Down the Burr trail, part II, Utah

Saturday, June 28th, 2008


We hang out in Boulder last evening, it is a one blink town with many local dogs, dogs which have a strong meaning to the locals which in turn means a lot to me. A few miles further up on the hills a new fire has started and already a command post has been established, it makes it for a nice picture but all for the wrong reasons. The town is not far from it but the wind I was told at this time of the year will blow the smoke away from it. We stopped one more time on the way back, just about the perfect time to ride in the cool air of a sunset on these roads that are so inhabited from any traffic.

fire sunset

Burr Trail has been on my mind quite a bit since we rode it to the "T" which next time will give us a choice to go north or south. South will be my first choice to camp on Lake Powell. It has become almost an obsession to return, there is a slot canyon to be seen and just the thought of spending a few nights feeling as a grain of sand within this vast land is overwhelming me. As I read this the other day…

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"It is a lovely and terrible wilderness, harshly and beautifully colored, broken and worn until its bones are exposed… and in hidden corners and pockets under its cliffs the sudden poetry of Spring"  Wallace Stegner ~ Wilderness Letters 1960

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My photos are almost taking a different path it seems. Present within the beauty of the land every square inch each attracts my senses, photos are taken and when returned seeing them on a screen they are just not conveying the feels acquired while there! It is now looking at them, it was then looking at the reality of them while present. The more beautiful those past moments where it seems the less the photos are projecting what I felt then… they are photos without the touch and feel ability, for example as that Canyon projected. It is normal, it is logical… they seem to be in "black and white" missing everything I felt while present at the moment taken!

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I wonder if all this makes any sense! Millions of years it has taken for these pot holes to form, water, pebbles flowing, the currents one day at the time carving without a rest, and today the same water plays such an important factor within the ecosystems which are so varied and always trying to find a way to exist. This dry environment today receives very little water in contrast with the long distant past. It collects where it can, in cracks, potholes, narrow streams… and where it collects plants and animals are abound.

Burr 31

I remember whistling when I saw this gigantic Arch! I cannot help always being amazed! Such a shelter it must have been wondering how many families just a few centuries ago depended on its shade and rain cover for their goods. The Canyon is long. We stopped maybe too many times, a few water breaks even though I now leave a water bowl in front of Spirit at all time when such temperatures are up. The cover always on and I am sure that even some of the water spilling cool off his feet.

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The scenery and rock formations started to change as suddenly being on another route so obvious specially when looking back… and looking forward. This was the last curve out of the Canyon…

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I did not know it at the time as again all changed and I could see as far as the horizon allowed.

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Still on black top road we went on as a few miles later the road changed into unpaved. A good road, a bit of washboard, but definitely good for Grand Ma’s Buick. This is where, I have to admit, to my surprise… as I like surprises, "Capitol Reef National Park" started. Scene 3 or was it scene 4? Within just a few miles again the rock formations changed and the camera did not get too much of a rest.

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Burr 40  

There was the sign, but no gate. We still had not seen a car or any type of vehicle! Time to stop and look at the map. My GPS has not been downloaded with the local roads, something to do with this laptop not having the right plug or something like that! It still tells me where are in the big scheme of things and the bread crumb trail will always get us back to the starting point in case we get lost… which of course never happens! I hope you believe that one…

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We then arrived to another chapter of the ride! Ah! The one we had been warned about just a few days earlier… the scariest road ever, the steepest, the famous switchbacks of the Burr trail! So, like everything else, roads are also subjective. Same was with Mokie Dugway. Finally a car happened to come by, a Subaru with a bicycle on top, in such days one can remember each car passing by! I watched it go down the hill and either they had redone this road or the rider must have been new at being on wheels. Of course a bit intimidating but definitely nothing to fear, a fun set of switchbacks which only lasted one mile.

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We found some more shade at the bottom, before coming to the sign that will direct us next time when taking a few days instead of one, we almost finished all our water, some birds where fighting in the air breaking the total silence of the moment with Spirit his ears up listening and trying to follow the commotion, after of course rolling in some nice powdery sand… I had to take a picture of him! Suddenly he was not brendel anymore, but the color of dust seemingly with as having make up around his eyes!!!

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Would be more than happy to take you down that road if ever in the area! I might have even found the Slot Canyon by then…

Till next time, as always, you be well…

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