Sunday – Blanding, Utah
I slept in for a while as it was cold out, but eventually got motivated to leave this place around 10am. This seems to be the time to leave, just when it is getting a bit warmer, the sun was up and it promised to be even better :)
I had read a pamphlet on a place just north of here called the Valley of the Goblins, that was my first stop and then head south from there, but not sure of an ending.
So, heading north again but only for about 20 miles or so and before then was a scenic lookout near an outcropping.
Then on the other side of the road were all these small signs on poles and on the top of each pole was a small hollow metal tube, when you looked through the tube, it framed the actual feature on the sign, quite neat :)
A few miles up the road I was in my own little world when movement caught my eye, crikey, deer and they were not shy at all; they let me take a few photos. You can see they nearly blend into the landscape.
After the left turn from the highway, there were normal things to miss before I arrived at the valley.
It was supposed to be $7 to get in but the rangers only charged me $3 as I was on a bike. The bloke on the left spotted the Queensland picture on my panniers and we had a bit of a chat. It turns out he is a Mormon and had done his 2 year mission in Oz, mainly down south near Caboolture, Toowoomba etc That was a few years ago mind you :) Anyway thanks dudes!
On and into the Valley and it is a weird place, but I spent an hour or so wondering around, here are a few shots.
As I was going back to my bike, I spotted an RV with a trailer and a couple of off road Kawasaki enduro type bikes and said G’day to the chap. He then came over when I was kitting up and asked which way I was headed. We had a chat, he was an old time dirt bike racer and suggested the Moki Dugway, dirt switchback and then the Valley of the Giants, another dirt trail, so I thanked him and put it in my things to do list :) So, just after 1pm I arrived back in Hanksville where I fuelled up and retrieved the last of my available cash from the ATM, I still had no transfer show up.
From here it was south again until I reached the junction of the two roads, one going to Mexican Hat, one to Blanding. I added a layer of clothes as it was a tad cool and had a snack.
The ride through the eroded and falling cliff sides was great.
Then down to Hite City was even better, some more great views, especially over the river valley. There was even a small critter on the cliff edge :)
Hang on let me zoom in on him :)
There was a small boom town down there called Hite City, but it was eventually flooded when the dam water rose. No pictures, too cold to go swimming :) So, on down the range for a view of the valley.
There were signs around here on the road advising no stopping due to rock falls, well if you look at the cliffs you can understand why, and they were not wrong, I would hate to have one of them land on me scone, but I got through OK!
Then I get to cross the Colorado River over this miniature coat hanger bridge.
I was now lower, but the river was lower still and I kept seeing deep canyons through the scrub.
Up on the bluff is a feature called Jacobs Chair
Then a ways down the road is Cheese Box Butte.
The I stopped in to the Natural Bridges area, it is a small loop road with some scenic lookouts, also some hikes, but not for me the hiking business, I had too much cold weather gear on to strip off then put it all back on again, lazy eh?
When I headed off again I soon came to the southern junction on the highway, there seemed to be a bit of traffic here and about 10 cars, all the same model with Aussie flags hanging out the windows went by, a few noticed my stickers and honked and waved. I had intended buying a few flags like that, but I had not had time before I left. Anyway, as we went down this big fast sweeping bend, the car in front nearly ran over something and it looked like a flag had blown off an earlier car, so I stopped and went back and picked it up :)
It was a bit shop worn and had broken the plastic window clamp, but I reckon it was a pretty good score :) I went through until Blanding and looked around and found a great motel near the visitors centre. Cheap at $42 and it worked for me, so I booked in then went down and I bought a nuke food dish, but no beer. It is not worth the cost to buy light beer, so I had an afd.
Day – 219 miles and 350km
Trip – 1,884 miles and 3,014km
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