Woke and said goodbye to our engineer friends. Coasted downhill to the town of Mesa, and bought just enough gas to get back to civilization, where prices would be more reasonable. I hit a small rodent, which died in a valiant effort to cross the road. The first time I’d killed a mammal, and the experience didn’t phase me a bit.

Window Arch

North Window from Below

Out of the rockies and into Utah. Turned off the highway to see Arches National Park, which was worth every extra mile. Red rocks curved across the brilliant blue sky, created only by erosion, not a divine architect. It was great fun to climb on the slickrock, up to the ceiling of one of The Windows, and peer down on the desert from above. Very interesting to see the multitude of foreign tourists coming to see the best of America. A group of elderly German folks was as impressed with the scenery and astonished by the heat as I was. We had a moment of cross cultural understanding over the one water fountain in the park, as we both drank happily from the spigot.

Leaving Arches, we ventured further south to Moab, the home of mountain biking. Lunch at an excellent diner, with an ice cream bar inside for the perfect dessert. A patron there suggested we stop at Dead Horse Point State Park, and we followed his advice. It would be only a short distance out of our way, although 25 miles later we disputed that claim. Atop a mesa, looking down on the Colorado carved lanscape a thousand feet below, we didn’t need to see the Grand Canyon. The mesa came to a neck only five yards wide, which according to legend, cowboys used to trap wild horses, culling the strong ones and leaving the weak to die in the harsh sun far above the river below. Seems like bad business practice, and is probably exaggerated by time.

Marco at Deadhorse Canyon

Taking a panorama (TBP)

Back on the road, and north to Salt Lake City. Took a cutoff through Price, on what we would learn was the deadliest highway in the country. The police officers who stopped us were quite clear that our speed needed to be controlled on the sweeping downhill curves, and we were let go with a stern warning. I guess our stories checked out, and Marko’s accent made us seem as the naive travelers we were.

Keeping our speed in check, and on the lookout for law enforcement, we rolled into Salt Lake City at nightfall. We checked into a cheap downtown motel, showered, and went off looking for what fun there was to be had on a friday night in the Mormon capital of the world. We found a single bar within walking distance, that closed at 11:30. We drank quickly, and were kicked out into the night. Perhaps there was more fun to be had, as the crowd in front of a club indicated, but we were tired and in no mood for dancing.