The only way to clean up after 'the adventure' was to do it African style in the river.
Taking the long road home!A couple of days after the 'mountain bike' adventure, Huddle and myself threw on our running shoes, and headed up the mountain for one last run, before we rolled out of town and started the journey home. It had been a nice break, but we honestly felt like we had just 'decompressed' and a couple more days would 'do us a solid'. However, onto the Interstate 70 we headed West, for the trek through Utah, a left at the 15 to Vegas and on home. But something happened out there on the 70. We have driven that highway on our way to Boulder every year for the past 10-12 years. It is long, lonely but fairly spectacular in places. After a routine stop for gas in Green River, (neither of us ready to get home just yet), we made a left and headed into the mountains of Southern Utah.
All these years we have passed so close to Bryce Canyon and the Zion National Park. There is also Brian Head (a favorite ski and mountain bike retreat). But had we ever bothered to see any of this. Hell no!!! There was never any time to waste - got to get back home ASAP, there' training to be done!!!! Well I can finally say we have reached the point where it is the adventure and the scenery along the way that pulls a little stronger. We made the drive into Bryce Canyon National Park. It was magnificent - to think that it used to be the bottom of the ocean. Then on the drive through the Dixie National Forest we were amazed to find groves of Aspen trees (yes, they are not exclusive to Colorado), growing out of old lava (as in volcano) beds. This had been hotbed of volcanic activity. You have to wonder that Hawaii may look just like this in a few million years. Endless groups of deer wandered across the very quiet roads of these national forest areas, where we were still at elevations of 7000-10 000 feet.
Finally we headed down the mountain through Brian Head, to Cedar City, where we decided to spend the night. This place had just been a dot on the map, or a quick gas stop all these years. Never a place worthy of any consideration. Well what a surprise we got. This is Boulder or Tucson 15 years ago. A college town, with big quiet roads, small town feel, and just the beginnings of that accelerated growth. Situated right in a valley (at 5800feet elevation), surrounded by national parks, and just a couple hours either way to Vegas or Provo. It was an absolute gem.
The next day - still not ready to hurry home - we took a quick jog up the Cedar canyon, and then headed off to explore a few more places down the way. Paul had always wanted to check out Hurricane, Utah (just across the highway from St George. A small town, but it certainly has potential - they had a good coffee shop, and by our standards that is a big plus. Then short of heading down to Lake Powell and renting a houseboat to sail off into the sunset -we realized that it was finally time to come home. Nothing can bring you back down like the drive through Vegas and then into the pristine smog of Riverside. But as we unpacked our truck and look ahead at the second half of the year, we are still resonating with the thrill of discovering our new favorite place - the mountains of Southern Utah!!!!