Red Rocks and 95 Miles Per Hour

Day 7 – Miles for Peace Motorcycle Adventure –

Moab – the name is nearly as saturated in American culture as Kleanex was some years ago. A name synonymous with those who live in the edge and crave a landscape dotted with 4×4 shops and off-road trails. Our trip through Moab started with Arches National Park and the absurdly long line of 4 wheel gas guzzling machines waiting patiently for permission to pass the ranger station. Entering Arches National Park and biking through is tight turns and breathtaking landscapes is something to behold. At almost every angle, we were presented rock formations jutting from the desert sand, resembling what I would best describe as the mouth of an elderly man who has the uncanny ability to whistle through the missing teeth.

Following our 2-3 hour drive and hike in Arches National Park, we decide to follow the advice of fellow road warrior, Brent (the biker we met at the gas station yesterday). He had recommended that we stop by an awesome camp site named Thousand Lakes which features cabins that can be rented for the unheard of price of $40 per night. After calling and attempting to make a same-day reservation, which initially resulted in being told it was booked, we were able to fill someone’s cancellation and begin our 2 hour journey to the camp site.

As our engine screamed and the needle approached and soon passed 85mph, I crouched down and pulled the throttle harder. With the tachometer pushing about 5000rpm, I hold it at about 95mph. The wind is so strong at this point, it feels as though someone is twisting my neck when I turn my head to look at the side view mirrors. As the sign approaches, I squint to confirm that j do in fact see 80 and not 60mph as the maximum speed. I stiffen my neck and turn my head to the left while lowering my chest to the tank bag, a action that causes Sigga to also lower herself as we become part of this hunk of metal flying down the highway.

Turning out of Hanksville and towards Capitol Reef National Park I notice a familiar site, my odometer, which I reset every time we fill this Bonneville with 87 octane, is just about to click on 60 miles. Confident that we will find another gas station before we reach the danger zone of 120miles we forge on and into the breathtaking Capitol Reef National Park. As we progress along its winding rods, both through mountain and meadow, I see a deer, equally surprised to see us as we are her, quickly lifts her head to look at us, following the path of our bike around the sleepy turn.

As my concentration slowly moves drifts from my surrounds and back the odometer now appraoching 100miles, I realize that we will need to find gas in the very near future.  Now becoming desperate to see at least some assurance of respite ahead, I lock eyes on a fast approaching sign, “Torrey – 50 miles” with a symbol for gas just below the city name. A sense of panic washes over me as I realize two things; either the bike will surprise us and somehow pull its longest ride of 150 miles without stalling or we will be pushing the bike to the next station. Contemplating this, I lean to my right and towards the throttle so Sigga can look at the gas light which is casting an orange glow over the tachometer; She tightens her grip.

As the odometer approaches 140 and impending doom is awaiting us, I pull into what appears to be a ranger station. Hopeful that I can beg my way into some gasoline, I walk up to the door and realize that it’s closed. Slowly pacing around the parking lot and contemplating our options, I see a German couple approaching the car nest to us. Quickly, I shorten the distance between and open the conversation with our gasoline woes. Surprisingly, they respond with empathy in their voice “sure, you can have some gas but do you have a hose?” We acknowledge the inevitable, thank them, and start the bike, willing to drive until every last ounce of this fossil fuel is combusted by the engine and disappears into the atmosphere. Just as we turning back onto highway 24, we see two bikers on the shoulder of the road. Reflecting on all the kind bikers I’ve met in the past 7 days, I share my conundrum with them and to my surprise, one biker in particular whose name was Steve, a tall man with graying hair and a Gore-tex riding suit, takes pity on us and accompanies us to the gas station some 10 miles away.

Pulling into Thousand Lakes RV park and being pleasantly surprised by the conditions of our cabin; two double beds with a bunk bed on the right side of the room. While walking around the room, marveling at what will be our overnight accommodation, I feel a palpable temperature difference in the room and realize that it is indeed heated. Dropping my shoes under the heater with the intent of having nice and toasty feet in the morning, I notice what appears to be three bibles stacked in the bedside cabinet. Not surprised being that we are in midwest, a historically religious part of the United States, I fall on the bed, arms outstretched and reflect on the trip so far. Just before I take out my iPad to draft todays article, I look out of the small cabin window to see red peaks jutting into the sky in the distance. What a trip…

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