Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 4th, 2009 (Dave W) - On the ride to Salina

Continuing on from the Black Dragon Canyon area, the terrain slowly transformed from a Martian landscape to more the backdrop for High Plains Drifter. Less red, more gray, less dirt, more gravel and shrubbrush. During a couple of spots along the TAT in both Colorado and Utah, there were some washes/ creekbeds that looked as though they were God's own toothpaste basin. I couldn't tell if it was some sort of mining pollution, or just a natural occurance. My guess was the former, but I ain't no high-falutin' Fluvial Geomorphologist with leather elbow patches.

This picture didn't totally capture the toothpastiness of it all...

Cruising solo was fun, as I could go at my own pace, but it also sort of sucked, because my solo pace was usually a bit on the safer side of fast. Not seeing anybody for an hour or more in each direction meant I was truly on my own if something went wrong. I did have the SPOT, just in case. Being alone also meant that I had to stop and take pictures for myself.

After seeing other peoples ride reports and various pictures of the very spots I was riding, there was often a sense of dejavu all over again. Somebody had mentioned the giant rat turds in a previous thread, and that captured the essence of these constipative droppings. I couldn't help but scan the horizon for a 200 ft rodent.

I had been hoping for more sweet, sweet water crossings on this voyage, but some over-zealous civil engineer ruined another refreshing splash...

Perhaps I was a bit dehydrated, but I really thought I was going to see a scrawny old prospector emerging from this shack. Turns out there wasn't even a mine within, but just a little shady shelter for cows and their keepers...

For the next while, on the way to Salina along 70, there were several underpasses weaving the trail north and south of the interstate. I took a picture each time, but they all pretty much looked just like this, plus or minus some rural graffiti.

Having seen pictures of this tunnel in other TAT threads, it was yet another "this is all too familiar" moment. It turns out that I70 is like 20 feet to my right, so it doesn't have quite as much of the 1910's old-timey charm I had been anticipating. Never-the-less, it was pretty cool to ride through and it sure made my bike sound good!


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