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Saturday, July 30 2005

Mile 6300 Traveled today 266

No internet here in Blanding, UT. No beer or wine either. The LDS has a strangle hold on this town it seems.

We departed Salina this morning about 0900 much to Sue's dismay. She likes to get on the road early and off early to beat the heat. Unfortunately she isn't trying to stare into the sun as it comes up in the east or she wouldn't be as anxious. I can't seem to find anything dark enough to kill the glare.

Anyway we arrived at Arches NP about noon and took a quick look around. We've been here before but still marvel at how alien the landscape in this part of Utah is. I don't think I've ever been anywhere that is less likely to be on planet Earth. We took 70 over from Salina and dropped south on 191. After taking some pictures and skipping the hike at 97 degrees, we drove on south. As quickly as we entered that strange land, we were out of it. A couple of things I forgot to mention yesterday. As we were dodging the storms, one of them came up on our right and crossed behind us. We could see it coming and a giant dust storm preceding it. We got into the dust storm but missed the rain. In the storm was a bunch of tumbleweeds being blown across the road and I hit one dead center. It was like someone had taken a large handful of leaves, crumbled them up and tossed them in my face. Fine bits of twigs and sticks tumbled about in the turbulence behind the windshield for a bit. I heard some clatter from inside of the faring for a few miles and then forgot about it.

At our next stop I walked in front of the bike and looked down. There was most of the tumbleweed still lodged in front of the radiator. I wish I had the foresight to take a picture of it. It was rather strange looking.

Also that day we ran into dust devil sans dust. It appeared in the road in front of us and the only way I discovered it was that it had a half dozen tumbleweeds trapped in its vortex. That was a weird sight, a bunch of tumbleweeds doing a dance in the middle of the road. Now, I've never driven through one before so I didn't know how much wind I might encounter so I steered to the middle of the road and hung on tight. We did get a gust from the left followed immediately by one from the right, but it wasn't any worse that what we had already encountered on the trip.

The trip was uneventful into Blanding. We met a group of HD riders on their way to Sturgis via the Southwest. Seems like there are a lot on the road. We also met a couple of fellows from Pittsburg on 1800s also headed to Sturgis, indirectly. Speaking of riders we were passed by a Washington State HD rider and then ran into him at a gas station down the road. He was headed for a meet in Raleigh, NC. He lamented leaving his 1500 home. He mentioned a rather sore extremity due to the beating of the Harley.

Dinner was at the Old Timey Restaurant next door to the motel. I think it was a Best Western but you couldn't beat the price at $50.

The pictures from now on will be on