May 9th, 2019 / (89km/53miles, 750hm, 4:30hrs)
The day starts late. I’m not used to having “lost” an hour to MDT timezone yet, I’m still tired from yesterday and there’s no rush this morning as today won’t be a particularly long stretch to cover.
The diner next door offers breakfast and after having packed all my stuff – the tedious routine every morning – I decide to go with two sunny-side-ups, some hashbrowns, toast, coffee, orange juice and make it a smooth start into the day. It’s past 8am when I finally jump onto my bike – right in time to again have this only massive black cloud in the sky hanging right above me. But other than a few drops of rain I get away un-soaked – pushing the pedals hastily to escape the cloud once again.
The scenery around both Milford and later Cedar City is a mix of agriculture and industrial buildings, not making for a particularly scenic ride today. After a few miles the usual vegetation of the last days – mainly low grass and bushes, a few trees over the hills – takes precedence again. It doesn’t capture my attention any more, so somehow I get into this state of mind where I just ride along the narrow shoulder of highway 21 and later 219. Every few minutes a huge truck paces by, dragging a heavy gust behind it and shaking me on my bike. So I am always half listing to any truck approaching from behind. Most of them take over in a good distance to me, but if something approaches from ahead, it’s getting tight not only once today. In the meantime, if I see anything approaching that looks scary, I stop and wait till it has passed. Doesn’t speed up things, but makes them lots safer. Where I come from such trucks can hurt. Badly.
Cedar City is bigger a city than what I’ve come thru since Carson City. So there’s lots of motels, restaurants and shops to pick from. The weather has become more and more overcast and an hour after my arrival it starts raining. So my timing today was perfect, I’d say. The forecast for tomorrow is not looking promising: thunderstorms are expected the whole day. If that’s the case, I’d call it a day tomorrow for the ride: I’ll do a rest day and have the bad weather pass before I continue. The route to Panguitch leads over a pass at more than 10.500 feet / 3200 meters above sea level with a steep climb of over 5300 feet / 1600 meters. Overall it’s 58 miles / 97 km in length. So it will be a tough one. Better don’t get into a thunderstorm up there. The webcam of the pass still showed heavy snow all around.