Day 38: Moab Rest Day
We decided to stay in Moab for an extra night, since we had people there to give us the grand tour of town.
Moab is a tourist center, and people come from all over the country and the world to see the rock formations at Arches National Park and go hiking, mountain biking, and ATVing.
Our hosts were locals though, and took us on a hike to the swimming hole. I felt pretty cool hanging out with the locals, and even found myself looking down on the tacky tourists.
We rode our bikes to the trail’s head and our host Christian led the way to the swimming spot. He wanted to bring us over top the canyon side, and then down into the canyon, which he promised would be more scenic. Unfortunately, we lost the trail and had to improvise, walking along the top of the canyon until we could find a spot with a slope gradual enough to slide/climb down.
After swimming in the creek that formed the canyon, we hiked back to our bikes and went back to make dinner.
Day 39: Moab to Green River, Ut.
The next day we had a short ride of 50 miles from Moab to Green River, Ut. The ride went through the desert on a busy two lane road out of Moab, filled with trucks and RV’s.
As usual, the scenery was awesome, with tall cliffs and rugged desert scrub. We rode thirty miles to the Interstate 70, and found a truck stop there. We had expected a whole lot of nothing until Green River, so anything we found was a pleasant surprise.
The Mexican themed truck stop reminded me of an attempt at South of the Border on I-95, and it even had its own mini tourist trap: a replica of the Mystery Mobile from Scooby Doo.
We ate lunch and moved on, riding along I-70 until we spotted a frontage road. It was paved just long enough for us to leave the highway well behind, but then turned into what can only be described as a series of gravel filled potholes for the next 15 miles. We limped into Green River, and were met by our hosts for the night.
Alabamboo team members Marc and Nicole were both involved with a nonprofit called Epicenter. The organization is made up of young designers that use their design skills (and any other relevant skills) to improve the economically depressed community of Green River. We stayed in Epicenter member Maria’s house (in beds) and were welcomed with a potluck dinner.
Day 40: Green River to Hanksville, Ut.
The next morning the team wanted to take their time leaving Green River. After all, we had a comfortable place to stay, and there were people to hang out with. We drank coffee, read emails, sent postcards and bought groceries, so we didn’t leave until about 2:30PM for the 50 mile ride through complete desert to Hanksville.
We rode along a two lane road, with a fair amount of RV traffic because of the national parks. As we reached the summit of a gradual mesa, my stomach dropped when I saw a big storm directly ahead, about 10 miles down the road.
I rode on, hoping it would pass to the side–but it didn’t. As we approached the storm, the lightning grew more frequent, but my riding partners rode on seemingly unfazed.
I, on the other hand, was getting nervous. We were definitely the tallest things out there, since there were no trees and we were on flat ground. Also, I had a large metal object (lightning rod) underneath of me.
I decided I needed to try to get a ride. I told the crew I was going to wave down a car, but they decided to continue on. I could only manage to get a ride back to Green River, from an Australian couple heading to Moab.
Once in Green River, I knocked on our host Maria’s door. She answered, and smiled and said “Oh hey!”, and then as she realized I should not be in Green River, the smile turned into a look of concern and I explained what happened.
I knew the rest of the group was fine, since they texted me that they found a ditch and hid in it while the storm passed. I got a ride from a friend of Maria’s back to the group and we finished the ride in the post storm calm to Hanksville.
*Side Note: A few days later, we found out that a hiker was struck by lightning and killed in the same vicinity as where were got caught in the storm. That happened a few days before we rode through the area.