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Grand TrailFest Utah – La Verkin Utah

Departing Castle Rock at 5 am meant our first stop was Copper Mountain at 11000 ft altitude and 36 degrees. We didn’t stop because we needed rest, or needed air devoid of oxygen, or wanted to break out our winter gear. Up until yesterday we melted our way west through a heat wave and all Ruby knew was a/c. While I shivered & sported an altitude headache, Jill read the owners manual. Soon Ruby made her first heat, and we were back cruising I70.

We descended the pass from Copper Mountain, noting ‘Steep Grade’ signs near truck run offs — off road gravel pits pointed high to the sky — and we were glad to be surrounded by trucks with working brakes.

The terrain of Colorado changed from majestic mountain peaks that tickled the clouds to high altitude valleys, gradually descending to moon-rock — which is not a geological term but how it looked to us.

All of this topography kept our attention piqued, and there were no shortage of photos. Just when you thought you had witnessed the most fascinating rock formation, another appeared the next mile. The beauty, the awe went on like this for hours, and we barely noticed we’d crossed into Utah.

For a short period in eastern Utah, the mountains vanished and we stared down valleys of sagebrush, sand and gravel thinking perhaps our run of scenic mountains were over. But no.

The mountains morphed into jagged formations without vegetation, and the pointed peaks of Colorado were replaced by flattened Utah muffin-tops. We pulled over at every scenic rest stop, captivated by names such as Black Dragon Canyon, Eagle Canyon and not caring about making time to our destination. The stunning beauty of these canyons were worth the extra time.

La, la la, life doesn’t get any better than road trippin, and then the adventure heats up. It began with a popping sound. The kind of sound that isn’t a good sound but you dismiss it because more data doesn’t make it better. Then, the popping sound continues, more frequently than before, and just when you try extra hard to dismiss a half dozen occurrences, the dashboard goes blank too, so now there is a pop-blank dashboard combo and you have no idea how fast you are going, there is no internet in these canyons to ask google wtf? and none of this can be good in an electric car.

We were another 30 miles from civilization, and all anxiety-hell broke loose so we consumed a full container of chocolate and bag of chips and somehow we got Ruby Darkness to Richland, Utah. At Richland, there was cell service, a charging spot, a hotel and a rental car service. Full service in my playbook. Jill checked with the Tesla service peeps, while I processed plans B and C just in case. The options were to get a 3 hour tow to Salt Lake City that may or may not occur today, or take a leap of faith and keep driving to Kanab and hope for the best. We mulled over how long this trip was planned, a celebration of reaching that 60 milestone, training for months in crazy DC heat — all to be undone by a dark dashboard?

The choice was clear, and we got back on I70. We just needed another 2 hours to reach our destination. We filled the time with talk about visiting a bull riding rodeo, how cool that would be, and maybe take in a roller derby too….and we talked everything southwest..long enough to arrive in La Verkin in time for a late dinner, a glass of wine for the pilot. I found us some fine outdoor seating. We sat down long enough to read he overhead sign. Without a word we picked up our food, and sat indoors.

Peace, Love, Out

Jane and Jill

3 replies »

  1. You had quite a hair raising day!! You were in my winter neighborhood. The beauty of nature & wide open spaces is amazing out West! High altitude will take some break in time so do it gradually & drink lots of water.

    Lynn Bell Sent from my iPhone


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