Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Day Three: Price to Bryce Bicycle Ride


Tuesday, August 28, 2012.  Day 3 of the Price to Bryce bicycle ride.  Teasdale to Boulder.

          The map below shows the route from Teasdale to Bryce Canyon.  Much of the final three days of riding took place within and around the 1.9 million acre Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, a geologic wonder and outdoor enthusiast's playground.



Map, and elevation change graph for Day 3.
Elevation graph:  x-axis starts at 0 miles.  Each hatch mark equals 10 miles.
y-axis starts at 7000 ft., each hatch mark equals 1000 ft.

          A grueling climb over the 9600 ft. summit of the Boulder Mountains was the highlight of today’s ride.  The weather was perfect for a mountain ride—early morning temperatures in the 40's had warmed up to 70 degrees by midday.  Tim and Mark cruised into Boulder by 2:00 p.m., giving us plenty of time to check in to the Boulder Mountain Lodge and take a drive on the Burr Trail Scenic Byway in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.


Climbing the mountain, Tim approaches our FJ Cruiser,
the ultimate SAG (support and gear) wagon.
Tim at the summit.  This was the high point of the
235 mile ride.  Tim reported no ill effects from the altitude!

View from the summit of Boulder Mountain, looking east into
Capitol Reef National Park and to the Henry Mountains.


Cruising down the mountain and into the town of Boulder.

Day three's welcome destination, Boulder Mountain Lodge.

         With the bikes secured to posts outside our rooms the three of us hopped in the car and drove into the National Monument.  Our destination was an unnamed slot canyon, 22 miles from the lodge.  Following directions handed to us by the receptionist at check-in we found the small parking area on the side of the road and walked the dusty trail to the hidden slot.  Towering walls closed in around us; we looked up to spy just a sliver of blue sky several hundred feet above our heads. 


Under the cottonwoods at the entrance to the
hidden slot canyon.

Inside the slot:  a sliver of sunlight
reaches into this amazing "secret" canyon.
Sandstone formations such as these make the Grand
Staircase Escalante National Monument a geologist's dream.

          We returned to Boulder Mountain Lodge for dinner at Hell's Backbone Grill.  The restaurant serves organic and home-grown food; fruits and vegetable are harvested from their own organic farm.  After dining on blue corn encrusted trout and grilled pork tenderloin we gathered on the lodge's back porch overlooking a small pond.  We listened to the evening calls of ducks and geese and watched bats swoop to and fro in the twilight—a fitting end to another day of adventure. 

To view the other four days of the Price to Bryce adventure, click on the links below:
Day 1
Day 2
Day 4
Day 5

6 comments:

  1. Equally impressive: riding up to 9,600 feet and your photos of the spectacular sandstone features and slot canyon. (Amazing that Tim and Mark had any energy left over to go hiking after that climb! I think I'd be prone with an icepack...)

    Your Day 3 dinner and accommodations sound really lovely, as well!

    Really enjoying this journey. :-))

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Vickie,

    I would have been prone with an icepack as well! My job as the official driver and photographer wasn't nearly as taxing as the bike ride.

    I'm pleased to hear that you're enjoying this journey. Days 4 and 5 coming up soon.

    Thanks for commenting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. With no exaggeration, I let out an audible gasp when I saw those sandstone formations in the last photo of your report. Such incomparable beauty!

    With such spectacular vistas, and such inviting overnight accommodations (and food), combined with other things such as a visit to a secret slot canyon, it's difficult to imagine that you can top this 3rd day of the "Price to Bryce" event, but knowing you, it might just happen! :)

    John

    ReplyDelete
  4. Tim chose this route for his bike ride due, in part, to our opinion that it's one of the most scenic regions of our state.

    I won't give away any secrets about what you'll find in days four and five; you'll have to see for yourself!

    Thanks for your comments, John!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I actually added your blog to my favorites and will look forward for more updates. Great Job, Keep it up.

    Map of Bryce Canyon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for adding me to your favorites, Rubysinn!

      Delete