Day 9: Glowing Trees (Beth)

After stuffing ourselves with a tasty breakfast, we left the border and dove right into Utah.  Only a few miles after we started, we hit Sheep Creek Geological Loop.  Great sites!  Although, we realized it was about 20 miles of on and off gravel roads and we had a longer trek to make today, so we saw a few miles of it and turned around to the main road again.

Okay, I’ll let you in on something:  the route we took in Utah today housed some of the most spectacular sites we’ve seen in the US to this point!  Every time we banked a turn, the scenery was picture worthy.  The most surreal tidbit I saw included mammoth mountains in the background, stately evergreens in the near background cradling a piece of pasture, and in the pasture, tall, skinny Dr. Suess-like trees with white trunks and little tufts of green hair on top.  Those trees were surrounded by thick green grass and the occasional stowaway shrub.  And all of this was on a mountaintop to begin with!

Unfortunately, we could only stop so often or else we would never finish our trip!  Here’s a taste:

We covered such a varied patch of terrain today.   One of my favorite stretches was in Ashley National Forest.  The mountains/ridges sucked in their guts and a squished together to make some remarkable valleys.  It was like riding through a good action movie where any way you turned your head, something new was unfolding.  To our right and our left would be mountains, with the road crammed in between.  Just next to the road would be a narrow patch of land and in the middle of that were long snake-like stretches of natural trench where water used to run high.  The colors were vibrant all around; the mountains were mother to hunter green evergreens, dead, leafless purplish trees, and neon green trees.  Honestly, these bright leafed trees looked so radiant against the mountainside canvas- they looked like they were practically glowing.

We ran across what looked to be old honest to goodness homesteads in one of those valleys.  This was too good to pass up; we had to explore!  Going into the “house,” it looked like someone actually had a bedframe in there at one point, but it was broken up and mangled by this point.  There was debris inside and out, but somehow it still managed to look awesome in this setting!

After leaving Ashley National Forest, we continued on our way to Moab, our destination for the day.  The land opened up and you could see for miles and miles and miles.  At one point, I could see a 105 car train (I counted!) from beginning to end in my line of vision!  Riding into the Canyonlands… I can’t even describe it.  I’ll tackle that chore when I write the blog post later.

Once we reached Moab, we got settled in, had to do the mandatory laundry run, and got a late, late dinner.

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