firehorserider

adventures with Henk the Buell

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Celebrating people, ideas & things that make the world a better place. Kitchen Chemistry, Social Alchemy, Adventure Activism.

Monday, September 12, 2005

I thought I’d spend the night in Bliss after waking up at Hell’s Gate on Sunday morning, but Bliss is just a blip surrounded by Idaho farmland, so I pushed on deeper into the south of the state that surprised me turn after turn. I don’t know what I expected from Idaho. Potatoes? Idaho is shockingly beautiful once you get past the “guns and ammo” stores and the “Denny’s” and the pawn shops that line the main street of every little town.

I flew past a million shades of brown in the sunlight that wasn’t supposed to be there according to the weather network. Freshly cut fields of hay, shorn in perfect rhythmical lines in all directions, formed a rolling patchwork quilt, perfect for fall. What I wasn’t expecting was the curves and the deeply cut canyons. I caught a firey sunset coming in to Lewiston and stopped far above the town on my firehorse to watch pinks and purples dance on the steep rock faces. Then I camped at Hell’s Gate, miraculously, nightmare free.

Today I rode under an enormous cloud covering the whole of Northern Utah. The winds were strong, pushing me along from the north west, and I only got sprinkled on for two hours. My fingers had just gone numb when I saw blue sky and puffy white clouds ahead to the south. Once I hit Salt Lake City I peeled off my raingear, then rode the rest of the day in hot sunshine.

I was awestruck on Highway 6. I rounded a steep turn about an hour out of Moab and had my eyes filled with the boundless space and enormity of the cathedral-like rocks on the horizon. The only response worthy of such a sight was an operatic ululation. I sing Himalayan chants in the rain, om’s in the sunshine, and opera in the magnificent red rock canyons of Utah. Good thing this is a solo trip.

From what I can tell in just a few hours in Moab, this place rocks. It’s an outdoor-lovers’ paradise, complete with the Colorado River running soft and mighty through steep multi-colored canyons where people climb and hike and mountain bike.
The sun sets all over these red rocks, creating multiple hues of purple and an astounding variety of shapes and shadows. I haven’t yet found a vegetarian café, but several menus I’ve seen are “vegetarian friendly.”

When I crossed the border on Saturday in the rain, jobless, homeless, penniless, and alone, I told the customs officer I was just riding a quick circle back into Alberta, a two-day ride. The thing is, though, I saw a patch of open sky off to the south, and Henk being Henk, well, he just jumped off the interstate into the belly of the beast. Yup. Henk's brave. I’m just along for the ride.

I’m hoping he'll take me to revisit the enormous heart of America’s Southwest after playing awhile in her bubbling belly.

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