Summit day! With the first rays of light I sneak out of the comfy little home of Kira and dog Otis. While making my way out of Provo and towards Spanish Fork I already see a few wind turbines placed right at the entrance of the valley that will make my way up to Soldier Summit. I wonder why you would put these turbines there, surrounded by the Wasatch Mountains.

Once I turn into the valley I learn it the hard way. A strong headwind is blowing in my face and I stop at the last gas station to get supplies [and some extra candy bars for good measure]. Mentally I prepare for a tough challenge up to the pass. The climb itself is not a very challenging one. Very gradual I climb from 1400m to 2300m over a stretch of 55km, but with the crazy wind I have no clue how it is going to be.

With a bucket of coffee and three donuts in my stomach I start the ascent. Aerobars, head down, 10km/h at a tremendous effort. After a few turns through the valley the wind fortunately slows down to a manageable degree. The mountains are beautiful with the first glimpses of red rock that will await me plentiful on the other side.

I am quite surprised when only three and a half hours later I am up on Soldier pass. I am even more surprised that there is a gas station on top. Coffee, hot dog, candy bar. Very happy with the day so far!

It follows the descent. One of the nice descents, not fast but loooong. 60km gradual downhill makes for effortless pedaling in the 40s and 50s. I stop a lot, though, to take-in the scenery. The road is carved into a rocky, sand brown canyon that simply looks spectacular. I get so tied up in the scenery that I completely forget the time.

By the time I reach Price on the other side of the pass it is almost dark. With some nasty weather forecasted for the night and the motel stay in Elko being a week ago, I declare it motel time again. [Partial] Rocky Mountains crossing: Check! Good night!