Before the 24 Hours of Moab, Keith and I drove up to Geyser Pass in the La Sal mountains. It was the first time I had been up to that part of the range, I was blown away by the enormous nature of those mountains. From Moab the La Sals are everywhere, always visible in the distance, regardless of what trail you ride. They anchor the landscape, giving you assurance that no matter where you are, heading toward them will lead you home. But that is usually the extent of their use for a typical Moab visitor. And that is a shame, because the mountains take on a unique flavor, complete with towering boulder fields, thick pine forests and the fresh alpine smell that only high altitude aspen trees can bring. And all that just a few minutes drive the vast desert.
I found myself thinking of Abbey’s adventure in the La Sals that he chronicled in Desert Solitude. I wondered where exactly he camped, and I speculated at which peak was Tukuhnikivatz. Had I pulled my map out of it’s pocket I am sure I could have pointed it out, but for some reason, I liked speculating about it more. From a far the range looks small enough, but it unfolds into ridge after ridge and canyon after canyon. I got excited about exploring them further, perhaps as a Grand Loop racer, perhaps as a wondering tourist, and more than likely at some point, as both.