Friday, May 4, 2012

14% Grades, and a Real Campground at Calf Creek

Something in my mind rebels again the notion of descending first... then climbing back up. Blazing down a mountain should be the reward for climbing up it. If I reach the top of a pass and camp, that should mean a downhill in the morning! Instead I'm going down, and down, and down today, with a horrible steep climb looming in the morning. In fact, it's too much downhill.

My brake pads have been in rough shape for a while, but now I can barely make them stop. I've been having to stop every half mile to cool them off. Letting off the brakes and flying down isn't a good options, I'm not sure if I'll be able to get the bike to stop if I really get moving. It's often too steep to even walk down without holding the brakes. Really need to get this taken care of, soon.

There was a rest stop at the top of this hill. A group of 40 or so French Motorbikers decided to take a break there, and I literally had to run to my bicycle and pull it out of the way as they parked. God forbid a mere bicycle stand in the way of these men and their perfectly straight line of parked motorcycles! More funny then annoying, really.

After a bit of climbing, this. Oh, Utah, aren't you just something else.

I took a rest at the Kiva Coffeehouse, which was recommended by a couple who stopped to talk me whilst I watched dozens of lizards dart around on slickrock at a scenic overlook. Wonder how they got that real estate - there's no other development here. I imagine it's been there for quite a while. Anyway, it was a nice place, with (rather expensive)baked goods, beautiful architecture, and free WiFi.

While enjoying a cinnamon roll and uploading pictures, I got into a conversation with Mike, a traveling software designer. He offered to share his site at Calf Creek. That would make for only a 12 mile day, but with the inevitable climb coming up, I'd just as soon have an easy day and start fresh tomorrow.

The Calf Creek campground, as it turns out, was wonderful. It's small, maybe 12 sites or so, nestled between sheer rock walls, bisected by the namesake creek. Several of the sites are only accessible by footbridge, or fording the river in a vehicle. It's a $7 BLM campground, with pit toilets and no showers, so I walked down the creek a ways to bathe.

Are you a Scarlet Gilia? I think so, maybe.

Calf Creek Campground from above.

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