Utah natives would tell you that they can always tell when winter turns to spring. They laugh and say, "The license plates turn green." Ironically that is due the large number of vehicles traveling into their state from Colorado. And for the record, the plates had always been green, even before pot was legallized. That coincidence is ironic on its own.
I am guilty of participating in the migration to warmer climates in the spring as well. Winter is a cold, colorless, and for the most part a bland season in Colorado. Okay, that's not entirely true. But the soothing colors of red rock and green grass blooming earlier in Utah brings energy back to my soul. Vibrant hues of orange and tan sandstone appear in endless vistas throughout the southern half of Utah and the primitive and undeveloped landscape reminds me that mankind has not yet ruined this part of the world.
The rugged terrain is endless for those seeking solitude and trails less traveled. It has appealed to me for more than 27 years. My first experience was in 1991 when I visited Lake Powell in the Glen Canyon NRA. Water recreation is the primary objective of tourist visiting Lake Powell and I was there for the same. However, I was intrigued by the culture and history of the area and soon after my first visit was over, I began to research anything and everything about southern Utah. It has the distinction of being the last "Unexplored" blank spot on the American map. Even today, at least in my own imagination, you can still walk where no one else has ever been.
So it comes as no surprise that riding adventure bikes through those landscapes on trails less traveled (or goat trails in some cases) in the spring time is what makes my heart and soul happiest. In 2017 my wife and I set off with one of our friends to cross Utah from west to east. We started in St. George UT and spent the first couple of days exploring Zion National Park. We didn't know it at the time but our journey over the next 6 day would take us into each of the National Parks in Utah. They are referred to as "The Mighty Five" which are Zion NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Capital Reef NP, Canyonlands NP and Arches NP. We had not even thought about the Mighty Five initially, but once we realized the epic achievement it became a quest. We can say that each of the stickers plastered to our panniers were hard earned and not just ordered online.
We combined historic routes with lost and forgotten roads traveled only by those with purpose. Usually a rancher or local county road grader working dusty 2 track to keep it from blowing closed by the sands of time. By the end of day three I knew I had mapped out the perfect ride. In three days we had not passed another soul off the beaten path. We would drift through a small town here and there to fuel up and grab provisions when needed. We treated ourselves the night of our wedding anniversary by staying at the Defiance House Lodge in Bullfrog. But when it came time to disappear, we did so on a grand scale.
I posted a short video of that trip onto my YouTube channel called Utah BDR "Our Way" her is the link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjyckHcxQrs&t=2s, and it is only a glimpse of what we experienced. So, when you start to contemplate your next adventure, consider mapping your own route through the amazing state of Utah. And don't be afraid to explore the world in front of you.
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