Nephi to Delta, UT

This part of western Utah is definitely not flat
and it is quite scenic

I rode from Nephi to Delta today, leaving the mountains and entering the desert. I was surprised at how nice the first 25 miles of this ride was. The second 25 miles, well, I didn't take any pictures, but I'll take some tomorrow in the desert. It isn't pretty, but at least it is flat ;-}

Leaving Nephi, heading for Delta today and near the Great Basin National Park tomorrow
Note the great shoulders typical of Utah towns

I got up at 6:30 this morning, ready to go - to breakfast - I'd spotted a good looking breakfast place half a mile down the road, so I rode my unloaded bicycle down there, ordered a good breakfast and was almost overwhelmed by it. I pressed on regardless and throughly enjoyed it. Then I went back to the motel and edited yesterdays web pages before uploading the ride report version via modem. Finally, I packed up and hit the road about 9 AM.

The camp-host on UT 31 told that 'Dog Hill' was the only big climbing from Nephi - where he was born - to Delta. That hill, which starts five. slightly down hill, miles from Nephi, climbs about 550 feet in a mile and a half. The five miles got me warmed up and the climb, which I didn't push, was my real warm up on this hot day.

The big hill five miles from Nephi
There was 1000 feet of climbing today, and over half of it was this hill

Looking back from near the top of that hill

Dog valley which is on the other side of the first hill

I descended into Dog valley and cranked on down the road at good speed till the next climb, which was less than half as big, took me out of Dog valley. Then there was a long, long, gentle downhill stretch. The land here slopes down to the west and UT 132 sort of went with the flow down the long valley of the Sevier River. That river runs near Delta.

UT 132 runs down a long basin between two ridges
The ridges end and the desert begins
The discolored sky is due to smoke from the largest fire in Utah history

The views were really nice, but discolored by smoke from the huge fire burning south of here. In 2004 I rode from Baker, NV through Milford and Beaver, UT and on to Panguitch near Brice Canyon. That area is closed now because of the fire. Both inter-states (I-15 and I-70) that run down there are closed. The fire, last I heard, was five times the size of the previous record sized fire in Utah.

As I rode, I was passed by lots of special trucks hauling cement from this, huge, plant

Much of the traffic on this part of UT 132 was big trucks hauling construction material. I saw why when I reached the biggest cement plant I'd ever seen about 20 miles from Nephi. Five miles after that there was the first, of two, towns on my route. That town used to have a service station. Now, Leamington, founded in 1872, seemed well on its way to becoming a ghost town. Then the desert began.

UT 132 ends about 35 miles from Delta when it reaches US 6 and the, very small, town of Lynndyl. There is a service station/ store / ice cream / fast food place south of Lynndyl where I stopped. at about 1 PM, for lunch.

Once out of the mountains, wind was more of a problem - and it was getting on peak wind time - but, interestingly, my average speed for the two halves of this ride were essentially identical at about 11.5 mph. That won't set any speed records, but it is fast enough for my ride tomorrow in the desert.

When I got to Delta, at about 2:30, I stopped at the high priced motel. My room tonight is a little more than twice as expensive as my, budget, room last night, but has wireless and a good place to work on my bike. I needed to clean my rims - some strange stuff on the front on was causing lots of squeal and clean and lube my chain. My chain didn't feel like it needed re-lubing, but I decided this was a good time to do it.

I flipped my bike over to clean the rims and lube the chain and saw that my rear Vittoria Randoneur Pro tire was worn out after only 2000 miles. That is 1/3 the milage I got, on the rear, from lots of a Conti TTs and TT2000s and half the mileage I got from a Marathon. This tire hadn't given me any problems, but, rather than chance it lasting till California, I put my front Randoneur pro - which has about 3000 miles on it - on the rear and put my Conti Gatorskin back on the front. Hopefully those will finish the tour without further problems.

After working on my bike, I had to revise the way I have been carrying one of my water bladders because it depended on the Gatorskin being mounted to the right side of my rear rack. I hated having to do that just before going into a long stretch of desert where I'll need the water carried on that side! I also needed to find a new cap for one of my water bladders. I walked - it is hot out there - down to an Alco store and, with the help of a lady there, came up with a sprayer cap for a water bottle - like you might use ironing - that fits the water bladder's pour spout. I have it on the right side bladder where it adds a touch of purple to my bike. If any pays attention to me riding by, they may wonder why I have a water bladder with a sprayer head. If they ask, I'll tell 'em I use it keep cool in the desert ;-}.

After shopping at Alco - I also got my food for tomorrows ride and new batteries for my shaver there - I walked back to the restaurant near my motel. It was a Mexican restaurant and, having eaten Mexican last night, it wasn't what I would of chosen, but it was in the right place and no other restaurants are near by. I walked in, was seated and given a menu, and experienced deja vu. I thought the place I ate last night was a local restaurant, but it must be part of a chain since I got the identical menu tonight. Ah well, it was a better version of that chain than the one in Nephi. The salsa was much better and this one also offered beer, which definitely improved my supper.

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