Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Guided by Our Internal GPS, Day 2

Entrance to Zion National Park
Where you want to go is different than where you need to go. With where you need to go, you must plan and stick to those plans. With where you want to go, you need only follow your heart.

On the morning of Day 2, I looked at Google Maps on my phone and figured I could ride across the State of Utah and wind up at Flaming Gorge.

I started by riding through Zion National Park, one of my favorite national parks, with its twisty roads and majestic rock formations. And while waiting in line to enter the tunnel, I met a fellow sport-touring rider from Quebec. He was on a BMW RT1100, but he didn't say much.

I noticed storm clouds up ahead, and started to rethink my path. If I was to take Highway 12, which is one of the most beautiful roads to ride in my humble opinion, it would take me right into the middle of the downpour, while navigating moderate twisties at high elevations.

Or I could stick to Highway 89, which is more straight, with some easy twisties here and there, but appears to miss most of the rain.

I listened to my heart, and it said to stick to Highway 89.

Downpour on Highway 89, near Panguitch, UT

As such I remained mostly dry, though I did hit patch of hard rain, but only for a few minutes. Yet, I found it relieving. The 100+ degree temperatures that afternoon cooled down to 80+ temperatures in the rain fall, and found myself wishing for more rain.

In Panguitch, I looked for a bar. My mouth was dry and I was hot and sweaty from the heat. But I found no bar, no saloon, no nothing that appeared to serve beer. Then I realized, "I'm in frickin Utah!"

And here I still have another 300-400 miles to get to Flaming Gorge.

I really looked forward to walking into a dimly lit, dive bar and ordering up the best beer they have, which is often Samuel Adams or a Newcastle, and talking to folks about whatever. And now I wondered if I could endure more of this heat without my favorite beverage.

But I knew for certain that there are bars in Salt Lake City, because I've been to them before.

So I did another gut check, and my gut said to go to Salt Lake City.

And that's how I got here.

80 MPH speed limits on the I-15, one of the things I like about Utah

Red Rock Brewery has its own bar and restaurant, and I was able to enjoy a few beer with a chopped salad. Seated next to me was an architect from New York City who was here doing some work. We talked about stuff for awhile. And I also got to visit another favorite bar of mine, Squatters Pub just a block away.

My grandmother, who was a Buddhist, often told me about the Universe and its spiritual force. This force is in everything, including ourselves. When you think, you interfere with that force. But when you let go of your thoughts, let this force guide you, good things happen.

Finishing the day with an
Amber Ale from Red Rock Brewery
It's like when you spend a few minutes looking at the cue ball on a pool table, measuring the angles, and then carefully hitting it just right, only to find that you missed the shot. And then the next time, you simply shoot without thinking and you sink it easily.

That's what I'm talking about.

3 comments:

  1. Maybe it's my imagination... but... though this ride you're now taking is a sweet ride... I sense an underlying, quiet melancholy... like more is going on than what is willing to be revealed... Ride Safe, and far.

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  2. I'm really enjoying this trip, this is the area of the country I love the most, I wish I could pack and move out west, it's so beautiful. Oh, I love the speed limits too, when I rode from Salt Lake City to Wendover I did it mostly at close to 100mph on my Connie, it felt so good, the bike humming at over 5000rpm

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  3. Wow a 130kph speed limit, it like it. Naturally you do about 10-20 over anyway so this is really a legal 90mph!!

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About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)