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Touratech Travel Time 03_2011_en

752 2011 route in advance and couldn’t know that we would be climb- ing the Moki Dugway in only a few minutes time, a daring gravel track 335 metres long with one serpentine after another until you reach the end of the plateau. The view is so spectacular I have difficulty in concentrating on the loose bedrock. And even today, the Colorado Plateau still haunts us with its highlights. Then we moved on to the National Bridges National Park with its natural stone arches before reaching Canyonlands National Park. As far as you can see, nothing but an unbelievable play of colours. Mile after mile we pass by deep canyons, bizarre structures, me- sas and rugged cliff formations with bridges, spikes, monoliths and pillars. Soon after we meet up with an old acquaintance, Lake Powell. Here, too, at the northern end, the Colorado River has forged deep canyons into the cliffs and I begin to wonder when I will reach the end of my mental capacities. The temptation to just stop, sit down for- ever and simply watch this perpetual decay of beauty, rather than to con- tinue with our travels, is great. But it is late and we erect our tent in a pokey little village called Hanksville, where even – in true style - the filling station shop is built into the cliffs. The next morning we reward our- selves with a »Full American break- fast«. Toast, pancakes, fried eggs, ba- con, hash potatoes and never-ending coffee. Charged with caffeine and cholesterol after this wanton intake of nutrient, we saddled our bikes and started off full of anticipation on an- other memorable day through Utah. The engines had hardly had time to warm up when we came upon the next landscape full of multi-coloured mountains, sheer drops, plains and valleys– the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, the »Grand Staircase« referring to the escarpment shape. The rugged terrain with a multitude of rough tracks is an adventure playground in a class of its own. And if it were not for the exaggerated prices for outdoor camping permits one had the impression of being in the Hoggar mountains in Algeria. Our tour through Arizona and Utah came to a fitting conclusion at Bryce Canyon. Amazing shapes, so-called Hoodoos, point skywards like fingers from the canyon, eroded from limestone over thousands of years, and somehow urging us to come back one of these days. Back to here, where we really experienced– the big American Dream of Freedom. Dusty sundowner tour through Monument Val- ley (left). Enjoy a high- fat American breakfast at your peril (top). Plenty of gravel with a view over the Valley of the Gods (centre). At Horseshoe Bend ­the Colorado River does a near 360 degree bend (bottom left). Sun- rise in Monument Valley (bottom right)