Sunday, April 2, 2017

Karen's Perfect Day

After four states, a wee bit of car trouble, and 18 hours of driving, we made it to Moab! I know, I know, car trouble? In Idaho, the car started doing this weird thing where all of a sudden, there would be no power. Then it would be okay for awhile. Like an expectant mother in labor, we started timing the "contractions". There seemed to be getting more frequent. Several times we had to pull off the freeway because we just couldn't get any power. Then it would be okay. Finally, a little worried that something was terrible wrong, we called the nearest Honda dealer which happened to be in Twin Falls, about 40 miles up the road. They were about to close, but Jesse agreed to stay until we could get there. How nice is that? We limped in to Twin Falls and the Honda dealership. Turns out, although it is something that needs to be fixed, it was not damaging to the engine. Jesse told us what part we would need (they didn't have it) so when we got to Moab we could get it ordered on Monday. He said it would continue to lose power periodically, but we should be okay. So, off we went. From Twin Falls to Salt Lake City it continued its tricks. I was driving after switching with Karen at a rest stop. Going over the mountains it seemed to really happen going up the hills. I started to get a feel for when it would almost do it, then ease off the accelerator. That seemed to help. Then, after we gassed up in Orem, the car seemed to be pretty good. Maybe I just got it figured out and outsmarted it...who knows??? Anyway, we made it to Moab and our condo without any further problems.  Today being Sunday, we couldn't do anything about the car. We slept in, had coffee (well, I didn't) and some breakfast. Then we did some speed grocery shopping for the bulk of the week (splitting the list...divide and conquer).  We had decided to do a road ride (we brought road bikes with us). We had decided that road ride would be in Arches National Park (of course it would!). Cindy had found someone on Map My Ride who had done a route in Arches (not like there's a whole lot of options--pretty much one road out and back). I mapped how to get to the beginning of the guy's ride. If we did the whole thing, it would be about 60 miles with a bunch of elevation. YIKES!!!
Out in front of our condo ready to go.
Now for a word about our mascots. Karen told us all to bring a mascot. I, of course brought my little Playmobil bike rider gal. Karen brought Mo the Sock Monkey. Cindy brought Super Girl, and Gail brought Louie the turtle.
Super Girl
On the bike path toward Arches I was trying to take a photo, so had my camera in one hand while we were riding. I hit a bump and veered off the trail. I managed to recover without crashing, but picked up a thorn. I gingerly pulled it out. There was no immediate pssss of air...whew! Well...when we got to Lions Park just two miles from the Entrance Station to the park, I noticed my front tire was flat. I guess the thorn did puncture the tube. I changed the flat and used Karen's pump to inflate the tube. Why didn't I use CO2? I forgot to bring my wedge pack off my other bike. We were on our way again.
We made it through the Entrance Station and started the long climb up into the park. Crap! My rear tire was going flat! Really??? Another flat??? So I changed that one. Now it was on the rear, and I still had no CO2. I really couldn't get the tire up to full pressure. Plus, it was evident that the tire was shot. The red on the sidewall was coming off on my hands. Now I was a bit nervous. I thought, briefly about turning back and letting the gals go on ahead, but I really wanted to continue. Arches is so amazingly beautiful! We stopped frequently taking photos.
The Gossips
Balance Rock
Eventually, we realized we needed to get a move on as it was after 2:00, and we had to be out of the park by 7:00. We climbed and descended, then climbed again. On one descent I suddenly had a horrible wobble in my front wheel. I thought for sure my front tire was flat again. I got stopped and looked at the tire. Nope, it was no softer than it had been. Now I wasn't confident going fast downhill! 
We started climbing again. At one point, I could see there was quite a bit of a climb continuing up. So, I would be slow going up, and I would be slow going down. There was about 5 miles to go to the end of the road, but I decided I was too nervous about the tires. I figured the gals could go on (which I encouraged them to do as none of them had been to Arches before), and I would turn around and start making my way back. I would wait for them at the Visitor Center. I was able to take my time coming back. I took more photos.
Pano shot
Park Avenue
At Park Avenue I talked to a guy. He had seen us on the road. I told him I had turned around because of the flat tires, and not having  enough tire pressure. He had a pump in his car and inflated my tires. It was so much nicer. I still didn't go too fast as I didn't want to repeat the speed wobble. I made it back to the Visitor's Center. It had closed an hour before. I waited about an hour for the gals to get back. Turns out, Cindy had had a flat. 
Matching horns
We still had another 10 miles to go, but at least no climbing. And my tires were at pressure so, yay! We made it back to the condo a bit after 7:00. Karen and Gail made a delicious dinner. Although it may not have seemed like such a great day, it really was. Karen listed off the things that make a perfect day, and today ticked all the boxes for her. Tomorrow, I'm getting a new tire!

No comments: