Telluride, CO to Moab, UT – 254.8 miles
We woke up knowing it was going to be a long day since Moab was the solid destination and we had a lot of miles to make up. The morning was nice with cool mountain temperatures and an overcast sky. We ate croissants and drank lattes by the stream that ran through town, trying to be fancy for a moment before suiting up to get covered in trail dirt.
We cruised out of town and began the trek to Lizard Head Pass which would be the last of our Colorado climbs. The road started with easy gravel and finished on paved highway. The gentle start was a bit of a relief after a couple grueling passes yesterday that sapped us dry. We found the top of Lizard Head to be very anticlimactic as there was neither a good view nor any actual lizards.
A quick turn back onto dirt began our final descent out of the Rockies. Tall aspen with their stark white bark and spruce trees faded into our mirrors, giving way to open land with sage brush and low grasses. Fields of freshly tilled red dirt waiting to be planted spotted the landscape along with ever present cattle and their fresh deposits.
After about 30 minutes of steady riding, we started to see the shape of tall mesas rise in front of us. I couldn’t help but stare at the mesas in all their glory as we rode past, but towering above them in the distance were the peaks of the La Sal Mountains. Our final climb of the day was through Geyser Pass. Other than one fun rock scramble, the ascent was easy and again the name was misleading…no shooting water was found.
We exited the mountain on a winding road as the sun was setting. The view of distant mesas was spectacular as the low light let us see them only in silhouette with their outlines a dark blue against the horizon. We then entered the Sand Flats Recreation Area and the sky went completely dark making the canyon’s steep drop offs even more exciting.
Moab was a sight for sore bums and a hotel reservation made getting a bed to plop them on easy. We found dinner at a local spot and feasted on brisket and a mile high plate of chili cheese fries.
Today’s lesson: Sometimes there’s nothing to the name.