A day off with a good friend was great to have, we spent the morning with Bekah, who wasn’t able to perform for us, but she’s a great singer. You can follow her on Facebook and if you message her she’ll send you a CD of her music! https://m.facebook.com/RebekahO.music she’s also on iTunes and Amazon music, so go find her!
After taking a day off in Salt Lake City so we could buy new shoes and resupply for the next stretch of the trip we headed out toward Orem, Utah.
We had planned to take Highway 190 to Highway 152 over the mountains and camp in a closed campground on top, but we checked the weather and it was supposed to rain all day in Salt Lake City and snow up in the mountains. In order to take those roads over the peak, we’d have to take a dirt road down the other side to Heber City, and snow and dirt roads don’t mix well. We decided instead to head south a bit and walk around the mountains. Down to Orem required us to walk on a frontage road to the expressway, which luckily had little traffic.
However, stopping to pee when you’re so close to an expressway is difficult, especially for Rebecca.
We winded in and out of the expressway, found a bike path, and got rained on throughout the day. We’d set up a place to stay in Orem with the sister of a girl who’d walked the length of California from north to south last summer.
When we got to a part of the bike path that was closed off for construction and a man talked to us for an hour, we knew we’d be late (like 830 pm late). Luckily Katie, the woman we were staying with, offered to pick us up part way there. At about 630, as the rain turned into a steady downpour, we hid under the awning of the Olive Garden in American Fork and she drove to pick us up. Even though we’d only gone about 22 miles, we were more than happy to get a ride to acplace where she fed us an amazing chicken salad and let us sit in her hot tub (amazing!). She saved us about 6 miles but since our detour around the mountain was adding 15 miles we figured that wouldn’t even count.
The next morning we woke up to French Toast (seriously, one of the best mornings on the trip) and headed out to the trail that runs along the highway toward Heber City. The Provo River trail saved us so much stress today as we were able to avoid road noise and cars while we wandered along the river.
The trail ends at Vivian Park, where we stopped to eat. A family in a pick up truck pulled up to play in the park. They had two dogs, and a lamb who thought they were a dog! It was a specially entertaining lunch. After that, we studied or route choices; either along the highway shoulder through a short tunnel, or along the river on a path that may or may not be there. We chose the grassy path along the river.
After the path ended, we were forced to wall along the highway shoulder again, and traffic seemed heavy. When we got to another trailhead at Deer Creek Reservoir we had to make a choice to stay on the shoulder or risk the dirt path. It was raining off and on, and we didn’t want the dirt path to turn into mud. We gambled on the dirt path. The walk was gorgeous, though a little hot because of the sun, so we took lots of pictures.
The trail added a mile to our planned trip that day, but the mile was totally worth it. (Rebecca doubted the value of the trail for a while, but once we were on the path she didn’t look back).
Unfortunately, we’d slightly underestimated our water supply and ran out of water when we were 2-3 miles away from the closest gas station in Midway. But we made it, and bought some ice cream too.
The last few miles from Midway to Heber City, where we had a place set up for us to stay with a couple who bikes for vacation all over the world, were easy with a bike path to follow the whole way. Before we realized the bike path followed the road the whole way a man stopped to offer us a ride into town. We refused, there was only about 2.5 miles left for the day and we were going to make it! But we did give him our card and he quickly shared our blog information on his Facebook (thanks David!). We made it to Cyndy and Rupert’s place where Tim had some issues befriending their dog, and showered before dinner. After Tim’s shower, Cyndy gave him some oyster crackers to give to the dog to win her over, he readily ate one before he realized what they were for. Then we enjoyed an amazing dinner of quiche and rice and grilled veggies while we swapped stories about stealth camping and traveling across America. They had amazing stories about biking along a highway in the east after a storm when the roads were washed out and through Italy, it made us both want to continue the walk to have such great stories.
Today(s) we walked through:
Rebecca: 56,652 and 64,426 steps
Tim: 53,148 and 59,964 steps
837 miles finished