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  024 06/27/06 Hanksville Hite Marina Kindness of strangers David  
Down to the Lake
Lake Powell

Tuesday June 27, 2006 52 miles - Total so far: 1,088 miles

We left Hanksville before sunrise and 20 miles later we reached our highest elevation for the day. We thought it was going to be essentially an easy downhill from there, but the wind blew away our expectations... pedaling downhill into a strong wind is not much different from going uphill. Our destination was Hite Marina, a remote National Park Service facility where Lake Powell backs up to the Colorado River. As we approached the River we met two cross-country cyclists, David and Scott, who were cycling from Buffalo NY to San Francisco. They told us that the grocery store in Hite (which we were depending on for food) was closing in 45 minutes, so I sprinted ahead and reached the store with just 15 minutes to spare. A Native American, Richard, was operating the store was very accomodating...asking us to take our time and eat in the cool store untill he closed for the day. He even offered to open the store early the next morning if we needed supplies before departing. While looking for a campsite we met a park service employee named Roger who told us we could camp in the shade of the ranger station and also invited us to his home to visit later in the evening. We had a nice chat with him and learned that in 1969 he had cycled across the country with a friend and because of that experience he watches out for cyclists who come into Hite for food, water, and shelter and does his best to help them.

We also met another cyclist named Scott who is doing a 400 mile trip around Utah. He is a music professor and concert pianist at Brigham Young University. Scott had rented a trailer for the night and after chatting with us for awhile offered to share his place with us...a welcome relief to have showers and air conditioning on a day when the temperature was near 100 degrees! When you are cycling in harsh climate environments like we had today you really depend on the kindness of strangers. Thank you Richard, Scott, and Roger for your generosity and support!

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