Utah continues to amaze ! The road to Boulder was unbelievable. It was also very tough, and I’m glad there are stops closer together than in Arizona. It took me three hours to do a really short distance (less than 30mi/50kms).
Leaving Escalante, after less than an hour of riding, I came upon an impressive viewpoint : up to the horizon, a gigantic maze of hills, canyons, mesas, polished by the water and the sun, with all colors from white to orange to red, with the occasional green of vegetation.
And then you go down into this huge maze ! It’s a long series of very steep ups and downs, 8%, 10%, 14%, either standing up on brakes, or walking very slowly uphills. But the views are worth all the efforts. There are forests lining along the rivers in the canyons, stretches of rocks in all shapes and sizes, and a lot of stops along the way to indulge in all this.
After going all the way down, and all the way up, I finally got to see the Hogback. Even the wind on the way up had turned into a ghostly murmur “Ooooh… Turn around ! You will meet your fate if you push forward !” Truth is, from the google street video, I knew the place was not as terrifying as it was advertised. The cliffs are not extremely steep or high. I was mostly concerned by the occasional gust of very strong sidewind that could easily push me a couple feet closer to the border. But the wind gently stopped while I crossed the scary part, only a mile long in the end. There wasn’t too much traffic so I took the lane shamelessly 😉 I didn’t stop to take too many photos though, but the video should render the feeling better anyway.
To keep up with true spirit, the wind resumed right after this bit, and, even if it is supposed to be south in this area, it decided to blow in my face, so north. I tried to stop for some time, and then I walked again to preserve stamina.
I reached Boulder at nearly 1pm, a very small town, that was long deemed the most isolate in the US. They were still supplied by mules until the 40s. Why live here ? There was a small settlement of Anasazi Indians here around the year 1000, but they stayed only 50 years, a blip for archeology. Still, there is a small museum and pueblo excavations.
A great stop for me at any rate, as the second great climb of Utah lies right afterwards, and I’ll be able to pass that early tomorrow. Being way beyond half of Utah now, I added their flag to my list 🙂