Wednesday, October 29, 2008

10/28/08 - Zion's National Park/Last Day

I started out the day with a small detour over to Zion's National Park. This is one beautiful place with lots of interesting rock formations. Here are a few I liked best. I think the last one is especially nice.
I then took Route 89 most of the way back to Salt Lake City. I stopped near Nephi to take a picture of the Wasatch mountains side on. You can just see where they make a bit of an S-curve up near Provo. Though I didn't take any of them today, these mountains also have some great passes.
So I'm home now. I have somewhat mixed feelings on this. While it is great to relax after my two month, 7,000 mile road trip. I really enjoyed the traveling and will miss it. For anyone who thinks that this would be fun, I highly recommend it. Don't know about a car, but for me, the open road on a motorcycle, though sometimes difficult, has really helped me renew my spirit and love for this great continent I live on. I traveled through 21 of the 50 states and one province in Canada. Maybe next time I'll get the rest, though Alaska and Hawaii might be a bit difficult.
Again, More photos on Photobucket.
So long, and thanks for reading.

10/27/08 - Grand Canyon!

Have I ever told you all how much I enjoy riding the mountain passes? More on that later, but first...

Sweet Mama, that's a big hole in the ground!
I pulled into the parking lot at the visitor's center and then took the bus to the other end of the park, planning to walk the rim back. I took several photos along the way, including this California Condor that happened by.
At one point, I wanted to get a pic of myself standing by the edge, so I asked this nice gentleman to take one of me. He kept saying, "Back up. Back up." and before I realized, I was standing five feet off the canyon edge. I then made the rookie mistake of looking down. Luckily, I was able to windmill my legs really fast and propel myself to the edge just in time to catch hold.

I did get a couple of me at the very edge. Here, I found a nice ledge of rock sticking out.

Then later, I decided to get one with my legs dangling over the edge. I had such a severe case of vertigo, though, that I could barely snap this one. Yes, the big bad biker is afraid of heights. Funny, I was fine standing right on the edge looking down, but sitting with a body part out in the air freaked me out.
I didn't quite finish the rim walk, since it was getting on and I needed to get to Utah, so I took the bus back to the bike and took off for Kanab. About three quarters of the way there, the sun started to set and I got some great photos of the nearby cliffs. As the sun set, I had a choice to make. I was right at the point where Route 89 splits. 89 would take me up onto the mesa and then straight over to Kanab. 89-Alternate goes over a mountain. If you've been reading my blog at all, you know which one I chose. 89A crosses the Colorado River pretty quick, then it's the long, windy road to Jacobs Lake at the top, where you can also go over to see the north rim of the canyon. It was full dark by the time I started climbing up to about 8,000 feet. At that height, full dark means very cold, too; and so worth it! I tried to get a picture of the stars, as they are meant to be seen, without city lights to fade them out, but my camera wasn't willing to focus on the night sky(and I haven't figured out how to adjust the manual settings for it yet).

Lots more in Photobucket this time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

10/26/08 - Short Trip, Long Day

Today was supposed to be a short trip up to the Grand Canyon. It's only a 250 mile trip. Unfortunately, there was a major Hazmat accident going north out of Phoenix. They had closed I-17 going both directions. The traffic for several miles was traveling at a snails pace. In fact, my engine overheated at one point and I had to get off and let it rest. I took these pics then. It is amazing how many people are actually on our highways at any given time. It felt like the entire city of Phoenix was trying to get out.
After it had cooled down, I did something I really detest other people doing, but I had no AC, and if I didn't get to some water and shelter soon, they were going to have a heat stroke victim to deal with in addition to the accident, so I rode the shoulder to the next exit. I'd been on the highway for two hours and was really sweltering. After the exit, it took me only about 30 more minutes to go around the accident and get back on I-17 again. Here's another pic I took nearing Flagstaff. I really love this area. Just some gorgeous country. About 6,000 feet up.
Anyway, I made it to the Grand canyon at about 5:30pm. I'll do a little touring tomorrow, then its on to Kenab, Utah. Only two more days on this little adventure of mine.

As always, more on Photobucket.