I struck camp and got back on the road to Moab, my ride taking me past Wall Street, so named for the climbing opportunities in the cool of the Colorado. I stopped in Moab at a favorite spot called Sweet Cravings.
Great coffee and even better baked goods, bagels, breakfasts, sandwiches, with an array of offerings. Forego the commercial attractions in Moab and support the local shops.
I hit Gearheads on the way out of town to pick up some better tent stakes. This is a place that could suck in any outdoor enthusiast for hours, but I had places to be.
One hundred seventeen miles to the south on Highway 191 is the turnoff for Valley of the Gods. I stopped in Blanding along the way to hydrate and fill up my Camelback with ice and I’m glad I did. Staying ahead of dehydrating is the trick for me.
This area lost the protection of being a National Monument when it was excluded as part of the Bears Ears Monument reduction. I guess we’ll see what that means for this area, but Utah hasn’t been terrific in protecting public land, and while it might seem like there’s not much out here to protect, there are mineable assets just waiting to be exploited.
For the most part, the seventeen-mile road, FR242 is an even, graded surface with some mild technical spots, nothing that’d stop the average tourist in a rental car.
If you’re a John Ford fan you’d feel at home out here. I enjoyed the ride despite the heat, appreciative of my mesh jacket and vented pants.
The road ends at the junction of UT 261. Heading north there’s a couple of miles of pavement to remind you of civilization before the road mounts Cedar Mesa, known as Moki Dugway. The road climbs 1,200 feet at grades of eleven percent.
While rounding one of its more treacherous blind corners I came upon a stopped Ford F350 pulling a long travel trailer descending the road. It was on the outside of the road where it turns the corner in the image above which gave them a better view for pics without getting out of their goddamned air conditioning, forcing me to find a line between the truck and the drop off making the female passenger of the F350 scream.
Above is a look back over Valley of the Gods.