Day 9 – Evanston to Vernal

Day 9 sees us leave Wyoming and cross back into Utah for a night. Our destination for today Vernal , is our hardest PAC tour day as it is 149 miles and over 8550ft of climbing.

Because our day is so long, we have breakfast at 5.30am for departure at 6am. Man – this is too early!!

On leaving Evanston, our journey is initially fairly easy through rolling farmland,  but this soon gives way to the hills as we start to climb.

Nice coutryside in the early morning. The hills in the distance are where we are headed.

Nice coutryside in the early morning. The hills in the distance are where we are headed.

We re-crossed the Utah border at mile 77 having already climbed 3700ft. Just outside the town of Manilla, we topped out for the morning at 6700ft. We then had a 2 mile, 8% decent into the Flaming Gorge, a Utah landmark. This should have been a good decent, but there was such a strong headwind blowing up the gorge that we had to pedal to go downhill – after all the effort of climbing, we felt a little cheated!

Lunch was taken at the bottom of the gorge and then straight after we began the hardest climb of the day. 8% grade for several miles in temps well over 90f until we eventually topped out after 30 miles at 8428ft. The views as we climbed out of the gorge were spectacular.

Decending into The Flaming Gorge

Decending into The Flaming Gorge

The view as we climbed back out of the GorgeRuss climbing out of Flaming Gorge

The view as we climbed back out of the Gorge

Finally, after 30 miles of climbing - the descent!!

Finally, after 30 miles of climbing - the descent!!

The spectacular view as we started the descent towards Vernal

The spectacular view as we started the descent towards Vernal

As we descended towards Vernal, the temperature rocketed and was over 100f by the time we got to the bottom – our hottest day so far. Fortunately we only had 10 miles from the base of the descent into Vernal to our hotel and a well earned rest.

Day 9 Map -we're starting to get somewhere now!

Stats for the day:-

Distance: 149 miles

Climbing: 8550ft

Temps: Topped out at over 100f

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One Response to “Day 9 – Evanston to Vernal”

  1. Rowan Smart Says:

    I have to say, the photos look fantastic but then I remembered the long straight roads and desolation of Canada – as Dennis Thatcher once succintly put it “there you go, Canada: miles and miles and miles and miles of f*ck all.” The tedium drove me to dispair, which was especially galling as everyone back home was oblivious, saying how pretty it all looked! I would imagine the mind-numbingly boring highways are probably more taxing to ride than the twisting country roads – even if the surface isn’t as kind on your backside!

    I’ve sent you an inspirational email to stop you from climbing off!

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