Wednesday July 26 , Denver-Cedar City (Greyhound
It was easy to get to the bus station, located
in down town Denver. From the Chatfield park an
excellent bike path was leading all the way to
down town! At the Greyhound bus station I
purchased a bus ticket to Cedar City, Utah.
Departure 3.30 pm, arrival the next morning 4.40...ouch!
I'd still some time to look for a bike box (bicycles
needed to be boxed) and found a large one at a
In the afternoon the bus headed west again,
passing several places I've cycled through before
(Idaho and Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction).
After a stop in Grand Junction it was getting
dark and I'd tried to get some sleep.
Thursday July 27, Cedar City -Panguitch
I hardly had slept, when we arrived in a dark
Cedar City. When I'd assembled the bike it was
still dark. I decided to look for a supermarket
or cafe and found a big Albertson's supermarket
which was still open (even at this time). After
getting some groceries I had a chat with a guy
working at the supermarket. He turned out to be
an avid mountain biker and recommended me to
visit Brian Head, a ski resort near Cedar Breaks.
After sunrise and having breakfast, I headed to
Cedar Breaks, a park identical to Bryce Canyon. I
underestimated the 40 km long climb. Rising from
1700 m until 3250 m with some steep sections
between 8 and 13% without any sleep was not very
easy ! The reward was great though. The red rock
amphitheater of Cedar Breaks, contrasted with the
green alpine meadows full of blooming wildflowers.
There were even some patches of snow left.
After visiting the park I cycled to Brian Head,
but didn't like the deserted ski resort very much.
On my way down to Panguitch I passed some fields
of lava. Bare black volcanic rocks without any
vegetation. For a small price I camped at a small
trailer park in Panguitch. Across the street I
had an excellent meal for bicyclists, all you can
eat for 7 bucks.
Friday July 28, Bryce canyon (60mi/97 km)
Leaving all my luggage on the
campground, I headed for a leisurely day ride to
Bryce Canyon. A large part of the National
Park was closed due to reconstructions of the
highway. The highway was too congested with
tourists, and the solution was found by widening
the road and building more parking lots.... I
locked my bike to a tree and went for a fantastic
hike down the canyon. The descent down the rim
leaded through high red pillar rocks, which
resembled walking in a cave. At the end of the
hike I met three other cyclists at the visitor
center. One American guy, riding from coast to
coast and now heading for California and two
Swiss guys, from Denver also going to San
Francisco. The three guys must have been staying
in Moab at about the same time I was there too!
After a few hours changing experiences and
chatting we all agreed this region was fantastic
for bike touring. Despite all the horror stories
of concerned parents, friends and relatives who'd
warned us about murderers, dangerous traffic and
Saturday July 29, Panguitch-Zion
National Park (75mi/121 km)
A relatively boring ride from Panguitch down
south over highway 89. Strong head wind and hot
As soon as I entered the park I was impressed
by the fantastic rock formations and colors. This
park was even more beautiful than Bryce Canyon! A
few miles further I got stranded by a one mile
long unlit tunnel, forbidden for bicyclists. The
park ranger who was controlling the traffic,
advised me to hitch a ride with a pickup truck.
Soon I got a ride through the tunnel and on the
bike again I start the wonderful descent. That
afternoon, the temperatures had risen to 45 C! I
pitched my tent at one of the campgrounds and
cooled down in the shade.
Zion national park had to cope with traffic
congestions too. This time the solution was much
better: the National Park service was developing
plans to restrict car traffic along the scenic
drive and the introduction of a shuttle bus
system. One of the signs of the environmental
awareness was already visible: a bicycle path
from the campground to the beginning of the
scenic highway! In the evening I cycled along the
bike path through the Virgin valley and visited
the hanging gardens of Emerald Pools. Around
sunset the red lightened rocks reminded me of the
rocky coast near Porto, Corsica.
Sunday July 30, Zion-St.George (60mi/96
Early in the morning I woke up
to avoid the huge crowds and the hot temperatures.
I cycled to the end of the scenic drive, where I
locked my bike and followed the Zion narrows
hiking trail, along the narrow canyon. Soon the
paved trail ended and a more difficult trail
continued. Often I had to wade through the cold
and refreshing stream. I didn't had to worry
about wet shoes, since I used my Teva sandals,
they were excellent! The current got stronger and
stronger and without using a stick wading would
have been almost impossible. At a certain point
the stream became too deep and the currents too
strong. I returned back to the parking lot and
cycled to another scenic point: the hike to
A narrow trail carved into the rocks, was
leading high above the canyon floor to a
panoramic viewpoint and a narrow 'hanging' canyon.
Fantastic views over the valley!
Back to the campground, a huge line of cars
already filled the scenic drive. I packed my gear
and left the park, heading for St.George.
Supposing it was only 40 miles all the way down,
it became quite a strenuous ride.
With a strong head wind and temp's above 40
degrees Celsius I hardly made any progress. Every
time I stopped to refill my water bottles with
cold fresh water. Exhausted after the ride and
all the hiking, I arrived in St. George and
checked into a motel. I couldn't make it to the
planned campground for that day, Snow Canyon, 10
miles further up hill.
Monday July 31, St. George-Los Angeles (bus)
The following morning I went looking for the
greyhound bus station. It turned out to be
located at McDonalds. Next goal was getting a
bike box. Soon I got one for free at a bike shop
in town. To carry the empty box with all my gear
to the McDonalds was another story, not to
mention disassembling the bike totally to get it
into the small box.
Around 1 pm the bus departed for Las Vegas,
where we stopped for one hour. Just enough time
to check out the casinos. After another short
break in Barstow, in the middle of the Mojave
desert we approached around sunset the LA area.
Too bad the notorious smog of the metropolis
interfered with a beautiful sunset, even here in
It was already dark when the bus arrived at
the bus station near down town Los Angeles. I
assembled the bike again and headed around 9.30
pm to San Marino. This last part turned out to be
the one and only unpleasant ride of all the 1,500
miles I had cycled. Riding through bad
neighborhoods avoiding potholes, aggressive dogs
and mad car drivers, I managed to get to my
aunt's place safely.