6:00 a.m. I slept really well but probably not enough. I was up too late last night eating dinner and making sure my bike was ready to go for the next day. I wanted to immediately write the blog post, write every post the day I finished, but my dad had another idea. He thought that this trip I was doing was something that journalists might be interested in covering. I wrote up a little email explaining what I was doing, along with my contact information and sent it to him to forward on to whoever he thought appropriate.
After a bite to eat I left his house around 7:00 a.m. and headed to the Bountiful Temple from Layton. The ride was pretty chilly up until the last 3 to 4 miles, which was about 100 feet of climbing up a super steep slope. I had to stop a few times, but was determined to bike, not walk, up the entire thing. The entire climb, I kept thinking about how much I love the imagery and symbolism of the temples being placed up in the mountains…except for when I’m on a bike. After finishing the brutal climb, I was surprised that I got there a little early, and actually beat my mom there. She came out to be my support vehicle for this trip, and drove up from my sister’s apartment in Provo. I waited a few minutes for her to arrive so I could change in her car, and then went in and did some Initiatories for my ancestors. It didn’t take very long, which was good because I had a lot of places I needed to get to that day, but I do really want to go back and visit this temple again so that I can see more and spend some more time there.
As I walked out of the temple I got a phone call from someone at ABC4’s station about wanting to meet up. I told them that I was going to Salt Lake City next, and they told me they would meet up with me there!
I took the 11.5 mile, mostly downhill ride to Temple Square and hung out at the reflection pool by the Salt Lake Temple. The temple was closed for cleaning, so I wasn’t actually able to go in, but it’s okay. After a couple minutes of sitting, I got a text from the ABC journalist. I met them out on the street in between temple square and the conference center. They had me bike up and down the block a few times, say and spell my name even more times, and stand in the sun while I answered their questions. I was very tired, nervous, and flustered, so my answers were not particularly eloquent, but I managed to get on the 5 o’clock news for about 30 seconds! You can check it out here if you want. After shooting for my 30 seconds of fame, I took mom to Crown Burger for lunch. It probably wasn’t the best idea to eat a pastrami loaded burger in the middle of a decently long day of riding, but it’s pretty much become tradition to eat there when I go to Salt Lake City.
After lunch, we made our way out to the Jordan River Temple, only about 20 miles from Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Thankfully there is a bike trail that went most of the way from SLC to Jordan. I felt great zipping down the trail, passing by other bikers until I came upon a slightly wet, very smooth turn and took a little spill.
One of bikers I had passed came up as I was getting back up and made sure I was okay. With everything but my pride still intact and operational, I pressed on until the Jordan River Temple. This temple was also closed – this time for reconstruction – so we snapped a picture and made our way to the next one.
The Oquirrh Mountain Temple is only 5 miles from Jordan River and it’s a beautifully short, albeit slightly uphill ride. My sister Alia met up with us and joined me for an endowment session. After the session, Alia, my mom and I walked around the grounds before heading out to grab some pasta for dinner (gotta carb up!).
After visiting four temples in one day, I made my way further south to stay at my friend Parker’s house. Just about 6 miles from where we had dinner, I made my way as the sun started to set. Part of the route had me ride through another bike trail. It was pretty dark by the time I approached the trail. I saw that the road seemed a bit wet at the turn, so I swung wide to make sure I wouldn’t lose traction on the water (wouldn’t want that to happen again). I hit the trail at a pretty decent speed and was shocked when I lost traction anyways and slid out into gravel, thistles and weeds. Tired and frustrated, I got back up and trudged out the last couple of miles, a lot of which was through the gravel. I entered the housing area, and noticed my back tire feeling funny about half a mile from Parker’s house. The air was leaking, and at about .4 miles from his house I was completely out of air. Now even more tired and more frustrated, I just finished the ride on the flat tire and arrived at Parker’s house.
Thankfully, the Rosquist family is a family of angels. His dad is an avid biker and helped me patch up the holes from the friggen goat heads off of that stupid gravel trail on my bike, while his mom got a first-aid kit and ice packs to patch up my boo-boos. I am so grateful for their kindness and hospitality. My mom and I crashed in Parker’s little brother’s room after washing up and I chatted with Parker for a while. I had no idea about Parker’s dad’s biking experience, but his assistance and advice was invaluable. Their home was a beautiful blessing after an exciting and exhausting day full of unexpected surprises, both positive and negative.
Biggest lesson of the day: Just cuz it’s a bike trail, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safer.