Friday, August 25, 2017

The Never Ending Story

I'm out front of the lodge working, it's hot. A guy pulls up on a mostly street, a little bit dirt, bike. I'm pretty sure I know where this is going. He says "My friend is lying flat in the sand where he crashed." He gets off, puts his kickstand down, takes his helmet off, hangs it from his handlebars, and heads back down the driveway. A couple minutes later, towards the bottom of the driveway, I see a jeep pull up and drop somebody off. Further away in the distance I hear a motorcycle start up.

As the motorcycle comes up the driveway. I direct him to park it in the shade. He doesn't look well. The first guy comes walking up the driveway right after him. He's not a picture of health either.

I invite them both up on the porch to the shade and out of the sun. They're exhausted. The first guy says "That's a hard trail to get out here." Second guy says, "You did way better than I did." I give them both a beer and a water. At the same time "We're doing the TAT." (Trans America Trail).

One guy's map says they're going down Lockhart, the other one's doesn't. Shows a different route from Moab north. "This is the hardest part of the trail we've done so far." says one or the other. We're going through maps spread out on the dining room table. It looks like, kind of like what happened with the Hayduke Trail, two guys did the, or invented the TAT for motorcycle riders, had a falling out somewhere, and both came up with their own maps and such for what they thought the TAT should look like.

One of the riders started in New York, the other in North Carolina, and by chance they met at a motorcycle shop in Oklahoma somewhere getting their bikes worked on, both doing the TAT. I tell them they should use the North Carolina guy's maps showing them going north out of Moab because they will die on Lockhart Basin. There are no objections except they're too beat up and tired to go back over Hurrah and to town tonight. Frankly, but I've been out here awhile, and driven the road once or twice, but the current conditions of the road make it a freeway compared to years past.

I put them up at the female hogan next door so they can take showers. I put an air conditioner in the doorway on the floor, dropped a Navajo blanket from the roof to the air unit so the hot air is going out and the cool air staying in.

This is Thursday morning after a night of sleeping in an air conditioned Navajo hogan heading back to town and going north. Not down Lockhart.

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