Grand County residents head cross-country, to the desert for mud season |

Grand County residents head cross-country, to the desert for mud season

Anna Winkel / Sky-Hi News
Staff Photo |

Mud season can mean different things to different people: time to slow down, to catch up — or for those with schedules that permit it —t ime to hit the road.

Danny Herbert, a musician from Winter Park, has made an annual cross-country trip into a tradition. He has done it just about every year for the past 20 years.

“It’s perfect if you work through the season and save up your money. I love seeing new places and meeting new people. Taking these trips really opens up the way I look at life. I am a better person for it — a better storyteller,” said Herbert.

Herbert has seen all 48 contiguous states (and Hawaii). He has traveled by bus, train, plane, and car.

“Taking these trips really opens up the way I look at life. I am a better person for it — a better storyteller.”Danny HerbertOn traveling cross-country on his motorcycle

This year he is traveling by motorcycle.

This is his second bike tour of the country; his first was in 2002.

Herbert and his 1985 Honda Shadow departed May 6 under rainy skies and below average temperatures.

His first stop was Salt Lake City.

Herbert’s long trips give him time to work on his music. He camps most of the way, unless staying with family and friends. He carries a harmonica so he can write songs without the extra weight and space of a guitar.

“I need inspiration for my art, music, and writing. When you go out there it helps you to think about what all is in the world. And you can put it on paper. It’s nice to get out of town and out of state, once in while,” he said.

Herbert will be on the road for 30 days. First he is heading West through Utah to the California coast. Then he will head south to Tijuana, Mexico, and traverse the country again to the East Coast where he has family in Georgia and New York State. He averages about 450 miles per day if everything goes smoothly. His bike in really good condition, so Herbert is thinking positively.

“They say don’t ride faster than your angels can fly.”

For a native South Carolinian who is so well-traveled, he has no doubts that Colorado is now home. He knew it when he first arrived here six years ago.

“I love the small-town friendliness. It’s a feel-good place. I used to move around but then I wound up here. And this is it. The Rocky Mountains called me here.”

You can follow Herbert’s traveling adventures on his facebook page.

Family Trip to Moab

While seasonal workers have the freedom use mud season for an extended trip, families with work and school responsibilities have to stay closer to home.

Sarah and Phil Martin took their two daughters, ages 5 and 2, to the popular recreation haven of Moab, Utah. Their Monday through Saturday trip was the perfect amount of time to be camping in the Sand Flats recreation area. They also took advantage of the single-track mountain biking, as well as hiking in Arches National Park.

The family was in search of temperatures to remind them that summer will arrive here eventually.

“One thing that we can’t do here right now is go to the park and play in the green grass. The kids just took off their shoes and played barefoot. We really can’t do that here right now,” said Sarah.

The Martins, who own Cabin Works, a remodel and property management service company in Granby, find that spring is the perfect time for them to get away.

“We’re slower at work. It’s our ‘catch our breath’ time so it’s easier for us to leave now than during the height of the season,” said Sarah.

School calendars dictate a lot of family trips, but parents of young children have the freedom to travel during off times. With their older daughter entering kindergarten next year, the Martins are facing a new reality of a travel schedule that is dependent on the school calendar.

“We were talking about making this an annual trip … I feel like there’s a lot of freedom right now that we’re going to lose.”

The Martins reported that Moab was busy with other campers looking for camping spots. She saw a lot of other people from Colorado and met some other campers from the Front Range.

Apparently the saying in Moab goes: Everything turns green in the spring, especially the license plates.

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