Mike is riding his bicycle around the country and Pam is driving the motor home. This is a blog about their retirement adventures. Red line on map is their first adventure and the blue is their new adventure! The green is Mike's first adventure from Mesa to Pittsburgh. His newest adventure will be added when he gets home!
Mesa to Pitt 2015
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Moab to Dead Horse Point State Park July 10
40.85 in 4:08-----July 10 Buddy got up early to go rappelling on one of the arches with Adrift Adventures, the same outfit that we rafted with the other day. I ran some errands in town, then headed for a climb to Dead Horse State Park. Pam began packing up after our extended stay in Moab, to head to Green River, Utah, where we stayed the night before I rode into Moab. The plan was for Buddy to take the Jeep rappelling, then come out to the park to pick me up, and we would head to Green River to meet up with Pam. My ride included a 600 ft climb out of the Colorado valley up through Moab canyon on the bike trail for 8 miles, then a left onto Utah 313, which took me to the park. Utah 313 is a beautiful climb up into Dead Horse, which is 2000 ft above the Colorado. There was one or two miles of 8% grade, but mostly the road was just a rolling but steady climb, with a nice shoulder and very little traffic. The sun was relentless, and there was no shade on the mostly slick rock terrain. The temp was forecasted to top out at 107 degrees, but climbing 2000 ft did at least cool the forecasted temp to 102 at the higher elevation. On the way up, I had a road angel ( biker and hiker term for someone who does them a good deed), stop and refill me with all the freezing cold ice water I could handle. Her name was Shawna, and she was from the Harrisburg, PA area, taking a slow trip to Oregon. She said she had been driving and visiting for about 70 days now. Asked why she was moving to Oregon, she said 'because I can!' , and was on her way.
I got to the Dead Horse fee station, and Bud pulled up in about fifteen minutes. We paid our fee, loaded up the bike, and visited Dead Horse Point, which is the vantage point for a very famous photo of the Colorado River making a full 180 degree U-turn down in the canyon. Dead Horse Point got its name from cowboys and Indians who used to herd wild mustangs into the very narrow section of plateau, where they were surrounded by cliffs in three sides, and chose the cream of the crop to take, and leave the weak, old, or feeble to die. Bud and I spent about an hour there, then headed about five miles out of our way to the entrance to Canyonlands National Park. This park is a long stretch (85 miles) of the Colorado River, and the accompanying canyons, very, very similar to the Grand Canyon, only not quite as big, and north of Lake Powell, instead of south, where the famous canyon is. It is so desolate and geographically challenging that you can't ride from one end to the other in a car. There are three different entrances, and each goes to a different area. We didn't stay long because it was getting late, but we did go to the visitors center to get a stamp in our national parks book, which is getting very close to full. We started it when Buddy was young, and have stamped every park we've been to for over twenty years.
When we finally got to Green River, we picked up Pam and went to Sawazy's Beach for an evening swim in the Green River, where we had gone the last time, before we went to Moab. The water was muddy because of some heavy rains in the mountains, and there was some beach erosion, just like at the Outer Banks, but it was still refreshing, because the temp was still 98 degrees after sunset.