There are some days that are work days, and some days that are reward days, Today was a reward day.
I had 47 miles to do and only 600 ft to climb! Most of the ride was downhill and a bit of flat. The best part though was the scenery! Utah really has such a marked difference from Nevada. There were beautiful canyons along the way and I was cruising through at a nice comfortable 20 mph, feeling the wind on my face.
In the afternoon it started getting pretty hot and there were small uphill sections towards the end, but I still made it by 12:30 PM or so even with a late start (at 8:00 AM)!
Tomorrow I have a choice between a steep, scenic route and a flat, boring route. Still not sure which one I'll take.
Today was fairly light. I chose to go the scenic, hillier route which meant 50 miles of relatively flat roads today and 76 miles of a lot of climbing tomorrow (if I choose the scenic route) or 100+ miles (If I choose the flat one).
I left a little late at 7:00 AM, but by 10:30 AM I had done 30 miles relatively easily. The last few miles, especially the last 10, were a whole different story. There was a steep climb up the canyon from up there. I could see Lake Powell - a tiny lake waaay below which looked almost dry. Now all I had to do was get to the other side. That was easier said than done. The road went up and down the cliffside and with the intense heat and humidity, it really felt like I was riding through hell. The bright lava-red road also aggravated the situation.
A few more ups and downs and I had to cross a bridge. There was a steep descent, then the bridge, then a horrible ascent. I was over the canyon on the other side. Then 1 mile off route to Hite Marina Campground. The camp is super basic, but has a gorgeous view of the surrounding mountains and lake. The lady at the grocery store let me hang around until closing time at 5:00 PM, by which time I stuffed myself with food and drinks.
At the campsite, I met another tourer who is doing the WE. He's from the Bay Area and we had a great time talking all the way until sunset.
I was a bit skeptical about camping here but it's turning out to be quite fun. Now onto the harder leg tomorrow!