Oakland to Chicago – Epilogue & Summary

 

Denis Kertz, ©2001

 

 

 

Epilogue

Part of the lure of this trip was riding through the desert in Nevada and Utah.  Although US 50 was not the lonely highway it was billed to be, and maybe was in the 50s, it was still a fabulous trip, as the woman cyclist I met in Markleville said it was.  If only someone could put a cold water fountain midway between Austin, Eureka, and Ely…  Southern Utah was a spectacular ride, albeit a hard one with all of the climbing.  Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon, Escalante, Capitol Reef, and Lake Powell – they strained the visual senses and the camera budget.  And this didn’t even include Mt Zion, Canyonlands, and Arches.  If anything would ever spark an interest in geology, these are the places to do it.

Then there was southern Colorado in the fall.  Had I not been maybe a week past the fall foliage peak I might have indeed died from sensory overload after Utah and then the Aspens and the mountains.  It was disappointing at times, however, to consider the effects of damming the Colorado River in Utah and the Gunnison River in Colorado.  While the lakes and reservoirs formed by these dams were certainly scenic, I couldn’t help but wonder what would have been without these dams.  It seems somehow wrong to tame these wild rivers.

The low point of the trip would probably have to be leaving the Rockies.  The Sangre de Cristo Mountains just receded into the distance as I rode on to Pueblo.  It was difficult to adjust to knowing most/all of the great scenery was behind me when I was only about halfway home.  And then western/central Kansas struck with its headwinds and uncertain weather.  I suspect Kansas would have been more interesting when the wheat was still in the fields, swaying in the wind.

I think the Katy Trail was the surprise of the trip.  First, I hadn’t planned on the Katy, intending to travel through southern Missouri and then I happened upon it unexpectedly in Windsor.  It was certainly an easy and relaxing ride, without the distraction of the usual automobile traffic, not to mention the occasional views of the Missouri River.

And finally Illinois was a blur.  I was ready to get home at that point and the finally favorable wind helped immensely, cutting about a day off of this part of the trip.

Weather was an interesting component of this trip.  September was a great month, as I have usually found it to be and one of the reason I enjoy fall touring, although it was unseasonably warm.  October, on the other hand, saw very unsettled weather, with almost daily forecasts of bad weather.  Surprisingly, I only got rained on, and wore my rain gear, once.

And then there was the flat tire.  You would think you should be able to go at least 10,000 miles without a flat…

Ride Summary

Day

Date

Day

From

To

Pop

Dist

Time

Avg

Max

Climbing

1

1-Sep

Sat

Oakland, CA

Danville

7,000

31.3

2:40:53

11.6

35.7

 

2

2-Sep

Sun

Danville

Danville

7,000

 

 

 

 

 

3

3-Sep

Mon

Danville

Escalon

3,122

76.1

5:30:05

13.8

33.7

 

4

4-Sep

Tue

Escalon

Big Trees State Park

 

71.5

7:45:39

9.2

41.2

 

5

5-Sep

Wed

Big Trees State Park

Lake Alpine CG

 

27.6

3:36:13

7.6

35.7

 

6

6-Sep

Thu

Lake Alpine CG

Woodfords

 

42.5

4:31:29

9.5

34.5

 

7

7-Sep

Fri

Woodfords

Lahontan Rec Area

 

79.6

6:18:18

12.6

35.9

 

8

8-Sep

Sat

Lahontan Rec Area

Middlegate, NV

 

65.6

5:28:35

11.9

29.8

 

9

9-Sep

Sun

Middlegate, NV

Austin

370

64.6

6:31

 

 

 

10

10-Sep

Mon

Austin

Eureka

650

69.4

5:42:25

12.1

31.4

 

11

11-Sep

Tue

Eureka

Ely

4,756

78.0

 

 

 

 

12

12-Sep

Wed

Ely

Ely

4,756

 

 

 

 

 

13

13-Sep

Thu

Ely

Great Basin NP

 

72.5

6:50:35

10.5

35.6

 

14

14-Sep

Fri

Great Basin NP

Great Basin NP

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

15-Sep

Sat

Great Basin NP

Milford, UT

1,107

92.1

8:33:38

10.7

42

 

16

16-Sep

Sun

Milford, UT

Cedar City

13,443

58.1

6:30:51

8.8

 

 

17

17-Sep

Mon

Cedar City

Cedar Breaks

 

32.6

4:52:49

6.6

 

6,097

18

18-Sep

Tue

Cedar Breaks

Bryce Canyon NP

 

64.1

5:18:41

11.9

40.4

4,124

19

19-Sep

Wed

Bryce Canyon NP

Calf Creek CG

 

65.5

5:37:53

11.5

 

4,487

20

20-Sep

Thu

Calf Creek CG

Torrey

140

51.4

6:04:24

8.4

48.7

7,889

21

21-Sep

Fri

Torrey

Hanksville

 

54.9

4:43:53

11.5

 

 

22

22-Sep

Sat

Hanksville

Lake Powell

 

53.2

4:35

11.5

 

 

23

23-Sep

Sun

Lake Powell

Natural Bridges Monument

62.4

7:03:13

8.7

 

4,175

24

24-Sep

Mon

Natural Bridges Monument

Blanding

3,118

42.4

4:24:22

9.5

43.4

2,470

25

25-Sep

Tue

Blanding

Dolores, CO

886

86.2

7:39:27

11.1

42.7

3,090

26

26-Sep

Wed

Dolores, CO

Telluride

1,309

67.4

7:36:03

9

37.5

3,665

27

27-Sep

Thu

Telluride

Ridgway State Park

 

51.3

4:39:03

10.9

42.7

1,730

28

28-Sep

Fri

Ridgway State Park

Cimarron

 

62.3

6:30:27

9.5

44.5

4,625

29

29-Sep

Sat

Cimarron

Gunnison

4,636

52.1

5:08:13

10.1

35.7

2,385

30

30-Sep

Sun

Gunnison

Salida

4,737

65.8

6:19:39

10.2

42.5

3,645

31

1-Oct

Mon

Salida

Silver Cliff

322

51.1

4:35:15

11.1

 

1,995

32

2-Oct

Tue

Silver Cliff

Pueblo

98,640

62.9

4:54:54

12.6

48.7

1,420

33

3-Oct

Wed

Pueblo

Ordway

1,025

53.4

4:41:53

11.2

 

80

34

4-Oct

Thu

Ordway

Eads

780

62.4

6:49:50

9

 

630

35

5-Oct

Fri

Eads

Tribune, KS

918

58.1

5:01:14

11.5

 

310

36

6-Oct

Sat

Tribune, KS

Dighton

1,361

75.9

5:58:39

12.8

 

90

37

7-Oct

Sun

Dighton

La Crosse

1,427

71.1

5:48:55

12.1

 

180

38

8-Oct

Mon

La Crosse

Sterling

2,115

79.0

7:27:20

10.5

 

165

39

9-Oct

Tue

Sterling

Sterling

2,115

 

 

 

 

 

40

10-Oct

Wed

Sterling

Florence

636

83.5

6:11:43

13.3

 

505

41

11-Oct

Thu

Florence

Ottawa

5,634

103.2

8:42:26

11.8

27.4

840

42

12-Oct

Fri

Ottawa

Harrisonville, MO

7,683

60.2

5:17:19

11.2

28.2

1,040

43

13-Oct

Sat

Harrisonville, MO

Sedalia

19,800

81.3

6:33:49

12.2

32.1

1,055

44

14-Oct

Sun

Sedalia

Cooper's Landing

 

71.3

6:32:09

10.8

 

560

45

15-Oct

Mon

Cooper's Landing

Hermann

2,754

66.9

6:08:30

10.8

 

155

46

16-Oct

Tue

Hermann

Ballwin

21,816

65.3

5:38:52

11.5

 

365

47

17-Oct

Wed

Ballwin

Florissant

51,206

27.4

2:14:22

12.2

 

415

48

18-Oct

Thu

Florissant

Havana, IL

3,610

124.0

7:59:46

15.5

30.2

1,040

49

19-Oct

Fri

Havana, IL

Peru

9,302

111.8

8:16:56

13.3

34.6

1,135

50

20-Oct

Sat

Peru

Naperville

85,351

72.6

4:44:52

15.2

 

630

 

 

 

Trip Total

 

 

3021.9

264.2

11.44

48.7

 


 

Copyright Denis Kertz, 2001. All rights reserved.