As we dropped out of our last high mountain pass, we took a break to eat lunch super excited by the days riding. Although we had been looking forward to hitting the passes, they exceeded our wildest expectations, and though still a bit dark and overcast, we had pulled through them with relatively good weather and the bikes running smoothly despite the high elevation.
Pushing on from the sparse and beautiful passes we found ourselves climbing through lush, rocky, forest roads. Still wet from the recent rainfall, we plowed through mud and pooled water having fun.
Riding fast, it felt great to let the bikes skitter over the rocks, and get loose through the mud. Eventually they started getting a bit too loose and my bike disappeared from under me sending me flying.
Bruised but not broken, I picked up the bike and we ventured on. The mud got thicker and thicker and we slowed almost to a standstill as it became impossible to get traction. It felt like riding on ice. Mud caked our already worn tires and was impossible to knock off. None of us had ever encountered such sticky thick mud, and it became the most frustrating slow riding ever as we crept forward.
And then it started raining ....
The roads turned to rivers, the mud continued and our bikes went down with increasing frequency. Not that fun.
After what seemed like a very long time we descended out of the forest hitting a gravel road. Although we had intended to push on farther and camp, I was spent, bruised and my bike was not happy. Mike was still having problems with his chain, my bike was having electrical issues, and we were all freezing cold and tired. We charged into town and happily checked into the first motel we encountered.
The next morning saw us feeling much better. We spent a few hours giving the bikes some love and then jumped back onto the TAT.
One of the things I most enjoy about riding is watching the landscapes slowly change mile by mile. Crossing from Colorado into Utah certainly didn't disappoint.
Riding hard, we were anxious to get to Moab. Our bikes needed tires and a few parts that were waiting for us. We also planned to take a few days to enjoy the national parks and surrounding riding.
We knew we were getting close when we started hitting the very characteristic beautiful Utah landscapes.
Finally pulling into Moab, we gassed up, gorged ourselves on good Mexican food, replenished alcohol stores and then went to find a nice, beautiful, isolated place to camp above town.