Published: February 21st 2008October 2nd 2007
This is on all license plates in the State of Utah.
This was Bruce Springsteen day. I had waited for this day for a long time about 1.5 months actually. This was the day that his new album called Magic comes out. I went back to the Twin Rocks restaurant and had breakfast. Navajo Indian women worked there and one I talked to for a long time. I delicately asked her if the people here hold any grudges against the white man for what they did to their people. She said no not really everyone is just too busy living their lives. I think about the blacks and their complaining about slavery. I consider myself overly sympathetic normally, but I really am not that sympathetic towards the blacks anymore. Sure their ancestors had it rough, but if it was not for slavery a lot of them would not even be in the US these days. If they do not like the US they can always go back to Africa I figure. It is kind of funny to me that the rich people brought slaves to the country back in the day so they can have cheap labor and make more money. Now I see rich people often scared of the black
folks. The rich folks are now hiring Mexicans to perform cheap labor so they make more money. Now we are complaining there are too many of them. We are a very short cited people. It’s all about making money today and the future demographics of the country are not really considered. I see things that were done to a lot of peoples, the Native Americans were driven from their lands and they are just doing ok in my opinion. The white man in the US killed lots of each other in the Civil War and we have seemed able to rebuild although we have issues as well. The blacks were brought to the US for slavery and they have some real issues in their race. The Jews were decimated and they are now some of the richest and most powerful people in the world. The Germans had a horrible politician and their country was largely destroyed by the war. They have cleaned up and rebuilt and now are one of the most developed nations in the world. Why is it some races are better equipped to deal with problems? Does it have to do with mental capacities, family upbringing? What
is it? Ok I have pretty much stated in this last paragraph the most politically incorrect stuff to date in this blog. I better stop with this. I am just thinking these days about things I normally do not take the time to think about often changing my views based on my writings and conversations. This trip is a big learning experience.
I arrived in Moab about 11:00 AM and went to the Visitors Center. Moab is a city I was excited to see. When I think of Moab I think of a really culturally, athletic, outdoorsy community. Kind of like Boulder, CO. It did not let me down either. It was all of the above. When asked for a place to get water the visitor center guy told me near the Colorado river there a pipe sticking out of the hillside has potable water coming from it. He said it is the best water in the area and recommended I get my water there. I was a little surprised by this, but hey this is Moab. Their visitor center had a nice restroom and I was quite impressed with the facility overall.
Right across the parking lot
Arches National Park
I forget the name of the snow-capped mountains in background. Sorry.
from the Visitor Center was a CD shop and they had the Bruce Springsteen CD that I had so impatiently waited for 1.5 months. I bought another CD from the Boss as well called the Ghost of Tom Joad. I hurriedly plopped the CD in my player and at first listen after buzzing through the first 60 minutes of each song I was left thinking the CD was not that great. However I knew sometimes songs grow on you and maybe this would happen. I went to a coffee shop and used their internet for about 3 hours. I was working on that round the world trip ticket. This was beginning to really stress me out. I needed to get that stuff finalized soon.
I drove to Arches park around 4 in the afternoon and talked to the Visitor Center folks who gave me a list of things to see. I had no idea that the campgrounds in this park fill up so quickly as there was no room at their campsites and they said I would have to be here right when they open in the morning to get a spot. I had no idea this place was
Canyon Lands National Park
This park is right near Arches.
this popular. I headed out to look at a few things as it was getting late. I was going to walk out to Delicate Arch the most famous arch in the park. This arch is on all Utah license plates. On the way out there I stopped to look at a few things including the Balanced Rock. That thing just makes you shake your head in amazement. At the parking lot for Delicate Arch the entire place was full except a few RV spots. I parked amongst the RV’s. I could feel myself growing a little impatient which I contributed to the length of this trip when I saw some people I thought were trying cut around me and get my parking spot but in reality they were not at all trying to get my spot.
I hiked out to the Delicate Arch very quickly passing several people on the way. The rock at first did not impress me that much, but it was definitely cool, but not as cool as I thought it might be. For some reason I did not feel very social and decided to try and get away from the crowds so I hiked down
into the hole like area just below the arch. Everyone else was up above me except for one other person who was behind me. I stayed there for the sunset and really did not think I had gotten any good pictures but later discovered I did have one good one even though a person was in the picture but the person is not easily recognized at first glance. Everyone headed back very late and by the time we got back to our vehicles it was quite dark. I was a little concerned about finding a camping site so I was anxious to get back there. It seems my anxiousness has increased during this trip. It was about a 15 minute drive to get out of the park. I drove back down to the Colorado River and turned where the Visitor Center guy said to go for camping and the water. I was completely out of water so really looked forward to getting a big drink. The Visitor Center said the pipe was 200 yards off the main road. I did find a pvc pipe but it appeared to not be 200 yards more like 150 yards. I thought well this
Arches National Park
This Arch actually partially collapsed a few years back on the right side.
has to be it so I started filling up my containers. There was green algae on the end of the pipe but I thought this had to be it. I gulped down the first jug of water I had filled. I thought well it does taste pretty good. After filling up all the jugs by flashlight I got back in my truck and drove about 50 yds to discover a truck pulled over filling up his jug with water coming from a galvanized pipe out of the rock wall. I immediately said shit I just drank water from the wrong pipe. Well should I try to manually try to induce a stomach pump. I really didn’t think I could do that so I just thought lets see what happens. I did dump all my water, rinsed and refilled all my jugs. I also rinsed my mouth thoroughly as if that was really going to do any good. I started up the road and the first three campsites I came to were full. I was losing patience realizing Moab is starting to fire up now for the Fall biking season. This is Moab’s busy season. The cooler temperatures bring out the
bikers. I skipped a couple more campsites and went to the next biggest one and found a site.
Man the stars were bright here. I payed the fee and dropped it in the box. As I walked back I came across a guy that I knew was not from the US and learned he was from Switzerland. He had brought his family over for a couple weeks. They were going like mad trying to see as much as possible. They are doing the same thing I was doing in Europe where I had a couple people criticize me for traveling too fast. Really I think the Germans, the Swiss, the Dutch actually pretty much all of Europe travel fast when they come here just like I did there. They probably just saw me as being an American and just began the criticism. I really enjoyed talking to this guy. I mentioned having seen a couple shooting stars as I was getting my campsite set up. He said he too saw some. Man if I lived out here I would always be looking to the skies at night whereas back home I primarily just moon gaze as the stars are
hard to see with all the light pollution.
There was another guy there too from I think Glenwood Springs, CO who said hi. We talked a little, but I still felt a little impatient this night and didn’t talk long. He was there to do some mountain biking. I keep forgetting to ask people where all this good mountain biking is as I was not seeing it. I see everyone biking along the roads. Also wanted to know where slick rock is maybe the most famous mountain biking trail in the world.
I headed back to my truck and did some typing of course and then star gazed a little longer before calling it a night. I heard some rustling in the nearby bushes but had no idea what was causing the noise. The mountain biker had told me earlier that there are not bears here so I just figured it was probably a coon or opossum.
Good night from the banks of the Colorado River in Moab.
I got up around 7:30 and headed into Moab to work on the internet for awhile. I really did not feel like oatmeal this morning so
A very radical town and has maybe the most famous mountain bike trail in the world called Slickrock. This is the Mecca for Mountain Bikers.
I was going to eat breakfast out. On my drive out I saw the pipes that I had gotten water out of the previous night and kind of laughed at the fact that I got some out of that older looking pvc pipe with the algae growing on it. I thought to myself, I feel all right so far. Maybe I am not going to get sick after all. I drove into town and decided to just get a quick breakfast at McDonalds and then head back to the coffee shop that has the internet service as I still need to keep working on that round the world trip as I was beginning to feel rushed to get that done and worried the cost was going to be really high if I waited much longer. The McDonalds was rather uneventful and I did some people watching and talked to an older gentleman near me. After a quick breakfast I headed to the internet café and used the computer for several hours. I noticed they served breakfast here and wished I would had just came here for breakfast. This town is pretty much like a ski resort town as there were
Where the fun is?
As the Bruce Springsteen song goes, "Momma always told me not to look into the sun, but Momma that is where the fun is!"
lots of hippie like folks. They all seemed really laid back. Maybe a little too much actually. I normally do not drink coffee but decided to order a decaffeinated drink that had a milk flavor. They served me a really good one, but I forget what they called it. I left about noon and headed out toward the Canyons National Park. On the way out I stopped at a gas station for lunch. They had a great deal on a sandwich, cookie and drink. I also added a bag of chips. I ate this food on the way out to Canyons as it is about a 30 minute drive.
I watched for nice biking trails on the way out as this is supposed to be some of the best biking in the world. Everybody I saw though was parking on asphalt adjacent road. Where’s Slickrock. I really wanted to see the biking but had not yet. I saw a few nice pictures on the way out and snapped a few photos. I stopped at the visitor center and asked for suggestions on a few hikes this afternoon. They really did not seem too enthusiastic but gave me a couple
suggestions. I decided to walk this one trail that they said gives a nice view of a canyon and the Colorado River. It was about a 3 mile hike but was a little boring as the first leg of the hike, which was probably 3/4 o f a mile, was kind of boring as I walked through a grassland like area. I was here to see canyons not grass. I did get to the Canyon and was amazed at the vastness. It appeared as big as the Grand Canyon but just didn’t have the cool rock formations and beautiful rock formations. Besides the obvious huge canyon this park is known to be the meeting point of the Colorado and Red Rivers. I could see the Colorado River from this vantage point and the Canyon itself is amazing. The hike was overall neat, but again I felt rushed and after a couple pictures, one of which I thought would be really good I headed back to the grassy prairie that I had to cross to get to my appaloosa pony which would transport me to another vista.
I went to a site that showed the Canyon formed by the Red
Arches National Park
See the hole in the bottom. Two arches or two holes? What would you call this two arches or two holes?
River and you could see where the Colorado and Red Rivers met. A guy standing beside me said to look at those antelope of some kind of animal it may have been mountain goats but then when the person he told that to looked he said just kidding. He said it loud enough as if to entice other people to look too. He seemed to think he was really funny, but I thought it seemed really stupid in the situation and his timing was way off. I am an expert in comedy so I know what is funny and not. I left as I had pretty much seen every thing to be seen there. I then drove to another site where there is lots of salt at the surface of the ground. This is a very unique site. The experts have a couple theories regarding it’s formation. One of the thoughts is a giant meteor hit the earth here splitting the ground allowing this ancient underwater sea salt to come to the surface. A guy nearby said he was disappointed by it but I thought it was pretty cool.
It was getting to be rather late in the afternoon
Oops wrong Pipe
The tourist information place told me to drink the water from a pipe and I came to this one first then realized I had the wrong pipe after finding another pipe just up the road. I drank a lot from this pipe but did not suffer any ill effects. At least not yet.
and I still wanted to go back to Arches Park and do a hike. I always plan too much to do for one day as I also thought maybe I can get back to Delicate Arch tonight yet as I didn’t feel like I had gotten that picture that I wanted. I made the trip back to Arches pretty quickly. As I drove in I saw some people driving with there van doors open. I am guessing they were German but not sure. We passed a police officer and the officer quickly pulled them over. Some reason I thought that was funny. The drive just to get back to the arches was about a 30 minute drive. There were lots of people there which always turns me off a little but what are you going to do. I hurried back to the arches. The first one was not that impressive and I was in a hurry so I stayed off the beaten path to get back to the trail I was on rather than doubling back from where I came. I was waiting to get yelled at by a park ranger but I didn’t. I made it back to a
There is a pipe coming out of this rock near the Colorado River near Moab and the tourist information place says drink the water from here. Best tasting water I ever had!
really narrow and extremely broad arch that had a part of it partially collapsed a few years ago and consequently you could not walk under it. It sounded like they were considering letting people walk around it again in the future as the information talked about how more time passes the more stable the arch appears to be. A guy from Colorado actually captured a portion of the collapse on a camera. I took a few photos none of which were that great. I hiked father away and it was starting to get dark and I was not seeing anyone else on the trail so I kept moving at a pretty quick pace. I did not want to have to come out of this area in the dark especially alone. The whole area is really not that cool in my opinion, but it does have a few arches. Arches park makes for some good pictures if the lighting is right, but for me that is about it. I hiked on and did meet a few more people on the trail but they were headed in the opposite direction of me. In one area the hiking is a little difficult as
I hiked with this lady from Philadelphia to the Delicate Arch one morning. She said she slept in her fan inside Arches National Park the previous night. She also said one time she got a coon in her van while parking along side the road. I enjoyed my hike with this adventurous lady.
you are on top of a narrow rock. I am just a scaredy cat though. I made it back to the final arch on this tour and stopped and looked at the arch and there were a couple other people there. I stated so that is it! I stated so in a comedic manner and the people laughed and said yep that is it. I really need to teach that guy I met a the Canyons who stated he saw some antelope about timing, though what he said I don’t think would have been funny even if presented by Jerry Seinfeld who has a great sense of timing.
These folks left and there I was by myself, or was I? Actually this arch is more like a hole in the rock with another hole in the rock just below it. It is pretty cool but I was not seeing anyway to represent it artistically in a picture. I walked over to and through it and I saw some people on that side of the arch with a tripod and a big camera trying to capture that million dollar picture. I walked in a direction putting me farther away from
them in hopes of finding a good picture. After a couple photos I walked down to them and talked to the guy and gal. As I expected they were German. After all my travels my German heritage makes a lot of since as I look more German than any race of people that I have come across. While in Germany I am quite certain that unless they here me talk I could pass as a German. After talking to them for awhile they were moving to the entrance side of the arch and took a few more pictures. The lady had said she saw another picture on this side and wanted to take the picture before it got too dark. They had a very sophisticated camera and were really into pictures. They said they sell some of their pictures to friends but really have none theirself on the walls. They had been here about a month earlier too.
I headed back and made good time getting back. There were still a few people walking out. One overweight guy asked me about the arch I had just came from and I told him that it is a pretty long hike
and told him if he tries to make it he is going to be hiking back in the dark. I was brutally honest with him as he had no business going back there at this time of night.
Back at the truck there were only a few remaining vehicles in the parking lot. I headed back to where I camped the night before and got some more water on the weigh back. I pulled into a campsite and typed. About 30 minutes later a couple pulled up and I told them that they are more than welcome to camp here as well but I have already paid for the site. They said they paid for it earlier in the day and she said she put the tag on the post at the site. I for some reason felt a little upset that she had not offered to allow me to still stay there as the campsites or hard to find and I said so I guess I can’t stay here. She said something like there trailer takes up a lot of room and I was getting a little angry that she was not being more hospitable and I did
not even think you could reserve spots or I would have reserved mine when I left this morning. The camp host had even stopped by earlier in the day and asked if I was taking the site and I said yes and he said ok. He had not seen the tag on the post either. She finally said well if I could fit after they got positioned I could leave my truck on their site. I told her no that’s fine I would go look for the camp spot the camp host had said earlier was still available.
As I drove out I saw the little paper she said was their reservation and it was like 1” X2” in size. I found the campsite the ranger mentioned but did not really like it that much. I had also driven by a handicap site and decided just to take that as no one would be coming this late to take this site. It was close to a restroom and noticed the smell after I gotten setup. I decided to just go with it. The smell wasn’t that bad and sometimes I did not even smell it at all. Well tomorrow is another moving day. Moab is pretty cool but the camping along the Colorado River on BLM ground was not all that great. I was planning to get up early to try and get a picture of the Delicate Arch in the morning as this is the most famous arch and I didn’t think I had that great of a picture. Good night from the Banks of the Colorado River on BLM ground near Moab, Utah.
Yesterday on several occasions I had this reoccurring thought that I should try to get a better shot of Delicate Arch. I was not satisfied really with any of the photos but I had not looked at them on the computer just on the camera. That is an arch picture that I must score. Consequently, when I awoke early this morning I felt I needed to get going and try to get a sunrise shot. I hurriedly packed up in about 5 minutes and left the handicap spot I had camped in. Yep I am a very bad person. I made it out to the arch about 30 minutes later. As I started walking out I said hi to a lady that was just getting out of her van which appeared to have hippie qualities. Essentially it was an old van, that looked in bad shape. Thus I characterize it as being hippie like. Does that illicit negative connotations? I do not mean for it to as I am ok with hippies. It is just a different lifestyle they choose. It is fine by me. Just as long as they are not mooching off other people. I think a person should be at least trying to do his thing without affecting others. If a person tries then I am ok with them. Those folks that do not try or the ones that I am not happy with. Everyone is born into this world with certain talents and abilities. I feel like I was born into this world very athletic and with an average mind. Parents helped me stay on course, but I give myself credit for always trying. That is the only thing I ever ask of anyone in this world. The person must try or I will not be sympathetic towards them.
This ladies name is Bronwyn. To be honest with you I had lots of reservations about this lady when I saw her get out of this van. From the start I thought she would say something like, “ How’s it going dude?” Instead she said “Hi.” Pretty normal actually. We continued walking and I was hoofing it at a pretty good pace and we talked as we walked and she was keeping up quite nicely, but I could tell she was laboring more than I. Bronwyn is from Philadelphia and left a couple weeks earlier. She talked about a hot springs she was recently at, I believe it was Glenwood Springs, but I am not sure. She said the spring was beautiful and that she stayed there for a long time. She is on a much tighter budget than myself and once she was in she was in so she made the most of it. She said there was a pool that people were bathing nude and that she was not into that so she avoided that. She said that in a manner not to judge the people that were taking part in that but instead in a manner that said it was just not her thing. I thought that was a nice way to put it. So many people so blankedly criticize folks who do not conform to their way of living as if the other person lives wrongly. Who are we to say what is right or wrong. Sure we live a certain way that feels best for us, but does that mean everyone should be like us. I do not buy into that and it appears Bronwyn didn’t buy it either based on how she described the nudist.
She told me how the night before she was at the Delicate Arch and stayed until it was really late and everyone had left. On her way back she got a little lost but she said she was never concerned. Remember this is cougar country. She said if tonight is the night then so be it. Bronwyn is very comfortable in her skin and where she is in her life. How many of us can say that. She said eventually she found her way back to her van. She said she got in the van and sat there for awhile and dosed off. She said she woke up again about 3 hours later and thought there is really no reason to leave now so she just stayed there in Arches National Park and spent the night. This is frowned upon by the Parks people but she was not discovered. She said it was a beautiful night.
I felt myself craving to hear more Bronwyn stories. I asked her what was the craziest thing that has happened to her on this trip. She had been just pulling off the sides of the roads and sleeping wherever she could find never paying it for camping spots. I see lots of vans like hers pulled off the sides of the roads always wondering if the van is broken down or if someone is just sleeping in there. I expected to here a great story but she said really nothing crazy has happened to me. I was disappointed by that as I wanted to here a real show stopper story. By this time we were probably 2/3 of the way to the Arch and she was visibly sweating and I was a little too. She was never once wanting to stop but just plowed on. I was impresses by her stamina which actually appeared a little labored. I said you have been pulling off the sides of roads sleeping and you have had nothing crazy happen to you? Just hoping for a story and then she said in a ho hum kind of way well I did have a coon in my van one night. I was surprised at that response as that is indeed very crazy. I asked her of course in an energetic voice how did you get a coon in your van? She said she had wandered off into the woods a ways and spent some time gazing up at the stars. I get the impression might have hour star gazing sessions similar to the common person might look up at the sky for a 30 seconds. She just seems to be living in the present very intensely. She said when she got back to the van she heard something move inside. She said she was never scared of what was in there but was curious what was making that nice. I am thinking hell yes you should be curious what is in your van I would have been jumping out of my skin and she is describing it as if it might be a fly. She said she knew it was not a person as it sounded to small. She looked in the van and she could see it was a coon. She said she looked at it’s eyes and it had the most beautiful eyes. I almost puked she is describing this animal as if it is a big old teddy bear. I am thinking this thing might be a rabid animal and she is acting like she might keep it as a pet. Bronwyn then said she was told by a friend once, that if she sees a coon that she can not be drawn in by their beautiful eyes. Bronwyn described the friend as someone who knows her very well. She said she made a path for the coon to get out as everything was cluttered in her van. She said the coon then walked along the path and got out of the van. I asked her did you just forget and leave the door open. She said the door on the van is not in very good shape and said she is always concerned about using it too much so she very rarely ever uses it and when she does she leaves the door open until she is ready to go. I just smiled.
I asked her where she was going and she said California. She was going out there to maybe pick some produce or something. She mentioned grapes and I told her she better get out there soon as they were picking grapes when I was there a couple weeks ago. I was thinking ok here is when she becomes a full fledged hippie. She is going out there with this crazy dream without any contingency plan fully believing that there is no way her name is not going to be up in lights some day. Rather than saying that though she said I know I am not going to make a lot of money doing this and that I will most likely be going back home soon but I am trying it. She it turns out is a very pragmatic lady. I could really find nothing about her that really scared me about her plans. She had a pretty good head on her shoulders actually. Once we got to the arch we snapped a few photos. Bronwyn is really into photography and has some pretty nice equipment. She had had her equipment stolen recently and was getting by with this equipment even though it was much better than mine. She is pretty savvy with the photography. We took several photos and she was always asking me if I wanted a photo of myself in the picture. She is a very nice lady and very kind. I really could not find anything about this lady that seemed crazy at all. Since I am a rather selfish person I let her take a few pictures of me and I took some of her. She would strike a clever pose when I took the photo. I was thinking man I wish I had thought of that pose and on a couple occasion asked her took take a picture of me in that same pose and of course she said sure. I walked down to the southside of the arch trying to get a good picture but really was not sure if I had any good ones. We spent about 40 minutes there and decided I was ready to head back. Bronwyn was ready to go back as well so we did so together.
I was intrigued by this lady and continued the onslaught of questions. I asked her what her family thinks of this and she indicated they were not the most supportive. She said her younger sister, who I believe she said was 12, was wanting to be something like president and Bronwyn told her that very few people ever achieve that in a semi supportive manner. She wanted her sister to strive for greatness but yet be pragmatic. After those words of wisdom the sister snapped back, well what are you going to do with your life in a snotty preteen way. Bronwyn told me she realized her sister had her there. I got the impression Bronwyn’s family is pretty grounded and normal. Nothing steering her down a road of rebellion per say. I think Bronwyn is about 30 years old.
I was starting to feel like Dennis Miller interviewing Joe Dirt in that classical movie of the same name. Dennis says in that movie my listeners and I can not get enough of the saga of Joe Dirt. I could not get enough of the saga of Bronwyn. I asked her what kind of job does she have. She said well I was a bicycle runner. I said a what? She repeated a bicycle runner. Whenever people need something in a hurry they would contact the company she worked for and hire them to ride their bikes across town to deliver whatever needed to be delivered. I told her I had never heard of it before. This same night I ended up staying with a guy in Grand Junction, Colorado that had the same occupation. He said that bicycle runners are predominantly a mans world and if you’re a female in that world you are held in high esteem as it is tough work and a little dangerous at times. Bronwyn however never told me about this profession in a manner that seemed to be bragging at all. Just like she never complained about the pace of the hike out to Delicate Arch as she was physically laboring. Bronwyn is a tough lady.
The walk back seemed to fly by and I felt like I had really gotten to know this lady and was wishing I could have spent more time with her. She though needed to see arches that I had already seen so me being all about me like I decided to keep on keeping on. I told her a little about what to see at those other arches. I really felt for this lady and what she was doing and gave her a little money to help her long. I told her to spend a night at a campsite with this money instead of sleeping just off the highway and/or maybe have a nice meal on me. I told her to not say anything about the money except maybe thank you! I could see her eyes water a little and I thought of her looking into those coons eyes and looking the same way. We hugged and we went our separate ways. As I pulled out I thought I better wait a bit to make sure her van ran. I heard it fire up with that typical hissing noise that are so common with those types (hippie) of van. I decided man I need to get a picture of her and her van so as she pulled up and I ask her if I could take a picture of her and her van for my blog as I will be writing about this hike to the Delicate Arch and that I had hiked with her. She smiled ear to ear and she told me the little stuffed animal taped to the passenger seat is from a little kid that gave it to her for her trip. I smiled at pretty much everything this lady did as her heart is truly in the right place. I took the picture and she continued to wave as she drove away. Wow what a great hike. As I have said before this world is not about the sites, but it is about the people. I had a very enjoyable hike this morning not because of the Delicate Arch which is probably the most famous arch in the United States if not in the world, but because of people in particular, because of Bronwyn. Thanks Bronwyn for being Bronwyn!
I knew nothing else that happened this day was going to move me like my time spent with Bronwyn. I wish her well and for safe travels.
I left and headed towards Grand Junction where I was spending the night couchsurfing. The couchsurfing lady is in her residency and her husband had something to do with bike repair, but I did not know the details of his job. I was driving towards Interstate 70. Man it was a long time since I have been on that interstate. It is a little weird how that kind of familiarity with something makes you feel a little like your home. However the countryside quickly reminded you that this is not Kansas Dorothy.
The whole Colorado plateau is amazing. The colored rock and amazing formations. Wow. The area around Grand Junction was some big country. It kind of sits down in a Valley with amazing mountains all around. This is plateau area not rocky, peaky mountains. I again was truly amazed. This is so beautiful. I was a little disappointed personally with the Arches park partly because people had really built that place up. This area though no one had really said much about and it was really impressing me. My tour guide Jim sad to see the Wild Horses and to go to Glen Canyon. He said at Glen Canyon they had a bike race everyday and said to go to the BLM office and ask them where to go to see the horses he said you can drive back to the horses. I was too spent on this day to do that so I just went to Wal-Mart and bought a pair of sunglasses that were so allusive to find in Europe. In America I could find about 40 different pairs that would work. For some reason they are not popular in Europe.
The weather appeared to be turning frightful and I turned on the radio to see if there were any warnings. I found a news talk show and left it there for awhile thinking any weather problems would be announced on there. I listened to a talk show talking about politics and he seemed pretty balanced with his thoughts and ideas and not just ripping on one party like so many of those talking heads do these days. He then started going out of his way to rip on Hillary Clinton. I am not sure who I will be voting for president this year but I know one thing what the republican led nation has done during the last 7 years has really angered me and I suspect I will not be voting for the Republican candidate. I have voted for Republicans in the past but this war, and tax breaks to the rich, and wanting to sell public lands for income really has turned me off. It is a fine line to walk between socialism and democracy on issues like healthcare but something needs to be done about that for sure but I think the democrats will at least discuss it and try to get something done on that issue. Their results and ideas will look after the poorest people in this nation more so than the republicans so the democrats will probably get my vote.
I made it to the couchsurfer’s home and called them to let them know I was there. They said to go ahead and out in there backyard and relax in the hammock. I did that and this hammock was one of the most relaxing I have ever been in. I was really enjoying it but then the wind really kicked up. I got up and walked around to try and find a place to go if a tornado was bearing down on me. I found a place. It was an entrance to the crawl space under their house. It had a light piece of tin over the entrance with concrete walls around it. It appeared I could hunker down in there if need be. I went back to the hammock realizing I had an option should Mr. Twister show up. It was really nasty looking and it started to rain and the wind was really blowing. The hammock was too close to the edge of the overhang and I was beginning to get wet so I got out of the hammock and decided to go the truck and listen to the radio for weather announcements. Indeed there were weather announcements and they said the winds were really high at the airport, which is on the north side of the town. That indeed is where the worst of it appeared to be. You can see a long ways in these valleys. They did not mention any tornadoes though so I felt more comfortable. It really never rained very hard and the winds subsided.
My couchsurfing host rode his bike past the truck and right into the house. I figured he would have stopped and said hi but he rode right to his house. I got out and met him in his backyard. They have a keg tapper in there garage which is really cool. They buy kegs and then drink from it for several weeks. It is maintained under pressure so I guess that keeps it fresh for the long time period. He is really into bikes and has several bikes laying around the garage. One of the bikes is a bicycle made for two. I thought that was very cool. We went inside and talked for awhile. The guy was extremely funny. He has a certain quirkiness about him that is cool. It is somewhat of a geeky attractiveness kind of like Rick Steves. He is a very intelligent and open minded person. We were on the same page on a lot of issues. He said he went to Washington to protest the war but like me he says now that we have done what we have we must stay and get that country back in shape. He said there are lots of things Bush has done that he liked, but because of the way he is it is hard to support him. He just does not try to make himself likeable. I told him too that I give Bush credit for way too much of the bad stuff that happens. This guy was probably the most open-minded and balanced person I have met in a long time. I really liked and respected him. I ask him what kind of work he does and he said for now he is working at a bike shop. He said he used to work as a bike messenger. I almost crapped in my pants. This is the same thing Bronwyn used to do. I had not heard of this occupation in my entire life and now today I have met two people that do that. I told him this lady I hiked with this morning did that. He said it is mainly a manly occupation and any woman who does deserves a lot of respect. This made me smile. We talked awhile longer and then decided to head downtown for some supper. We went to a pizza place and had a beer. His wife got off work and joined us a little later. We also ran into a couple friends of theirs one of which is in his residency too showed up and we went to a wine bar and had a glass of wine. There was a piano man playing there as well and no it was not Elton John, but I did think he was very good. It was funny his wife talked about how it was fine for her husband to not have a serious job as she will be making good money in her occupation. She is in family practice, which I thought was a great field of medicine. It tells me a lot about the doctor that goes into that field as there are lots of late nights. Man I need to find a wife like that. Wine bars make me a little stuffy and it felt good to leave after an hour or so. The Cooles, my couchsurfing host, are really neat people and I thoroughly enjoyed my night with them. I slept on a futon in a spare room of theirs. I wish I could have stayed a little longer but knew I had to get going the next day. Another very long day (6 page day) and eventful with lots of good memories. Good night from Grand Junction, Colorado. A cool night with the Cooles!