The day began with a trip towards Arches National Park on a clear, calm, sunny morning. The ride in was again very beautiful with red rock cliffs along the road. We rode through the park and saw a lot of the main arches they have viewpoints of, but didn't do a major hike through the park to some of the others. Delicate Arch is the one on the Utah license plate and we saw it from a distance instead of a 3 mile round trip hike. We also saw Balancing Rock, which really boggles the mind how a large boulder can be perched on top of a rock spire like that. Overall, the park was amazing, and it's really impressive how many hiking and off road trails they have that would be amazing to spend more time on.
We left the park and headed into Moab for gas before heading out towards Colorado. Our route back to the highway would take us east on Utah highway 128, which is the Southern Colorado River scenic byway. Again we were riding through red rock canyons along the Colorado River. The scenery was amazing again, and we got a ton of good pictures.
We also caught a sprinkle or two, which is the most rain we've seen since day 2 when we had 200 miles of rain in Kentucky, so we've had great luck with the weather.
Just before the highway, we continued on 128 instead of getting directly on I-70, which took us through Cisco, which seemed like a ghost town. It's interesting to see just how little there is in many of these places. Along I-70 there wasn't much to see until we got about 75 miles into Colorado. It was there that we got into some canyons along the Colorado River again, and then into the Rocky Mountain foothills. We worked our way up in elevation to Vail, where we summitted the mountain at 10,603 feet according to the roadsign. There was quite a bit of snow on the mountains, and we had gotten into colder temperatures than we saw yesterday, with a low of 36 degrees. I had to stop and switch to heavier gloves at this point since I was still wearing thin perforated leather gloves and couldn't feel my fingers anymore.
The road worked its way back down for a bit, and then higher again
Dad hiked in one direction and I hiked in another to get some different pictures.
up to a summit of 11,158 feet before we entered the Eisenhower tunnel, which is 1.8 miles long through the top of one of the mountains. It was frigid at 36 degrees again. From here, we worked our way down the eastern side of the Rockies and into Golden, CO, where we'll spend 2 nights to explore the area and ride the Rockies.
We had Chinese for dinner at a local place here which was recommended by the hotel, and it was perfect. Hot soup, tea, and huge meals. Tomorrow will be a much lighter day with us exploring the area, but not putting as many miles on as the past few days. I've put over 5,500 miles on the bike since beginning the trip, and Dad has even more since leaving NJ 17 days ago.
Now it's off to bed to catch up on some much needed sleep, and enjoy a relaxing day tomorrow.
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