Day 77: Panguitch to Cedar City
Once I got back to the hotel I realized my panniers are getting heavier due to all the food I had bought. There's no way around that, I'll just have to carry them.
This morning, I woke up at 6:15. After packing everything, I checked out before 7 AM. There's a cafe called Rise and Shine that's open, so I went there. As it turned out, it's right next to Henrie's Hideout. I had a cup of coffee and an empanada for breakfast. Never thought I would eat an empanada for breakfast, but I did.
(Coffee and empanada for breakfast)
I started my ride earlier than usual because I have to make it to Cedar City before the post office closes, so I can pick up my Platypus collapsible water bottles that I ordered several days ago.
The ride was pretty much all uphill for most of the day. Whenever I thought the road was flat enough or a slight downhill I would ride my bike, but soon when I reached a turn it'll be uphill again, where I had to walk my bike. This happened more than I can count.
(One of the flatter sections of the ride)
I met some food angels today. First was a Dutch couple named Geert and Dorien. They were coming from the opposite direction when they saw me walking my bike up the hill. After turning their car around, they offered me a can of soda, a banana, and a can of coconut juice. I gladly accepted. Geert and Dorien told me they come to the United States every year since they have families here, and they take a different route each time. This time they are driving from San Diego to Toronto. They are also avid cyclists who have biked throughout Europe. What a lovely and kind couple! I hope the best for them.
(Geert and Dorien. First food angels of the day.)
Once I was near the top of the hill, I had to make a left at an intersection. Soon enough, I was going through Cedar Breaks National Monument. At the first overlook, a woman named Robin saw my bike and started asking me questions about my trip. She was so intrigued that she wanted to give me some food. She invited me into her RV, where I also met her husband, Greg. They rented the RV to travel around with their two dogs. Robin gave me an avocado, an apple, a bag of almonds, and some cheese. Greg even filled my water bottle with ice. I'm so grateful to them! At the second overlook, I saw them again when they were leaving the area. I wished them the best of luck!
(Greg and Robin. Second food angels.)
After seeing all the overlooks at Cedar Breaks, I rode downhill most of the way to Cedar City. For a stretch of about 10 miles I was going between 30 to 40 mph. My new max speed is now 42 mph, breaking the one I had set in the Ozarks. The scenery down the hill was much better than up the hill. I didn't take many photographs, though, because I was cruising so fast.
(More Cedar Breaks)
Also today, three 0.1%ers, aka assholes, also appeared. One Mazda driver drove so close to me and honked his horn. It wasn't a "hello" honk for sure. The second asshole was a semi truck driver who decided to pass me on a turn while I was going downhill at about 30 mph. There was another car coming from the opposite direction, so the truck almost hit me. Luckily, there was a wide shoulder by the turn that I could ride into. The last asshole was a driver in a pickup truck when I was riding into Cedar City. After passing me, I saw him giving me the middle finger through the back window. I try to not let these people ruin my trip, but I also believe in karma. These people will get what they deserve.
When I came down the hill, I saw smoke coming from a mountain top. By the time I reached Cedar City the smoke had covered the sky. I found the post office and it was still open, so I picked up my collapsible water bottles. Then I found the library, which looked very nice. I decided to visit the local bike shop, Cedar Cycle. There, the bike mechanic filled up my tires with air because I thought they might have lost some pressure over the past several days. I also used the Expedia app on my phone to book a room at the Rodeway Inn. The KOA campsite cost is $33 whereas a room at the motel is about $50. I preferred to pay the extra for some air conditioning, a bed, and a nice shower since it's over 90 degrees in Cedar City, not to mention a breakfast tomorrow morning.
(Smoke from a mountain ahead)
(Smoke covering the town)
After checking in the motel, I rode my bike to El Toro Loco, a Mexican place that has a five star rating on Yelp. It took me a while to find it since it's upstairs inside a mall. I ordered a variety of Mexican styled street tacos. They were so good, like the ones in Mexico City, when I traveled there in 2013.
(Delicious street tacos)
After I finished my dinner, I decided to visit the library since it opens until 9 PM. As I was riding over there I glanced at the sun. Its color is blood red! The smoke had covered the sky so much that the sun is actually red. What a sight to behold! Never had I seen a red sun.
(Red sun over the town)
The Cedar City Library is the nicest library I've been to on this trip so far. The government definitely put a lot of money into building it. I think that's a great investment for the community.
After writing my post, I plan to go back to the motel, get a shower, and prepare for tomorrow's ride to Milford, 55 miles away.