Utah and Arizona, the red desert

– and ¿Why are doing this trip? -ask me Mike at the tourist office in the Grand Canyon

– Because I don’t want to die without having lived – I reply him looking at his eyes-

I’d prefer rather die trying to live, that to die without having lived.

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In places like this I realize how small and insignificant I am

As everyone knows, now I, Aitor, keep on in this journey alone. Just as I started in 2006,  I cycled the Himalayan mountain range without more company than the people who I was meeting on the way. And now it seems that again I’m gonna cycle the Andes mountain range, among other many places also alone. All these years in which we have told you in the blog stories that we have lived,  I was who has gone with the camera taking snapshots that we have been hanging in the web page.

As I have always thought that a picture is worth a thousand words (maybe because I don’t have the gift of the word and the writing), I will continue telling you in my way more through images than through words.

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Camping at the edge of the Canyon of the Canyonland National Park

It has been almost a month of been getting fit slowly – slowly, after a long break, and with ups and downs of the canyons has been harder than I thought at begining. but, the first day that I got on the bike loaded with the panniers on and went out to the uncertainty, not knowing where i was going to sleep that night, without having planned nothing more than the road I wanted to cycle, came to  me again that feeling, that feeling of deep knowledge that i am at home, that all is well, and that is this exactly what I want to do. To see and get to know the world at that speed that only the bicycle can give to me. No hurry, enjoying the present moment, without making plans beyond the following 100 or 200 kilometers.

Getting the legs used to the everyday efforts

Friends, this part of the world is just amazing (i am not going to try to describe it, because I can not). To me that I like deserts and also the height, this place is the perfect combination where i can enjoy every minute. It is called “the colorado plateau”. It is a high plateau that is located between Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico at an altitude of about 2000 meters high of red land and red rock, but red as i never in my life had seen.

To arrive when it is about to rain, and suddenly to see how the sun hits the rocks is just a gift.

Since I had been wanting to know these lands for years I have decided to dedicate time and spare no efforts to save riding kilometers. I tried to visit the most interesting national parks.

In the Canyonlands National Park  I came with the targeted note after reading the book of Salva Rodriguez of pedaling “Shafer Trail”. And I have to say it was a great. Thank you Salva, always, whenever you’ve recommended me any route or track ,I  have enjoyed it a lot while I have suffered at the same time.

Routes like this even if the are little bit scary, are the ones which make me feel alive.

Tough but worthy to be between those rocks shaped by wind, rain and snow.

The unbelible arche of the Arches National Park has been one of the most spectacular of these places.
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I like to tru to imagine how they have been made those arches, but it is imposible to me.

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Looks impossible how thr gravity law, allows this arch to be stand.

Shapes that cautive and imnotize. Natural Cathedrals.

There nothing more beautifull than what has been created by the nature.

As always the meetings with the people have been great, and again I love realize how ignorant I am when I visit a country with my stereotypes in mind and I realize that it is just the opposite. What a good people these Americans, always willing to help, to strike up a conversation. We were all agree that these places are one of the nicest we’ve seen in our lives.

Different colors and tones happens because the iron is mixed with the earth that it oxidates takes redish color.

The only thing that has not been very comfortable is that it has rained more than is usual at this time. In fact these months of mid-September and October should be dry or almost dry, without hardly precipitation, and yet, apart from the fact that it has been raining a few days with 4 or 5 degrees of temperature, as I was leaving from Bryce Canyon, and another day  in the Grand Canyon ofColorado was snowing.
I can take the snow pretty well, because it doen`t wet, but to be rainy at 4 or 5 degrees and then having to camp, that annoys me more. But there is nothing to do but to keep on, to live or try survive with what comes. People usually see or imagine the beautifull side of travelling but bicycle, but there is also the other side of the coin that few people realize that exist.
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When the snow and the wind come together one realizes that is not the best day for cycling.

But as everything, everything ends, after the storm comes the calm, and this is where one returns to enjoy even more, because he has just tasted what is to sleep in a wet tent, inside a wet sleeping bag. Wake up when it’s raining in a really cold weather that penetrate to bones, and keep on cycling.

Such is what happened to me in Bryce Canyon, that when I arrived at the first village which was very close from I camping, i went inside one laundromat, and put everything, absolutely everything inside the dryer machine. From the clothes that had been used the day before and in the morning, until the sleeping bag and even the tent. But as I’ve said before, the sun always comes out after the storm, and allows you to enjoy again.

One of the things that I like of living as a nomad, is to know, more that just to know, be sure that at the end of the day I’m going to find a quiet place to put the tent and not have to worry about anything while I am sleeping and recovering for the next day.

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After 10 minutos looking for a place to camp, when you see this spot you know that it is the right place.

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