Swinging on lianas

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This was a rest day today at Cedar city, and for once I really didn’t do much. I even napped during the afternoon, something I’m generally unable to do. Still, I planned the days ahead.

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The next map crosses Utah. There are at least two huge climbs, one stretch with just one announced stop in 130mis/200kms, and generally not a lot of civilization. It’s not as empty as I thought though. There are little towns here and there, and no absolute need to do another 80mis/120kms stretch again, which is good. So I’ve cut the 450mis/720kms into 12 stops. That’s an average of 38mis/60kms a day, quite less than what I’m used to do, which is exactly the objective. I could end up doing half of that in campgrounds, with a minimum of a quarter. But I’ll regularly find shops around, so no need to carry food and water for a week.

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This got me feeling again that I’m swinging from one liana to another during this whole trip. I start from a safe place and reach another (mostly). I’ve never completely gone random / wild camping, and I don’t think I’m going to try. That’s the limit of this adventure πŸ™‚ I don’t want to put myself at risk, leaving trails and roads, stopping anywhere, not preparing ahead… I’m reaching into a challenge area, certainly, but not a risk area, to speak in management terms. Crossing Brazil, for instance, a country and a language I don’t know, without any map or link to the web, sounds as far to my current trip as my trip is to my previous work routine.

I get in touch regularly with friends, read the news, go to the movies, take days of rest, sleep in a bed most of the time… These are all links to a “usual life” that all help me cross a whole continent on a bike. Maybe in another journey I’ll go deeper into the adventure, just like you explore new caves after you get to know the first ones when you go spelunking.

I’ll rest again tomorrow. I’ll do short runs after that but probably no rest days – it should even out. Plus the first day east is the biggest climb of the whole trip : going up to the Cedar breaks national monument, a climb of 4000feet/1500m over 25mis/40kms. Surprisingly, it’s only an average slope of 4%, still I don’t think I’m gonna ride all of that πŸ™‚ I’ve been looking over there the whole day – that’s the first pic πŸ™‚

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Packing list 2/3

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This is the second part of the packing list I’ve prepared. This is about camping, which includes sleeping, eating and staying clean πŸ™‚

Now, the first point I have to mention is that I haven’t been camping for something like 25 years ! I was in my teens back then, and even then, it was stationary camping, on a dedicated camping site for holidays. So, leaving for 5 or 6 months and relying on more-or-less wild camping will be a large part of the challenge ! πŸ™‚

I also have to get up to speed on the type of material I can find. I’ll be riding during late spring, summer and probably early autumn, so there shouldn’t be an issue with temperatures. As for environment, it should mostly be parks, fields, perhaps a few complete outdoors. With that in mind, I’m looking for an average / low temp sleeping bag. I’ve read here and there that you should find a n+1 tent, so I’ll get a 2-person tent πŸ™‚

Cooking equipment is pretty basic, finding it should not be an issue. But here again I’ll have to test that live to get used to it πŸ™‚

As for staying clean… I hope I’ll have access to a shower at least every other day. Beyond that, I don’t know how to do πŸ™‚ Another big challenge here πŸ™‚

I’d also like to find a small chair to enjoy the outdoors while reading in front of the setting sun ! πŸ™‚

Final point here is the food itself. I’ll buy everything when in the US of course. The only question here is the volume and weight, and more precisely how much I’ll eat πŸ™‚ I will certainly enjoy US diners in the morning πŸ™‚

How to sleep, how to eat, how to stay clean… All of this I’ll test in april, I will know very quickly if I can overcome these challenges πŸ™‚