Current location: St. Francis Ks....Way back to leaving Price, UT. The next day I went about 6 miles to Helper still without any idea whether it would be safe enough to go to the next town past there. I stopped into a church there for a bit to charge my phone and try to figure out where I would end up. Guess I was there too long for the Priest there screamed at me to leave already. I continued on and found a motel and decided to spend the night there and figure out where to go. I stayed at the Riverside Motel where the owner Maxine gave me a great deal as her life had been affected by organ donation as she lost a cousin whom helped others with organ donation and it was a big step for her to register.
I stopped into a restaurant there called Balance Rock where I met a couple who were big Bruce Springsteen fans and they really liked what I was doing and when I wnet to pay I found out they had bought it for me. Their name's sadly escape me and I can't find them in my journal but it meant a lot to me. While there I also inquired about the road ahead towards Duchesne. The waitress there made some calls for me and found out it was safe enough to go through on foot.
The next morning I went towards Duchesne and after the 2,000 ft climb up to the top I met an officer Miranda who told me I really should make it to Duchesne before resting, about 46 miles. She also gave me a couple of gatorades, and some snacks and told me I could sleep in the park by Duchesne.
When I started the run down the other side was really when the smoke started. I have never seen anything like the smoke when I really hit closer to the fires. I did not see any flames but the smoke enveloped everything in a white haze and blotted out the sun. When the sun was visible the smoke made it look blood red. It may have been a little excessive but I had gotten a bandanna in Price so I tied it over my mouth for a it of the way down. I also met several of the firefighters fighting the fire, whom I thanked for their hard work which has meant 16 hour days for many of them. They also gave me some cold water and I met one firefighter who' s daughter had a double lung transplant.
When I woke up I started through the middle of town and found a library which hadn't opened yet, but I saw a woman, Sue outside and asked if there was an outlet outside I could charge my phone at. She let me into the library early, gave me some drinks and snacks and let me use the computers. After this I headed towards Roosevelt, plenty of clouds this day so it was not brutally hot. This road I will always remember for having a huge amount of roadkill along the way. It was a busy road so I do see why there would be but pretty nasty. Roosevelt was a strange place. When I got there I saw a girl in a car outside of a church so I went to ask her if it was possible for me to sleep outside of it and she said she didn't know and after finding the doors on the church locked and knocking to see, I headed towards a different one.
Later after getting some Subway I headed towards a couple that seemed promising ad it was dark and I could just go to the back, sleep, and be up before anyone knew I had been there. On the way to them I was stopped by the police who had earlier in the day received a call that I had been going through cars stealing things. I told them what I was doing and they quickly realized how ridiculous the phone call was. they asked where I was sleeping which I told them and they told me to be safe, so I wnt to the church and found a spot in the back behind some wood and went to sleep.
Headed towards Vernal in the morning, which was hot as a cloudless sky emerged. When I got to Vernal I stopped outside a Wendy's and went in after four people, at least one of whom recognized me from the road. They offered to buy me dinner and I told them they didn't have to but they wanted to and I sat with them and we talked and I got to know them a bit. I asked about places to camp near there and eventually they told me where to go. It was shortly after this that for whatever reason one of the women got agitated and clearly showed she wanted to go. I quickly finished eating at this point and said goodbye to three of the four while the last woman was already out the door. (It is deemed in me to be honest about what happened, and while not critical, open to show the full story as best I can.)
Next I went to Dinosaur and entered into Colorado. Iy was so cool to enter there and I took a picture just as I turned around the curve into the state. I completely understand why it is called Colorful Colorado. At Dinosaur I found out they have a park with SHOWERS! which I could camp at. Such an awesome thing to find. After leaving Dinosaur I knew it would be a long day as it was 57 miles to the next town with any sort of convenience store. There was a town midway there which and a camp area and restaurant, but, getting there in the middle of the day and finding no one I knew the best thing was to just push on. I made it there very late at night, but was glad to find the park there had showers as well, tossed my shoes (had a backup pair) because my legs were extremely sore, and went to sleep.
In the morning I met two people from Philadelphia who were biking across America to San Francisco. From there I went to Net's cafe in town where owners George and Jeanette wouldn't let me pay for the meal and said I was good to go. On the run that day towards Craig, I met Dobias who was biking east across America. He told me that he often knocked on people's doors and just asked them to camp in the yard. A bold move, but Dobias said he and his friend had about an 80% success rate and doesn't think they've been told no more than once in a row. In Craig I found a chrch that was open so I went inside to find someone to ask if I could stay by there, couldn't find anyone but when I went outside I saw a couple of kids so I asked if they knew the pastor, which they replied he was out of town but their mom (His wife) was here. I knoced on their door and she let me stay in a youth building they had right by there which had a shower and a couch where I slept.