At the beginning of the month I had two weeks off of work. The first week I really didn’t have much planned for it. I kept going back and forth on where to go or what to do. I finally bit the bullet and decided that it was high tide for me to go on the bike overnighter that I had been wanting to do forever. The goal is to then do a full two week bike tour and then backpacking adventure as well.
I have never gone camping by myself and so I had been putting it off. My own fears and fears that I had accumulated from others through the years. At some point we have to say enough is enough and shake it all off and go forward with our plans fears or no fears.
From my humble years of living I can see that we all crave challenge, we crave pushing ourselves in some way but we also fall under the trap of not wanting to do the work. I say this knowing that I 100% fall into this as well. Doing the hard stuff isn’t fun nor is it easy but the reward is after…sometimes much later but it does eventually come.
For some months I have been looking over google maps trying to decipher a route to take. Something that I could bike to within a day and get me out of the Salt Lake metro area. I then went and checked out a Facebook cycling group that I am a part of and asked some questions and went from there on my planned route.
I decided that I would bike to Park City and then find a camp ground to camp at for the night. My route to Park City I rode up Emigration down the backside and then rode up Big Mountain to Jeremy Ranch (little emigration) to get to the Park City Valley. I ended up camping at Jordanelle State Park and for a little bit I did have to ride on the side of the freeway to get over there. That part was stressful and not something I rather enjoy doing.
I thankfully had gotten to the entrance just in time before the ranger was heading out for the night and I was able to get a tent site. I was able to get my tent set up and then climb in for the night. I had a restless night from waking up from hearing the noise of the freeway or the from my fellow camp neighbors. You know I don’t think I have ever really slept well while camping but I do it and will continue to do it.
The next morning I woke and took my time getting camp taken down. Jordenelle as showers so before I decide to go and sweat more for the day I figured that was a good as any to shower. I then got on my way and went into Park City for breakfast….okay mostly for coffee and procrastination the rest of the morning with the climbing that I would need to be doing for that day.
Instead of getting on the side of the freeway to ride back I decided to take my chances with riding up Deer Hollow Rd. It does turn into a gated community and I ended up taking my chances and thankfully they did let me through. I didn’t see any other cyclist on the road but it was heavily trafficked with cars and trucks going thru.
I made my way into Park City and then decided that I should also have food and not just coffee so I stopped at The Eating Establishment. Let my phone charge, had breakfast and then tried to plan which route I wanted to take to get back home. There are plenty of routes to take it just depends on how much climbing you’d like to do.
I decided the best was to just go back the way that I came in, if anything it was more of knowing what I was getting myself into. I took the nice scenic bike route on the Iron Canyon Trail back to Kimball then Kilby Road to Jeremy Ranch Road. Once I made myself over to route 65 I started the climb up Big Mountain and then decided to turn around and take 65 over to Morgan to the Ogden Valley.
Lets just say I had a plan and then I made it to Morgan and then called my friend, roommates boyfriend Nick to come and save my ass. There were a couple reasons for this and I made a decision and I am glad that I did. I don’t think of it as a failure. Actually before I had even left for this overnighter I had discussed this with my roommates about my plans and asked if I needed a ride for whatever reason if they would be able to do it. Resources my friends, resources.
Sometimes our resources are our friends or family. It’s just knowing when to ask and when you can go about it without asking. So I called and then sat outside River Burger sipping on my Milkshake and talking to a couple who was out looking at possibly buying land in the area. We talked about hikes in the area and places to go and explore and gardening.
I don’t find it as a fail this trip more of a learning experience. I wanted to go out and see if I could just do it if I could get past some of my own fears. I wanted to be able to see what I could do with what I had and what I would possibly need in the future to make a more successful trip. I know I need to go and reassess my gear and plan a different route to try out. Possibly this time do a two nighter.
To any bike packers or bike tourers, Do you stay in campgrounds or do you free camp?