When I’m on the road, measuring distances by the amount of ground I can hike or drive in a day, this world can start to seem like a very big place. But every now and then, forces conspire to remind me what a small world it is too.
The other day near Comb Ridge, just west of Blanding, Utah I passed a red Jeep towing another Teardrop going the other direction and the trailer looked so much like mine, I almost pulled a U-turn to chase them down. Turns out, it was just like mine! It was the second trailer built by Egon (I have #3) on the road from Lincoln, Nebraska! With only six of these trailers in the world what are the chances that two would cross paths on a rural highway in Utah? Small world, indeed.
It seems I can’t drive through Comb Ridge – Utah highways 95, west of Blanding and 163, west of Bluff were blasted through the ridge – without parking on the side of the road and hiking up the sandstone slabs. Comb Ridge is a textbook monocline, a tilted fold in the Earth’s crust that runs for more than 80 miles through southeast Utah down into northeast Arizona. The eastern slopes of the fold tilt upwards at a calf-burning 20 degree angle, thrusting upwards to the precipitous western edge.
One of these days, in the early spring or late fall, I’d love to spend a week or two exploring the Comb, hunting down some of the Anasazi dwellings hidden in its convoluted slots and recesses. This time of year it’s too hot to hike during the day. I settled for a late evening scramble up the north side of the highway and then an early morning climb up the south side after spending the night boondocking among the cottonwoods in Comb Wash.
For more on Comb Ridge check out David Robert’s classic Sandstone Spire: Seeking the Aansazi on the First Traverse of the Comb Ridge. It’s too hot in southeast Utah! Time for an altitude adjustment.