Sunday, July 15, 2007

Day 8 - Provo and Heber City

Villain of the Day: "The RV Park Nazi"

Banana with fly
RV park maggot

Matt came out of the mountains on the Nebo Loop road today. He said that the climbs on the loop road were brutal, but that the descent was fun and windy. He declared the mountains themselves to be "awesome." There was some smoke in the air from the large fire to the southwest. Interstate 15 had been closed for a 100-mile stretch because of the smoke.

Approaching Provo, Matt could tell he was nearing a larger city, as the foothills were covered with houses. He found no one around the streets of Provo on a Sunday morning, but the Albertsons was open, so he was able to do some grocery shopping.

New friend in Provo

Heading towards the next mountain area on the tour, Matt passed through a narrow canyon with a river running through it. Lots of Sunday revelers were tubing down the river. The canyon was so narrow that Matt sheared of a bolt on one of his racks against a rock wall (not quite, -Matt). A zip tie saved the day!

Matt planned to camp at an RV park near Jordanelle State Park, and rode 7 miles into a headwind out of Heber City to get there. But when he arrived he encountered the RV Park Nazi. Although AAA listed the park as having tent sites, and there was an area on the map at the front desk labeled "Tents," the RV park owners were insistent that they did not allow tenters. The tent areas were for RV'ers only, including the grassy patches next to the RV sites
where some RV'ers had tents pitched. Despite Matt's plea for them to take pity on him, they would not rent him a site. Exhausted and trying to decide what his next move would be, he paused to watch news about the big fire on the television in the park's store/lounge. But the park owner asked him to leave again, and when Matt politely asked if he could watch the news on the fire for a few minutes, the RV Park Nazi switched the TV off, and then threatened to call the cops.

Angry and defeated, Matt headed back toward Heber City, where he found the relative sanctuary of the Swiss Alps Inn. The proprietor looked to be about 80 years old and declared that Lance Armstrong was his hero. He even broke the motel's rules and gave Matt a special deal on the room.

What goes around comes around in bike touring karma. I'm sure the RV Park Nazi will get his soon enough.

Back home in Tucson, we finally had a bit of rain with the start of the monsoon. Even Gila got to enjoy it, if only briefly.
Gila in monsoon 2007

Day 8 – Payson Lakes to Heber City
77.7 miles, 5:17, 14.7 avg

Another epic. Great downhill from Nebo, twisty and no traffic. Lunch in Provo, pretty neat old downtown, BYU and “ethnic food”! Strangely quiet on this Sunday. Things turned ugly in Provo Canyon. Very beautiful steep walls, waterfalls and river with many tubers. Had a rack bolt shear off from the bumpy construction zone, fixed with zip ties. Too much lake traffic and road construction made for a stressful ride. Headwind took over near the reservoir and Heber was a bust for RV parks (never thought I’d be sad about that statement), so decided to try RV park at Jordanelle Dam. 7 miles into headwind and RV nazi would not let me stay there, so back to town and the Swiss Alps Inn! Owner gave me the Lance Armstrong discount! I’ll go to hardware store tomorrow. Granny’s Drive In was a good burger tonight.

Bridalveil Falls in Provo Canyon

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