La Sal Mountain loop, Utah

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

This morning was en route to the Needles (South Canyonland) area where some friends were holding a camp spot for us. We were up early from being packed the night before, the usual get fuel,propane and food… southbound we went listening to the acoustic guitar tunes of Govi and letting the mind travel back. The skies were blue and only one cloud was laying ahead of us on the horizon, covering the mountain tops as protecting them from the sunrays. One whitetail deer was on the side of the road, immobile and only turned his head as we passed, as he seemed satisfied I could see him in my rear view mirror going back into his habitat. One blue bird, a Blue Jay, flew with us for more feet along as I can remember any other bird. I knew we had company, Spirit has never been my only companion on this Journey.

Lasal sunset G

You are looking at La Sal Mountains, again! They have been our landscape these past few days… looking a bit dreamy on that evening after riding through it. A really nice loop not to miss, suddenly it is not Moab’s portrayal anymore as altitude is gained and all suddenly changes.


Peter, Landon and Marcella joined us around noon as we were leaving… with two cars and the promise that they would just follow us and stop as often for pictures as we do. I truly doubted it would happen that way as we stop a lot, sometimes for a while, waiting for just that right moment of a cloud passing by or Spirit and I going for a walk, but the company was great. Riding is one thing, photography is another… I have realized that they are two different spaces one can be in. One starts seeing the scenery in "frames" and has to stop exactly at that point, that moment which even a minute later can be too late. It does infringe on the riding! Just cannot do both at the same time… I remember the first time we came to Needles and riding back as even the sun was setting and the frames where passing by, not stopping, maybe just once as with a tail wind the riding was just to awesome to stop. That cool wind on the face has to be the best medicine ever prescribed.

La Sal Mtns 3

The day was so perfect for pictures. Bright deep blue skies, nice cotton ball clouds, all seemed as such a Masterpiece to try to capture through the lens.

La Sal Mtns 2  

La Sal Mtns 1 G

The roads in great condition, with just a bit of snow on its sides at one of the main lookouts, managed to make a little snow man for Spirit who wondered probably why he suddenly had to share "his" car with another… did not last long! A snowman in May!

snow man G

The views are magnificent and all along passed a few miles Castle Valley appears with its own red rocks named the Priest and the Nuns. We had been there before, that day was just a different moment, every day looks different here, the sun light having the ability to set up the scene as it wants to.

Spirit G  

View 1 La Sal Mtns G

We stopped, chatted, everyone had brought their lunch… mine was Swiss cheese and avocado sandwich! Why?… because I ran out of peanut butter and Jelly!… Yes, it is down to that after 40 years of cooking… peanut butter and jelly. "Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have". We had started the loop too early, and the sun was still up quite high when we arrived through Castle Valley and finally the Colorado River Junction. It was only a 43 mile ride from the campsite to Moab… not enough stops!

Priest and Nuns G  

Junction 1 G

I think everyone was already tired… that is the word I got anyhow that all wanted to return. Well, we followed suit, I was not ready, there was a chance however to look at their campsite for us to move there, there must have been some crossed messages as as soon as I took my helmet off I was told that we could not camp there… "much silence makes a powerful noise". And turn of events… passing through Moab the sight of an Ural sidecar made Old Faithful (not me!!!) want to stop and chat… travelers… side road attractions! Vandy and Holly from Salt Lake City on a month vacation… Their first stop, Moab! Perfect scenario and picture…

From SLC G 

Wonderful couple, we now have more Friends in Salt Lake City when some day we pass through it. Too many tires?… they are due for them to be changed… why not just carry them! But it did not stop there… another couple and I am so sorry I forgot your names… (I need to carry a note pad with me!) traveling from Holland this time, which we had met the Saturday before at the balloons launching also stopped!… you would think that would be all? No… Ritchie from Louisiana was also in the neighborhood, a reader of this web site, suddenly it was a busy meeting all of us trying to catch up on stories, destinations, Life on the Road…

From Holland G  

LA rider G

Ritchie is actually a fan of Spirit… no doubt about it, what would Life be without him! Moab is a HUB, a busy one too, have been seeing more and more travelers on two wheels, travelers in Expedition Campers, such as Johan and Diane also frm Holland, guess how long they have been on the road now?… 8 years!

Johan and Diane G  

Johan and Diane's truck

Very smart idea to have a flat bed and design a Cargo Box as living quarters and of course a little motorcycle. I think it was an old MV Augusta and the couple from Holland was riding an older Honda 500… riding double with also a trailer that was left behind at their campsite. I mention the bikes because I am old school… to me two wheels is two wheels, four wheels is four wheels and of course lets not forget… three wheels is three wheels! I have been reading lately some serious "other brands" bashing in a magazine that I really don’t want to mention as it does not matter… but who really cares what you ride… It is the Journey… it is not even the destination, remember Joff on his PennyFarthing! That to me is the best example one can give… and I should leave it at that… but it was not all.

Indians 4 G  

Indians 3 G

Indians 1 G  

Indians 2 G

A block away a group of Old Indian riders from Amsterdam! "2008 Amsterdam to Las Vegas Tour"! I love the wiring… the set ups… I love the personality of those bikes coming from thousands of miles away, some leaking good oil and I bet those riders knew their bikes inside out as well or maybe even better than I know Old Faithful. Could not reach the riders, probably dining at restaurant near by, maybe we will see them again. It never stops does it? Sometimes I feel like just parking on Main Street Moab and wait to see what the traveling path will bring! That day was just a minute example… Well, for the first time we have a bad storm outside, lightning and I better shut this down before the worse happens… We "are" in the Desert after all..

Till next time… have a great day, come and visit! Utah is beautiful…

You be well and stay well…   Ara & Spirit

Have you checked the T-shirts? "Throw the Dog a Bone!"… T-shirtsMouse padsPhotography

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Ara Gureghian   853 Vanderbilt Beach Rd #245   Naples, Fl 34108

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6 Responses to “La Sal Mountain loop, Utah”

  1. joe Says:

    The Honda looks like a CX 500. My first new bike was a 1979 model and I rode it over 80k before giving it to my brother. Water cooled and 4 valve heads were progressive at that time, espically for a 500cc bike.

  2. Dee Says:

    Hi Ara, i just want to say that I love your pictures.They are like being right there. Thanks,enjoy your site. Dee

  3. Kim Says:

    Wow!!! Wow!!! I don’t think I want to hear a complaint from you again about your photos. Since you have arrived in Utah, you have published so many fantastic photos. I’m saving the map, we have to do that route when we get to Moab. Keep up the good work. Talk again soon.

  4. Denny Gibson Says:

    “Moab is a HUB”? I’d not have guessed that but I’ve seen the proof. And Indians from Amsterdam! A very cool day with photogenic scenery, people, and machinery.

  5. Brian from Kansas Says:

    Ara, We had a chance to chat with you and Spirit on Hwy 91 (May 5th?). We were on the Dakar and KLR and had just completed the La Sal loop. Did you ever find that burned out bridge? Cheers.

  6. Hayley from Moab, Utah Says:

    These are beautiful photos! I’m glad you enjoyed Moab. It’s nice to find a respectful couple of tourists in this busy little town! Anyway, I just found your photos and thought I’d give a ‘hello’ from a local!

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