Southwest Adventure 2015… Day 7

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ June 2, 2015/ BMW R1200RT, General Rants & Raves About Riding, Southwest Adventure 2015, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: Moab, UT

Time: 0916

Weather Conditions: 84

Daily High Temperature:

Destination: Moab, UT

Arrival Time: 2130

Daily Miles Logged: 154

Total Trip Miles: 3090

State Visited: Utah- Canyonlands National Park & Arches National Park

We were blessed with a bit of a break from the typical frenetic pace of our trip with a later start, the same hotel room for two nights, and some of the most scenic vistas coupled with some amazing motorcycle roads.  What more could one ever hope for?  Maybe that it be a little closer to home I supose!

Day Seven Route

After breakfast at the hotel and a brief stop for fuel, we were on our way with our sights set on Canyonlands National Park.  Located just a few miles from our hotel on the outskirts of Moab, we were at the main gate of the park within 45 minutes of our departure.  Unlike many of the other National Parks we have visited, the visitor center seem to be less inviting and did not beckon us to visit, so we pressed on towards the first scenic overlook of the day called the Grand View Point Overlook.

Grand View Point Photo

            A park ranger was giving a lecture on the composition of the formations that was interesting and I would have loved to hear in its entirety, but the view was such a distraction that we quickly lost interest in hearing about the views and we wanted to see them for ourselves.


            We walked for quite a bit on the trail to see the various personalities that the canyon had on display for us.  The sunlight was dancing about the rock formations placing delicate shadows on certain features that highlighted others.  I could imagine that if time would permit so, just sitting there for the entirety of a day without any distractions and watching the changing tapestry unfold.

The Grand Point certainly lived up to its name and we left with a greater sense of anticipation for what the day had in store.  Among a few of the other vistas that we visited were: The Buck Canyon Overlook, The Green River Overlook (where we met a young man from Baton Rouge that was nice enough to take our group photo), and the Upheavel Dome Crater Overlook.


          
We elected to take a 1.5 mile round trip hike to see the Dome Crater.  This was a magnificent sight to see, but an exhausting hike for this guy who is not in his peak condition.  I am glad I made the trek because the sights were magnificent!

            Since we were so close, we headed back to Moab for lunch and enjoyed some local color and flair at a pub called Zax’s.  There was a pizza buffet that some enjoyed and I ordered a Reuben sandwich.  I was a little disappointed that the rye bread was marbleized, but it had the right combination of corned beef to sauerkraut that was quite to my liking.

We were quick about heading back out to enjoy the Arches Nation Park in the afternoon lighting.  Traffic was heavy getting into the park and it looked like we were going to be stuck behind a tour bus that pulled in right before us as we were making our way through the park entrance booth.  We collectively breathed a sigh of relief when the driver pulled out at the first opportunity to let us pass.  Our path was clear and we made it to the first scenic spot of the afternoon called the Park Avenue Trail.  Other notable stops included the Ancient Sand Dunes, the Balanced Rock, and Devils Garden.


       After several stops along the way to the Devils Garden, we finally arrived to what could be considered “the end” of the trail so to speak.  This is the location of the famous Landscape Arch.  To fully complete the hike would be a 8+ mile round trip, however there were other options for about 1.5 miles that we elected to pursue.  As we walked the trail, it became evident to me that I was at my limit for rough terrain perambulation, so I elected to make my way back to where I thought the ladies were waiting.  Once I arrived back to the bikes, I realized that I was the only one there, so I did what any self respecting motorcyclist would do… I found a spot to take a nap.  There happened to be a perfectly shaped boulder that was custom made for me within a few feet of where we had parked, and the lagniappe was that it was even in the shade!  As I laid there, I allowed myself to sink into the moment… the silence (except for the occasional car that would pass through the loop), the breeze that cooled me down, and the overall tranquility of that spot.  I was quickly transported to a state of slumber, that is until a gaggle of Harley riders poured through like the typical stereotype… Loud and obnoxious.  My siesta was officially over, but that was just fine because the rest of the group was walking back to their bike to suit up at just about the same moment.  My one regret is not grabbing a photo of that boulder to remember that moment by…


                                            We made our way back to Moab for dinner at a cheeky little joint call “the spoke on center.”  Their menu was diverse enough for everyone to find something to their liking and I had a delicious Fish & Chips with Malt Vinegar and home cut fries that were the best restaurant fries that I have had in a very long time… sorry Gina, they may have even been better than yours!

 

    Tommorow we head back to the Arches one last time to bid our farewell to Moab and then press on towards Durango, CO.  Hard to believe that this adventure is now more than half way complete…

-Steve

 

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