On the back way into Moab, I passed by a lot of cutoff roads that went up into the mountains. I would find out while talking to a waitress that one of them was the last leg of a loop you can make beginning south of Moab. I overdid it yesterday, blew out a knee, so I was ready for a nice, easy drive. The LaSal Mountain Loop takes you up beyond the 107 degree heat and then back down through Castle Valley.
With my knee slowly returning to its normal size, I started driving south. With no GPS. A little bit south of town, you come a nicely marked sign: Ken’s Lake and Lasal Mountain Loop. Much of the trip reminds me of a meme I was sent by a friend, Sokratis Gonidis, that can pretty much sum up my life. What could possibly go wrong?
There were not too many pictures. Lasal Mountain Loop could easily be renamed “Darwin’s Loop.” It reminds me of driving driving in Iceland. The speed limit signs are not arbitrary like they can be out east. If the sign says “20 mph,” you do 20 mph. If you gaze at the scenery instead of the signs, you could end up on the list for the Darwin Awards.
Yes, I had one scare. Then, I paid the hell attention. There was a road I took in North Carolina that was called the Dragon’s Tail, a snaking, loopy road that took you 2 miles in five miles of road. The LaSal Mountain Loop was its big brother. If you dropped off the Dragon’s Tail, you end up in trees and brush. If you drop off the mountain loop, you end up a few thousand feet down.
There are a lot of cutoffs as you make your way up. Each trail leads to gorges and hikes. I just tried to stay on the road. As the temperature dropped by 20 degrees in 15 minutes, you are up in the mountains.
I finally saw cows! On the road! It really doesn’t take much to entertain me, but after close to 10,000 miles of driving, and hundreds of signs saying “open range,” “cow crossing,” and things like that, I finally saw some and had to stop.
What goes up, must come down and I made my way into Castle Valley. I drove right past the huge sandstone castles in the sky that I took pictures of that seemed so far away. Ranches, farms, a winery and resorts grew up from the desert. The temperature slowly climbed back up as I made my way down and back onto Route 128.
There is so much to do here. I saw people and boats on the river, four wheel adventure trips setting out, and all kinds of things. But I’m just a traveler passing through.
One last thing I’ll say is what the hell is with the Colorado River? It reminded me of Texas: it’s all over the place. I think I have crossed it about 50 times if not more. But now it’s time to move on. I struggled with what to do next, how to make it to California. I promised friends I’d stay away from Las Vegas. Do you realize how hard that is? It is as if all roads west lead through it. I thought about south through Arizona but decided to make my way to Salt Lake City. I always wanted to see the salt flats and then make a long drive through a desert.