About Lea's Foundation

In 1998, Lea Michele Economos, a young woman who died of leukemia at the age of 28, made a dying wish to her parents that others would not face the hardships she encountered by finding a cure for this disease. Her family started this charity to carry on that wish. Today, Lea’s Foundation takes an active role in finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma and to better the lives of people living with these diseases. At the UCONN Health Center, the Lea’s Foundation Center for Hematologic Disorders sponsors research in this field. A new program covers the cost of bone-marrow testing to help recruit life-saving transplants for patients. Also, annual scholarships are given to children with leukemia who are planning to attend nursery school. For more information on other projects carried out by Lea’s Foundation, please visit their website at www.LeasFoundation.org.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Day 16: The Mormons are taking over the government (Calf Creek Campground to Hanksville, UT - 98 miles)

We woke up at 5:30 in our tent at Calf Creek. After saying goodbye to the Mormon girls we needed to climb out of the camp ground which was in a valley between steep cliffs. Our day started with riding over the Hog's Back, which is a 4 miles climb at 14%. This was by far the steepest climb we have done on the trip.  In addition, the edge of the road drops off to the valley hundreds of feet below.  I was a little nervous, but luckily there were no cars on the road because it was so early.  

After the steep climb, we rode into Boulder where we got the best breakfast of our trip so far at the Devil's Backbone.  After I was halfway done with my order of pancakes and apple sausage, I asked the waiter for another order.   We also got almond butter and apple bacon sandwiches made to go so we could eat lunch on the road. 

We then began a 20 mile climb up 3,000 feet.  We were literally getting cheered all the way up the hill.  There was a relay race run going 196 miles to Zion National Park.  Groups of 6-12 team up and rotate running through the day and night to Zion.  The team members who aren't running usually park their RV or can on the side of the road and cheer for everyone.  We passed probably fifty runners going down the hill and heard many more cheers and cow bells ringing from the resting runners on the side of the road.  Some people came out and sprayed us with water bottles as we rode by. It made climbing the hill a lot easier. 
 Here is the view from the top of the hill.  A few hours earlier we were way down in the valley below.  It's kind of hard to see. 
We then passed through Capital Reef National Park.  The pictures don't even come close to showing how awesome this place was. We were literally surrounded in all directions by views like this. We rode downhill for about 15 miles surrounded by huge red rock mountains. 
I don't even know how stuff like this is formed. 
These cliffs were huge!

And some funky white mountains with really weird shapes.  

Here is Dan ripping up a hill at the end of the day.  
We were pretty tired riding into Hanksville after a long day of 98 miles.  We set our tent up at a camp site which didn't compare to Calf Creek. It is pretty much a patch of grass next to a restaurant.  We are camping with a group of MIT students who are riding across the country teaching math and science classes to kids across the country.  It is nice meeting other riders going in the same direction and riding together for a few days. 

Tonight Dan and I were planning to get a beer at the restaurant while we wrote the blog. We were informed that in Utah you need to order food to get beer at restaurants. It is very difficult to get liquor permits in Utah.  I don't think I've seen one liquor store.  This was a big contrast to Nevada, where drive through liquor stores were the norm. Also, beer can't be over 3.2 percent!  All the big beer companies make separate Utah batches in order to sell it here in Utah.  During the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, they made an exception to the rule, particularly after an International Olympic Comittee member complained.  

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes of the trip.  Dan and I were talking to a old cowboy in Middlegate, Nevada who was one of the 17 people who lived in the town with nothing around for 60 miles.  I asked him if he had ever been to Salt Lake City and if so was it nice.  His response was, "I drank, they don't", and then he sipped his coffee with whiskey at 7am.  

Everyone we meet from Utah is Mormon.  I learned yesterday that in the Mormon church, the church you go to is assigned based on geographical location, like school systems.  I thought that was interesting.  

Tomorrow we plan to head to Hite Recreation Center, with the MIT students.  

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