Having been disappointed many times (almost every time, actually) we knew better than to base our plan on a likely fickle forecast. But since it didn't waver for a week leading up to our departure day, well, we assumed (ass/u/me).
|I've went OTB twice on this section before "cleaning" it a couple years ago|
|Red dirt, boulders, white sandstone and snowcapped La Sal Mountians. What could be better when it's mud season in Lovely Ouray?|
|Salt Valley, with Arches National Park beyond. Definitely a No Claustrophobia Zone.|
A good portion of the Alaska Loop bounces over rough sandstone. A color-coded dotted line marks the route...
|Another vantage point of the La Sal Mountains in the distance, Salt Valley below, and Arches National Park to the left. So alluring, Utah.|
|The mesmerizing trail snakes between car-sized boulders|
|Yet another ridge top view|
Needless to say, I made the ride and lived to tell the story. What I saw and felt though, could fill a book.
Below is a representative collection of photos from various hikes and bike rides since we arrived in The Red Desert...
|Spiral Petroglyph...some believe it is associated with water|
It is said that a professional writer is nothing more than an amateur who doesn't quit. Perhaps. But I have yet to get a check in the mail after over ten years of drivel. A real writer can fill a blank page on an "off" day, when there is little to no inspiration. It's their job, just like when we went off to our respective treadmills 5 days a week in order to get a paycheck. Imagine the self doubt and anxiety of being a writer who never gets published or paid. With a blog, well, at least I get "published."
It seems I can only write nonfiction. My true life stories evolve from simple outings, albeit some of the most dramatic settings. They involve the usual suspects, you know, mountains, deserts, flowers, waterfalls. Easy peasy. It's not like I climb Everest or trek across the Sahara, for Christ's sake. Then I take a few (ok, lots) of my better photos and wrap them with a few paragraphs of ornamental drivel in hopes that it might inspire someone, somewhere to get outdoors and move around. I guess one could say it's my "purpose," small as it is, at least until something better or more productive comes along.
But good things can come from aimless, small beginnings. It is those photos and that drivel that ushers me back in time, to memories of thoughts and feelings and inspiration that would have otherwise been long forgotten in a week or two. I mean, think about your last trip or any previous vacation. You have photos to remind you where you went, but how many of us can remember how we felt...our actual thoughts or ideas or goals that came as a result of visiting a certain landscape? What did you think and how did you feel the first time you stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon? A mountaintop? A rocky cliff face overlooking an angry sea? Did it not move you or inspire?
I think that's why we should write shit down more. Because someday, when mind, body and spirit are withered and wrinkled by toil and time, someone might just enjoy or possibly take inspiration from flipping through a few pages of our lives. I don't know, Me thinks it's better than a headstone with a brief epithet that summarizes an entire lifetime.
If one doesn't live for something, they just might die for nothing. Think about it...
Peace out, and try to get outdoors for a refreshing hike.
Mark, boondocked in the Klondike area of Eastern Utah, and Bobbie, coming and going from home in Lovely Ouray every other week or so.