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Wanderlust cured’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 28 Oct 2009

Location: Moab, USA


It was forcast, so I guess should have come as no surprise that during the night the sky dumped 15cms of snow all over the campsite, the trail we were going to ride today and the surrounding mountains around Moab. Its weird having snow in the desert, it looks out of place with the red/orange sand with pure white fluff resting atop it. It was cold, but not cold enough to be like two excited children wanting to get out and play in it. We buffered up (layers & down jackets, beanie & gloves), took the camera and went out to get some pictures, one or two snow ball fights later we came back into the campsite and our friendly neighbour invited us in for a cup of tea. 2 hours later we emerged with a new road to take from here, todayís activities all planned out and lots of stories about their travels. They were once pulled over for speeding on their bikes and tickets issued, got stuck in quicksand, raced with people like Gary Fisher (basically the inventor of the bike), Ďspeckedí people, had conversations with Lynx and seen so many wonders of the world. When they asked for our stories, well compared to them, we really felt like we had nothing to give, but we tried.
Off to Hwy 128 which runs alongside the Colorado River, a wide expanse of brown/green water. The red cliffs towered over us as we drove for miles in awe of our surrounds. Snow sat lightly on the red rims of the rock, clouds hung low over the highest peaks and each and every turn was better than the last. Once the cliffs moved away further and gave way to flatter lands ranches popped up all alongside the road, horses of all colours and even a winery. Sadly the mighty Colorado doesnít get to the sea anymore because so much of its waters are used in U.S agriculture Ė the story of a huge amount of rivers these days. Its funny that humans start up populations in the deserts and hope for the will run out someday.

Next was a drive to Canyonlands National Park, another recommendation by our neighbours. It was snowing on and off all day today and we were hoping for partially clear skies to be able to see the sights. All three stops had me a captive audience as the wide expanses of rock went up, the vast canyons down below, you really have to see the pictures for this area, or even see it as the pictures really cant convey the huge area that this covers. Rivers over millions of years have carved out these canyons, minerals leaving the corners white. Any words I think of barely even describe it. There is a trail to bike which takes around 3 days called White Rim and its one that I will be coming back for, as I need different equipment that I have now, but itís on the Bucket List. The trail takes you in this middle secton above the canyons, below the mountains and rides all along the rim for 100 miles, I cant wait.

We made time for a shower today too. Our current campgrounds facilities include a fire pit and pit toilet which wafts its smells when the wind is just right. Actually when we were travelling down the west coast of Washington I remember one pit toilet that put all other pit toilets to shame. The smell was so bad I was gagging, the seat so disgusting I had to use 2 seat covers and when I sat down 2 flies flew out of the pit!! I would have not gone if I hadnít already held on for 3 hours. Anyway, shower and then shopping for Moab memorabilia, back to the campsite, quick dinner in the dark and now safety tucked away before the snow gets too heavy. Itís actually forcast for the next two days, but I hope thats incorrect otherwise we are going to have to leave Moab without any serious biking under our belts.

Come on sunshine, we need you.