Day 64 – Cedar City to Milford UT

Today marks another big transition on the trip in a couple of ways. For one, I’ve completed another ACA map, so I retire a map and start in on a new one that will cover from Cedar City to Fallon NV. But more importantly it’s a turn from the the touristed areas to the backroads and quiet spots. Ever since Pueblo CO I’ve been traveling in areas that are popular, gorgeous, and pretty easy to tour in. Tomorrow I head out across the West Utah desert into Eastern Nevada and then on to “the loneliest road in America.”

U.S. 50 in Nevada a preview (not my photo)

I’m actually looking forward to it. One of the things I’ve enjoyed about this trip is having the time and space to let my thoughts wander, my spinning meditations if you will. And there looks to be ample opportunity for that. But also, I have liked getting to know all the little small towns every bit as much as the “big name” attractions that I’ve passed like Niagara Falls, Natural Bridges and Bryce Canyon. I love the little towns that have their own charms and I love to meet the people that call them home.

Today was my first step off the beaten path for awhile, and it was really enjoyable. I rode north out of Cedar City on a state highway that soon became pretty isolated. I only passed through one town, Minersville, on my way to Milford where I’m staying the night.

The road north out of Cedar City. Now we’re going places.
Not at all like Kansas.
I don’t know if these help but people gave me my whole lane all morning.
I was fascinated by this old ranch. There was little around here now, and there was probably less when it was active.
What do you do when your ranch is full of volcanic rocks. Build fences out of them.
How much work do you think is represented here. It went in both directions this way, and included a full rock-fenced corral.

At one point during today’s only climb I was besieged by black flies again. I hadn’t seen them since Eastern Colorado and I was OK with that. They look just like houseflies except once they’ve sat on you for a few seconds they bite. I was especially getting bit on my back where there’s less breeze from my movement. For awhile I looked like one continuous tic, constantly clearing my back and arms from them. Until finally I realized that I have carried insect repellent for over 3000 miles exactly for this purpose. Flies are, in fact, insects. Problem solved in minutes.

Leaving Minerville. Prescient of things to come.
I had several miles of this chip gravel to plow through. They’re repaying and left it in this middle state for the time being. After a few miles of this I was pretty sick of it. It’s hard to pedal through, the dust comes up, and cars and trucks sometimes skip rocks at you as they pass. See how it looks never ending? A trying 45 min or so, but it felt like forever.
I haven’t taken photos of shrines for awhile but I found this one especially compelling. DJ was killed only last March.
Approaching Milford, I saw these strange ornaments on a lot labeled “Milford Archeological Research Institute.” (http://www.mariarchaeology.com)

I’d barely gotten into Milford and I was pulling under a shade tree to figure out where the campground was when I heard, literally, a voice from above. “Hello sir? Are you looking for a warm shower?” Well, yes, now that you mention it. I’d forgotten to even try the warmshowers website but my host, Renee, had found me. I looked up and she was in the balcony above me, sitting on the porch of this big old house. I introduced myself, she invited me in, and now I have a great place to stay tonight. The generosity of of people across the country continues to impress me and as a cycling tourist I’ve enjoyed a lot of help, warm introductions and warm showers.

Renee’s lovely home is the oldest building in Milford, built in 1876. It operated as the William and Lacey Hotel for many years and the layout reflects it. Renee’s husband (now deceased) completely refurbished it in a year starting in 1999.
Renee in the Teddy Bear room. She’s considered opening the house as a Teddy-bear themed B&B where you get to keep a Teddy when you check out. She’s a very natural host and would make a great B&B owner no doubt.

 

16 thoughts on “Day 64 – Cedar City to Milford UT”

  1. Jim, your descriptions of Utah are great, as my family and my wifes family from France have traveled to Utah for the big canyon tour, and we’ve been marveling at how you are doing this on a bike, while we do the more traditional means of travel. We almost crossed paths near Bryce, but you were there a day earlier. Utah is wonderful, ive always liked it. Its great that so many folks from other countries visit and support our national parks and monuments. Have a great Highway 50. Might take a couple days to conquer that straight road.

  2. That gravel stretch must have been very trying! I hope the next stage of your travels has well paved roads and good people.
    There was an article in the NYT today about Lewis Pugh. He is a swimmer and has been doing swims in the arctic to raise awareness of climate change. Maybe your next fund raising effort will be a climate swim! Here’s a link to the story: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/world/europe/arctic-swim-lewis-pugh.html?
    If you get hot crossing Nevada, imagine swimming in the Arctic!

    1. Ooh, I am not a swimmer – that would be a challenge indeed. Thanks for the link.

  3. These details are so wonderful–the rock wall, DJ’s memorial, the Milford archaeology artifacts, Renee and her teddy bears. You really paint a vivid picture, and I’m glad to ride along on my computer! Very proud of you!

  4. Those roads, fences and space give a visual impression of what infinity means. Fortunately you have a map that shows otherwise.

  5. I’m so happy to be touring Utah with you, wonderful! I’d like to send your donation drive info. to friends & neighbors, is there an easy way to send it?

  6. Ok, it looks like I have to take a trip to Utah. Man, what gorgeous, out-of-this world places you have seen! And here I sit in Austin, seeing my same old world, just in different directions to and from work every day.

    I really liked the article you linked in about clean energy and GDP growth. Wow, we need to rethink, well, everything we’ve been doing! Meat farms, deforestation, landfills, cement! I had no idea the direction we are headed if we keep on our current path. Stop the world! I want to get off!

    I’m learning so much from your cross-country journey. Do you really have to go home? Just kidding, but I have loved being in your head these many weeks. I’m glad you’re having so much fun too. No, don’t sell that bike.

    1. Thanks for all your encouragement, Wendy. Hey you could do this too in a couple of years. I’ve seen lots of folks with less than tons of experience touring.

  7. Wow, your trip just took a dramatic turn, or change at least. Enjoy the open space. G lad you have the bug spray, too.

    1. Yeah, at first I was a little intimidated by that turn but now I’m digging Nevada.

  8. Your photos are beautiful and beautifully framed. You have a very good eye for composition.

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, Bill. I really enjoy taking pictures and I’m really glad you and others are enjoying them too.

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