When we left Escalante this morning, I was warned that at mile 10 I would be at risk of hitting fine sand on a long and winding, steep descent after crossing over the canyons, making it precarious riding for cyclists.
With the fear of stitches in me, I was extra cautious to stay away from the side of road. So cautious in fact that I gripped the brakes and carefully hugged the middle of my lane on the long and treacherous downhill.
Garfield County Sheriff
When I stopped at a scenic outlook, so did the Garfield County Sherriff. He informed me that it is illegal for cyclists to ride anywhere but the far right of the lane. And, he added, he cites for it. I shared the warning I received in Escalante, which made this play-by-the-rulebook Sherriff want to know exactly who told me that. Not wanting to rat on anyone in this small town, I said, someone at the RV Park. The Sherriff paused, and then let me go with a warning. “Tell all of your biking friends that we cite for riding in the middle of the lane.”
He then added proudly, “And I love citing cyclists who ride 2 to 3 abreast.” (And I hadn’t even asked him the “What do you love about your job?” question yet!)
The Sherriff then added, “It’s a road hazard.” So, I’ll tweak his answer for him to put it in a more positive frame. I surmise that what he loves about his job is protecting people. Too bad I didn’t have the video camera ready and a book handy to gift him for playing so nicely…
In the small town of Boulder (pop. 181) we stopped so I could eat my new favorite sandwich (almond butter, banana, & honey) when Dennis pulled up to the RV. He had read the side of the RV and wanted to answer the question about what he loves about his job. Justin whipped out the camera and we recorded his answer for the Documentary. Dennis is a town Councilman and what he loves about his job is that he gets to listen to people and then take action to implement change on their behalf. How refreshing!
Didn’t expect all that I got with this one. A mountain not much different than Cedar Mountain with a consistent 7-10% grade climb ascending from 6,000 feet to 9,600 feet elevation. Oddly out of place, Deer Mountain is a forested mountain in the middle of the gorgeous red rock canyons. Three times during the climb, I saw “14%” on my GPS! I could have used Alan and the Gang to stomach this one…
Day 18 Stats
Total mileage: 1,082.48
Ascent: 6,942 ft
Total interviews: 33
Road kill count: 108
Destination for Day 19: Glen Canyon National Park, Utah