Tuesday, June 28, 2011

6/28/11 I rode the hogback and all I got was this lousy t-shirt

Escalante to Torrey, Utah

Wicked day. More climbing than you can shake a fist at. (Which I did.) We had a winding and steep descent this morning without any traffic that felt like MarioKart. We laughed and yodeled the Goofy-skiing-off-the-mountain yodel.

We encountered a stretch that Adventure Cycling's map calls "terror". The Hogback, it is called. A three mile chunk of road with no guard rail, no shoulder and a straight down drop on either side. Because traffic was so light, it was no thing. It was actually enjoyable.

All topographical landmarks here have been named by ten year old boys; Hell's Backbone, Bears Ears (no apostrophe), and the piece de resistance: Cheese and Raisins. It's a place. Look it up.

We came across about 50 supported riders coming east to west as we ascended Boulder mountain. There is an obvious division betwixt us. We carry our shit. You do not. We smile and wave. You do not. We wear cheap gear. You are dressed as a fat Lance Armstrong.

At some point on the hill, we come across four young, very heavily loaded riders. How this pack made it from Michigan to Utah with sleep sacks the size of a full body bag is beyond me
They were quiet. I assume it was because they had been climbing for several hours. Me? I'm the hyperactive kid on the first day of school. Shooting my hand out without hesitation, "HI. I'M LAUREN. I'M FROM OHIO." Jesus.

We carried on down 42 mph descents with side gusts up to 40 mph. Saw my life flash before my eyes crossing over our 100th cattle grate.

Torrey is cute but expensive. We called all nine of the city's motels. Nothing below $70. We grabbed some groceries. Trop cher! And made a deal with a motel. Man, we lucked out. Hardwood floors, hand-built bed, navajo rugs, local photography adorns the walls. Darling.

We had espresso and cheap ice cream in the adjoining cafe. Struggled not to shop in the navajo themed gift shop. Instead, bought Chris a 50¢ dinasour. Well worth the money for the amount of joy dinasours bring Chris.

Matt arrived around 8 after having his trailer rattle off near the top of the mountain. He was lucky to find help and made it in one piece. Johnny cruised in through the pitch black dark around 10. Nutter. Slept well due to roof and bed.


  1. I'm sitting on my ass and drinking coffee. Haven't exercised in weeks. Last time I saw a mountain was in the background of a Jackie Chan movie where he was supposed to be in "New York." Other than that, our lives are very similar. Keep up the good work of making me feel like a loser.



  2. As a ten-year-old, I'd probably have gone with "Hell's Backbone of Death." Or perhaps "Dead Man's Curve of Death." "Cheese and Raisins of Death?" I guess that last one was what you had at the brewery...

    Is "dinasour" a reference to the narrated cartoon in _Jurassic Park_, or just a dino hard candy? I do love me some dinos.

    It seems as though you've escaped the slough of despond, and have come roaring back. Excellent. I feel much pride in having such a friend as you. I think of you riding like the very devil, and shouting "I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric YAWP over the roofs of the world."

    So will a bit of food poisoning stop you? I say thee nay.