Sunday, March 29, 2009
After running 3 miles on Friday only to discover that my foot still hasn't healed, I've had some more free time to focus on my bike trip that starts in 2 weeks. Today I decided to focus on finding some dirt roads to take out of Moab to get to the Burr Trail, some 170 miles away. MAP here Instead of the direct route via Hwy I was planning to take, I found some forest service roads that will take me thru the Needles District of Canyonlands , Manti La Sal National Forest (woods..trees!!!), Natural Bridges Natl Monument , then down to Glen Canyon Natl Rec Area for a crossing via ferry to get on the Burr Trail.
There are a couple of slot canyons that I intend to check out while passing by on the Burr Trail. There are dozens of slot canyons in the area of Grand Staircase-Escalante Natl Park, but most seem to be on the road parallel to Burr, Hole in the Rock Road. But still, there are 2 or 3 to choose from on the Northen end of the Burr Trail, and 2 right outside of the town of Boulder, which I will pass thru once I get back on pavement on the legendary Hwy 12.
No plans have changed to get from Boulder out to Bryce Canyon and then to Zion Natl Park. Not many options, and Hwy 12 is considered one of the most scenic drives in the country. I can tolerate the traffic for that! I'll backtrack a tad before starting to head south on House Rock Valley Road. I'm extremely excited about this section of the trip. For one, it is a pretty direct, quiet, dirt road that connects the small town of Kanab, UT to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. 'Nuff said. BUT...it also passes by 2 amazing natural formations, Buckskin Gulch and The Wave. Buckskin Gulch is the longest and deepest slot canyon in the world. The Wave is this really phenomenal and psychedelic multi-colored rock formation that is unlike anything I've ever seen in Utah (in pictures...). Both of these locations split from the same trailhead 30 miles south of Kanab. I plan to stock up on food, park the bike at the trailhead, and do a few days of hiking. Current thought is to hike the length of the 15 mile Gulch, then hitchhike back to my car. Then hike and photograph in the Wave. Then head south to the Big Ditch. Yes.
Haven't learned much else except for the existence of Horshoe Bend, just outside of Page, AZ. :::
Getting so excited for Utah these days. Not so stoked about trying to run 50 miles on about 10 days of training, if I can even squeeze that much in. Still going to try though.
Posted by Airic Payne at 4:28 PM