This morning we awoke to cold temperatures! No one wanted to get out of their bags. But once the sun started to rise it warmed up fairly quickly. We made a gourmet breakfast of biscuits and gravy which were delicious!
Our route today took us up and over a mountain 60 miles into Cedar City, Utah. The first half was uphill, and the second half was all downhill. As soon as we left the campsite in Panguitch we started climbing. It is terrible when you have to start out climbing because your muscles are still tight from the day before and you have zero time to warm up.
Today’s climb was the last time that we will reach over 10,000 feet. It started with a gradual climb up to Panguitch Lake where we would eat at Grandma’s Burger Barn for lunch. The food was excellent but we never met grandma.
On the way to the Burger Barn we met the nicest family on the side of the road fishing. We needed a little breather so we stopped to chat with them about the area. Come to find out they are from the West but just spent their vacation in the Outer Banks of North Carolina just two weeks after we left. They were the ones that informed us about the Burger Barn.
After lunch we continued our climb. We had 13 miles to the summit and Cedar Breaks National Monument. It was a beautiful ride! Tall Ponderosa Pines along with Aspen tress lined the hilltop meadows. Crystal clear streams made their way through the vivid wildflowers. The views captivated us as we slowly pedaled passed.
Once at the top the temperature had dropped significantly, common for the altitude. In fact there was still snow on the ground.
So we layered up a bit for the descent. We stopped for a quick peek at Cedar Breaks before we made the trip down the mountain.
The descent was one of the best yet. It was 29 miles all the way to Cedar City with 4-8% grade the whole way. Several times we were descending faster than the cars and were having to brake to keep from running into the back of the car in front of us. However some cars still felt the need to pass us and then slam on brakes even though we were going the same speed.
It took us a fraction of the time to get down the mountain as it did to get up it. Overall it was a great ride today. We are really looking for to taking a rest day tomorrow here in Cedar City and wondering about the town. Looking forward to it so much that we finally built our first fire of the trip!