This is our 32nd day on the road and officially summer has changed to autumn. The change in seasons is evident in the fields we pass. A few days ago all the pumpkins we saw were laying in the fields still attached to their vines. Today we passed only fields of harvested pumpkins. They were neatly stacked in lugs at the end of each row waiting for a ride to market. The hay has progressed also and is now on its third and final cutting of the year and the small amount that has yet to be bundled and tied lies in the fields drying. Like Sue and I the hay is benefiting from these unusually warm autumn days.
With the exception of the nine miles leading into Levan Utah the last few days of roads and riding have been great. The unpleasant nine miles was due to a narrow shoulder that was made more dangerous by the addition of a rumble strip. The small amount of shoulder left to bicycle on required your full concentration to stay upright and not fall into traffic or drift off the edge onto the soft shoulder. In challenging situations like this I often like to sing or whistle. While riding this difficult stretch I thought about how much worse it could be and how much worse others have had it. Then I started whistling the theme from “The Bridge on the River Kwai” and did so for the next nine miles. My balance immediately improved and about an hour later I arrived in Levan safe and sound.
We are currently riding through a valley at 5000 feet elevation that alternates between irrigated fields of corn, pumpkins, tomatoes and hay and unirrigated fields of sage brush and tumble weed. But the ridge of mountains to our right and left have been essentially unchanged for days. They are sharp edged with sparse vegetation and rise abruptly from the valley floor. Since Salina Utah however the mountains have had layers of pink and red running through them which contrast nicely against the layers of tan and white as well as the freshly cut hay. The photos don’t do the colors justice.