Monday, July 4, 2011

6/30/11 The Griswolds

Hanksville to Hite

Today was another testament to the triumph of the human spirit. Ok, maybe it wasn't that hard. But it was nasty. The 50 mph winds that Ted predicted came true. A storm came within the first our of the ride and tested our rainproof gear. It works. I do, however, wish I had a motorcycle jacket when that rain hits. Lord, almighty. Imagine a full body sunburn coupled with being shot with a paint ball gun.

Despite the hard day and winding roads, we arrived early at Hite recreation area. A water filled canyon, now called Lake Powell. Completely desolate. All of the camps had been blown down. Not a boat in sight. I decide that anywhere is a good spot to change into a bathing suit, being that we are on Mars. Just moments after this cavalier move, a pack of boy scouts and a caravan of Griswolds pull in. Jeepers.

Chris and I took a swim in the icy cold, chocolate milk lake. Tried to wash ourselves, our bike shorts and our pots and pans. Now everything is redbrown and probably will be for some time. Whatever tan I think I might have is actually just dirt.

I changed a flat while Chris went to the only gas station for fifty miles to get Corona and eggs. Best. Dinner. Ever. After wolfing down a carton of eggs and cooling our beers between drift wood in the lake, the Griswolds invited us for cocktail hour.

Six to seven full sized motor homes and old rodeo rigs convered in to beer storage were rallied into a circle for the only shade possible in the barren desert. We met Dawn, a forty something full figured lady with a tan and a grin. Boisterous, fun woman. A self proclaimed ex-rodeo girl. The kind of woman who actually slaps her knee when something is funny. We were encouraged to help ourselves to the beer, which we did until we felt fully assimliated. The beer trailer was previously a stall for horses. Now stocked with six coolers and four kegs, sealed with housing insulation. There is just no way they could drink this in four days.

Matt and Johnny arrived in the dark, as usual. But just in time for free beer and bratwurst. (Which Johnny has never heard of) Chatted with the Gray family for several hours. So nice to just sit and eat and drink and relax. Simple pleasures taken for granted in daily life are treasured here on the road.

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