I’m all packed up, sitting in my Motel 6 room, hoping to watch the first half of the Northern Ireland football match before housekeeping kicks me out.
It was hot again when I left Mesquite, Nevada. The temperature on my phone said 107 degrees, so I prepared myself for another rough day riding. I put on my long leather gloves to protect my fingers (yesterday my fingers were air roasted because I had on fingerless gloves).
It was rough at first and I managed only about 40 miles before I stopped at the Black Bear Diner in St George. Best homemade sausage patties I’ve eaten on the trip so far!
Prior to getting to St George I drove through the Virgin River Gorge. Desolate desert and high hills. The only things growing were bleached green shrubs and pale pastel colors.
I cut my speed to 65 mph so as not to strain the engine in the heat and limped down the interstate. The desert mesas were clay colored with sparse patches of green shrubs on them, looking as if the mesas hadn’t shaved in a few days. In this heat, who could blame them?
After St George brighter colors began to appear among the high mesas and buttes. I was never bored with the changing scenery and colors and canyons similar to the Grand Canyon. I passed through the San Rafael Swell. Imagine your image of Mars or the planet Vulcan, because this is where they filmed it for the Star Trek movie. Limestone, shale and sandstone. Red rock canyons, deep valleys and gorges. Dome shaped rocks and buttes shooting up into the sky like fossilized rockets or abandoned chimneys. In the distance I could see snow still hiding on the mountain tops. Amazing. I felt very humbled and grateful.
I nickel and dimed my way down the hot interstate, stopping every 50-80 miles to get a break from the heat. I found a store with a beer cave and spent about 10 minutes inside in the cold air until the clerks started to stare at me. I gassed up Big Red and filled myself with water. Even stuck some in my pockets. The road gained altitude, climbed to 7000 feet and it began to cool down. “No Services for 100 Miles” a sign read. What the hell, let’s go.
The last hour of the trip was awesome. The sun was setting and the sky was filled with hues of pink, honey-apricot, Spanish moss grey and various blues. I stopped and took a photo which I’ll try to attach.
Made it to Green River.
Today, Day 29 I’m going to continue on I 70 to Grand Junction then I’m going to hop on Hwy 50, The Loneliest Highway in America.
PS: Northern Ireland lost 1-0 but still have a chance to make the playoffs. Tonight the USA plays.