During breakfast we studied the route map and the profile had me concerned. It sure looked like a heavy climbing day. It began with a short gentile climb and a descent that was amazing. The rock formations and colors were unbelievable. It was difficult to ride as all I wanted to do was take pictures. The escalante river wound through a narrow red sided canyon; wow. From there the real climbing started and the amazing views continued. As we climbed the views kept getting bigger. Soon we were riding on a narrow ridge with steep drop offs to each side.
From the town of Boulder we left the desert behind and entered pine forest with glimpses of aspen way in the upper reaches of the ridge we needed to climb. After 5 miles of 8 percent grade we were in the snow and aspen and the views down to where we had been that morning were so immense that I don't think photos could capture it all. I took a few panned videos but views this big need to be seen in person.
At 9700 feet we needed our full winter gear. We had spent so much time enjoying the views the day was getting late and we were ready for a quick descent. It was not to be. Down then up, down then up. Then the big headwinds showed up. Finally the town of Torrey where Taco Bell and a 24 dollar cabin waited for us.
It was not a high distance day and it was a tough day, but it was the most incredible day of riding yet. From the desert to snow and aspen. Really an amazing day.