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Day 126 – 13th April 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on April 15, 2009

Monday – Moab, Utah

Well, I liked the motel, they had free breakfast served, choice of breads, cereals juice etc, not bad at all, so I had some. I did some email stuff, still no money from Travelex, maybe it is the Easter Hols causing the issue, I don’t know. That was not a big deal today though as I had other things to do than spend money 🙂
It was a bit cold to start with, better than up north but I was suffering from dry air, so my nose was always blocked and a bit of bleeding as well. Last time I experienced this it was in Central Australia in the desert country.

Anyway, I started at the normal time of around 10 am or there abouts and had some dirt ride on my mind 🙂

The first section was a reverse of yesterday afternoons ride, south from Blanding, turn west for about 30 miles until I get to the southern junction to Mexican Hat. I did consider going looking at the Indian ruins along this road and did stop, but it was a fair hike in and back so with all the gear on, I decided I could see similar things another day, maybe, it was a nice photo opportunity anyway!

This was what I was here for, bring it on 🙂

The countryside around here also looked a bit like back home, low scrub and grasses, then I look up and I realise I am on the wrong side of the road 🙂

It is getting closer

Then I was at the top of the range. The view from the top of the escarpment was brilliant! In the second picture, you can see a narrow line in the middle going to the left off the main road, this is a dirt road and my goal, if I get to the bottom, well of course I do, I am writing this, but I did not know at the time 🙂

Off I go, the gravel was not too bad, a few loose bits on the corners, but nothing dramatic, I just took it easy in 2nd gear and rolled down.

That is where I was 🙂

Then after removing some of my gear, it was warm down here in the valley although there was a coolish breeze, I found the turn off to the Valley of the Gods. This is a more accurate road map of this section as well.

The road was OK, some corrugation and occasional loose stuff on corners, but as I was rubbernecking, I had no occasion to go fast.

Most of the time to take a photo, I just stopped on the road, very light, nearly non-existent traffic. I found a small turn off and followed it to a viewing place, although, I did have a small moment when I was off piste, there was soft stuff in the middle and nearly washed out the front end 🙂 I took a photo of it on the way back out, this red stuff is like Oz, soft and fine.

Not far to go now, that is the main highway up ahead; I just needed to fjord this major river crossing 🙂

Now it was just a short ride to Mexican Hat, nice hills and a small dirt road to reach the reason for its name. Although it should be called upside down Mexican Hat, I reckon!

I stopped at the San Juan Trading Post for a sanger and saw a nice carving, it must have been done locally, but no one there knew how it was done. At the top and bottom of the rock is some small black lines, they are fossilised ferns and the carving has been done over the top, quite neat 🙂 Too heavy to bring home though Todd, so nick off you cannot have it

After that, as it was nearly 2.30pm I headed east with my destination for the day being Moab. I happened to pass through a small town near the San Juan river called Bluff and saw some great houses and building, so I stopped and took a few snaps. In the 2nd shot you can see an old air raid shelter cut into the hillside, partly exposed, it must be a cold war legacy.

In the last shot the beer place was closed, bummer. But, while taking the photo a chap on a dirt bike rode up for a chat. Ross comes from Boise, in Idaho and invited me for a beer after he gets home. He is down here riding bikes for ages yet, which is good, too cold up there at the moment 🙂 I do have to go to Boise to see the Happy Trails people, I need my panniers fixed, eventually 🙂

I reached the north south highway and I went northwards, towards the snowline I thought, and sure enough I get enough ideas about the weather up that way 🙂

Mind you, if you cannot see a great big yellow/orange thing right in front of you, open your eyes!
I have no idea what this is, but it looked weird!

Yep, that looks like snow capped mountains ahead, but strangely enough, it felt like it was getting warmer?? Confused I was!

Next stop was at a place called Wilsons Arch, neat piece of geology.

I finally got into Moab around 5pm and after a few price checks decided on the Day Inn, just north of the city centre. It was quite cheap for here, only $45 which included breakfast again, and I got a ground floor room. It was very warm here and I was in full thermal attire, not advisable, so after dropping the gear off I went and bought some microwave tucker, and on the way back stopped in at Eddie McStiffs pub.

I had seen the highway signs for this place and it offered beer 🙂 It was a restaurant as I found out, as well as a micro brewery, which meant according to Utah law, I had to order food before I could sit at the bar and drink? So, I ordered food, a 15c plate of popcorn and some beer please 🙂 I tried a number of the beers, some were nice, a couple not so good for me. Christian the bartender was a top bloke, I think all the beers were his favourites 🙂 I also met Dave and Robin from Seattle, they were beer connoisseurs (well, beer snobs they said) who said, come on up and have a beer with them, the beer is heavier, so another place in the cold to go visit. It is up north of San Francisco in Washington state. The beer at this place was light in strength, but as they are pint glasses, you can accumulate 🙂 Anyway, cheers to Christian, Dave and Robin, it was a great night.

I had some late dinner at the room and with free internet, posted a bit of stuff, before crashing out. Tomorrow, I was headed back to SLC, to pick up my bank ATM card and the National Park card, I also needed to sort some insurance out.

Day – 228 miles and 367km
Trip – 2,109 miles and 3,394km

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4 Responses to “Day 126 – 13th April 09”

  1. Graham Dinning said

    Hey Richard, Tell me about those thermals, it looks f$%^&ing cold around there I might grab a set before the weather turns nasty round here 🙂

    As always, thanks for sharing and keep safe.

    GrahamD (Blue Mountains, AUS)

    • travellingstrom said

      Hi Graham, there are the semi synthetic ones called Sherpa. They work OK but where I have been I really also need an electric vest etc. The thermals did fine for all areas of Oz though and Tassie.


  2. Dave said

    In the 2nd shot you can see an old air raid shelter cut into the hillside, partly exposed, it must be a cold war legacy.

    More then likely from the great depression or hippies . common back then to build like that.

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