ON THE ROAD // Road to Moab Pt. 1

I did something that people called brave, amazing and some said a little silly. I took a solo motorcycle trip to Moab, Utah for the Motos in Moab campout that happened May 27-30th. It took every ounce of courage I had not to bail. I almost called my manager the night before to say, “nah, I’m actually going to be in at 9AM tomorrow, forget the whole thing.” This was the first “real” trip I was taking solo.

I’m glad I didn’t chicken out.

I avoided taking the 10 westbound from my Westside apartment, still sort of afraid of the morning commute traffic. You know the reputation of Los Angeles drivers… they’re nuts (it’s not a joke). My two wheels took me all the way down Venice Blvd to the 10 on-ramp by the Fabric District. I’m on a curb telling me self, just go! My impatient inner monologue is more clutching the sides of its face, screaming “JUSTTTTTGOOOOOOOOOALREADY!” I was ready in first gear and onward I revved, not knowing what I was really anticipating on the road. As soon as I hit the freeway, I knew I was making the right decision. The right decision for my heart, soul and mind. This was the most important thing I’ve done for myself since I moved to California six years ago.

I got rained out the first two hours of my trip. Really doing most of my riding in California, I didn’t really anticipate rain. I sought some refuge in a Panera Bread (later, under a highway overpass) and made some fast friends with two Englishmen who rode triumphs back in their day. What I’ve learned from traveling solo is that the solitude really does make you open up to the possibilities of new friends and folks entering your life.

It took a few hours to get to Sin City, the first check point. I didn’t even stop, I just nodded at the obnoxious casinos and glittery buildings before heading to Overton and filling up for the park ahead. I’ve read about Valley of Fire and figured it was a quiet park to settle in for the night. The 10 mile crackled road, greyed and aged by the sun, didn’t seem to promise anything exciting. One hill over to the entrance took me by surprise. The rocks in Valley of Fire came out like broiling, russet giants from the desert. I rolled in past exhibits mimicking beehives and boulders with twisted, chestnut faces to my campsite of choice.

The park, albeit small, leaves a generous amount to explore. But, even with that being said, I don’t think that you really need more than a day or two here. The golden hours are the hot (literally) tickets to this place. On the road to the park’s fire wave, the road was absolutely stunning. The curves of the road made me stop on the side and bring out my camera. The setting sunlight bathed all the rocks, turning them from copper to a luminescent blush red.

Personal reflection: This was a beautiful and quiet park to spend the night. If you’re looking for that solitude, beauty and a digestible area to explore; I highly suggest this place. I would’ve liked to spend one more day here to take a hike and see the sunset/sunrise one more time but I had to jet to my next location (Zion!). Bring someone to experience this with, it’s really too beautiful to not share.