Saturday, January 4, 2014

January 4 -- This Is Not My Idea Of Fun

South 86º52.546' West 081º43.409' Elevation 6,644 ft. 23 Nautical Miles

I set up my tent yesterday and ate dinner and in the couple of hours that it took me to eat and call in my blog, it went from being a nice sunny day to being really cloudy with no visibility.

I wanted to get to 87 degrees today, so I started very early. But I couldn't see where I was going. The sastrugi are now getting really big and spectacular. But when you bike over them and can't see, it's very scary and treacherous. You'll be going along and all of a sudden you'll have a four foot drop that you didn't even see coming, which is very painful, even if you don't crash. So I was creeping along very slowly for most of the day.

Finally I got cold and needed to add some layers, so I stopped and ate lunch and added the layers. While I was eating, the visibility improved some, so I was able to travel better. Later on, the sun came out and it got a lot clearer. I could now see the six foot sastrugi that I'd been trying to work my way through before. It was much easier and a lot more fun to be able to pick your way through them instead of blindly hitting them. That lasted about an hour and then visibility dropped to zero again. So overall, I put in a lot of hours but didn't get many miles.


  1. 23 miles is excellent for biking under those conditions and high altitude. Stay healthy and be safe.

  2. Sounds very challenging in not knowing what to expect next. I actually envy in what your doing- not sure I would feel that way if I was there but the challenge would be cool and brutal at the same time. Hang in there- Eric (Ohio)

  3. Hang in there Daniel, you're doing great and you're not alone with the coldness! My wife and I have lived in Florida now for almost 20 years. Most people think it's always warm here. Brother, are they ever wrong! Just looked at the Weather Channel only to see that tonight (Monday night) there are severe hard-freeze warnings in effect here, with temperatures hitting well below freezing and wind chills hitting a mind-numbing -20° in some areas and the high humidity making it even worse. Clothes get damp even indoors and the damp cold literally going to the bone! It's hard to acclimate when it's near 80° knee day and drops to a humid freezing and below the next. I've seen otherwise healthy people catch bad pneumonias, even die, from the sudden changes and the highly humid cold winters here. We get tourist where I live that visit trying to escape the cold where they come from, only to ask" Why is it so cold here? We're in Florida, it's nicknamed the Sunshine State, it's supposed to be warm here!", to which I reply "This is north Florida, not the Florida Keys, it often gets cold here in winter and many times gets to freezing or below." Just thought odd share that little known fact with you, in the hope it brings you some comfort in knowing that while you're out there you're not alone facing the elements. Even folder folks down here in the so-called 'Sunshine State' will be trying to endure frigid temps right along with you, then add in the typical high-humidity we get here year round and it gets downright nasty! Florida winters, not my idea off fun either! By the way, Happy New Year, Brother Dan, you're making us all proud of you!!!

    1. Getting wet was the hard part. I could stay warm as long as I stayed dry, but all that work would make me sweat, a lot, and the biggest problem I had was my hands would get the gloves wet and then I had a hard time keeping my fingers warm. I really wanted to have ten fingers and ten toes when I finished so I worked hard to try and keep them warm. I did manage to keep all 20, but they all have no feeling in the ends.

  4. Does Dory the fish from Nemo ever come to your mind out there? "Keep on (riding), keep on riding. . ."