June 30th, 2016 – Arches National Park, Utah to Loa, Utah ~ 150 miles.
Missed Day 13? My rear brake line fails, forcing us to spend a surprise extra day in Moab.
Today Vy and I would take a Jeep on an off-road trail for the first time, and hopefully we’d be able to get the GS fixed and get back on the road. We started with getting a good breakfast – Vy loves the healthy cafes you stereotypically see in West LA, and there’s a few of those in Moab as well. This one had no bananas. Oh, wait:
On our way out to the trail, we encountered this dinosaur at a gas station.
Baby Jack couldn’t help himself.
The trail we were going to attempt was a relatively easy one that a Canyonlands employee recommended – Long Canyon.
Canyonlands won’t let you take their vehicles on the truly hardcore trails, which I was OK with. Long Canyon was still a fun introduction to the sport.
The most interesting part of the trail is a rock that has fallen over and created a mini tunnel of sorts.
Baby Jack thought it was cool enough to get out of the Jeep for.
The rest of the trail was uneventful, though the scenery was beautiful. I kept wishing I was on the GS for it. By this point, I figured the brake line should have been delivered to Moab Powersports, but Doricca hadn’t called yet. So Vy and I went back into Arches National Park to complete the trail we attempted yesterday. There were some dinosaur tracks we wanted to see but it got too dark too quickly last night.
Back on pavement, we stopped at a petroglyph site. It was infuriating for two reasons: vandalism and mosquitos. We didn’t stay very long.
At this point I was disappointed that I had not yet heard from Doricca about the GS. So we stopped by before going into Arches. This where things got a little confusing. Despite our discussions the day before, Doricca seemed completely unaware about what we agreed on. I asked if the brake line had come in and she handed me a FedEx envelope. I assumed she’d take it back to her son so he could start working on it, but she left it with me. When I asked about it, she seemed frustrated that I was asking about it, because I “wasn’t on the list of work” she had created in the morning. I was annoyed, to put it mildly. Eventually she said she’d get her son on the job and that it would be done by the end of the day. We’d be getting a late start on the road out but at least it would give us some more time to explore the park…
In the visitor center parking lot we found this interesting fox body Mustang. It’s called the Chicken Car and it has a weird history. When Vy and I saw it, it was in the middle of a 75 day cross-country tour called the “Mental Illness Awareness Tour“, a 48 state road trip intended to “diminish the stigma surrounding mental illness.”
This road in Arches starts at Balanced Rock and heads west.
After some time the road becomes a trail, and then the trail becomes mostly slick rock.
Eventually we arrived at the dinosaur tracks.
Baby Jack for scale:
Soon we heard the unmistakable sound of a classic V8. I looked up and loved what I saw – an International Harvester Scout getting dirty:
Heading back towards the park, we saw an entrance sign that most people don’t get to.
It had been raining all day, which meant the undercarriage of the Jeep was caked in mud.
The Jeep rental agency kindly dropped us off at Moab Powersports. I’m not sure what changed but Doricca was much nicer when we came to pick the bike up. I was just glad to get the bike back so we could get on the road.
Our late departure meant by the time we got to our destination, all the restaurants would be closed. So we stopped at a small town on the way to grab some groceries. In the store, I saw a toy workbench with a kid who was way too excited on the packaging.
Vy had found an adorable lodging option called the Snuggle Inn in Loa. So we headed west into some inclement weather.
This was the first time on the trip that Vy really regretted being on the bike. We were wet and the temperature was in the 40s. Her gloves weren’t suitable for that (which was entirely my fault), so by the time we got in she was way too cold. I sometimes take her toughness for granted on the bike, and I felt pretty terrible about this. It didn’t help that the heater in our room didn’t get very hot either. So she threw on a bunch of layers and tried to get warm while I tried to apologize without shoving my foot in my mouth.
Thankfully, things would get much warmer tomorrow…