April 2, 2014
I woke up feeling relaxed and unaware of where I was with all the curtains covering the windows. Remembering that Chris and I had parked “Bucket” in a random place on the highway, I quickly got up to look outside and see where we were. I opened the side door to step out into a crystal blue day. Red mountains ranged all around us and there was nothing, but the road beside us and nature. We breathed in the fresh mountain air. It was the perfect beginning to our adventure.
We drove into town to pick up some last food supplies and then went to a bike shop to repair the wheels on one of our bikes. The store was called ‘Over the Edge‘ and a man by the name of Clayton helped us change the tire. Chris and I both had a rough memories of changing a bike tire so 30 minutes later and a tire still on the bike, we decided to ask for help. Clayton happily helped us and lent us some tools. Not too long after, our bike was back in shape and set loaded back on the bike rack.
I asked for directions to Gooseberry Mesa and we were led to the entrance of a rough dirt path. “Bucket” took a little beating bouncing around, but taking it slow and with encouragement from Chris and I, he proved his strength. We reached a map station where we met a man named Ray. A 60 year-old, retired elementary teacher from Canada. Ray showed us the best camp spot that over looked the valley. It was a stunning view. By the time we set up camp it was already 4pm so we decided to take to walk around a little and take it easy. Ray joined us later around a small fire we made and we talked under the thousands of stars that were out that night.
We went to sleep with food in our bellies and awed by the beauty of our first destination. It was weird for both of us to have been working for the past year with school, internships, tech business, and preparing for this road trip and to come to this point and have an abundance of time. We also had not internet so no Facebook or emailing! Imagine the dilemma :) Tomorrow the biking begins!