07.02.12 Day 2
Franklin Bluffs to Ice Cut
63.56 miles, 100 trip miles
10.8 avg mph, 36.4 max
5:50:38 ride time
Almost 80% gravel
Wow! I was tired last night. I was asleep in no time at all. The first time I woke up my side was numb from not moving for so long. It was probably the best first night of sleep on a trip ever. The MSR NeoAir is amazing!
I awoke to a snapping sound. I heard it earlier but rolled over. Turns out I was Mike killing mosquitoes. He was flicking them and crushing them between the tent netting and the rain fly. I slept in until 9 am. When I awoke I was sweating. It was so hot in the tent.
(Mike just told me about an App he got before the trip. It’s called “Distressed Animal Calls”. He says it helps him sleep. His favorite is injured baby caribou.)
Today bought a few firsts. We saw a Musk Ox but he was way off. Even with my 10x binoculars it was hard to determine what it was at first. We experienced a day full day of mosquitos and horse flies. They were everywhere. Tons of fun was had by all.
Once again we didn’t drink enough water or gauge how much to take or where the next water was. There’s water everywhere but most of it is standing. The Haul Road maps and guides are for cars who don’t go 11 mph and don’t need lots of water. The info we have is not like the Data Book for the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail. We need to do a better job.
The Haul Road is amazingly well taken care of. I expected this bike tour to be a grind at first. The only time we have any issues is when we go down hill and the road has gravel on it. It’s sketchy as hell. Most of the dirt sections are like pavement it’s so hard. Most trucks slow way down so not to shower us with dust or rocks. We hit pavement 3-4 times during the day and it always seems to stop before the next hill. You’d think the pavement would continue up the climb to prevent it becoming a wash board.
The hardest part of the trip so far is the sun. I didn’t put lotion on my legs but I did everywhere else. Result, sunburned legs on day two. But that isn’t the big issue. The big issue is the fact it never sets. It’s 11 pm right now and it looks like its 3 pm. It’s hard to grasp its that late and you should be in bed or tired for that fact.
I identified a few new birds. The Long-tail Jaeger, Board Winged Hawk and the Eastern Yellow Wagtail. The Wagtails are all over the road. It’s almost like their following us.
I’ll leave you we an update on my ass. I know everyone is wondering how it’s fairing so far. The left cheek has a sore already. It hurts like hell. The first few miles today were unbearable. Every time we stopped it then started again I had to go through the pain again. Getting through the first week so I can toughen it up is going to be long and a mental battle.