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Oct 11

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Getting to the Middle of the Journey

I skipped writing yesterday because not much of consequence happened.  I basically tried to sit tight in Page, but the wandering spirit kept calling, so I made an attempt to ride over to the Navajo National Monument [since it is run by the Navajo, the Feds cannot keep them from running it 🙂 ]  However, the brief moment of morning sunlight turned into a chilly wind, and rain started advancing towards me as I rode.  So, I did a 360 and made it back to Page, where I hung out with Beat [pronounce Beh-at], a dentist from Switzerland, and a fellow BMW rider.  We ate Texas BBQ, which was really good, and exchanged travel tips.  Towards late afternoon, it cleared enough for me to go get some more shots of the Canyonlands Dam [closed of course] and then I rode out to Antelope Point where I nabbed what I think will turn out so be some pretty awesome photos, and managed to strike a conversation with a guard.  One of the things that came up,. was the fact that people who have been on the 15 year waiting list to raft down the Grand Canyon were out of luck.   WOW! talk about peeved.
I left Page this morning.  I packed the BeMWu under the admiring gaze of a boat load of German tourists that were boarding a tour bus.  I guess it was a bus load then.  What a difference a day, and some better preparation, can make.  Part of my route was the same one I attempted in the morning yesterday.  One of the things that makes it hard to leave Page is the fact that the landscape, not matter which direction you go, is magnificent.  So, even in the cold of the morning, it was great, and sad, to be on the road, leaving all this beauty behind.  It did help to know that I was headed to Monument Valley, and then Moab, via Newspaper Rock in Canyonlands. It is hard for me to recap it all.  I must say that I have never approached Monument Valley from the West and South.  It is probably more amazing.  There were spots along the way that made me laugh.  For example, when I crossed the bridge at Mexican Hat a few years ago I had dismounted to take a few photos, and a dog seemed to take exception to my invading his territory.  I did come quite close to getting bitten.  With all the beauty around, the cold wind was still getting to me and fatigue was mounting.  As I made it to Blanding, I saw dark clouds ahead of me and courtains of rain.  Enough.  All I needed to do now was to make it to Moab, and skip Newspaper Rock.  However, as I cleared a high pass, the rain stayed behind me and when I got to the turn off to Newspaper Rock I decided to ahead and stick it out.  I rode the 12 miles to the rock.  The road has postings warning that this area is open range, and sure enough, the cows in the area made sure that the little yellow metal diamonds on a stick were telling no lies.  In about 3 different places, the cows did not seem to care that their hooves were trampling on asphalt, and the BeMWu just made them jump around.  This made for interesting games of ‘Guess which way the calf will jump, and the biker will go’.  I finally made it to the rock, which bears a collection of pictographs that were put there by people from several points in history.  The surrounding oaks announce that fall is indeed here, their leaves turning yellow.
From the Rock to Moab was just another 45 minutes.  Signs on the side of the road happily announce that the Parks in the area are actually open.  As it turns out, starting tomorrow, they will open at 8 am.  The governor Utah figured out a deal with the Feds to allow him to open the parks, on the state’s $ so that those whose livelihood depends to these precious assets can still make a living.
For me this means that I will visit Corona Arch tomorrow, outside Arches, and then Arches itself.
So, after a week on the road, I have seen more cold that I care for, more make it  up as you go than ever before, and laid down over 2,000 miles in tracks.  I am in some kind of funk, in awe on one side, and desperately wishing for sunlight and warmth.
Day after tomorrow will start the rode back home.  I am basically escaping this fall that feels like winter, and wishing for warm nights and days.   

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jaderiderjourneys.com/2endslavery/2013/10/11/getting-to-the-middle-of-the-journey/

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