I’m still here!

Okay – overdue post again. Here’s what’s been happening :
After arriving in Moab, Andrew and I took it pretty easy to try and rest his knee. The next day, we rode – without gear – to Arches National Park. It was a spectacular ride – just amazing scenery. We did a short hike, and then headed back (it’s 18 miles each way). We were almost to the park entrance when Andrew’s knee started hurting again – bad. He couldn’t even stand on it, let alone ride. Luckily, the second truck i thumbed down stopped and gave Andrew a lift back to our campsite. Unfortunately, it was the end for Andrew’s bike tour. He’s promised to be ready for the next one!
After much brainstorming and research, we figured out that the quickest, cheapest way to get Andrew back to sf was for me to rent a car in Moab and drive him to salt lake city where he could rent a one-way for a reasonable price. That pretty much took a full day – along the way, we met a father-son duo of bike tourists – they were Mennonites from Chihuahua, and were riding from there to the Canadian Rockies. They said they were the only people from their community who had done anything like that, and everyone else thought they were crazy.
I returned to Moab, and began riding solo again. I had a pretty easy day to green river, where i met another tourist heading to Portland, but on a different route – he was going through Yellowstone, from Tucson, so we were actually going different directions in green river. After that, i had another long empty stretch across the desert. When I got to my destination, Wellington, I experienced yet another instance of road magic. I was in the town park, trying to decide whether to camp in an empty lot i had seen by the road, or shell out to stay in a sketchy-looking motel called “pillow talk” when a guy – about 17 years old, popped out the bathroom, saw me, and said “that’s a great beard.”
“hey, are you hungry? ”
“I could eat. Why do you ask?”
“Do you want to come over and have dinner? We’re having ribs!”
That’s how I met Clayton and the rest of the Rhoades family: Nick, Ben, and their dad Joe. Not only did they feed me dinner, but we watched tv, played poker, and I ended up sleeping on their couch – it felt like I was part of their family for a night. They’re all huge Steelers fans – Joe grew up within sight of three rivers stadium, and his family would often have dinner with the players – so it’s amazing that they still let me hand around after i admitted i was raised in browns territory. It really was one of the best unexpected hospitality experiences I’ve ever had – Clayton even woke up and cooked me breakfast before i left the next morning! Thanks Rhoades’!
After another short stint in the desert, i began another 4000 foot climb into the mountains (after stopping to scarf down an entire 14″ pizza by myself, that is). It was awesome to see how quickly the landscape changed from arid scrub to lush forest. I only just briefly entered the alpine before racing back down into the next valley.
I’m now in the great basin, and should make it into the greater salt lake metro area tomorrow. I meet Pierre in twin falls in five days!

Andrew in Arches


A scene from the post-human future
Clayton Rhoades, all-around first-class guy
Hello mountains!


3 thoughts on “I’m still here!”

  1. Glad you met up with such a generous family and not ax murderers! Thanks Rhoades family for being so kind to my wandering son! Stay safe Gregory! Love, Mom <3

  2. It was fun, but were more scared of him being an ax murderer than anything! 🙂

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