**happy belated Amurica day should have been posted above this post** Dave's post happened after this one sorry about the confusion.
It's amazing how quickly you start to forget things. As I sit here in subway near Torrey I am realizing how much we really are experiencing. When we left Zion we slept on a gigantic water tower (99% of it was underground). We had such a beautiful night looking down to see the Zion valley below and the innumerable stars above. Several shooting stars lit up the sky as we talked with Lance and Cami, It was awesome!
The next morning we left with a five mile descent from Ponderosa Ranch to the main road. From there we bike down highway 89 towards Hatch where we enjoyed a lunch of can-made soup. Yum! Our goal for the day was to make it all the way to Henrieville a total of about 85 miles.
After lunch we headed to highway 12 which was going to take us through Bruce Canyon and the Grand Staircase. Along the way we stopped off at a convenience store for some possible buffalo jerky. I was getting hungry, had seen some living buffaloes earlier and, there developed a desire for some buffalo. Although the store was sold out (sad!) they did have some elk jerky (a pretty good second). So I bought some for $18 (ouch). Now, I feel as if I should stop and describe this $18 experience. When you first pop a piece of elk jerky in your mouth you will notice a most beef jerky like feel to it. The flavor itself was teriyaki with a hint of salt and soy sauce. The real treat, however, is in the chewing. If beef jerky is like a hamburger then elk jerky is as tender as filet-mignon. It was a flavorful tender delight (probably not worth $18 but still pretty good).
Frivolous delectables aside, we soon entered into Bryce Canyon. It started off with a glorious decent of about 1700 feet. All around us were giant (75 foot) rock towers with hues of red and white which no picture could capture.
Here's our attempt. Also it sprinkled a little while we descended. No complaints there the slight misty rain felt great!
MECHANICAL FAILURE!!! Noooooo!!!!!
No only did the strut on Tom's rack break the side support broke as well. So as Tom was biking his rack was attached to his bike on three of five necessary locations.
Duct tape and zip ties and a dude named Shane to the rescue!
Thankfully when Tom's rack broke we were only about ten miles from a KOA campsite. At the campsite we met Shane. Shane is an engineer who works for Ford and does these things called adventure runs. An adventure run is kind of like a Boy Scout pioneer/wilderness merit badge put on steroids with an added bonus of competition to make things exciting. Sounds cool to me! Shane also enjoys the occasional marathon and duathalon. Needless to say this man is an endurance race boss! Also did I mention that he is a mechanical engineer. He took one look at Tom's rack and was able to fix it with a tent stake in less than 5 minutes. Woohoo! So far the rack has held up for nearly 100 miles with nothing more than duct tape, zip ties, and, thanks to Shane, a tent stake. Only 200 miles to the next bike shop. What a great adventure!