Skull Valley

Skull ValleyAlone on a Friday after work I decided to peal off a few miles and headed into the west desert. It’s not the most scenic riding, but there’s something about the lonely roads and early evening on the open range that is relaxing.

The weather has been nice this week and I didn’t feel the need to layer up as I headed southwest toward Eagle Mountain and Cedar Ft. It’s just about the perfect temperature for spending a couple of hours on the road.

The road to Rush Valley is along part of the old Pony Express route and I can’t help but think of what it must have been like galloping through the sage brush headed to California. I’m cruising along at 65 or 70 mph in relative comfort compared to what they experienced. I’m sure they could appreciate just how vast the desert landscape from Utah to California really was (and still is) on horseback.

The mountain pass after the town of Rush Valley toward the military base at Dugway doesn’t gain much altitude and is far too short, but is a fun little part of the ride—the highlight really. Dropping down on the other side I noticed a spur labeled “The Lincoln Highway.” Last year was the 100th Anniversary of this first transcontinental highway and while I knew part of it still remained as sections of dirt road in the west desert, I hadn’t noticed this little section before.

There were cattle along the highway which is one of the hazards of riding on the open range so I eased off the throttle a bit (I think I’d lose in a head-to-head with a big steer). There aren’t many ranches between Dugway and the Interstate. It would sure be a lonely place to live, but there is what looks like one very big cattle ranch out there.

It’s pretty much Interstate riding once you hit I-80. The speed limit is now 80 mph headed across the desert toward Lakepoint. Since I live in the south part of the valley, I jumped off at 201 and headed toward the I-215 belt and home. The longer days make a two or three hour ride after work enjoyable and a great way to decompress after a busy day at work.

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