Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Finally, Finding Hope in Moab

I have been struggling to make 'lemonade from the lemons' of Moab. The pressure was made worse by a Utah school holiday coming up. But I'm glad I didn't give-in to defeatism. 

Surprisingly good results can come from remembering that 'the early bird gets the worm.' There is a jeep/ATV road that is easy to see from my campsite. It looked quite appealing to mountain bike on. Should I be so foolishly naive as to try?

I started a few minutes after sunrise, when it was still chilly. For the first hour and a half, not a single motorized device passed me, despite this trail being well-signed and well-known. Then I popped out on a dirt road and had a nice conversation with a young couple who was taking their niece on a walk. My dog loves children, and vice versa.

It is not surprising that this worked, but it is that it worked so well, and in Moab! There is probably quite a wind chill factor when 'four wheeling' in an open jeep, ATV, or Texas wheelchair ('side by side'). So why would they start early?

Besides, they are on vacation. They want to sleep in, and then take the family out to breakfast at a sit-down restaurant. That takes forever. No wonder 90% of the motorhead traffic is in the afternoon.

From now on I will dress up in cool-weather-cycling clothing, and hope for the best, starting at sunrise. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Part 2: Hopeless Moab

What is that crazy dog up to now?! She took off running up a cliff. But I have learned that bizarre behavior on her part is usually due to ravens.  The raven sat right at the top of this strange, ugly geologic feature. 

She never learns that the raven will simply fly away before she gets there. On the way down, Coffee Girl seemed to pose for the camera, with a look of contentment in her body language. 

It seems that I am content to look at things from her point of view. 

Often I run across unpleasant and impractical dogs, and wonder why the owner was so 'stupid' as to choose that dog. But to be fair, it really isn't about stupidity. Didn't the Bard say (more or less) that 'a young man falls in love with his eyes, not with his heart.' The same could be easily said about most people as they choose their pets.

It would be better to choose a dog blindfolded. Lower your hand to its mouth for an eager, but bashful, lick. Feel its body start wriggling when you pet it. Hear the vibrato of its wagging tail.

The same thing happens with motor vehicles and RVs. Does 'Mildred' (of Fred and Mildred fame) care about anything other than the color schemes in her new rig? Later, she encounters one disappointment after another. She acts surprised.

But being a bit indifferent to the scenery of Moab doesn't mean that there aren't other things to make the experience interesting. Rolling into town the other day, I was once again amazed at how hellishly hot canyon bottoms are. A month of thermal progress was wiped out in a second. I was furious!

My years of experience with travel have taught me not to suppress my aversions, because soon, something ironic usually happens. Later that same day, it did happen. Instead of closing up the trailer at night, like you would in the high country, I left everything open. How wonderful it felt to have cooling, but still balmy, wind blowing over the skin. I could relax with my environment, instead of bracing against it, like you would in the high country.

What is most amazing is that these sense-impressions through the skin never seem to get boring, as most delights do. 

In being surrounded by hordes of scenery tourists, it helps to visualize them as a rather different animal species from myself: they process information differently than I do. So does my dog. I put up with it from her, so why not cut these clownish tourists the same slack?