Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Echoes from the Road: Summer 2005, Day 9

Boulder to Moab
June 29, 2005

Highway I-70
Today started early. I had spent the night with a friend in Boulder after a week with two other friends in Denver. It had been a long week. Several gigs and meetings. I was happy to get back on the road.

My truck had been good all week and so I figured that today's trip would be fun, exciting and breath-taking as I crossed the Rockies. But just as I started to get on the ramp to highway I-70 my truck started sputtering and hesitating. Do I turn around or see if it the problem passes again? I elected to press on.

I passed several old, abandoned mines. The road was very steep and my truck was struggling. I decided to stop for a while.

I found a Starbucks and pulled off the highway. As I drank my tea I went over my options. I had a gig in Moab in two days. If I could make it there today that would give me a free day tomorrow to get a mechanic to look at my truck... I got back on the highway.

I was beginning to feel like would never make it when the Eisenhower Tunnel came into view. The highest vehicular tunnel in the world, the west side is over 11,000 feet. Passing through it I would cross the Continental Divide again, this time to the pacific side. Hopefully it was all "down hill" from here.

Once on the other side of the tunnel there were many mountains in the distance. I still had a way to go. By the time I got to Vail my truck was acting so strange I didn't even bother to take photos. By this time I was very worried.

Soon the Colorado River began to parallel the highway. At several places the highway and river passed through canyons that were so narrow the road became elevated. The west bounds lanes over the east bound lanes.

By mid afternoon I was in Utah, in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. I got off I-70 and got on Scenic Byway 128 which I knew would pass through some incredible scenery and dump out just north of Moab. In the distance are the La Sal mountains.

After a while the road began to descend into a narrow canyon and rejoined the Colorado River. You can still see the La Sal mountains on the horizon.

Scenic Highway 128
The road passed the Fisher Towers...

Then Castle Rock, over looking Castle Valley came into view.

The canyon got narrower,

The cliffs got steeper.

Wonderful, weird, red rock surrounded everything.

After passing through steep walls of hanging rock, the road finally came out just north of Moab. My truck had made it! I found my destination and got some advice about where to get my it fixed. A little garage called, appropriately, Arches Repair Center was reccomened. Tony, the mechanic there, thought it was might be a bad spark plug. I made plans to drop my truck off in the morning. I thought I would have to hang out all day waiting for it to be fixed, but the wife of the couple I was staying with offered to drive me around.

That night I slept soundly. Hopefully tomorrow my truck would be fixed and things could get back to the normal grind of life on the road.

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