Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cave Dwellers/Mexican Hat

Today was good. We left the hotel and headed to Canyonlands National Park. With it being only about 30 miles NW of Moab, it was an easy ride to the park.

Islands in the Sky is a good description of the area. Beautiful!! Canyons all over the place. Colors that were astounding. Just fantastic! We went to every vantage point there, and all were fantastic.

From there, we went to Dead Horse Point State Park. Again, just beautiful. These areas out in the West are something to see. A good visit.

After Dead Horse Point, we headed back to Moab. Riding down towards town, I could feel the heat waves as we went lower to the main road. It felt like opening the door of an oven and feeling the heat rush out. In Moab it was hot as we stopped for an unremarkable lunch.

After lunch, we headed south towards Natural Bridges National Monument. The highway south of Moab was under construction in several areas, and we had to wait on traffic several times, each time broiling in the sun. The construction ended and we made good time then.

We didn’t know what to expect there, but found that the natural bridges were actually arches. Don’t ask me why they are arches in one park and natural bridges in another.. There’s probably a reason, but it escapes me.

After the park, we headed south towards the Grand Canyon. The roads were fast, and we stopped at a couple Indian ruins along the way. One of them was pretty interesting; cliff dwellers who lived in small caves in the cliffs. Pretty neat, but a hard way to live.

We turned south to Hwy 261, a two lane road that ran for about 36 miles. It was a good road to make good time, but about 2/3 down the road, it turned to dirt for a 3 mile section. We knew about the dirt and I hoped it would not be too difficult for me. In the end, it was easy, with the 3 mile section being downhill with switchbacks that were paved. No problem.

We rode on towards the Grand Canyon but decided to stop Mexican Hat, Ut. It was a neat place, and we chose an old motel, the San Juan Inn. It was carved out of red rock, and sat above the San Juan River, on a sheer bluff. Very picturesque. Had all of the amenities we needed except Internet (hence no post for Tuesday night until Wednesday).

Good restaurant on-site, and good dinner and breakfast (3 of the biggest, thickest pancakes I’ve ever seen!). A good stop.
286 miles today.

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