Lonely Highway

Yesterday, Mayor Blakley told us about the road from Dinosaur to Craig. He couldn’t think of a word to describe it.

Today we thought of a fitting term.

Roller coaster.

Up, down, up, down. Some of the hills were miles long. We coasted down as fast as 39 mph (63 kph). We slogged our way up as slowly as 4 mph (6 kph). On flat stretches and smooth stretches, over crumbles and cracks, around scary-big potholes. Past mounds of smelly roadkill.

For 88 miles.

When we left Dinosaur, we saw a sign warning “NO GAS NEXT 59 MILES”. We don’t burn gas. We didn’t take a photo.

Ten miles later, a similar sign sank in.

This isn’t the longest stretch of American road without a gas station. Not even close. But in this car-happy country, it suggests wilderness. How far away is your nearest gas station?

When we stopped, when there was no wind, there was silence.
Terrifyingly beautiful.
Often we’d pedal for 10 minutes without encountering a motorist from either direction.
Look closely to see the bullet holes. We thought they are a rural fixture, but we didn’t notice shot-up signs in Utah.
“Keep them dogies movin’!”

Most of the few people we encountered today were in metal boxes on wheels.

Meet two exceptions. Gordon and George.

We parked inside our motel. Gordon admired our machine and asked for a photo.

After Jeffrey and Gordon talked for a while—with Jeffrey missing some of the conversation, owing to Gordon’s thick Glaswegian brogue—Gordon returned with his friend George.

L to R: Joey, George. George speaks two languages: the dialect of the Scots slum where he grew up, and English. George is an ornithologist. He is the first (perhaps only) member of his family to earn a university degree. He and Gordon are regular visitors to the USA. They birdwatch. In Colorado, like Jeffrey they feel the altitude.

George knows the term “kangaroo court”. He was the victim of one. He is fiercely protective of refugees, and severely critical of the UK government’s anti-immigrant policies. George told us how, when an acquaintance in Australia called immigrants a “problem”, George asked her (sarcastically) to which aboriginal group she belonged.

Gordon and George and we are on the same page.

Now, literally, our images are on the same page.

Gordon handed Jeffrey a significant donation for Human Rights First. He will get a Beatles postcard, signed by me and by Jeffrey, delivered to his door via overseas airmail.

You can donate too!

Tonight we are over 1000’ (300 meters) higher than we were yesterday. At 6240’ (1900 meters), the air feels thin.

Tomorrow night we hope to be 2000’ (600 meters) higher still.

Another roller coaster day.

Another chance to promote human rights, and Human Rights First.

1 thought on “Lonely Highway

  1. Another interesting and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing so beautifully this remarkable journey and your and Nancy’s efforts for this important cause. I follow and inform friends about your Ride and this blog. Our donation to Human Rights First you can count on. Stay safe Jeffrey.

    Liked by 1 person

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