An introduction - Cedar City to Flagstaff 1987 - CycleBlaze

An introduction

Rachael and I have been playing around with ideas for a possible tour through Southern Utah lately.  This prompted me to hunt through storage and find my journal from the first time I saw this country, nearly 30 years ago now.  This was the first of a series of short solo cycling tours I took through the mountain states - over the course of a decade, every few years I pried free from home responsibilities for a week or so and flew off to explore a landscape that has piqued my imagination since childhood.

Rereading this old journal now I'm taken by how fresh it all still feels in my memory, how much younger I obviously was then, and how open I was to new experiences.  I feel a bit wistful rereading it, and am reminded of parts of myself that have stilled a bit over the decades.  It feels a bit like opening my personal time capsule.  I am also struck though by how short the tour was in relation to the number of unforgettable and unique experiences I found.  Looking back now, I remember it as one of the most intensely lived weeks of my life.

This was a very low tech, low budget trip.  I stealth camped most of the time, which was a lot easier to do back then.  I've never been much of a bike techie so I didn't keep an equipment log and can't tell you much about how I was outfitted other than that I travelled very light - pretty much with just the bare essentials for 10 days on the road - an embarrassingly few changes of clothes, a sleeping bag, a tent and tarp, a state highway map, some basic tools.  I think I was riding a Trek 520, but I'm not even positive about that any more.

Other than to correct typos and filter out a few embarrassing personal details, this is a verbatim transcription of the journal I kept on the road. It's hard to say what interest others might find here, but I hope you enjoy reading it.  I like to think that some of this country hasn't changed much over the last 30 years, so maybe it will inspire someone to set out on their own exploration of this remarkable region.  If nothing else it is a reminder of how much can be experienced in a short time and on a tight budget.

Finally, in case he's still around, I'd like to express my gratitude to Dennis Coello.  His Bicycle Touring in Utah, published in 1984, was the inspiration for this ride as well as a second one I took a few years later in the Four Courners region.  It was perhaps my favorite guide, and still inspires me when I read it again today.

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