I left my campsite yesterday and had a delightful ride to the Capitol Reef’s border. It started off as a nice and sunny day and I got breakfast at the Tamarisk overlooking the Green River, aptly in a city called Green River. I looked at the weather that was forecast for the park: thunderstorms and/or snow. Foo. I reserved a room at a Super 8 in Richfield, UT.
On the way into the park I came upon a convertible Mustang — blue with the classic Ford white racing stripes. We were both passing slower traffic as we got closer to the park itself. He started to drive a bit, umm, spirited, and I followed suit — him in a sports car and me on an overgrown dual-sport kitted out in camping gear. In 5th gear I was able to keep up just fine. I scrubbed some of the chicken strips off my tires. There’s still some there, but I’m not in a hurry to rid myself of them.
As a complete aside, why does it feel so natural for me to hang off the side of a bike? I’m not to the point of dragging a knee or anything (especially on such a monsertously tall bike!), but I was setting up for corners and everything. It just felt so right. It was the perfect road to be a hooligan. Even with all this said I wasn’t driving 10-10ths. I was maybe dialed up to 5-10ths. The Mustang and I were just driving what the road would safely allow with a goodly margin of safety.
We got closer to the visitor center and came up to a slower car. Reaching up over the windshield he gave me an enthusiastic thumbs up which I promptly returned.
I checked into the park’s visitor center and got my passport stamped. I inquired at the desk about any hikes that I might be able to go on, the ranger let me know of a couple that might suit the day. I filled up on water and visited the campground. I just wanted to see if I would have been lucky enough to get a spot. Indeed I would have been, there were two sites still up for grabs a passing ranger in a golf cart informed me. It was only 12:30 and things were mostly filled up. (I guess the hyper-legal speeds got me there first!)
I drove down the road the campground was on. I can tell why the Mormons would want to settle someplace like this. Fruita is damn near a paradise. Tall red stone cliffs carved by the Fremont river with a little bit of fertile ground around that.
Continuing down the road I got to a pay area. I paid my $10 and proceeded down the road. Slender and winding. Soon enough the pavement ran out and I was left with a winding dirt road going into Capitol Gorge. Simply gorgeous… gorges?
Turning around I got to see my first drops of rain for the day. In the distance there was a flash of lightning. I considered going down another side dirt road. The sign warned to not go down there in case of inclement weather due to risks of flash flooding. An impending thunderstorm seemed to fit the bill so I opted out of that adventure.
Not staying the night seemed like the right answer. Driving past the visitor center I punched in “Richfield, UT” into the Zumo and continued down the road. I passed the recommended hike as the rain poured down.
The rest of the ride was just going through rural Utah on the way to the Super 8 in Richfield. Pleasant.
I checked into the hotel. As I unloaded the bike onto one of the two queen beds I noted that the hallways smelled vaguely of curry.
Today’s intended target: southern Idaho! I have my eye on a state park next to a lake there.