[...okay...i'm going to take a swing at it..]
Onward.. heading for northern Arizona border.. and I have spent the last two (three??) days back and forth between Utah and Az.
I rode for a couple of hours, and though not wildly hot, it was exceedingly dry. Nice ride though; bike running smoothly and Mp3 blasting Merle Haggard or U2 or Richard Thompson or anything else into my now-shredded ear-balls.
Stopped in a roadside "Land Use Bureau Information Site". Some skinny hiker with a Winnebego was peppering the gray-haired lady with non-stop questions until I a-hemed and he finally skulked off with many pamphlets of area trails. I made a point of not being a Dick and as such approached her slowly, quietly, politely...asked her where a dusty saddlebum should look for Cool Sites. She mentioned a "short hike" just off the road a couple of miles down, to view something called "hoo-doos" or "mushrooms". Besides that, she strongly advised, (since I was not prepared for any serious off-roading, with my lack of proper foot-gear and all).. to make sure I saw Monument Valley a couple of hours farther down the road. I'd been seriously considering this even before I left NY.. so that sealed it.
Meanwhile I did pull off at the trailhead that she spoke of, to see the Hoo-doos. I really wasn't prepared to be hoofing through serious desert conditions... motorcycle road-racing boots... black cut-off t-shirt.. black jeans.. black baseball hat.. But hell, I needed to see SOMETHING off the road on this trip, and the gal assured me that it was only about a 3/4 of a mile walk.. easy to do".
If you're properly dressed, well-hydrated, and in some sort of decent physical shape. I took my little water bottle with me, (I watch Man vs Wild so I know these things), but it only had about a pint in it. I walked about 50 yards before wondering if this wasnlt a mistake... but I was determined and how bad could it really be, after all?
Eventually I did reach the first set of hoo-doos. No one else was around and I took a few pictures...made half an attempt to push onward, over a chalk-dry hill to see the next set, (as suggested), but soon gave up. I was 3/4 of a mile off the road, almost out of water, and wheezing and puffing in my beer-gut suit. It's like swimming in the ocean; if you get overwhelmed there's no calling TIME OUT. I turned back, feeling I'd done my best.
Back on the Road.
BANDITS ON THE BLUFF