Hello all. I’m squeezing a couple days into a single post, so let’s go back in time.
Bright and early, Monday morning in Wendover, we readied up and headed straight for the Bonneville Salt Flats Speedway. We had absolutely no idea what to expect and I think this was good, because the randomness of it all made the whole experience that much more amazing. You follow a road off the highway for several miles until you reach the end of the road and a sign that says “Welcome to the Speedway”. Then you look beyond and it’s just salty vastness for as far as the eye can see. It felt otherworldly to ride out onto the white and feel compelled to twist the throttle as fast a you possibly can. And that’s exactly what happened. Rick, on his fully loaded bike ripped back and forth at top speed, loving every minute of that freedom. I was less into the speed and more into the stillness of being in this wide open space. I also couldn’t help but think of the history. The speed records that had been broken and the famous people who have come here to test themselves on the flats. It’s been one of the big highlights of this trip so far.
After soaking up as much as we could, it was time to get on with our day. This consisted of two hours on the longest, straightest and most un-stimulating ride to Salt Lake City. The road had numerous signs that warn you of drowsy drivers and the posted speed limit is 80 mph. Wind – I’ll just leave it at that. We finally reached Salt Lake City and battled it out on the six lane freeway with drivers who text and talk on their cells phone. Boo Utah, boo on you. On top of this, helmet laws are non-existent here, so each time we saw riders blasting down the highway with no protection we had to shake our heads and count statistics.
It wasn’t long before we found our exit onto State Highway 191. We really liked this road because it was filled with gentle curves, rolling hills and the more we made our way South, the more interesting the canyons became. It also had very little traffic. We made pretty good time and it wasn’t long before we started seeing signs for Moab. Let me tell you, we were very excited to get to Moab so we could kick back and relax. Pleasantly, the time went by quickly and we started looking for the mile marker that would get us to Moab Under Canvas – our “glamping” spot.
As we pulled up, we were greeted by Darren who immediately gave us two ice cold cups of water and a huge welcome. He was super stoked about our trip and helped us get sorted. The tent was also a site to behold. A big canvas house really, with a king-sized bed and the softest goddamn pillows you’ve ever laid to your head on. We unpacked, cooked up some food, cracked open some beers and headed over to the fire pit to chat with other travellers. I lasted until about 9:30pm and then headed to bed. I slept like a baby.
Today’s luxurious sleep-in was infinitely welcomed, but it wasn’t long before we headed into town to rent a 4×4 for the day and go exploring. I think we’ve both fallen in love with this place. It’s an outdoor recreation mecca with every possible thing you can do here: dirt biking, 4x4ing, mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting… It goes on. We were given a map with some off road trails, packed a lunch, water and headed off. Our first route was to see the Gemini Bridges. We climbed up a steep mountain ledge making our way to these really spectacular natural rock formations that arc over a canyon forming, you guessed it, bridges. This was a pretty short trail and not too technical as far as 4x4ing goes. We finished it up in about an hour and a half and then headed for Canyonlands National Park.
This place is AMAZING! We climbed down a steep switchback on the ledge of a cliff overlooking an epic valley. The trail widened at the end of one of the turns so we stopped to have lunch and take in the breathtaking view. When we finally made it to the bottom of the valley the rest of the winding road was a mix of cool rock formations, dried up river beds and all sorts of cool plants. In all, the day was about six hours of driving in the canyons, which didn’t feel long at all. Plus our reward was ice cold beer and getting back to our safari tent. Hard day at the office right?
Tomorrow it’s back on the road on off to New Mexico! Burritos should start to get better from here on in.
Love from Moab
Sarah + Rick