There is no doubt in my mind today that regardless if one lives in isolation in the desert or right smack downtown of a big city…. it is "people" that will make the flow of one’s Life run with more ease and comfort. We all reach out in difficult situations, as I obviously did a couple days ago, realizing today that writing my words did not end up to be just for the fact to document an unpleasant situation, as so many of you reaching back with logic and kindness have made this bit of a somber situation a much brighter one within us, as I always try to find constantly the positive aspect of it all. "You" have been the positive of it all. A puff of dark cloud can be easily blown away by the friendly winds prevailing, you have been those winds and once again our blue skies are shining in company of the warm sun penetrating the days with only warm and "good feel" rays. As Lance would say "it is all good" and you are the cause of it… I "thank you all". I will take me some time to reply individually to each of you, as besides the comments, we have been flooded with e mails… and I should really not use the word "flooded" as they each took us a step forward toward our well being, but I will try my best to. We are putting it all behind, except for all those uplifting e mails, comments. A few years back, a "cliche" as it might sound… my favorite saying was "Life is Good". Three simple words that says it all, sums it up. I have not been able to say it in close to six years now since Lance got sick, it will never have quite the same meaning, but for the first time, reading all the words that have come in our direction, I will say it with its own today’s meaning: "Life is Good". You have made it "Good".
The days are long, been staying up pretty late and decided for a short run to Boulder seemed somewhere around high noon. We never stopped there on the way here and for once I decided to treat myself to a lunch out at the Burr Trail Grill & Outpost. Cloudy day, I have been told that the monsoons are coming, a good time to stay off the dirt roads as the back country here is not Moab where a Jeep will pass by every five minutes in case of a mishap. Stopping at the outlooks is becoming difficult… specially when Spirit is all decked out! I always say "poor Dog!" as I walk away letting him deal on his own with the tourists and the cameras. I have to say that he is "hilarious" in his acting as I know him well… he won’t even look at me! "I am busy" he says… Today he posed "with" 3 beautiful teenage girls traveling with their parents! They all fell in love with him and wanted to take him home. Not good… not good at all… I mean, look at this guy! He knows…
Somehow, just for today (!) I have misplaced the pads that are in his helmet, I think with the heat right now anything "adhesive" is just melting away. Reason for him wearing one of his many scarves. The helmet also protects his ears from the wind as I have noticed him not shaking his head at all when he wears it. Camera in hand I was pointing at couple at BMW GS’s coming by, to my surprise they slowed down and came parking by us . None other than Ron and his significant other and truly a funny kid! He has three brothers he explained, but none of them are tough enough to ride pillion long distance as he does! I apologize as I forgot their name… I think a pad and pencil is going to be a must from now on. Ron, if you remember, is the owner of no other than "Motorcycle Repair and Rendez Vous" in Salt Lake City, where "Old Faithful" had her "ignition sensor" transplant not too long ago! An alternative shop where you actually get to talk and meet the person that will be working on your bike!!!… what a concept… right? The good old fashion way…
I never forget such favors as for us travelers, even in busy season times for the shop, we like to get going! Suddenly as summer comes, everyone realizes maintenance that needs to be done… I have always done it in the winter time when the mechanics are not so busy, relaxed, and truly can approach the situation in such better fashion. There is not much riding going on anyhow at that time of the year. The moral of it all? Have your maintenance done in the winter time.
A great trio having a great time! They must had ridden the Burr Trail as sitting at the Grill they arrived after us. After much chatting with another rider and a bicyclist on a short few thousands of miles Journey… the word from the server was that Ron had taken care of my lunch! You have told me, written me… there are many nice people out there… and I am not saying that only because of an "invited" lunch! There are… Thank you Ron!
Grand Staircase Escalante! Protected since only 1996 after being decreed as a National Monument, it covers 1.7 million acres! Escalante and Boulder are in the middle of this rugged and beautiful country. We have not even been off the black top yet, sometimes I am wondering what we are waiting for to go and set up camp in those isolated areas waiting for us. We just have had no time yet and also doing much research as there are so many of them. We will be starting this week, weather permitting… as today we got caught in the rain, it felt great, but the dirt roads are impassable in that kind of weather with also much fear of flood flashes. Nothing to take lightly.
Elevation around those passes is close to 8000 feet, up to 9000… the grades anywhere between 8 and 14%! And why am I writing this information? Because we met another as I call them "roadside attraction". Joe… Joe left San Francisco June 1st of this year and is crossing the country to Ocean City, Maryland. So you are thinking, many travelers are en route, yes, many… but what is outstanding is that Joe is doing it on… roller blades! It was another U-Turn for us as I saw the baby carrier, a real high tech one with brakes and all sort of adjustments available where he carries his gear and helps him slow down on the downhill.
We talked for a bit, he has two months to do his own Journey till he returns to school for photo journalism! Not his first adventure as he did Australia last year, did not, unfortunately, quite finish it as he ran out of money. We talk about the uphills, having to skate basically on the gravel shoulders mainly so not to get runned over. It would be less tiresome to walk them, but, that is not the goal and even though he has to use a snow plow approach he still has more momentum with the wheels. And again, afterwards, I had the same feeling as when I had met Joff on his Pennyfarthing going around the world… we have an engine… I will never complain again of a back ache or a cross wind!!!
The area reminds me a bit of Canyon de Chelley with the vegetation growing at the bottom of the Canyon, with also both rivers running, "The Paria" river in the western area and the "Escalante River" in the eastern area. The eastern and southern areas are actually the last ones that have been explored and mapped, as I am sure there are some soil where human foot has yet to step on.
Well, fast forward it is morning already! Today there is not a cloud in the skies and we are saddling up for another ride, probably check out Burr trail today. I really like this area, I like the town of Escalante (elev 5812′) and also the little town of Boulder where it is cooler because of its elevation, 6675′. We might actually move there for a bit instead, 27 miles away as it is getting pretty hot here during the day.
Till next time, as always, you be well…
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