I wrote "X" trail for a couple reasons! The first one is because the road has a few names… a couple of them being "Burr trail" and "Boulder Bullfrog Scenic Road"… Another reason is, I would like to be selfish and keep this one for myself! Of course you know that will not happen. I am actually today real excited about sharing this ride we took. I know that every time I fall in… what’s the word? with a new road, I exclaim myself as "it" being my favorite. I know there is no such a thing, they each have their own personality, character and attraction, but, regardless, this one now has moved to number one and if you ever go through Boulder, that’s Utah, and do not ride or drive this road, you will miss out on an incredible experience.
60? Because… WOW… I made it this far! I have a funny and strange story about my birth date. I was born in obviously 1948, in Montpelier, south of France, where my parents at the time where both in Medical School. The story goes, as I still ask my mother every year about its truth, that on June 26th 1948 the weather was real stormy. At the time it seems that it was the parent’s obligation to go to City Hall and register their newborn. My father waited for fair weather obviously as officially every written document shows that I was born on the 28th! But it really is the 26th!…
4? Because it is also Spirit’s Birthday! When I rescued my buddy no one knew of course of his Birthday. The Vet said he should be about one, it has been three years now together. I had thought at the time of other dates, like maybe Christmas or New Year, but this is the one I came up with… as we can celebrate it together! What a perfect day it is. What more can we ask for. I have been very fortunate since the day our eyes met, that instant was all it took, it was as he was already talking at that very second, asking me to "please, take me home… let me out of here!"… as I did. He truly is my World.
300? Because, well… it is my 300th entry on this site since Spirit and I left Georgia, or was it Florida! 300 chapters in the Archives… too many pictures and too many words I imagine! But it is all there, a Geographical and Spiritual Journey as they will always be dedicated to my Son, Lance. What an irony that we are not physically together to share it all. I am learning to be content to share it from above it all. The times have been peaceful, a constant discovery of one’s self, Life, emotions, a few bumps here and there, and today our destination made it all special as the constant changes in the scenery and beauty surrounding us was an exceptional delight, a true rarity as one can see in the pictures… but as always, one needs to go and experience it themselves. 2 million total acres surrounding us! And we have barely scratched the surface.
This little Journal has grown so much since its beginning, we both have made so many good Friends, we have met a few on the way and maybe some day, who knows, we will have a big gathering with also many… Dogs! My Thanks are all special to the many that have supported us in more ways than one, I dislike so much thinking about the "needs" in fuel, tires, Internet… you name it, but for some reason, specially with increasing price tags, those services we use do not accept this site as a contribution! The one person as you all can also "Thank so much" is my Friend Brian… that’s the guy in the shadows that has relentlessly donated his time toward the constant upgrade and mechanics behind the scenes of this site. This would have never been the same without him… you can trust me on that one!
The day was so perfect with a bit cooler temperatures, a nice breeze and puffs of clouds as I was determined, harsh sun or not, to take a lot of pictures, and I did. I have truly enjoyed writing while on the road and even more doing some photography. I have kept them in chronological order this time, I need to as I can show you this road not to be missed. The start of it is Escalante to the little town of Boulder where we will be setting up home base very soon. Funny as I read a comment the other day from a reader mentioning that Boulder is only a "widen" in the road. Close! That is the reason I like it, population: 160, weather: much cooler, the locals?… they are all living there for the same reason we are passing by!
A few miles from Boulder, and the road has been paved by the way, are some former Sand Dunes, one called the "Sugar Loaf". This large scale cross-bedding pattern of the Sugar Load was caused by the eolian, or wind blown, deposition of sand dunes that were repeatedly buried and exposed over millions of years. The joining in the sandstone is the result of cracking related to slowly changing pressures in the rocks. Amazing… isn’t it? I previously, right outside Boulder, could not help walking around in the field of flowers mixed in with some whites and yellows. It was one of my gifts of the day, appearing suddenly as an uplifting invitation accepted with no hesitation. No doubt about who ordered those!
Spirit and I took a lunch and water break underneath the giant pine tree, with the nice breeze blowing the smells were so penetrating, I wish I knew exactly which plants they were coming from, it was like a pot pourri of them making me take some deep breathers. Suddenly as throughout the whole route, like a play with so many scenes constantly revolving, the stones turned to red with soft peak and what seemed like amongst the trees an Oasis which turned out to be a small campground. We rode in, cozy and a bit tight, we continued on the road seeing this sign to keep moving…
… and surprise, contrary to the sign there was no road, just a creek! Maybe they drive the creek… not us! Downhill it was, glad that I had stopped as soon as things did not look right but there was no room for us to turn around. They have Pit Bull pulling contests… maybe I should start training my buddy here as all he could do, out of his chair to lighten up the load is… lay down in the shade and watch me, without a doubt "laughing" on the inside. Obviously we (I) got out of there and after some catching up for my blood pressure to slow down took off again the other way.
These two pictures taken just a few miles away from each other show the incredible contrast of erosion between only such short distances. Water, sand and winds on the upper, working on its curvy surfaces for so many years reminding me a bit of the Antelope Slot Canyons, and the lower seemingly untouched, exposing all those neatly layers over layers as if over time a giant hand with much care had pressed them on top of each other.
Sometimes I will check the terrain on Google Earth to get an idea of it, a good move, but not this time as suddenly going downhill I saw this Canyon. Having no clue of what was waiting for us we stopped and I thought at least I will have a picture of it from that distance. This was scene two of the ride! A bit further down I had to stop again as now I saw where we were going. Nothing like a great surprise… riding through a Canyon. I remember even whistling to myself… like "wow… this is too much to take in!".
Totally exciting, the element of surprise was at its peak, I yet had to see one car going by either way, no one had ever told me about this beauty as now not even wanting to look at a map wondering how long the road was. There will be more changes of "scenes"!… as hard it is to believe, I will post those on part II of this Blog, but I feel so compelled to show the last "the epilogue" of this ride, which could have continued for days and will soon. Not ready to spend nights out with the camping gear left behind we rode to the end of this… little hill, and turned around! Surprisingly, as it happened with Mokey Dugway, a rider had warned me about the switchbacks as being barely rideable… I found them fun, the road had turned to dirt, a bit of washboard but totally doable. The trail came to a "T"… north or south which we will do both soon!
You got to love it… Oh! yes… we finally came across a couple cars passing by, one, tourists almost on empty… I stayed behind them on their way to Boulder just in case as I am always prepared to give away a bit of fuel…
Till next time, as always, you be well…
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Ara Gureghian 853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245 Naples, Fl 34108
Ara & Spirit