BIKERS FACING DOUBTS, AND MOUNTAINS
Elmer Jackson, left, and his son, Jeff, on their arrival in Utah. (Photos by Tim Hathaway)
Last week saw some ups and downs for Red Bank’s intrepid cross-country bikers, Elmer and Jeff Jackson.
Both father and son had some serious battles with uncertainty. But Jeff’s were more manifest: while Elmer was notching one day’s ride after another, Jeff spent almost as much time in the car with sagman/blogmeister Tim Hathaway as he did in the saddle.
At his doctor’s suggestion, Jeff had stopped taking a medication that made him sweat, and thus more prone to heat exhaustion. But coming off it left him lethargic.
Still, they managed to rack up some decent mileage.
On Monday, June 16, they did 67 miles, from Austin, Nev. to Eureka, Nev. That was followed by a 55-miler from Eureka to Ely, Nev.; Ely to Majors Junction, Nev. (56 miles), which included “the two highest summits on US 50 in all of Nevada,” writes Hathaway; Majors Junction to Mormon Gap, Utah., another 55 miles; Mormon Gap to Milford, Utah, another 55 miles (for Elmer, that is; Jeff had to Honda it again); and then, on Saturday, another 56 miles to Cedar City, Utah, with Jeff again riding shotgun in the car due to fatigue.
This week, they’re off to a better start. Yesterday, they climbed 4,400 feet, to 10,000 feet above sea level, as they pedaled from Cedar City to Tropic, Utah a total of 63 miles.
From Hathaway’s blog:
The climb took about five hours, and after a leisurely lunch at the summit the guys continued their way on a plateau, ending near Tropic at an elevation of nearly 7000 feet. The plateau is actually the geological descendant of a family of volcanoes. The guys bikes past jagged lava flows (over 1000 years old), lush meadows and verdant pine and cedar forests. Jeff ended his day a little early in the hopes of reserving himself for tomorrow. We have the longest day coming up yet: 84 miles.
If all goes well tomorrow, we will be in a good position to finish Utah by Friday. This would mean that after three weeks of grueling mountains and desert heat, the guys finally have their legs and can sustain 80 plus mile days.
This, of course, was the original plan. But we have yet to enter Colorado.
In an effort to keep expenses down on their fundraising effort for Red Bank’s West Side Christian Academy, the trio is hoping to identify readers who know of people living along their route who might be able to put them up for a night.
Here’s the list of towns they expect to travel through:
UTAH (June 19-25)
Hite Recreation Area
Cave In Rock
Falls of Rough
Please email Tim Hathaway with the name, address and contact information.