Out of the Redrock and on to the Colorado Plateau

After Fry Canyon, there is about another half day’s riding in the Red Rock before you reach Comb Wash and climb into the Colorado Plateau

Day 23: Fry Canyon Lodge to Blanding
55 miles

This was an easy day, just what we needed after the previous day’s ride to and through Glen Canyon. Not only was the ride tough but it was a little sad. The upper end of the reservoir has a grimy greenish tinge to it and looks dead. It is horrible when you consider what the river must have looked like before the dam was built. The mighty Colorado reduced to a huge pool of silt. Sad. I decided that it was time I read “The Monkey Wrench Gang” or something else by Edward Abby.

The ride to Blanding was pretty much the same as the previous day. However it was a cool morning and the winds were not up yet. Tom, the fellow from Tennessee that we met in Hanksville kept calling it “Blandsville”. I think it was a mental slip but that pretty much sums up the town. We were checked in by noon and after eating lunch didn’t have a thing to do but make calls to family and update our journals. Sometimes you need a little down time.

Day 24: Blanding to Dolores
83 miles Extreme headwinds

We are leaving red rock country and heading toward the San Juan Mountains across the Colorado Plateau. This is a fertile agricultural area but they are just coming out of a four-year drought and the farmers are having a tough time. The main crop in this area is beans. As we rode we passed a number of bean warehouses and distributors that had recently gone out of business. There were a lot of ranches for sale as well. It is a pretty sad situation.

Still, it is good to be out of Utah and into a “non-Morman” state. Utah is beautiful but there is just something a little weird about it.

As we rode, we could see the San Juans looming in the East. Each hour they got just a little closer and looked a little bigger. But the wind was killing us. We were pedaling hard all day even in the downhill stretches. When it wasn’t in our face, it was whipping us from the side and trying to blow us down. At times it was a bit difficult to control the bike. We finally decided to pull over and get out of the wind and take a nap in front of one of the abandoned bean distributors.

Finally, about 10 miles from Dolores, we turned onto another road and finally got the wind at our back. Before we knew it we were in Dolores. Dolores is a nice little town. Nice health food store, a great park, a bookstore, flyers for Yoga classes… For the first time since leaving California, we were someplace that felt a little like home. We checked in to a very nice motel owned by a Swedish fellow from San Diego who was also the owner of San Diego Saab before moving to Dolores a few years ago. We got cleaned up, had a great German dinner and got ready to climb to Telluride the next morning.


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