June 18, Day 17: Calf Creek to Capitol Reef/Fruita Campground (59.5 miles)

Calf Creek was so nice we didn’t want to leave and ended up getting out around 9am. It was already roasting hot. We immediately had to climb out of the canyon with grades of about 14%. Not very fun, but it ended at a cool stretch called the Hogback, a two-lane road with drops on either side and no guard rails. It’s not so scary as people make it out to be though.

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It was mostly downhill to Boulder where we stopped at a cute natural foods grocery store for delicious frozen chili chicken burritos and snacks. The climb out and over Boulder Mountain was tough. It was about 15 miles long with a bunch of 8% grades and motorcycles. The descent was up and down until the end, where we hit consecutive 8-10% grades! So fast.

The best part of the ride was decending into Capitol Reef National Park. I had driven through it before, but seeing it while on a bike was something else.

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Magical campsite at Fruita, an old Mormon settlement. You can usually pick fruit from the many orchards on site during the summer. Nothing was ripe when we arrived, not even the cherries! Bummer. Capitol Reef was also once the home to the Fremont Native Americans, and we saw a few pteroglyphs left behind. I wish we had more time to spend here!

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