Travel days.: Staging - The Granny Panties Tour - CycleBlaze

Travel days.: Staging

After all of the long winter's wait, wait, wait, now we are on to the hurry, hurry, hurry of the actual departure. Even though our panniers had been packed for a couple of days, there was last minute sorting through and gear assessment. On my part, I took out my vest. I decided I could layer with a rain jacket if chilly. Did I save six ounces? In it's place I put a one pound baggie of Spiz meal replacement. I honestly feel I ride better and recover easier when I can drink Spiz every day. I'm not a paid spokesperson, although Randy is generous with discounts! When the Spiz runs out my plan is to resort to chocolate milk. Or if I'm really struggling with the climbs, Randy will send a container to me General Delivery.

Jacinto had two Ziplock bags of clothes. But that doesn't mean they were on the bike. Oh, no. They were on the floor in the living room. His last minute additions were a second pair of socks (wise) and a mirror for his glasses. Also wise.

Poor Oren had driven a long hard day from Arkansas to Denver on Sunday. He appeared as scheduled, right at 10 AM on Monday. Nancy was there to load her bike. She's a lucky girl - she's flying direct to Bellingham while her bike rides in comfort with us. Taking the potential problem of boxing/shipping a bicycle out of the equation is very comforting to me. Thus all of the trucks.

We pulled away from home only 17 minutes past the planned departure. Stopping for a prescription slowed us down. FINALLY we were on the road. We threw Oren for a loop as we headed north to Meeker/Rangely/Vernal rather than hitting the interstate to Grand Junction/Green River/Price. We had dinner with friends the night before who now live in Heber City. Jim said he thought the northern route, though not on the interstate would be fastest.

I rode with Oren to start. It was great to catch up after not seeing him for a year. Poor guy, I bet his ears were falling off from all of the female chatter!

The scenery was unusually green from all of the rain we'd had this spring. I hadn't been up that direction for quite some time, it was fun to see. I remembered riding the Rifle/Meeker/Rangely section a couple of years ago with Tim and Dustin. I had to point out just where we stayed and ate. Oren was tolerant of my reminiscing. Oren and his wife Carol had been to Rangely and seen the petroglyphs along the road. Too cool.

Time was passing, but not fast enough. I switched vehicles and rode with Jacinto as far as Park City. There we ate at Wendy's. Their new Ghost Pepper Fries were in no way up to Jacinto's standards as a ghost pepper item.

From Park City I was on my own. At Salt Lake our routes split. The guys headed north with the bicycles and I headed west to Reno in Oren's truck. Sadly, we were eating dinner at 5 PM and I still had eight hours of driving to do, according to google. Yes, do that math. Bleh. Luckily I had a little nap while in the truck with Jacinto. Hopefully that would hold me. I was committed to Reno as I had a hotel reserved there and it was tied to the truck parking. So.

I had been envying Nancy with her 7 AM shuttle to the airport - she will be in Bellingham at 2 PM. What a life. While I was busy whining about driving eight more hours, Jacinto pointed out that Tuesday while I am on the plane, they will be grinding out one more very long day with the truck. Yes, I think the men got the worst of the deal.

I was concerned about getting lost in Salt Lake, but signage was good. I followed the Budget truck 25 miles and then gave them a silent salute as we parted ways. Big breath. OK, I'm on my own on a road I don't know through a very desolate area in the dark. Ooooohhh, don't I sound tough. You know who was tough? The single heavily loaded woman (or a slender man with a pony tail) I saw near sunset WAY, WAY out in the middle of nowhere. It was probably 50 miles to the closest water. She had four black Arkel panniers, a pretty good size American flag and (I think) a New Mexico jersey on. That kind of took me down a peg.

Driving across the Great Basin was interesting. I've read a few journals and how the vast open spaces effect people. Every time I would cross a valley and crest another pass, I thought of bicycling over it. I'm sure you all do the same, right? Every road I drive is subconsciously rated as a bicycle route.

I had 515 miles to drive on I-80. That's a crazy number, especially to be starting after 5 PM. Amazingly I had no trouble with the drive. I kept finding good radio stations. The sun lasted until about 10 PM, so I could check out the vista. I didn't get sleepy (amazing). I got to drive through Winnamucca. That is on everyone's list, right?

There were several road closures in Reno. Luckily the google lady rerouted me. I believe there was some serendipity to arriving so late. I would have been very stressed about the road closures if I'd had to navigate them in traffic.

I arrived at midnight, local time. I checked into my very, very nice room at the Comfort Inn on Plumb St. $69. for the room, $25. a week for parking. Big bummer to the city of Reno for charging occupancy tax on the parking also. Tax was $21. Can't they just get your money from the gambling.

I had no clue how large Reno was. I've never been here. The thought of bicycling back to the hotel is daunting. And sucicidal, IMO. But maybe google knows of a bicycle route. Or perhaps Jenia, who has offered a SAG from Truckee would give us a ride. Or we could get a taxi from the outskirts of town. It will take a little thinking. Maybe Reno has good bike paths?

Here I sit the next morning on the sofa in my room, killing time waiting for my afternoon flight. Soon I will have to vacate the room and move on to killing time at the airport.

I haven't talked to the guys yet. Their drive has been filled with negotiations. Oren is a get up the in morning and get 'er done kind of guy. Plus he comes from two time zones away. Jacinto likes his sleep - he'd rather sleep in and stay up late. Last night they stopped in Twin Falls about 10 PM. A compromise. Oren would have rather stopped at dinner time and left early in the morning. Jacinto would have driven further and slept this morning. It will be interesting to see what time they get on the road. I told Oren it doesn't do much good to rattle around in the room, Jacinto is excellent at ignoring background noise.

I took exactly one photo yesterday. But it was a good one.

A pink dinosaur is worth stopping to take a photo!
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Travel - Day 2

I slept in and luxuriated in my nice room. I had plenty of time before I needed to be to the airport. I was VERY happy not to have another long driving day on the road, unlike Jacinto and Oren. After room check out at 11 AM, I took the shuttle to the airport. It was only blocks from the hotel, I could have walked. Traffic would have been uninviting with several large roads to cross.

The Reno airport has free wi-fi. Score. My happiness soon deflated. Pages were taking so long to load that I felt I was back in the old dial up days. Phone and computer were equally slow. I tried the kindle on my computer. Nope. Hmmm, guess I will go buy a book. I have hours to waste yet.

The book that attracted my attention, Nachez Burning, is 900 pages. No way would I finish that in one day. It is also heavy, I wouldn't want to carry it. But it was the book that looked good, so I bought it. At least the time I had to spend waiting passed quickly.

Even in animal friendly Colorado, I have not noticed any animal relief area signs. Good for Reno.
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I hadn't heard anything from the guys. I broke down and called them first. We had a bad connection, but I did get that they'd spent the night in Twin Falls at a Day's Inn for $70. and were currently in Pendleton, OR. Pendleton is known for their wool fabric factory. They did not stop.

My flight from Seattle to Bellingham was delayed. I checked in with Jacinto after I landed. They were about a half hour from town. I ended up waiting for them at the airport to pick me up. That saved a taxi fee. It was only 3 miles out of their way.

We stayed at the Enono Lodge on Meridin St. 360-671-4600 $69.96 if prepaid with no refund if canceled. It was a basic hotel room.

It was great to be reunited with the guys. We all agreed the third seat in the truck would have been very uncomfortable for any substantial distance.

We had brought Nancy's bike up for her also. She was waiting at the motel. We all went to dinner together at a lackluster Thai place a few blocks from the motel. We had started out at a sports bar next door to the motel, but it was so loud we couldn't hear to talk. This is probably all we will see of Nancy. But it certainly worked out for her to be able to fly and have her bike arrive securely.

Plans for the next day were rather lazy, with only 23 miles to ride.

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