posted on Monday, May 29, 2017

Hanksville

Today it was like gate crashing a John Wayne's movie set on a bicycle. Before that I waved goodbye to Menno at the campsite. To add to his long list of misfortunes, his rental car dashboard now gives some warning lights and being in the middle of nowhere he'll have to find a rental place and change the car. He is definitely learning patience and acceptance, by the end of the trip he'll be a saint. I haven't given up hopes on a cool gin tonic in the desert but will have to see how things go. Cycling was incredible today too. It started with the lesser known Capital Reef National Park. The road twisting through large granite vertical rock faces, not unlike Zion. I got a little scare while riding; I suddenly heard some ruffling in the bushes by the side of the road and two large turkeys who hadn't heard my quiet engine, crossed the road in front of me, terrified as if it was Christmas. By the way I might have met president Carter but will never know... I chatted to this man with a southern accent and slow paced voice of the real man. He really looked like him too but was wearing some shades and I didn't have the guts to ask 'is your name Jimmy Carter?'. Back to John Wayne, I sat in the only cafe in the desert and found out that he actually did shoot some of his movies here in Utah. The cafe was full of his pictures, some signed and I was told he visited the place often, was friend with the current owner's grandpa and the battered rocking chair in the corner, was brought by him because he liked a comfortable chair to sit on. Going through desert and huge red faced canyons I imagined what an easy prey I would be for a bunch of determined Navajo Indians suddenly appearing from the top of the mountain and setting a chase on bare back horses. Not the slightest chance! I would probably get an heart attack before any arrows were shots...if John Wayne was not there that is. The landscape was barren, desolate and immersed in a silence only broken by the wind. I had to manage my three bottles of water as for hours there was none and I didn't meet any campervan rescuer along the way. No wonder It is a few miles from here that a Mars Laboratory has existed for many years, simulating how to cope with life on Mars. Pretty grim if you ask me, but we all love to explore, don't we?