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September 21, 2010 / jslipschultz

Day 9: Seligman to Grand Canyon

Today was a good, but challenging day.  We had challenges from the very start.  At 5:30, the power went out in the entire town.  This meant no ‘big breakfast.’  By now, you know I love the ‘big breakfast.’  It is the fuel that gets me 45-50 miles down the road to the ‘big lunch.’  We improvised and made peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  And almost immediately out of the gate, my right knee was bugging me again (and I took no pain meds to see how things would go).  Plus, it was just three of us: Austin, Joseph, and I.  Bill went off to find some eggs at the restaurant that was running on gas, not electric.  More unexpected fun, eh?

Joseph pulled out out of town and was strong.  As the day wore on, I started to feel stronger and pain-free.  So after lunch, Joseph and I put the pedal down.  For the 28 miles following lunch, we averaged 24.4 mph.  There was a little wind to help us, but Joseph crushed the flats, and I took the rollers (my climbing is getting stronger and stronger).  We were so far ahead that the Trek team couldn’t find us right away.  They thought, “we couldn’t have gotten that far down the road and turned back to see if we turned into a service station further back.”  We surprised them.  They found us miles down the road at a different service station.  They felt bad about it, but we had no issues (and are used to getting water at gas stations). 

The funny thing about biking into the Grand Canyon after riding 90+ miles to get there:  you still have to bike 7 miles to the lodge.  With even some extra climbing thrown in (the total climbing today rivaled the best day of climbing earlier).  We stopped within the park to get our first glimpse.  Pretty awesome.  As we continued towards the lodge (tired and ready to stop), I remarked stupidly, “Gee, this is kinda a big place.”  It’s kind of like driving around the theme parks at Disney.  You just keep driving deeper and deeper into the park.

Tonight was a social hour and dinner, plus Dana’s birthday.  We helped her celebrate her 61st in style (nice restaurant!). Pretty impressive cyclist.  Strong rider who always has a smile on her face.  She’s here with her husband who she got into biking.

Pics: View at lunch in a National Forest; Arrival at Park; On the way to our lodge; View from main lodge where we had dinner; Me, Brian, Joseph, and Austin (in street clothes!) before dinner. 

I’m sure I’ll have more pics tomorrow on our rest day.  Not sure when I’ll get them downloaded–Internet connectivity requires walks down to the lodge lobby a few paces down the road with laptop in hand.

Lunch  Arrival at GC   First view GC at dusk    before dinner

Helmet cam footage (with a slow connection I just grabbed all the links w/o reviewing): http://contour.com/node/111873 http://contour.com/node/111872 http://contour.com/node/111869 http://contour.com/node/111868 http://contour.com/node/111865

By the numbers:  104.7 miles, 5:47:21 riding time, 5,121 ft of climbing, avg 18.1 mph.  Totals for the trip: 711.1 miles, 26,902 ft of climbing.

Videos:  Breakfast in blacked-out Seligman; Lunch at Mile 45ish; Arrival at Grand Canyon

 

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2 Comments

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  1. Ces / Sep 21 2010 3:26 pm

    I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon, so it must have been really special to ride your bike there! How were the emotions?

    CG

    • jslipschultz / Sep 22 2010 11:04 pm

      Seeing the Grand Canyon is almost undescribable. Pictures don’t do it justice. You can’t capture the vastness and incredible geological significance it has. It was cool to be there. Seeing the country from the seat of a bicycle is such a unique experience. You see vistas for an hour before you ride over/through/under them. You have plenty of time to appreciate the beauty that is the backroads (or backbone) to our country.

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