Week of August 24th

map of the US



this morning, checking my email for the first time in a few days, I got some messages complaining about my recent postings; and I quote from one email:

"Let's have more hooker stories or
don't bother us with all the Clampett's on vacation schtick."

these people are obviously referring to the Memphis Hooker story, for those of you confused. I do and respond to all my fan mail, so to that end I'm taking up a collection. All donations can be sent to...

on the road again...

leaving Las Vegas, I headed east through northern Arizona into Utah.


once in Utah I stopped to sleep at Butch Cassidy RV Campsite, where I got to watch the Simpsons, King of the Hill and the X-Files...with a hooker. Life is good.



moab had been on my destination list from the beginning; it's the mecca for mountain bikers. It's also close to two national parks, Arches and Canyonlands.

i found a site at Canyonland Campgrounds in Moab and killed the rest of the day swimming in the pool with the Europeans, wishing they had longer shorts.

[Rock Cairn]


i woke to the sound of rain on my tent this morning and decided to postpone my ride. Instead I headed down to Canyonlands National Park to do some hiking.

starting at Elephant Hill I followed the path marked only by rock cairns. I climbed across wide expanses of slick rock and through narrow chasms with just a few other people in sight, due to the mornings showers. The famous red rock wasn't as brilliant as it would have been in sharp sunlight, but the strange eerie clouds made for an interesting backdrop.

[Click on the "eye" icons to see the pictures.]
Narrow Chasm
[Narrow chasm]


since there had been no whitewater rafting yet on my trip, I hooked up with Western River Expeditions for a full day of rafting. Unfortunately everybody else, (read 3 Italians,) had signed up for just a half day. To appease everyone, they made an extra-long half day trip for the cost of a regular half day trip.

jen, our 18-year-old guide with a great smile led us down the might Colorado river. (This, as I found out, was not the kind of trip where everybody takes a paddle and directions, but where you sit calmly and your guide does all the work.)

unfortunately, the river was very quiet today. I've created more whitewater passing gas in the tub. As Jen knowingly pointed out the names of the rapids as we passed them, I got the feeling it was so we would notice them at all. Still, it was a beautiful trip down river.

  with still half of my day left, and it being too hot to bike in the afternoon sun, I headed up to Arches National Park to take some pictures. Some of the sights are right off the main road, like Balanced Rock and the Delicate Arch lookout, Delicate Arch, though the Delicate Arch itself is a 3-mile hike off the road.
 Balanced Rock
[Balanced Rock]
[Click on the "eye" icons to see the pictures.]
Ingrid & Crystal
[Ingrid & Crystal]
while hiking out to the Double O arch, I ran into some fellow Bay Staters, Ingrid and Cristy. We traded picture taking responsibilities with each other, and hiked the rest of the way. Off in the distance a storm was passing and you could see the lightning strike through the arches and rock formations. Arches Nat'l Park
[Me @ Arches]


waking up early this morning I got on my bike and headed out to the Slickrock trail in Moab. There is the famous Slickrock trail, and also a 2 mile practice loop so you can see how you stack up.

i started with the practice loop.

i got my ass kicked. I did in fact successfully complete the loop, but I didn't have enough left to do the whole Slickrock trail. Maybe next time.

Moab, UT
[Slickrock Trial]
 Mountain Sun, Boulder
[Mountain Sun]
to be honest, as much as I want to take my time going back east, I'm running out of money, time and energy. In my mind, vacation is over. I headed east through my old home state of Colorado, blowing off seeing my old casa in Denver, and heading to Boulder where I stopped off for a beer at the Mountain Sun Brewery. When I got rejected at the ATM for insufficient funds, I knew it was time to go home.

after quickly imbibing their draft I headed east again and ended up in Sterling, CO for the night.



i spent a lot of time in the car today, clenching and unclenching my butt to keep the blood flowing.

nebraska swallowed most of the day today, chewing it up acre by acre, cornfield by cornfield. When I finally pulled into Iowa City it was dark. I shared a hotel room with five or six dying flies, and listened to the thunder storms all day.



it wasn't my intention to drive the whole way home. I got up at seven and was on the road by eight. I got into Eire, PA by eight, and decided to try for Buffallo by nightfall. However, it being Labor Day weekend, I got rejected at 5 different hotels, so I just kept on driving.

next week


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