Monday 2nd August
Daily mileage 88miles Average Speed 13mph Ride Time 6hr47min
Total Mileage 2992
We were woken by a very excited Nellie that joined us in bed on the living room floor. We had breakfast and were sad to leave Mike and Nellie standing on the driveway. We set off at 8.30am when there was no wind and it was hot already. We left highway 20 and headed west on the 33 which is going to be a shortcut across the desert. The road was flat and there were mountains on the horizon but it was comforting to know we were going around them not over them.
We knew we were definitely in the desert as there were very few towns, no shade and I even spotted a cactus. We stopped in Mud Lake after 35 miles having had a very fast ride with the slight wind behind us. As we stood outside the market in town we chatted to a mix of about 10 people who were all very friendly. We carried on another 25 miles to Howe where the only café/gas/grocery store in town is shut on Mondays! We had run out of water and so persuaded the post office lady to give us a refill. We found shelter from the sun in the community centre library for a short break.
We had done 60 miles by lunch time on nice flat road with kind wind. However, as we left Howe for the final 28 miles to Arco, it all turned sour. The heat had now reached 97 degrees Fahrenheit, there were now rolling foot hills in the way and the wind grew stronger and turned slap bang in our faces. Nightmare. The traffic was not too bad fortunately as we crept along fighting every mile. With no town until Arco we were sparing with the water and had completely run out by the end of the day. Our eyes were stinging with the mix of sweat and sun cream it was torturous.
We actually stopped in a random bar just 4 miles outside of Arco in Butte City for a Pepsi as we were desperate for a drink and we had to let some blood back in our bums. We had intended to get some more water but not even Kris was happy to drink their tap water. We eventually made it to Arco with the last two miles being downhill and its depressing when you even have to pedal hard downhill to get anywhere. After checking out the prices of several motels we decided upon Arco Inn Motel and grabbed a box of ice and drank so much ice water we got brain freeze.
We did a supermarket sweep, showered and tried to plan the next few days riding. It has been difficult to go back to long daily mileages and I think it will take a while to adjust. We had a look at the USA map and today’s ride seemed to cut off a fair chunk of the remaining part of the trip which we are chuffed about but it was tough, really tough.