 days of building in Carbondale. As yesterday's author mentioned, our lovely hosts arranged for gondola rides in Aspen. Their pampering only improved as the build days passed.

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