I started going feral just west of Green River, UT. Where the view opens up on the San Rafael Swell. I let go of the urgency that haunts my daily routine, and felt myself relax into the adventure.
An hour from our ride, we fueled. We ate the sandwiches we had brought in the cooler, pairing these with gourmet potato chips and fresh grapes.
We parked on Temple Mt. Road near its intersection with Highway 24 and unloaded our bikes in the brilliant afternoon sun. We laughed and chatted through the naked rituals of kitting up and pushed off onto a gentle climb toward the stunning sculptural features of the Navajo sandstone.
I immediately found my cadence and settled into a calm, fast pace. Warm sun warmed my back under vivid blue sky. Even the chunky chip-seal felt good under my tires as I climbed toward the slickrock.
I felt myself relaxing as my steady breathing seemed to purge the residue of tension that accumulates between desert rides. Clean, crisp air filled my lungs, and I took flight. I floated over the road. My body felt amazing. I watched the colors and sunlight on the cliffs as I came alive on the bike. I love exploring the desert.
We spent almost three hours riding together over easy graceful miles. Drinking in the landscape until we arrived back at the car in the chill of early dusk.
The setting sun caught water vapor in wispy clouds and made a sunset rainbow. We set up our tent in a beautiful but very cold canyon bottom and watched as the billions of stars emerged.
Goblin Valley was quiet this late in the season, and we saw very few cars. The scenery is gorgeous. Each new hue of desert rock, sky, and autumn leaf makes me wonder if I’ll ever see that exact color again in my lifetime. I tried to savor each transient, blissful moment before chasing the next one.