Up to the canyonlands

Learning our lesson from Arches, we woke up buttass early in the morning to leave Moab. Like we left town at 5:45am and that was actually a little late.

Riding out of Moab is so strange— it’s a little town in the middle of the desert that attracts all kinds of out doorsy folks, like Rick climbers, mountain bikers, and hikers and rafters. So it’s an enclave of craft beer ( more on Utah beer later), kokopelli art and decent restaurants.

But then it just disappears. There’s nothing again, just that sage brush and tall bluffs… for the next 60 miles. No towns, no gas stations, no nothing until Canyonlands National Park. We packed for two days- six water bottles filled, two camelbacks, and two gallon bottles of water. Then we had to climb.

I don’t really know what to tell you about the climb except that it lasted a long time. There was construction, traffic, blessed cloud cover, then bright sun, ridiculous views at the top of the hill, one terrifying downhill, and then a godsend of a campsite

Seven hours later, we pulled up into a deserted campsite that hadn’t been on any maps, and it came 26 miles sooner than the campground we were headed for in the national park. We got set up in the hottest part of the day and chilllllllled.

The decision was that we would skip the National Park section of Canyonlands and head out to the canyon overlook in the morning. We spent the afternoon reading instead of doing anything. I don’t know what’s going on with my literally choices lately, but I have been obsessed with 19th century women writers. I can’t stop reading Jane Austen and the Brontës, which is ridiculous because they are just glorified soap operas with done up language thats hard to understand. I got to some really juicy parts of Jane Eyre, relayed them to Travis, who was busy reading his new western paperback and humored me by pretending to be interested in listening to me tell him what Mr. Rochester was up to. Then it started to thunder. Cue surreal lightening storm.

Luckily, our tent works. And so do my earplugs. We were ready for more dawn riding in the morning.