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  014 06/17/06 Great Basin National Park Utah Desert Our first fully-loaded day Gene  
Desert Outpost
Our Support Team
Utah at last!

Saturday June 17, 2006 64 miles - Total so far: 708 miles

The dreaded day finally arrived! We lost the support that our friends Keith and Dyan and Gene's wife Sue have provided the past two weeks. They've been supplying us with water and food and have been carrying most of our gear up to this point. After breakfast we said our goodbyes and peddled off on our fully-loaded bikes into the Utah desert. Our expectation was an 84 mile ride with no access to water. However, the day's events modified those expectations.

Fortunately for us we met Brent and Pete, two young cross-country cyclists from Indiana, who were cycling our route in reverse. Brent told us about a source of water some 20 miles into the desert, a running spring of cold water beside the road at an old abandoned ranch outpost. This water source would later prove to be crucial.

We also met two Dutch women, Ellen and Sandra, who were cycling on a tandem bike. They were on their way to Vancouver, having started in Miami. We really enjoyed chatting with them and wish them good fortune.

When we reached the outpost (in the above photo...look for the green tree dot on the right side of the road) we were able to refill our water bottles and douse our bodies with cold water...what a relief on a hot day! We set off with renewed energy that we thought would carry us over the last mountain pass into Milford. Unfortunately, by 7 pm we still had 20 miles to go and a steep climb ahead, so we elected to push our bikes into the desert and camp for the night. We were both exhausted and welcomed the setting sun and cool night air.

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