It's that time of year in Florida when the humidity is soaring as high as the temperatures, and it could flood at any minute. Time to leave the Southeast! I'm in Utah for a work conference, which spurred this year's bike tour. Logan, Utah is pretty close to Idaho... and work is paying for my airfare so why not tack on a couple extra biking weeks???
But in the meantime, I'm here in Logan, which is a college town but not all that interesting so far. It seems to have similar problems to Florida regarding unbridled development, and instead of preserving its quaint downtown, they turned Main Street into a throughway, cut down all the trees and built a ton of identical sub-developments.
The area AROUND Logan is very interesting, however. It's in the Cache Valley, and according to my cab driver and Wikipedia, it all used to be underwater. Lake Bonneville was a prehistoric lake the size of Lake Michigan, and covered almost 20,000 miles. Then 14,500 years ago it started to dry up, and the Great Salt Lake is one of its remnants. That's why I found snail shells in the trail when I hiked up a canyon yesterday!!
After checking in to the conference yesterday, I took a cab up Logan Canyon to the Wind Caves Trail. It's the closest, most popular trail to town, and I figured a five mile hike up a mountain would be a good way to acclimate myself to the dry heat and elevation (4,500 ft!). Well I will tell you, you can bike all you want and then when you start hiking you may as well have sat on your butt for the past year. It's hard! I was wearing my new hiking shoes and my camel back and was all prepared for the outdoors, and then all the local Utah State undergrads just passed me full speed in their tank tops and leggings and one tiny water bottle. BUT IT'S NOT A COMPETITION Y'ALL.
I ascended to the caves in an hour, and they were cool!!
The rocks are made of limestone, and we know how erodible they are. So apparently the wind carved these caves out!
All in all, everything worked out great. My hiking shoes didn't really need to be broken in; I didn't die of overheating, altitude sickness or dehydration, and the cab showed up on time to take me back to my hotel. Good first day Out West.