Day Four - Hotchkiss CO to Moab UT
Miles: 286
Elapsed Time: 10:19

We rode over to PJs for breakfast. I thought the BBQ was good but really I thought the breakfast was even better. Winzi was needing some greater eye protection than what we had so we stopped at Wal*Mart in Delta to get him fixed up and it made a big difference for him. One of the places I wanted to go this year was the Colorado National Monument and I made sure to include this on the route. It was a little out of the way but Steve and I had always wanted to do this but it never seemed to make the cut. We clearly should have done this earlier. The views were great and the ride was also good although we kept it very under control and didn’t exceed the speed limit too drastically. The loop was roughly 36 miles and all of it was great riding but more looking than riding. We stopped three times; the first the stop was at Shivers Point overlooking Columbia Canyon. I think the guys were a little surprised that a place called Colorado National Monument was a sandstone desert looking landscape. The first stop not even a third of the way in set the tone for more to come. We also stopped at Red Canyon overlook and lastly at the Coke Ovens Overlook. One could spend day in the park just soaking in the scenery but we had places to be. Backtracking back out on US50 and in short order we turned south on C141. The fun was about to begin. We stopped at the top of the run and told everyone we would meet at the Gateway Resort 40 miles down the road, and it couldn’t be missed. We assumed that the others might want to stop and take pictures and move at their own pace so we thought let’s meet there and we can ride at our pace which was going to be fast. We left and the others followed. They stopped to take some pictures and video while riding, but for Steve and I this road is a favorite track and we tore it up. Gateway was only about half way and the road only gets better after that. We met at a place that didn’t exist the last time we came through here and they had a food trailer in parking lot. We ate a good lunch and continued on our way. We knew there was another overlook before we needed to turn that was at the end of the run and easy to spot so we did the same thing by turning everyone on their own and said we’d meet 30 miles down the road. The second half was even better and Sebastian,WInzi, and Jim arrived to the pull-off with smiles on their faces. The ride from Gateway to the Hanging Flume area is just pure canyon carving at its finest. The road follows the Delores River down to where it meets the San Miguel River. The Hanging Flume was an ingenious way to use the hydraulic pressure of the river to mine for gold and minerals, and the remnants of the flume can still be seen clinging to the canyon walls. Just a little beyond our meeting place we turned onto C90, and began the Northwest trek through Paradox Valley. It’s roughly 25 miles of mostly straight road but the vastness of the valley is very enjoyable. The road climbs up the valley wall finding a gap and following the La Sal Creek up to the town of La Sal in Utah. Once into Utah on U46 and eventually US191 the road becomes a little boring but the orange colors in the desert make it an enjoyable ride. We didn’t stop again until we reached our cabin at the Moab Valley RV resort. We checked in and got the two cabins we reserved, but when we got into the cabin we realized they no longer had a king and queen bed, but rather only two queens. They had updated all their cabins, adding a table but they didn’t alert anyone to the changes. It probably didn’t impact many others, but for us it meant two would be on a queen bed for two nights, not a good situation. We had already met the neighbors next door and they offered a cabin they had rented for one night until the rest of their party arrived but the next night would still be an issue. We talked to the manager and they realized their mistake and offered us a big cabin that would accommodate all of us although it was a little tight. It wasn’t bad and we went to the pool for a quick dip and then went to the Moab Brewery for dinner after convincing one of the employees they should give us a ride there. The food was ok but the beer was excellent. We took an expensive taxi back to the cabin but it was all worth it.