2008 Western Adventure

 

Day 18 - July 7, 2008

I said goodbye to my friends that own the White Eagle Inn.  If you ever get to Cortez, Colorado, and you want a nice clean and inexpensive motel to stay in, I recommend the White Eagle Inn.  I also stayed there in 2006, on another cross country adventure.  My plan for today was to ride through the Canyon of the Ancients.  I found a road on my GPS that entered the canyon from the back East side.  This road started out a nice back-country paved road,  but about 20 miles into the ride, it turned to dirt, but still fairly good.  I saw a lot of beautiful horses along this road.  About 20 miles of dirt roads, and they started to get narrower and sandier, until the road made a sharp turn into a deep canyon.  The road at this point was impassible, so I had to back track the 50 miles to the main road.  I checked out the main roads around to the Western entrance, and it was little to far, so I decided to save the Canyon of the Ancients for another trip.

I set my sight on Utah, which wasn't too far from Cortez, which is in the Southwest corner of Colorado.   Not long after crossing the border into Utah, I came into Monticello, home of the "Hideout Golf Course", a nationally recognized course.  Too bad that I wasn't carrying my golf clubs on my motorcycle.  As I continued North on Hwy 191, I this huge rock formation, which is known as Church Rock or Cookie Jar Rock.  It was just standing there all by itself, with no other rock formations anywhere in sight.  As I continued north on Hwy 191 I saw some signs that Canyonlands was just ahead.  I missed Canyonlands on my trip through Utah in 2006, so it was a must see on this trip.  Canyonlands was on the West side of Hwy 191, and was fairly flat, and I was wondering when I would start seeing the rock formation.  As I was thinking this, I started into a canyon, and the farther into the canyon, the more beautiful the scenery.  There where a lot of trees, and the road became nice and twisty (us bikers all like twisty roads).  Down towards the bottom of the canyon I saw a sign that said Newspaper Rock.  I had heard of this rock, and now I'll get to see it first hand.  It was amazing how many  hieroglyphics were on this rock.  If only I could understand what they meant.

After I left Newspaper Rock, I started to see the rock formations off in the distance.  What appeared to be fairly small, became quite large as I rode further into the valley.  You could just imagine that this whole valley had been under water, and this is what was left after the water carved its way through the canyon.  It was absolutely beautiful.  Southern Utah is one of the most beautiful and interesting places in the the US, and I've been most everywhere.  My two most favorite places seem to be the desert and the mountains.  Of all the mountains I've been in, Glacier National Park has to be the closest thing to heaven that I have seen so far.  I'm hoping that future trip to the mountains will yield equally beautiful scenery.  As I rode around the valley, I continued to be amazed at each and every rock formation.  I could have spent a week there hiking around, but these old legs and back aren't what they used to be, so my hikes were keep to a bare minimum.  Nonetheless, I was able to appreciate the beauty of Canyonlands from the seat of my trusty steed. 

As I headed out of the valley it was starting to get late, so I started to think about where I would stop for the night.  First I thought about Moab, that was not too  far up the road, but when I got there, the town was filled with tourists, so I continued north and came upon a nice little motel in Green River that still had a couple vacancies.  I settled in for the night, and looked forward to the next days ride.

    

 

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