Tag Archives: Moab

FST : Day 5 – Moab UT to Santa Fe NM (407 mi)

By comparison to yesterday’s infirmity, today I felt dramatically better — albeit still not quite normal. To get a sense of the temperatures we’ve been dealing with, you only have to look at this morning’s weather. When we got up (right around sunrise), the temperature was about 66°. Two hours later when we left the motel, it was almost 90°. It gets hot out here, and quickly.

And once we’d gained 1000′ of elevation above Moab, we got a little rain. Maybe enough to get the windshield wet, and then it was gone. Just a reminder of the water-hungry nature of this environment.

Shortly after we left Moab, we ran across Wilson Arch, which is outside the park, and right on the side of the road. Again, I was tempted to hike up to it — I hadn’t been inside any of the arches we’d encountered yet — but I still wasn’t quite up to the task. Kinda unfortunate, as this one would’ve been easy.

The rest of our trek southeast was largely uneventful, and an exercise of watching the outside temperature to confirm that we’d made a good decision to move in this direction. Through most of the afternoon, our trek across SE Utah and SW Colorado let us stay in reasonably constant temperatures in the 80s. This was a nice change. However, as we moved toward NW New Mexico, our temperatures rose as continued toward Bernilillo NM, where we found temperatures in high 90s. Between the higher-than-expected temperatures and hitting I-25 at rush hour, my spirits sank. However, the closer we got to Santa Fe, the more the traffic thinned, and the lower the temperatures sank. By the time we arrived at the hotel in Santa Fe, our temperatures were in the low 80s, and dropped quickly into the 70s as sunset approached. What a welcome change!

So why’d we pick Santa Fe for recharging our batteries? Well, we’d been through Santa Fe a few years ago, and didn’t get to spend much time looking around. We’ve heard so many good things about the city — especially the downtown area — that we thought it deserved another shake.

Our hotel was a bit of oddity. Apparently, the two-story hotels in Santa Fe don’t have elevators, which left us lugging our impressive pile o’ stuff up two stories. Not the most fun I’ve had. Add to that the room. Our room had a king bed, but had obviously had been designed with two queen beds in mind. You’d think that the hotel would fill some of that dead space with furniture — a table and chair, perhaps. Nope. We had the biggest deadspace I’ve ever seen in a hotel room. There could’ve had a massive game of Twister had on all that carpet.

Tomorrow — wandering the streets of Santa Fe.

FST : Day 3 – Wheat Ridge CO to Moab UT (356mi)

Today’s trek took us from the green lushness of mid-Colorado to the extremely stark landscape of southeastern Utah. Along the way, we had some fun.

A few years ago, we crossed the high passes in Colorado, and really suffered for it. Apparently, I don’t do elevations above 10,000 feet very well. This time, we took it easy, drank lots of water, and took breaks as we crossed the passes. We even took a short hike at the Gore Range trailhead after we passed through the Eisenhower Tunnel. It seemed to make a big difference in how we felt after crossing through the big mountains.

Along the way, we stopped at the Glenwood Canyon rest area. This is a fantastic area, with access to raft the river, trails to hike, and plenty of space to ride a bike. (In fact, I think we saw more cyclists at the rest areas than I usually see on the Katy Trail. Coloradans really seem to enjoy pedaling.) This was a luscious area, and we could’ve easily spent hours and hours exploring it. Utah beckoned, and so we plowed on.

We arrived in Moab, and got checked in to the Big Horn Lodge. This is a classic-design motel, with the rooms filled with log-construction furniture, and wood plank walls. Really a step back in time, but still including color TV, high speed internet, fridge and microwave. Very nice place.

However, the temperatures were not. When we rolled into town, it was 103 degrees, and miserable. It’s hard to describe what the heat is like — maybe like a blast furnace, or a kiln. It just takes your breath away as soon as it hits you.

Since it was around dinner time, we went down the street, and stopped at Pasta Jay’s. This was said to be the best Italian food in town, and there was absolutely no argument from me! I had a portabella mushroom cap, filled with diced chicken and ricotta cheese, served over spaghetti noodles and smothered in a tomato cream sauce. This was amazing, and something I wanna try to replicate at home on the Egg.

Having arranged housing, and with full bellies, we headed back to the motel for a restful night.