Children of Abraham

Before leaving Roosevelt this morning, we had a long conversation with our hotelier. We learned a lot about long-haul trucking, Western gangs, and the beauty of the desert. Our new friend disparages the skill of drivers who come from countries with chaotic roads. Jeffrey suggested that this is not an immigration issue, but a problem of local law enforcement.

Jeffrey called out to Scott, who told us that this gathering was a consignment sale, not a foreclosure. Scott had seen us on the road and thinks we are crazy—a good kind of crazy, he said. Jeffrey thinks Scott is crazy because ironworker Scott worked at dizzying heights on Salt Lake City skyscrapers. They both had a good laugh. Scott took our card and wished us well.
Ute Indian Tribe Justice Center. An arresting design.
Near this monument, we met JD and Katie. They aren’t Utes but JD grew up in Ute territory. They listened politely to our story about the Ride. Photogenic, they declined to be photographed..
We were moved by this inscription. We long have wondered at the military sacrifices made by Americans who were considered “less”: members of First Nations, people with recent Asian and African ancestry, people whose first language was Latin American Spanish. Upon returning from military service, some of these veterans were persecuted, even murdered, by their neighbors, while the people and government they had defended stood by.
Sometimes biking was like threading a needle. When we had to move into the motor lane, drivers gave us lots of room and the only horn honks were friendly.
We love the colors.
Stunning scenery.
Photos don’t do it justice.
L to R: Raquel, Mike. We stopped them to ask about a sign reading “Dinosaurland” and depicting a bicycle. No dinosaurs here; it’s an area with bike trails. Working mom Raquel has a job in a school library, which fits their kids’ schedule. Mike sells cars; his business depends on the health of the local oil industry. They were interested to hear about the Ride and about HRF.
Statuary in Vernal, Utah. Dinosaur country.
We’ve skipped many sights on the Rides. Detours are hard when one pedals on a schedule. But this time, we went for it.
Interesting house and setting.
Five miles in.
The visitor center is at the base of the mountain, two miles away by road.
National Parks worker Victoria told us how to reach the fossil quarry. She thinks the Ride and Human Rights First are cool.
L to R: Joey, Jésus, Huincar, Lucio, Juan, José. These self-identified Mexican electricians are working on Salt Lake City industrial projects. They love America, and contribute mightily to our national community. America should love them back.
Note our Ride ride on the sidewalk.

Our Ride sign piqued Yanli‘s interest. She lives in Salt Lake City, and formerly taught English in Beijing. We agree about the importance of human rights and constructive protest. She declined to be photographed.

National Parks worker Juan Pablo is about to finish a university degree in geology. A Texan, he assumed that he would work in the oil industry, but post-pandemic visits to national parks led him to consider academia or research, perhaps. He’s a great museum guide: friendly and knowledgeable.
Over 1500 fossils are embedded in this 149 million year old stone.
A lot happened before the quarry fossils became fossils.
Paleontology makes perspective.
In retracing our route to the National Monument, the 7 mile detour became 14 miles.
We sneaked past this longhorn.
What a big country!
Our 44th state of the Lower 48!
Yesterday our new friend Mat told us that Dinosaur was to be drowned by construction of a dam. Locals protested and won. The Glen Canyon dam was built instead, creating Lake Powell and drowning a much larger area. Be careful what you wish for.
Our lodging for tonight: Dinosaur Bible Fellowship.
How did we come to stay in a church?
Last night, Mayor Richard Blakley got a call from Marshal Monty. (Dinosaur calls its peace officers “marshals”.) A cyclist had phoned the local constabulary to ask for help. The one motel in town is full with long-term residents. It’s 88 miles to the next motel to the east. The cyclist and his Kangaroo Court Puppet needed a place to stay.

Mayor Blakley opened the church, obtained clean bedding from the no-vacancy motel, told us some of the history of the town, the church, and the Blakley family, and made us welcome.

Jeffrey bought frozen macaroni and cheese from Casie—a single mom with toddlers ages 4, 3, and 1—who despite her exhaustion, asked about the Ride and is happy to be in tonight’s travelogue.

Jeffrey heated his dinner in the church microwave. We post tonight’s photoessay through the church’s WiFi. We will sleep in the warm sanctuary.

We’ll leave before tomorrow’s Sunday worshipers arrive to hear the words of a pastor via Zoom. There are four to six regular church attendees. That’s how it is in 2023 in a small (population 243 per the 2020 census) Colorado town.

The Marshal and the Mayor and the motel owner helped us, sight unseen. We donated to the church, but no one in Dinosaur asked us for anything.

You might say we found refuge here.

And you might say that these Dinosaur folks are true children of Abraham (to whom strangers were guests) and real Americans (in the neighborly spirit of Western pioneers).

They walk the walk.

We are safe tonight.

And grateful.