Phil and Yuta woke up early Sunday and hiked to Angel's Landing. I stayed behind to sleep in and meditate the morning away.
They found me around 1 pm near the market hanging out with a National Park guide named Ardell. He had lent me a floor pump and advice on our route while I once again changed my back tire. By the evening my tire was once again acting up on me, what futile attempts! I am an absolute pro at changing them though. I cannot figure out why they are losing air, and only enough to slow me down significantly. Every time I immerse the tires to find a puncture it comes up solid. It is endlessly frustrating.
Ardell was a nice guy, he bought me lunch and gave me coffee and we talked for an hour and a half. It would be nice to have his job, rolling around to all the national parks showing people around.
We broke camp and rode towards the tunnel which we had to hitchhike through because no bikes are allowed. A nice local couple picked us up in their truck.
The ride from there was pleasant and I serenaded Phil with a bunch of songs while we rolled down hill. We stopped in Mt Carmel junction where there was a bus load of Chinese tourists. They surrounded us like paparazzi taking a million pictures of us. They stole my helmet and passed it around putting it on taking pictures of each other. Came and posed next to us and our bikes, started shouting at us "Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!" but even 30 Chinese people shouting that at Phil could not convince him to do it. It was the most hilarious thing that has ever happened to me. They were particularly impressed with my bloody, hairy, scarred and bike greased legs which I noticed some got a close up of. Luckily a biker gang rolled by and we were off the hook for awhile.
Later that evening we found a wonderful campsite that was an apple orchard! The apples were so delicious! We had a nice dinner, a couple gave us some anchor steam beer to go with it, a shower and wifi. It was heavenly.
In the morning we rode out and I quickly noticed it was taking me twice the effort to pedal than usual. Made it to a rest stop and lost hope and moped. Told Phil to carry on without me and that I would never see him again. He left and I called my Grandma and my sister Kate. They gave me enough hope to hitchhike to catch up with Phil who had the proper tools to fix my bike. Not only was it the bike but me that's broken, I feel like I have been hit by a train. It took me a good two hours to get a ride. People drive by and wave or give me a thumbs up, not quite understanding what I am after.
An old guy named Al stopped to give me a lift. He was a sweet guy and told
Me about his 34 grandchildren, bought me lunch and dropped me off 7 miles further than I wanted to go.... Which I didn't realize and just fell asleep in some grass in a park. A little later these two old ladies with bonnets asked me if I was sick, thus waking me. A very good thing because it was late afternoon, I assured them I was fine and got back on my bike. Started riding but took into account what they had told me about the rode to Bryce... "straight up hill Hun."
So I found a nice hitchhiking spot and was once again cheating on the bike tour. This time a sheriff picked me up. We threw my bike in the back and it ripped the upholstery. I was all apologetic and he waved it away with a, "taxpayers will pick that one up."
He took me all the way to Bryce, if I had been able to find Phil I was going to have him pretend that I was in trouble but we couldn't find him.
But I did awhile later and we rode to a
Campsite together looking for someone to let us camp with them.
We found Nitin from San Francisco. He was alone and doing a vacation of a couple national parks. I asked him if he wanted any company in his camp spot and he accepted these hobos. I turned my bike over and fixed my rubbing disc brakes with Phil's help, turns out to have been the biggest problem with my bike. The radish of mine keeps making strange creaking sounds though. We watched the sunset together then retreated to Nitin's tent due to the rain. We had hummus, bread, chips and coronas sitting in his tent. The thunder and pattering of rain made for a pleasant night of sleep, if not a little scary. I am not used to this water falling from the sky.
Nitin left us a gift of grape jelly in the morning, which we were delighted to find and started in on like people coming off a hunger strike.
We lazed a bit in the morning because I wanted to meditate during my sisters operation. I prayed and sent distance reiki. We left Bryce around 11am and started riding towards Escalante.
We passed through a place where they had blasted apart the canyon to make a road and I saw the biggest eagle I have ever seen in my life! It was beautiful. I watched it flying around and imagined myself doing the same and was able to fly through the ride today. We had beautiful scenery and were able to keep up with a group of old cats on their carbon fiber bikes and sag wagon. I think they were sad to find they hadn't beaten us to the top of the pass by much.
We are camped in Escalante next to another bike tourer going east to west named Ben. We spent the evening in conversation over a bottle of wine that I drank most of. also the stove is giving me hell and Phil heard the worst string of swear words of his life while I was starvingly trying to get it to work.... Which I didn't and just rode off on my bike for awhile. Came back and he had made dinner like magic.
Wish you all could see the scenery I have as it changes place to place, best way to see America.