Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 57 - Mt. Summit

When I opened my eyes this morning, I saw that I was in a tent surrounded by the sleeping bodies of my friends. It took me a second to remember where I was and what I was doing. It was 4:30 in the morning and pitch dark. Everyone woke up and blindly attempted to pack their bags up. You could hear the confused ruffling of everyone's tent as my teammates haphazardly took them down and rolled them up. After breakfast and our route meeting, we sat on a bench near the beach and watched the sun rise. It was so beautiful. The sun came up slowly over the water, changing the color of the sky from periwinkle to the softest shade of blue and finally to warm pinks and oranges. 

Amanda, Kat, me, and Sarah watching the sun rise

Our famous team couple, Chris and Hawa, or "Chawa," were down by the shore being adorable and we were oohing and ahhing at them, much to their embarrassment. Ethan got some great silhouette pictures of them. After the sun had officially risen, we mounted our bikes and headed out of Starvation State Park.

Here comes the sun! (Do do do do!)

Just when we thought we were out of the mountains, we started this morning climbing uphill out of Duchesne. We were   headed 97 miles to Provo, UT but due to a wrong turn right away, it was clear that we were going to be doing more than 100 miles to get there. Two century rides in three days, that is intense!

We climbed up a hill for miles. Just when we thought it was over, we climbed some more. I was riding with Brian and Austin and we pulled off after 12 miles to stretch. "It looks like we're finally at the top," said Brian. But I was not convinced! 

Eventually, we had a descent followed by what looked to be another ascent. I pulled away from Brian and Austin and focused on keeping my cadence steady. It was a long and winding descent, just when you think you'd reached the top, you turned a corner and the road continued rising, like a gray wall. I was gettin closer and closer to Marcus who was having a hard time. "I'm killing it!" I thought to myself as I prepared to catch Marcus. But just as the apex was in sight, Austin had a second wind and passed Marcus and me like it was nothing. "Get it, Austin!" I called out as he sped by. My pace slowed as I watched him disappear over the crest of the pass. 

The apex of our big climb, named "Summit" ...Pretty anticlimactic!

The descent down the other side of the pass was refreshing. I took it by myself and enjoyed the easy speed, breathing deep. I cruised around turns, constantly checking for cars back on the busy road. 

At the bottom, I caught up with a fast pace line of about eight other people. We sped on, keeping cadence with each other. It is an awesome feeling to be pulled along a pace line. It was much easier than riding alone! Eventually, we came to a hill and our pace line got broken up. I rode with Rae and together we traversed a very sketchy road. Cars whizzed by and construction narrowed our path causing them to pass uncomfortably close to us. We frantically looked ahead for our next turn onto a bike path. Finally, it appeared and we got off the busy road onto a beautiful bike path next to some rolling rapids. Mountains rose again on either side of us, framing our way to Provo. 

In a few short miles, we saw a couple Bike and Builders sitting with their feet in the water. We stopped and joined them. They were facing a beautiful waterfall, listening to the crashing of the falls. Driven by the Bike and Build traditions, Austin, Chris, and I decided to climb up the waterfall. 

No big deal, just biked 100 miles and now we climbed a waterfall

When we got to the top, we stood under the falls and let the water hit us. It tasted so good and clean! It was really cold so we could only stay under for short periods at a time. We looked down the falls and waved to our teammates at the bottom. I am so lucky to be able to experience so many beautiful places I never would have known about had I not had the opportunity to bike across the country!

For the next 10 miles or so, we crushed it on the bike path. Dan led Austin and I and we cruised into downtown Provo after winding around trees and admiring the beauty of Provo Canyon. I never expected there to be such towering mountains in Utah!

Build day tomorrow! We are going to be working on restoring a historical house for a potential Habitat family! There is supposed to be a lot of demolition work so the guys are especially excited!

Our "totals" board on the trailer

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