11.27.2006,12:56 PM
Texas Canyonlands I: Wonderland
Landing in Wonderland

Riding over the crest of the hill I gasped inside my helmet. I felt like an astronaut about to land on a newly discovered planet. The vistas splashed with colors – beige, rose, burnt yellow, mossy green, brick brown, dotted with green pom-poms all against a blue sky- caught my breath and held it. While my gut clenched at the sight of a 10 percent descent on a tarmac snake coiled around mounds of earth and edged with a sheer drop-off into a void.

My brain battled with the earthen rainbows around me and a faded yellow double line on the back of the serpent underneath my two wheels.

“Coming in for a landing fast! Don’t crash!!”

The hairpins and corkscrews demanded all my attention. I haven’t ridden a road like this since the Moab journey months ago. Since then the roads have been tame and almost auto-pilot riding. Now I was back on a roller coaster and I wasn’t strapped in yet.

By the time my brain wrestled my attention to the road and away from the vistas, the landing gear shifted down, navigated the corkscrew descent and we made a smooth landing on the canyon floor.

Suddenly I was on a magical planet in a different universe; I was Alice in Wonderland, fallen into a giant hole called Palo Duro Canyon.

To be continued......


posted by Macrobe
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