Today Linda, Jack and I drove up to Cedar City Utah, taking the route through Flagstaff and just missing Page. Once north of SR64 (which goes to the Grand Canyon), Linda and I were on new roads, mostly on the Navajo Reservation lands. We took 89A and 89 northward, crossing the Colorado River at the very impressive Navajo Bridge.
In Utah, we took SR14 westward into Cedar City, and only then did we realize that tomorrow’s cycling route would roll eastward on this same road. I sort of disliked getting the preview.
Today’s drive was the inaugural trip for our new 2013 Lexus RX450h, for which we’ve been shopping about 2 months. It performed beautifully. Compared to the X5, it is heavier and a little less responsive, much more comfortable inside, and much more advanced with electronics. It completely suits us and our driving habits (as we get older). Of course, as a hybrid, it gets much better gas mileage too (X5: ~20mpg, RX450h: ~ 30 mpg).
Alas, our old BMW X5 is no longer with us. It was certainly one of the best cars we’ve owned, among them the ’81 Triumph Spitfire convertible (super sexy but very unreliable), ’85 Cadillac Sedan de Ville (very impressive and also very unreliable), and the ’03 BMW X5 (a dream to drive, very useful, and very reliable). At 163,000 miles, the X5 was showing its age – time to sell before repairs got overly expensive and inconvenient.
Dinner at Centro Woodfired Pizzeria on Center St. in Cedar City, just down the street from Southern Utah University. The pizza is EXCELLENT here. In fact we compare it equivalently to the much-acclaimed Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, except that reservations are not needed and the wait is much shorter.
A good start to our adventure. The climb back up SR14 that we’ll face tomorrow looked pretty tough from the car window today, but the view from a car can be deceiving. Jack and I know that climbing will be a central theme of this ride. Both of us are undertrained for it – and both of us harbor some concern about that.