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May 3

May 4, 2019

As beautiful as it was, today was harder than most and I’m not sure why. We woke up to a centimeter of ice on Jax’s water bowl, but that’s happened before. There were 10-mile stretches with some headwinds, but the wind wasn’t terribly strong. The terrain was mostly flat and the pavement was mostly decent, but if you could “trudge” on a bicycle, that’s what I did all day.

“Tiger got to hunt, Bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder ‘why, why, why?’”
—Kurt Vonnegut

There were no stores, gas stations or services of any kind on our route from Snowville to Brigham City. There weren’t even many houses. Mile after mile, the few people we saw were in cars or trucks. Some of them waved or even leaned out their windows to give us an encouraging thumbs-up, which was nice. Then they were gone and not even the sound of their vehicles remained. It felt a little like being in outer space.

“Ground Control to Jax and John. Ground Control to Jax and John.”😊

During this trip, Jax has become somewhat territorial about his trailer. when dogs chased us during our training rides, I would speak to him in a calm voice, tell him everything’s all right and he would ignore them. But now, when a dog or dogs come shooting out into the road with murderous intent, zeroing in on my ankles, all Hell breaks loose behind me, the trailer shakes and I have to work to hold the bike steady. Every time (so far), the pursuers’ confident, predatory facial expressions change to an almost human look of shock and confusion. A couple of halfhearted barks later, they slink back to their yards. The first few times he did it, I gave the “Quiet!” command, but to no avail. And what was I going to do— stop the bike and discipline him in the middle of a pack of ravenous hounds? Later, I began to enjoy watching the pursuers switch from “Hey you, get off my turf!” to “So very sorry! My bad.” Anyway, that happened a couple of times as we approached Brigham City, which added a little pep to my pedaling. I hope I’m not completely untraining my awesome canine companion.

Continuing the Major Tom theme, out of nowhere sprung a Northrup Grumman space launch systems facility; and then we pedaled back to nowhere again.

Saturday, we will rest and resupply, then on Sunday we’ll head south toward Salt Lake City, hoping to meet and talk with some veterans and my BHGRE colleagues about K9s For Warriors and the amazing work they do.

Edit: I forgot to mention the plague of gnats! They came when I was slogging along through a section north of the Great Salt Lake, dotted with smaller lakes and migratory wildfowl habitat. For 15-20 miles clouds of kamikaze gnats crashed their little bodies into my mouth, nose, ears, and everywhere else. It was beautiful country, but I didn’t stop to take pictures.

From → Utah

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