Monday, October 3, 2016

Another of those seemingly great ideas...

We left home about 24 hours after arriving from Hatteras, on a driving trip to the intermountain west planned to last about a month.  The drive to Utah was actually pleasant, made especially so by staying at friends' places along the way, audiobooks, Taco Bell, etc.
Arriving in Payson, Utah, we camped out at the house of my sister Linda and her husband Wayne, who have now left so that Wayne could run the St. George, Utah marathon.
Convenient to that area is Mt. Nebo, the highest peak in the Wasatch Range at 11,929 feet.
It's complete with a scenic loop road topping out at 9,325 feet, which loop starts in front of Linda and Wayne's house.  I had ridden it on my bike in years past, and decided to do so again.  Great idea, no?  Pretty fall day, lots of time, I mean, what could possibly go wrong.
I finally huffed and puffed and made it to the top of the road at about 25 miles, and turned around, just at about the time it began to sprinkle a little.  Then rain a lot.  Then it threw in some hail, and things started to look bad.  
I was quickly and thoroughly soaked, the temperature dropped in to the low 40's, and I was going steeply downhill with the accompanying breeze, which is usually the prize for going steeply uphill.  Soon I was shaking uncontrollably, and the bike was understandably wobbling all over the place.  I'd stop every quarter mile and try to get back in control, but by halfway, I could no longer grip the brakes, which were pretty useless on the wet rims anyway.  I finally stopped for good, and just about then a pickup passed, then braked, then backed up the hill.  The kind 20-something deer hunters within asked, "Dude!  You OK?"
"Uh, no."
"Yeah, we can see that!  Get in!"
They refused any reimbursement when we stopped near my sister's house to unload.  "Yeah, just pay it forward!" and they went on their way.  
I have never ever been so cold and hopeless, and never so glad to see an '87 Chevy 1500 pickup hit its brake lights. 
We're having a great time otherwise in Utah, and we hope your bike rides are more pleasant. 
Dave & Paula