Southern Utah Bike Tour

September 29 - October 6, 2001

In the Fall of 2001 Kerie and I spent a week cycling in Southern Utah. This was our second tour with Timberline Tours out of Denver, Colorado, the Bryce/Zion Alpiner. Last year we did the Icefields Rambler and I put together a report of that trip from Banff to Jasper, Alberta.

The trip started with a flight into Las Vegas from Washington Dulles. Despite the longest check-in line I've ever seen, because we were 2 hours early, we had plenty of time to catch the flight. As we were going through security I noticed a couple of people getting the full body scan.

Most of the airline employees looked pretty stressed out. They are probably trying to do more with fewer people, but most people were relatively patient. There is definitely a sense of unease in the air in the airports and aboard the flights. The flights there and back went extremely well, with baggage arriving on schedule, including both bikes. I took the Bike Friday and once again saved the outrageous $150. bicycle fee.

Las Vegas is such a strange place. There are so many desperate or burned out people on the streets or in the casinos. I have a vivid memory of a woman we saw in a convenience store in threadbare clothes, smoking a cigarette, with a glazed look on her face, feeding quarters into a slot machine. One particularly annoying aspect of the Strip was the gauntlet of people handing out porno flyers and call girl cards. They would nearly block the sidewalk and try to hand out their wares. Not one of the more high paying jobs in the city.

We didn't stay long on the Strip, heading back to the motel to get changed for dinner. When we wanted to go to the Gordon Biersch brewpub across the street from the motel, we ended up walking about a quarter mile to the nearest traffic light and back to the restaurant. Traffic seemed very fast and there were very few people walking in that part of the city.