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  021 06/24/06 Escalante Boulder,Utah Cycling an "All-American Road" David  
Infamous Hogback
Lisa and Debbie
To Steep UGH!

Saturday June 24, 2006 29 miles - Total so far: 951 miles

This was a memorable day spent cycling over a scenic portion of Highway 12, designated a "National Scenic Byway" as well as one of only a few highways labeled an "All-American Road" for its' unique features.

Over several days we are cycling this highway's 124 miles, traveling through some of the most diverse and ruggedly beautiful landscapes in the country. Highway 12 winds past slick rock canyons, red rock cliffs, pine and aspen forests, alpine mountains, national parks, state parks, a national monument, and quaint rural towns.

Early in our ride the anticipation of a very difficult climb out of Calf Creek Canyon was dampened by the cool air created by the creek in the confines of steep, narrow canyon walls. The climb out was exceedingly difficult and required walking and pushing our loaded bikes up portions of the inclines (see photo).

At the top we were rewarded with a level stretch but had to endure riding across the infamous Hogback, where the highway crosses a narrow ridge with steep drop offs on both sides and no guardrail...scarry stuff!

We proceeded to Boulder, known as the "Last frontier in Utah". The town was settled in 1889, and was the last town in the USA to receive mail by packhorse and mule up until the early 1940's. Across the street from our motel is the Anasazi State Park Museum, which is built around ruins of an indian village dating to 1050 AD, and was quite interesting to see. We were impressed with the community spirit in this small town and especially enjoyed being invited to an annual outdoor party with free pizza and drinks and musical entertainment provided by locals. I especially enjoyed a rendition of "16 Tons" by a very talented female vocalist, because the song reminds me of my father, a coal miner who worked 7 days a week to provide for his 14 children.

Also, while having lunch, we met two women cyclists from Greensboro, NC who were cycling from San Francisco back to Greensboro. Lisa and Debbie are cycling for the American Diabetes Association. Their website is www.2c6.org.

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