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.

Echo Canyon to Evanston

By Stuart Lowe on

I had to wait once again for the sun to dry the condensation on my tent before I could head back up to Echo Canyon. On the way I cycled by some swan-like birds with huge beaks that I decided must be pelicans.

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Not swans

My planned route was along the I-80 but I realised that Echo Canyon Road was an alternative that re-joined the I-80 several miles further along so opted for the quieter option. This turned out to be a good idea as there were several historical markers and I could stop to take pictures. For some reason one side is green and hilly and the other is composed of steep cliffs of orange rock rising up into the vivid blue skies like the hulls of giant ocean liners ploughing into the green swell of the ocean.

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Echo Canyon

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Echo Canyon with railroad line

The rock is an aggregate that has been at the bottom of some ancient lake or sea. At one pont I spotted a bunch of climbers so stopped and went to take with them. I met Bruce sheltering under a little overhang in the one tiny bit of shade from the late morning sun. He told me they were warming up as, later, they were going to a shaded cave back down the canyon. The routes they were climbing were all bolted as there wasn't really anywhere to put in your own protection. Bruce introduced me to Holly, Chip and another guy. Holly was belaying and I was confused why she was facing the wall rather than looking up at her partner. It turned out she had special prism/mirror glasses that let her see vertically upwards. They were called "a belayer's friend" as they relieved the crick in the neck from looking up. After an hour of admiring their climbing, they packed up to go to their main climb and I cycled onwards.

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Echo Canyon climbers

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Belayer's friend

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Climbers

The canyon had so many spectacular views that my progress was slowed by constant photo opportunities. Eventually I rejoined the freeway and did my old routine of coming off at each exit to avoid vehicles crashing into me and for a rest and water stop. I left the railroad's company for a few miles as the freeway went down a different valley. When we met up again I found a frontage road right next to the railroad. Here I found a broken down truck so asked the driver if he needed help. He said someone was on the way and offered me some water.

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Horses in Echo canyon

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Castle Rocks with the railroad in the foreground

Five or six miles of rough frontage road later I passed the "Port of Entry" and was over the border into Wyoming with my third full state crossed. The road became paved at the state line and homes started to populate the roadside along with giant billboards along the freeway.

I reached Evanston, stopped at the Flying J Subway for a 52 fluid oz drink! 52 fluid ounces! Who needs that much other than a parched cyclist? As I headed over the hill away from the services Evanston improved in look from industrial scrub to historic downtown.

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Evanston

Under the railroad and along the Bear River brought me to an RV park where I pitched my tent. I was still the only tenter. I had what was listed as "4 portion" of chicken pasta for dinner.

I chatted to a couple from Colorada with a three legged dog who were going to meet up with relatives in Reno, Nevada. They were the first RV occupants to speak to me during my trip.