Like death and taxes, one thing you can always count on is that both the canyon country of Utah and the mountain country of Colorado will always show you a damn good time.
We had some extra adventure thrown in this go-around, courtesy of Mother Nature. A rare and powerful thunderstorm pummeled Canyonlands National Park on our third day, complete with tarp-tearing winds, drenching downpours and hail aplenty. Ironically, the storm day ended up being the favorite day of the trip for most of our nine-man expedition, myself included. The weather brought with it stunning clouds and good light.
On our very last day, we got one last smack by the weather gods, as the road out of the canyon was completely washed away and unpassable for cars. All the bikers went on ahead, but for myself and the other truck driver (we had two SAG vehicles to carry the group's gear), it meant turning around and retracing 100+ tough, 4X4 miles back to where we had entered the park days earlier. It was a grim prospect, because we didn't have enough fuel and the daylight was at a premium. No way did we want to be stuck on the treacherous canyon roads after dark. We only had about six hours of light left, and the ranger at the roadblock said it'd take at least seven hours to drive out.
I drove it in four and a half.
Yep, the desire not to be stranded in the wilderness alone was, shall we say, a powerful motivator. I put the pedal to the metal, bought gas along the way from another camp, and was back in Moab with time to spare. I met with the rest of the group and we all went out for a fun Saturday night on the town. The other driver? He didn't have my... enthusiasm, and ended up stranded in the wilderness for one more night before finally returning to civilization the next day.
I'm still not completely sure if he wasn't the smartest one of us all.