I still had the mountain bike rental for the next morning, so I took advantage of my inability to sleep after the sun comes up, suited up, and left the hotel at 7am. The bike shop dudes told me about a mountain bike trail that's accessible from the River Trail, so I hopped on the River Trail in town and followed it as it wound up the canyon.
I think we're pretty lucky in Gainesville to have the Hawthorne Trail, a rail trail that takes you from downtown Gainesville to Hawthorne, a little town 15 miles east of us. It winds through Paynes Prairie State Park, through a hardwood hammock, native grasses, past sinkholes, connects with La Chua Trail, all with no cars. Well I will say that the Logan multi-use trail is a little more epic.
I shared the gravel trail with some joggers, mountain bikers who rose even earlier than me, and some casual cyclists who were enjoying the morning before the temperatures rose 30 degrees. It is shocking how much cooler it is in the morning-- a flat 60 degrees that turns into a scorching 90 as the sun comes into full force. We'll have to remember that when we start our tour.
I was lucky to get some outdoor time in, but I started to go stir crazy as I realized that if I wanted to leave this conference center I'd have to pay way too much money on cabs or bike rentals. It was my birthday yesterday, and I had plans to climb a mountain or something, but didn't really want to pay $35 in cab fees.
And Utah. UTAH. I've never spent any time in Salt Lake City-- it must be cool because so many people are moving out here, but man Small Town Utah is just too much for me. I will say that the locals I met here were very nice, and I had a decent experience here all around. But. There are three bookstores here, and they're all Mormon. When I got dinner the other night, I had to clarify with the bar tender that all the beer on tap was indeed 4% ABV. An African American woman attending this conference reported that someone in a pickup truck yelled a racial slur at her as she walked down the sidewalk. Sooooooooo. I was supposed to stay here for one more day, but I changed my bus ticket and I'll be meeting Travis in the bustling metropolis of Boise this afternoon, and soon we'll be off!