Usually I hit the Dugway late in the day, and camp on the mesa above.  This time, we were there mid-day,so we kept on over Cedar Mesa,took a left to go through Fry Canyon......

... then through some typically ho-hum Utah country to Lake Powell. 

Actually, it was the topmost tip of the lake, winding around and crossing the Colorado and the Dirty Devil, then heading north to Hanksville.  I was chasing Trev all the way... I've gotten all the ride-fast inclinations out of my system, but he hasn't. 

So I come around a curve, wondering Dad-Thoughts about the edges and dropoffs and youth invulnerability and tar strips and.......

I come upon a bunch of BMW riders in traveling-light-go-fast mode, in a pulloff.  As I approach, the leader pulls out in front of me, but the rest wait... so I pull off and holler if they've seen a thumper go past lately.  'Yup, 2 minutes ago' says the Nice Man.  So off I go (unthinking), and as I approach their leader, he says 'Ok, the guys are coming...' and pulls out.  So here I am sandwiched between the leader and the rest of the sportbikers.  Managed to keep up pretty well, (ahem) but sure didn't like it.  First straight, I slowed and pulled over, and they (thankfully) passed with waves.

On to Hanksville.  Nice little place.  We bought some groceries for dinner and tried to get some 'provisions'.  Turns out the closest liquor store is 60 miles in any direction.  And in Utah, 'liquor' is anything stronger than 3.2 beer.

Or so I thought!  It turns out that Utah has made great strides in joining the 20th century (yes, I know this is the 21st).  You can now buy 4.0 beer... as long as it's brewed in Utah.  I guess that furrin 4.0 is somehow evil, but Utah 4.0 is ok.  I dunno.  I just lived in Utah for enough years to be intolerant of their intolerance.

So we got a six with the extra 0.8 and went on our way....

West from Hanksville through Capitol Reef National Park.  Chasing Trev again, but I said 'screw it', and had to stop and wonder at the place.  Getting on towards sunset has to be the primo time of day to go through here.  We had to keep going... campground full.  Sure would have been nice to have a little area set aside for us traveling-light types, where we could just throw out our bags, no fires, only thing needed would be an outhouse.  Some places get "improved" to death.

In that area are some old settlements.  It always amazes me what the Mormons did back then, in their colonization of what's now Utah.  It was a very hard life on the one hand, but it must've been fantastic to live so isolated in those cool canyons.

It was all driven by religion, a very powerful force for either good or evil... and I'll let that thought stop there.

We went on to Torrey, where Utah 12 heads south over the mountain to Boulder, Escalante, Grand Staircase National Monument..... fantastic country.  The way I went last year.

This time, we just went up a few miles to find a camping spot.  Here 'tis, it turned out to be right along a well-travelled dirt road, but once it got dark, nary a car went by.

Nice night, come morning we had a short run down into Torrey for breakfast.

We stopped at a really cool place along the main street.  As a lot of small town Utah main streets are, this was lined with trees planted many years ago, with a little irrigation ditch running alongside the (wide) road.  Very pleasant.  The morning sun felt reeeeeally good.

But it was kind of weird too.  We got our food in the deli in back of the store (quiche, very good), got coffee, and wandered out front to the tables, and ate in the warm morning sun.  Out comes the lady, hangs out for a bit and asks if the Lady in Back gave us a ticket.  'Sure did' we say.  Later she came out and (friendly) asks how it all is.  'Great!' we say. 

Keep on leisurely eating... about done, and I go in to pay.  Get some shoelaces, pay the quiche bill, make sure she gets our coffees on there.... go back outside.

A couple minutes later, up rolls The Sheriff.  Doesn't get any coffee or donuts, just hangs around.  Later on, Trev tells me the lady was watching us like a hawk out the window all the time.

"Paranoia strikes deep...."  Stay tuned until Silverton for a story that gave me back a bit of hope for humanity.

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