18st March 2002 - 21.12
& fuckin' unreal
were Mexican hat and Goosenecks.
The map indicated
some kind of mountain pass right ahead, but I saw nothing
matching with the data. So I made this day for an early camp,
a bit worried about snakes and other stuff, as the ground
was drilled with hundreds of holes all the size of rabbits
or snakes or spiders... Lying in the cosiness of my sleeping
bag I waited for the night and for the stars to come. What
first seemed to be just something curious turned into something
deeply horrifying: there were lights going up and down a near
cliff. The next morning it turned out to be Mokee Dugway,
1100 ft in 3 Miles on dirt road.
what I needed, because knees were already aching since the
first day of the trip.
But boy oh boy,
reaching the top was absolutely mind blowing, an incredible
place. And even it was bone freezing at night, due to a clear
blue sky, a powerful sun and a wind protected place I took
a sun bath, half naked overlooking the "valley of the gods".
someone was driving by, but not leaving their car because
of the cold. An exception was one guy with a red Camaro from
Texas. The guy stopped in front of me, gave me a "Hi", looked
down to the valley and said with a laugh „Yeah man, that's
fuckin unreal", and off he went. Nice dude.
95, passing the entrance to National Bridges NP - see USA
97 Roadmovie - I picked up and incredible good rhythm and
just pure fun to bike along. But it was getting dark and I
was running out of water; I didn't needed it that much for
drinking, but for cooking, as I only had rice with me. I found
a camp in the bushes and arranged an "alternative" for the
water to cook me a meal. I shouldn't have used so much salt,
cause during the night I suffered hefty thirst and there was
only a very last Coke left.
The next morning
I found friendly people at a farmhouse, probably the only
one 100 km around. During the day it got cloudy and I biked
around Glen Canyon, forced for supply to descend to Hite Marina.
So, 1,5 tricky
days passed since Mokee, with absolutely nothing at all you
could consider village or town. Then came finally Hanksville
(yes, THE Hanksville). At least there is a coffee place
a public cell phone (spent 5 bucks in dimes to call home,
but I was screwed.)
in the warmth of the coffee place, I realized, that I was
really bad behind schedule and that I may not finish the roundtrip
in time. The terrain was kind of challenging and the days
were short. I hung around at the gas station and asked people
for a ride. Fortunately I was now on a highway with some more
movement then before and after 1 hour, I arranged a ride with
two very nice guys in an old Ford Pickup with some trailer
thing mounted on the back. Remarkable guys, weighting over
120 kg each and around 70 years old. We passed Capital Reef
NP and via Boulder they dropped me in a hotel in Escalante,
Mormon country. It started raining and I was glad to have
a nice place for the night.
Next day, 24th
of December, it was raining... I got another ride to the entrance
of Bryce Canyon and looked for a room, but 42 $ was way too
much for my budget and my honour. I decided to stay outdoor,
even if the conditions were not very favourable . Bryce has
8000 feet of altitude and was covered by 20 cm of snow, more
As I got on the
biking, getting dark, all white and snow falling, I entered
the National Park on Xmas eve, looking for a place to sleep.
There was very little movement, at a viewpoint there were
some Japanese, but nothing to see, just plain white and snowflakes
burning in the unprotected eyes. In the camping area there
was no place to go, gigantic motor homes here and there, but
no way to sleep in the bathroom or under a bank. Finally I
found a great place, it's the back entrance of the closed
visitors centre. Now was time for some Xmas fun. I made some
nice Chilly with Tuna, had a Coke and a very small J&B
from the flight and then I started to open all the Xmas cards,
I was carrying around with me. A very charming one from Maria,
the mystery girl from the Azores, buddy Alvaro wrote me a
song, cards from my parents, Pete, Marc. Yes indeed, there
was some kind of magic and classic Xmas feeling in the air.
The next four
days turned out to be a bit a race against time, as I definitely
wanted to get my bus in Flagstaff to return in time to Phoenix.
The weather was not that good and the landscape not that breath
taking then before. Places like Hatch reminded me more of
Poland then the US. Orderville, Kanab and finally Page, where
I hoped to get a bus to Flagstaff, but I was wrong. To put
it that way: I was getting very nervous !
After one hour
standing at the crossing and almost jumping in front of the
cars to stop them stopped a very old Toyota Pickup with a
guy called Jessie at the wheel. Jessie about himself: 7 years
as trucker, but had to stop driving after a broken neck in
an accident with a Taxi; he shot a guy who wanted to steal
his truck (Jessie shoot second); this was the last one he
killed since Vietnam and that's why he doesn't carry guns
anymore; coming from Washington state across Iowa, looking
for his wife; he has 9 Harley. We had a lot of fun and got
very well along. He dropped me in Flag, asked me for 10 bucks
for the gas because he had to arrive in Barstow, CA that night,
not to loose his job. He invited me to have a drink around
town, knowing some good places and all the women in town.
"Yeah, man. That's fuckin awesome."
So I came back
to the Motel where I started 2 weeks before, and prepared
myself with some cable TV for the long 60 hour trip back home.