Day 53: Rico, CO to Dove Creek, CO
July 8, 2011

Usually we try to get on the road by 7am but there were two excellent reasons for lagging today. 1.) our clothes were still wet from yesterday, 2.) the hotel chef, Eamonn O’Hara, provides free breakfast at 8am. The warm banana bread and bacony quiche bread thing were well worth the wait. The first 15 miles were a great downhill with just enough peddling to warm up. We looped down a beautiful canyon and followed the Dolores River into the town of Dolores. It felt like the Rockies spit us out through the canyon because it suddenly looks and feels like the desert again. We had some ginormous blueberry scones in Dolores and then continued on our way. The afternoon was uneventful. Lots of rolling hills, farmland, and some of those grain elevators we’ve been missing so much. This is bean country! For dinner we made ‘dillas in a microwave. They were delicious–my, how standards have fallen.

  • Start: Rico, CO
  • End: Dove Creek, CO
  • Slept: motel
  • Miles: 71.5
  • Avg: 11.2

Day 54: Dove Creek, CO to Monticello, UT
July 9, 2011

We slept 10 hours last night, no problem, and still didn’t feel that rested. We are both suffering from a general malaise. Sniffles, general feeling of blah, stomach bug for Hillary, and the palms of Andrew’s hands are red and itchy. Needless to say, we weren’t exactly antsy to get on the bikes this morning but we mustered the energy to go after breakfast in our motel room. We had planned a short day (just under 50 miles) to Blanding because Blanding is the starting point of 74 miles with no services or water and we wanted to stock up and leave from there for the 74 miles. Also, we were planning to take a day off pretty soon–within the next week. Anyway, after crossing the Utah border (!!) we rolled into Monticello around lunchtime. We felt crummy and decided to call it a day here. This will be our first experiment in taking 2 really short days in lieu of a full day off. Andrew thinks this will be better because our legs are usually really stiff after a full day off. We’ll see. On a separate note, we spent 2 weeks in 2007 backpacking in Southern Utah. We had a great time then and we’ve really been looking forward to biking through. We’re going by some of the places we’ve seen before (Bryce) and a lot we haven’t (Natural Bridges, Escalante). The landscape today was bo-ring so we’re all the more excited for the coming days.

  • Start: Dove Creek, CO
  • End: Monticello, UT
  • Slept: motel
  • Miles: 25.7
  • Avg: 9.3
  • Notes: 1/2 rest day

Day 55: Monticello, UT to Blanding, UT
July 10, 2011

Today was super-short. It didn’t even feel like we got warmed up. We slept in again and got a late start. The ride was about as boring as yesterday’s, except we had a nice long downhill into Blanding so it went even quicker. We’re feeling better than yesterday but still happy to have the afternoon off. The more bothersome ailments of last week are better: no knee pain and Hillary has feeling in all of her fingers. Blanding might be less bland on other days of the week, but this place is dead on Sunday. The clerk at the motel somehow managed to check us in (only after we requested a new room in which the bed was not upside down) but almost everything is closed. We ate lunch at Old Tymer Restaurant, which is about as good as the name would suggest. We also ran into some eastbound cyclists who gave us high hopes about the scenery in the days to come.

  • Start: Monticello, UT
  • End: Blanding, UT
  • Slept: motel
  • Miles: 21.5
  • Avg: 10.4
  • Notes: 1/2 rest day

Photos: hey! A new state!, we thought the advertised amenities at this gas station were funny, it’s flat and boring again, not much to look at besides our stupid tan lines, really not much to do here…