May 4: Robinson Ranch, UT to junction of Oceola Rd, CR-38 and SR 50/6 Nevada. Total ride time was 4 hrs for 34 miles and app. 3500 feet of climbing. 

Again, ooff. Man, I just don’t have that third gear I usually have in these things. Body was tired from yesterday and the 2500 feet of climbing I did. So today I kind of felt I was moving in slow motion. Felt like a struggle from the first pedal stroke to the last. What’s more, I don’t know if the altitude is actually affecting me (never really had trouble with it in the past), but stomach is not right and I feel like I have a slight head ache. Maybe…….I’m just getting old! Hate to say that, and in my younger days I sore I’d never use that as an excuse, but today, at 59 years old, I’m leaning in that direction every now and then when I feel like I just cannot attain the things I could previously accomplish physically. Oh well, on we go. 

Morning temp here in Baker was 38 degrees so again, we didn’t put the pedal down getting ready. Finally, once the temp had risen to about 50, around 8 AM, we got rolling back to where I’d left off yesterday. Judy joined me for the first leg on Gandy Rd. We climbed for a bit on another of the gazillions of false flats, then began a descent to the NV border. And like a dope, all of a sudden my GPS didn’t register the road, and I was wondering what the heck was going on. I just showed us riding in the middle of nowhere “Riding Southwest”. So when Judy finished, about 1:15 hrs into the ride, and well over the UT/NV border I figured out what was wrong - I needed to put in my NV/CA GPS chip. My UT/CO chip was useless once we crossed the border, thus my knucklehead confusion. 

Changed out the chips in my GPS, downed some water and Gatorade, ate a muffin, and I was on my way again. This time I was riding solo, with Judy and Vic manning the van. Now I had to get on this track that is Called “Old Rt 6”. I was a little leery of having the ladies trail me in the van, so I had them drive on Rt 6/50 and parallel my on my track. Good thing, because Old 6 because this undulating double track that would have been a total no-go in the van. I was working my tail off just to maintain 6 mph through most of this as it punched up and down for 5 miles. This was the first time in the trip I had to gear down to the middle ring. Once I met the ladies I had to do 4 miles of berm west on Rt 6/50 to my next gravel track - Oceola Rd, CR-38. 

Most of that was a gradual climb up to Sacramento Pass. Met the ladies again at a Recreation area/primitive camping area off the main road where they had a great salad prepared for me. With the stomach issues, I just did me best to get something in the gut, but not exacerbate the sour stomach thing that I have going on. At this point, with only 24 miles in for the day, God, I was just loathing the fact that I had to do what looked like a gnarly track for 10-12 more miles over a pass. Bucked up and got it rolling before I decided otherwise!

Started this moderate climb which just continued for mile after mile. This was definitely middle ring stuff, in the pie plate in the back to boot! Had to get in and out of the saddle countless times just to stretch out the hammies. Finally topped out at 7500 feet and was greeted with this gonzo rollycoaster descent which took me through the deserted mining town of Oceola. Again, glad a did not have the van on this one, as it was steep, steep, steep. The gravel was thick and rocky, and I was wishing I’d have worn my mt biking gloves. Down inside this old mining town, there was just a total maze of roads, so having that GPS on board was a Godsend cuz I got on wrong tracks several times. 

Right outside of this ghost town on this big bluff overlooking the basin below, the view was pretty stellar. Below was this low lying basin with row upon row of windmills at this massive wind farm out in the middle of nowhere. I could actually see the van way the heck down there, some 3-4 miles below. From there the track was pretty steep, so I had to kind of hang my butt off the seat down over the rear wheel just to keep a stable, and low center of gravity. Made it back to the van at the junction of Rt 6/50. Probably could have muscled through another 5 of 10 miles down in the basin, but man, I was just cashed for the day. Back we went to Baker for our second night of bliss!

I think I must have invested about a gallon of water between the drive back and as of this writing. Talked to my sis the doc and she thinks just maybe, since I’ve had zero opp. to acclimate to the altitude as I normally do when I just ride across the country acclimatizing along the way, that I may have a bit of altitude sickness what with trying to ride hard out of the gate with no acclimatizing. It makes sense since I have the signs of a mild case of altitude sickness. Thus, I’ve been doing water like crazy trying to get in more than enough liquids. 

Did dinner at a little place down the street that doubles as a motel and Bohemian eatery, a place that had no cable and a place we declined staying at yesterday because of the lack of cable. The owner was kind of pissed at us yesterday for blowing him off because of his no cable gig. Well anyway, the dude’s trying to be avant-garde, but comes off being a bit on the pretentious side, seeing that he has wooden stools, a cheap kitchen table, and very rustic surroundings inside - along with his selection of 175-dollar bottles of wine? Are you kidding me? Had a great burger, but….it was the cheapest thing on the menu - 10 bucks - which for dinner entrees was only 1 of about 5 selections. The rest of the choices were 15 bucks apiece and, in my opinion, pretty expensive for what they were - like a peanut sauce stir fry?  Ah….NO! 

Feeling much better right now as we’re watching the Cavs game. Hope to get a better day in tomorrow……..Pete