Of all of Utah's National Parks, surely Arches is at the peak. "Park Avenue" is the opening act.
Yesterday we slipped out of Moab and drove 15 minutes to Arches National Park with the thought in mind of biking the entire 22 mile length of the road and back, leisurely taking in all the sites from our saddles. Maybe for some. But we quickly found the route to be more steeply graded than we expected, and the heavy traffic on the shoulder-less roads to be a major distraction. So we turned around at 8 miles out, came back to the trusty Bigfoot and experienced Arches the way it was intended. On four wheels.
Balancing acts like none other.
At one point you have to hike about 2 miles up a trail to see the bashful Delicate Arch. The top of the trail reminds me of the summit of B.C.'s Mount Albert Edward.
Delicate. Please do not touch.
We called it a day and peeled out for Green River, UT with only 25 km of Utah riding on the card. Had a great rest at a State Camping Park. Today we bolted 260 miles to Vernal, UT and another lovely park, the Dinosaur National Monument. While Nick took in the excavation hike, BikerBuck rode the length of the road out and back for another 16 miles, hitting the mark for 50 km in Utah.
My new best friend Dino!
So we've set the precedent now that mileage in any one state can be cumulative. That may become even more important as we plan our routes for the next three states. We're in Green River, Wyoming at Tex's Travel Camp tonight still searching the web for a proper ride in a place that does not have a flood alert or snow in the forecast. There is one bike route in this town, it's about 2 miles long. I hope we don't have to settle for lapping it 16 times tomorrow to notch WY. Keep your fingers crossed.