Lately I’ve been working too much and exercising too little. My mountain bike resides in my office, where it mocks me every time I sit down to respond to a new batch of emails. My camera, hanging in the closet opposite my bike, echos the sentiment while reminding me that the local cottonwood trees are flaunting colorful autumn leaves. Or maybe the bike and the camera aren’t tormenting me and I’m just losing my mind. Either way, I obviously needed to clear my head.
With Project FJ’s front end newly suspended and yellow foliage marching across the desert, I made the decision to let emails pile up and head east out of Moab on the River Road. I needed to clear my head with some four wheeling and photography. First on the agenda – Dome Plateau. I’d hoped to drive the whole trail but I dilly dallied too much along the way and ended up having to turn around early so I’d have enough time to get back to a previously scouted sunset location.
I stopped along the Colorado River a few times to make photographs of things like whimsical tree limbs and colorful marsh grass. I walked through mud so thick it encased my hiking boots in sloppy red armor. I discovered a new-to-me area where I’d like to go camping with my family. Before long all the junk mail that had been floating around in my head was thinning out. I enjoyed watching afternoon sunlight move across the cliffs, canyons and towers in ever-deepening shades of red.
Finally, I made an image of several vibrant cottonwood trees below Parriott Mesa burning in the final light of day. On the way back to my truck I stumbled across a young guy in the process of setting up an illegal campsite for the night. I think he was just as surprised to see me as I him. He was on a week-long motorcycle tour through southern Utah. We chatted for a few minutes and I learned that he’d been working too much lately. He said he needed to put on some miles to clear his head. Indeed.