Day 37, still awake

Utah is canyons and people. The canyons are constant; the people are spread out, just seeing one is amazing, and meeting them is a delicacy.

I left Hite at 3 in the morning. It actually wasn't much colder, but it was its coldest. I couldn't see anything. It took a while for my eyes to make out the stars. Then the canyons: at first they were silhouettes, all shoulders jutting out high above me on both sides. The brightening sky sketched some features onto them, and then some pale colors. When the sun neared the horizon, the canyons took over coloring themselves. We began with grey Moon canyons, red Clint Eastwood canyons, red Mars canyons, orange I-Don't-Know-What-canyons, and finally Tatooine canyons into Hanksville, my latte, and my morning post.

I was driving down a particularly grey canyon when I stumbled across an organic coffee shop/farm. This is quite a stumble. If the Bible were written in reverse, the would be the shock of coming from dirt, plague, pestilence (and knowledge) into the rich Garden of Eden. Plus, God's got some coffee on.

Inside are four kids my age. Cool kids. Dave is tremendously bearded, organizes music festivals, and plays new folk music. The couple seem similarly artistic, and they know every swimming hole and cold spring in a wide radius. The girl (try and remember names) Ingridchen is rolling dough, making me two cinabuns, cutting melons, and chatting with me about music, food, kombucha, and whatever else my sleep deprived mind bounced into play. She was quite pretty and she had armpit hair (don't stare). The coffee was the best drip I've ever had (stop, stop). And we listened to some throat singing (she sees you!).

I left with tons of recommendations and tremendous good feeling. People like me, here. There were clouds in the sky: somebody up there loves me.

Canyon riding is biking at the bottom of a lost ocean. That's why so many of the rocks look like petrified Canard Cruiseliners. If I could get up to the top I'm sure I could see the caveman shufflepuck board and the caveman climbing wall hanging over the bough.

Blah blah blah beautiful, uphill, humid, swimming in a waterfall with French tourists and grown men who can't bring themselves to swear, blessed nap, unblessed pain in my knees, final slog up a hill and 1500 ft to Torrey.

I'm at the Patio, a pizza joint and one of America's best restaurants. In the background is a tremendous iron canyon. The sun is on it. Our hostess is 55, glittery blue nail polish, three Bic pens in her hair, on rollerskates. Our music is Patsy Cline, Devo (!), Hank Williams, Beatles, and unheard Peter Gabriel. It's perfect. A dog is licking my legs clean of salt. I'm going to camp somewhere in that red mess over there. Two women have inspired my next trip: juke joints in the Mississippi Delta. The lovely Brits took an easy day and have found this place too. A man here plays harmonica with David from the farm. Perhaps pizza on rollerskates is how people find each other in the desert.

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