On the 130th anniversary, I recreated part of the journey of the first person to cycle around the world on a bicycle. Taking it one day at a time. View the archive.

Ogden and South Weber

By Stuart Lowe on

I woke at 7am and was greeted by a noisy convoy of cars from the Utah Department of Conservation. I hadn't slept well and was still bleary-eyed. Once again I had to let my tent dry from the condensation during the night. I'll be glad when the temperature doesn't drop below freezing or the dew point at night.

I'd been offered a bed for the night in South Weber by a long-distance cyclist named Parry. Actually he'd offered for me to stay with his parents and they were busy until 4.30 so I could take my time today heading south.

I was quite chuffed to cycle by fruit orchards just as Thomas Stevens had done 130 years previously. I stopped at one point to call my dad to let him know about the last few days. He told me he'd been doing the journey with "the Google man" and told me how the road to Corinne kept going for miles. I told him I knew that as I'd just done it in real life! My dad seems to have really taken to Google Street View and was checking if I'd seen all the things he'd noticed or that he couldn't make out.

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Orchard

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Fertile strip by the mountains

I visited the US Post Office to send some postcards and mused over the fact that Americans send mail at the Post Office but we sent post by Royal Mail. Two countries separated by a common language.

Near Ogden I found a pleasant river trail but had to back track as it seemed to be a dead end. After a trip to a store to find freeze-dried camping food I headed back to the river and then through Ogden proper which seemed to have an old-style main street.

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Ogden

Heading south there was a bit of a hill and then some busy roads. They weren't any worse than back home but were a bit scary after Nevada and wilderness. A downhill took me to a scary intersection with the I-84 where I had to be very careful at the exits to make sure nobody drove into me.

I arrived at Parry's parents house. I was met by Parry's mum and his dad showed me his beehives in the garden. It turns out Utah is "The Beehive State". A little later Parry turned up. I had a most welcome shower, they put my clothes in an actual washing machine (!), and they gave me some food. We all went out to get pizza and bread and brought it back to enjoy in the garden along with their neighbour. Parry had done a coast-to-coast route and Vancouver to Mexico so had plenty of good tips. We had a good long chat.

Getting a warm shower, fresh food and such warmth from strangers makes an amazing difference to a bike trip. The Higginsons are a lovely family and made me feel so much at home in Utah.