Day 36

It's hot.

I'll get back to how hot, but first, an addend. I did not sleep outdoors yesterday. As I was about to close enter Slumberland, a big bat flew across my face and I crashed out of bed. I should never have eaten that Welsh rarebit. My tent was up in seconds.

So it's hot. The only surprise here is that it was such a complete surprise to me. I biked to Natural Bridges to fill up on water and that was fine. I bumped into two guys riding east and they seemed fine. They were in a band and were carrying their instruments with them. They actually seemed great.

Here's how it hit me. Natural Bridges is at about 7000 ft in altitude. I am in Glen Canyon, up above Lake Powell, and at about 3000 ft in altitude. For every 1000 ft I went down the temperature jumped about 7 degrees until here, Hite, where it is 120 something with hot wind.

The greatest part of losing altitude is going downhill. I never felt that. According the the Salt Lake Tribune, today's wind is blowing in whatever direction I am not going. This makes sense: I was riding down the exhaust pipe of a particularly hot oven.

I was compensated otherwise for I am in canyon country. Hot wind can't keep your eyes from this beautiful land (although it can make you tear up uncontrollably). There are canyons that look like rainbow trout with flat heads; canyons like oceanliners; canyons like cobras; canyons like Buicks. There are buttes: Cheese Box Butte, and another one I call 5-Finger Butte. I am surrounded by them now. They keep me warm.

I was going to explore some of these caves but it was when I stopped moving that I became fast aware of the temperature.

I stink. I haven't showered in days. There's a fine layer of red dust in every crack and crevice my skin has. My shirt is starched thick with sweat. I look forwards to a dip later in the lake.

I am going to have to beat Utah in the mornings. I'll be up at 3 tomorrow to ride, dip, and ride up all that elevation I lost and towards the mountains.

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