Miami cyclist Mario Renteria is 47 days into his ride from Miami to San Francisco and is currently pedaling through some beautiful landscapes in the state of Utah.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was just a few miles outside of Boulder. This 1.9 million acre park is a vast expanse of canyon and desert that wowed me out loud. The roads are ridiculously steep. Grades of 14% were commonplace and the zig zagging switchbacks with no shoulder meant flying down nearly at 50mph alongside oncoming traffic. The road here is called a hog’s back since it’s cliff edge on either side, meaning no matter where you go, you are just feet away from a huge fall. The scenery in Grand Staircasd is the most stunning that I have encountered. It is not as pretty as some of the textbook scenery I’ve been through but, rather, it is so colossal that you feel like an ant just crawling over the top of the world. Riding down to the lowest part of the area where the road goes over the Escalante River was a true adrenaline rush. The climb back up over the other side (with matching grades) wasn’t as exciting, to say the least.By my calculations, he has just under 800 miles left in his cross country journey.
You can check out all of Mario's blog entrees and photos at For No Particular Reason.