Monday, June 19, 2006

Bitton Arrives at Red Cliffs Lodge

Photo by Mike Bitton (via self-timer)
The Red Cliffs Lodge sits on the banks of the Colorado River northeast of Moab, Utah. Several movies have been filmed here because of the dramatic red sandstone formations that shoot straight up from the valley floor.

I have arrived! The Red Cliffs Lodge near Moab, Utah, will serve as headquarters for the 2006 running of the Primal Quest Expedition. Widely regarded as the toughest adventure race in the world, Primal Quest Utah will take co-ed teams of four through 500 miles of the wildest terrain the region has to offer. Fast teams may be done in as few as five to seven days. Those hoping "just to finish" will have 10 days to officially cross the finish line.

The overnight drive from Portland was as smooth as can be. I left my house at 2 p.m. Sunday, and arrived in Moab at 7 a.m. Monday. Accounting for the time change from Pacific to Mountain, I was in my trusty red Jeep for 16 hours.

Since part of my job here at Primal Quest will be to escort credentialed media around the course, my first order of business in Moab was to buy the tools and materials to recharge the Jeep's air conditioning. The fact that the AC blew ambient wasn't an issue in Portalnd, where ambient has been 50 degrees, rain or shine, for months. Here in Moab, the high is expected to be in the triple digits today, and tomorrow, and to stay that way until September! The auto parts store was open early, so I got the goods and recharged the AC. The air now blows so cold I can only stand having it on low. Lucky credentialed media!

Next I drove the 20 minutes along the Colorado River to Red Cliffs Lodge. This setting is unbelievably beautiful! The red cliffs shoot straight up from the Colorado River. It reminds me of the time I went backpacking in the Four Corners area with my friends Jud Clark and Dan Miller. We explored the Grand Gulch Plateau, especially Fish and Owl Creek. There is a serenity here that I don't feel other places. I bet I'll come to rely on that peace when things start to get a little hectic here in coming days.


Lorna said...

I'm so jealous. I wish I was there already. Our team captain Vernon Winter should be arriving some time today. You can't miss the '86 Caprice Classic when you see it, affectionately known as 'Big Blue'.
I'll be looking for you when we arrive on Thursday.

gordon said...

First media crew to show up - and looking none the worse for the drive. Great to see you Mike, and thanks for the great profiles.