We like Moab. It’s a fun tourist town geared toward adventure activities; rafting, hiking, mountain biking, dirt biking, four-wheeling. The hiking was great but the weather was in the high nineties. The pool at the Sleep-Inn felt good. We were surprised at all the foreign tourists around. At the pool there were French, Germans, Italians and us. Good time, everyone is here for a good time.
We planned to hit the road early because of the heat. This is the Friday before Labor Day weekend. Heidi is worried the campsites and motels will be full so we plan to look for a place to hunker down for the entire weekend. At an adventure shop in Moab I looked at a great map of the state with contour gradients and listing for tons of camping spots. I’m glad I studied the map because the Utah state map you get free from the state doesn’t have any of the National Forest campsites listed. There are a ton of them.
Out in the parking lot early in the morning we were talking with three couples, all 2-up on motorcycles. One couple had their own Gold-Wing with a huge custom painted trailer. The other two couples rented bikes in Salt Lake City where they flew to from Iowa. The women asked Heidi how she packs for two years. They all had a good laugh while Heidi expounded about not having any shoes along. I think I overheard her bragging about having eight bikinis along. Hmmm… We could have talked all morning but like a sailor who needs to hit a weather window, we had to cut it short and get going. We were planning on doing the Burr-trail road right through Capital Reef Park but with predicted temperatures around 105 degrees we changed our plans again, head for the hills where the temps will be cooler.
The morning light shining on the hill formations around Moab is spectacular. It felt like we were seeing it again for the first time, beautiful. We didn’t take much time for photos. The urge to just keep riding while in this type of landscape is overwhelming. We just concentrate on enjoying the ride. This is biking country. If you are a biker, road or dirt the Moab area is not to be missed. Heidi and I can’t say enough about the place. A ‘do-again’ for sure.
At the map I looked at in Moab I remembered seeing a lot of camping in the national forests around central Utah. On the map we have we see a couple of big lakes with peaks at around 10, 000 feet. That sounds good, Fish lake National Park, here we come. Heidi was a little nervous, the map we had showed no camping anywhere near where we are heading. I assured her that I remember seeing a lot of camping around this area on the map I looked at in Moab. We just go for it.
The ride was uneventful. All we can say is Utah is one fantastic place to ride…..
We turn north on highway 24 off the main road. There are no markers saying it is highway 24 but I knew it had to be it. The road starts heading up in altitude. We could feel the temperatures start to cool. Utah has a lot of free camping all over. We start seeing campers congregating around some of the ideal areas in the Mountains. We also pass a few National Forest campsites but we wanted to try Fish Lake. If I can’t catch a fish there I have problems, Fish Lake!
We pull into Bowery campground. Tons of birch and pine trees surrounding a crystal clear blue lake. We tooled through the camp and almost all the sites had reservations stickers on them. The campsites are on the side of a mountain and are steep. We ride through a small loop way up at the top. A road sign said “Tent camping only” I’m not making any of this up. We get what we think has to be the best camp spot in the place. It has a high-up lake view, a rushing mountain spring babbling right next to us, privacy and tons of hiking starting right there. I pay for three nights. We are set for the entire Labor Day weekend. YES….
Breakfast…..first time cooking something that isn’t entirely from a can.
My specialty, pork and bean omelet. Yum!
There was a lot of activity around the lake. This is a popular place. A lot of people hauled boats. The lake has a resort on both ends and in the middle. The lodge at the middle resort looked about 200 years old. The dining area is huge and double as a Mormon church on Sundays. It’s all log construction built right on the lake. It felt like we stepped back in time. There are hiking trails circling the lake and leading up into the mountains and forest. The resorts have free hiking trail maps of the area. You could devote a week to hiking all the back country trails here.