July 12th 2009 03:59 pm

Moto-Camping Day 5 (late post)

Moto-Camping Day 5 (late post)

Posting this on day 6:

So I made Moab, made the hostel, didn’t care for either, although I met nice people there.  Moab struck me as incredibly touristy–and pricey.  The hostel was neither of those.  I stayed at the Lazy Lizard hostel, which was cheap at $9/night for a dorm bed and I did laundry and shaved.  But I wouldn’t call it “the best” (as they claim) anywhere.

I met Sara(h?) from Syracuse, New York, who had called her husband in tears to come get her when she got to the hostel (he didn’t come, but was worried).  She stuck it out; once you get past the looks of the place, the people were quite nice and interesting.  I met Charley, who was saving money for a six-month trip to Europe, but who loved the desert around Moab and had lived at the hostel for about a year (working there) to be in the area cheap.  I met a tour guide who’d done Europe, Mexico, and was now doing the desert (as a guide).

I treated myself to a real dinner and two oatmeal stouts at a local microbrewery (which somehow gets around the 3.2 beer situation that the rest of Utah can’t avoid).

But I made the decision to leave as soon as I could.  At 5:30 local time (4:30 in CA), I had the bike loaded while everyone else slept and I took off.  It was 75 degrees then and I went straight to the Arches National Park where an hour later it was already 85 degrees and climbing fast.  The sunrise was beautiful on the red sandstone, though, and I took some pics, walked a bit (sorry Jane, not the ones you suggested), then high-tailed it (well, I did stop for breakfast in Moab).  No more 110+ heat!

Heading south out of Moab, I caught Highway 46 east into Colorado–a nondescript (but nice) highway until it dropped into the Paradox Valley (I didn’t ask anyone what conundrum begat the name) and the San Miguel River basin.  There it became positively beautiful–and a fabulous motorcycle road winding through a shallow canyon.  Eventually I made it to Montrose, CO, and then headed east to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park–I was hoping there’d be a campsite on a Saturday afternoon…

And there was and it is gorgeous!  I’m staying three nights, it is so nice.  Continued…

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