Well, what an amazing day today turned out to be! Not all wonderful, but all memorable.
We had breakfast at the Best Western in Torrey which was ok if not very interesting and were on the road by 7.30am. The road out of Torrey took us along a lovely rural road which seemed to have a large number of white utes parked along the edges. D&D suddenly slowed for a deer. I stopped and watched as it disappeared into the bushes, then amazingly came back down to graze by the side of the road. It seemed quite relaxed about the fact that Ebony, Kiwi and I were watching only 10 metres away.
Then just a wee way up the road I overtook this ute with two blokes wearing camo standing up on the tray. It wasn't till some time later that I realised that the objects they were holding were crossbows! Then I clicked: "Tame deer down on the road + blokes in camo holding crossbows = venison steaks for dinner." Seems a bit unsporting somehow.
We rode through Boulder and into Escalente where we stopped for coffee. Kiwi checked out the squash that were for sale. I. Necked out the you g man who was locked in a cage serving coffee out of a little trapdoor and talking to us behind mesh.
We then headed for Bryce National Park. This was stunning. Again!
The feature of the park is these outcrops of sandstone.
It was at this point that I discovered that what I has been calling knobs are actually called hoodoos! How about that!
With more arches.
Kiwi thought this seemed ok.
As I backed out from the parking lot, the sky darkened and there was this HUGE crap of thunder that scared the clap out of me. No rain though. Yet!
I only got a few spots of rain as we headed out of down into Bryce Park City where we stopped for an excellent buffet lunch. We the. Headed on to Zion and into the thunderstorm. We decided not to get our wet weather hear out and that was the right decision. The sky opened up and I got quite wet through my jacket and cotton Kevlar jeans. But the rain stopped after ten minutes or so and the temperature went from 15 to 25 to 35 in no time at all. It didn't take long to dry out.
We arrived at Zion National Park via an amazing long tunnel and scouted around for a park under a shady tree. We needn't have bothered. We went up to the Visitors' Centre and then took a shuttle up through the park. It was a little disappointing really. The vistas were stunning (yet again!) but because of the thunderstorms all the people up in the park crowded o to the shuttle to come back down again. A few pics.
As we got back to the bikes the thunderstorms were returning. Once again we decided not to put on our wet weather trousers, just our rain liners. Not a good decision this time. We had already paid for our accommodation at Kaibab in Arizona so the pressure was on us a bit. And it was a bit longer than we had thought. Quite a bit longer in fact.
There were two ways we could go, both roughly equal in distance, but one that looked as if it was heading out of the rain. It was hammering down by now so we went in the direction that looked clearer. We were pretty wet by now and getting cold and as we climbed closer to Grand Canyon we began to chill. We crossed the border into Arizona at Colorado City which gained us an hour, and rode on through Fredonia and Jacob Lake to our lodge at Kaibab. It was quite late by now and getting dark so we quickly changed and went up to the lodge for dinner.
And that dear friends is pretty much that!
Today's run: 562kms
Location:Kaibab, Arizona, USA