Saturday, June 25, 2011

2818 miles on a Bonneville - Day 3

Day 3 was about 250 miles total.  We started the morning exploring the Arches National Park and then headed to Delta, Co. 

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After breakfast we headed north.  The entrance to the park is just outside of town.  I think it cost 10 dollars to get in.  This is a good picture as you can see highway 191 off to the left, the visitor's center/entrance to the park, and main road leading up.  I had to keep splitting my attention to the sights and then back to driving the bike.  Stopping quickly a couple of times because I was gawking at the massive stone cliffs and not watching what I was doing.

Had to throw this in to show the bikes.  Dr. Quinn's is up front, the Bonnie in the middle, and Vern's behind that.  Dr. Quinn's bike has over 125 thousand miles on it believe it or not.  There were supposed to be a few more people here.  But you know how it goes, as the actual event nears people back out.  Didn't bother me, the fewer the people, the more relaxed trip in my opinion.
 Looking south, back towards town.
 Who is that masked man??  What a sharp dresser.
We drove farther into the park and found an area with camp grounds and fire pits.  It must be amazing to camp here in the fall or spring.  The stars would be amazing!
My artistic photo of the day.  The sand comes from the surrounding sandstone cliffs.  I'm wearing my old hunting boots.  They're really comfortable on the bike and I didn't want to risk wearing brand new boots on a long trip.
View from the top.
And behind me was "Skyline Arch".  This is the view from behind it, hence the campgrounds and water tank etc.
We buzzed over to the vista point of "Delicate Arch".  There is a trail that will take you all the way to the arch, but the parking lot was full, plus it was starting to heat up, so we took a small hike to get the distant camera shot.  You can see the arch on the far left to give you perspective.
In the close up, you can see the tourists that hike out to it.  Looked to me like there was a line to the right where people were waiting to be by themselves in the center of the arch to get their picture taken.  If you want to see some really spectacular shots of this arch just search Google images.
Last stop before we left the park was "Balancing Rock".  This thing was amazing!
Dr. Quinn and Starr on the right.  Vern was taking the photo.
Pictures and words can't express how cool this place was.  You need to go there for yourself! 

Exiting the park we traveled south and east, over the La Sal mountain range.  I was so caught up with just enjoying the ride I took very few, ok.. maybe _none_, pictures on the rest of this leg.  Which is a shame since it was so beautiful.  We dropped down into the Unaweep Canyon and followed the Dalores river up through Gateway and east to I-50.  I found two pictures on the web that really show what I remembered seeing of the canyon.  I didn't take these so I'm linking where I found them. (Source)

We passed a pretty ritzy looking resort in Gateway.  I'm linking it here for anyone who really wants to get away from it all for a few days:) 

We caught some rain passing thimble rock point, but by the time I put my rain jacket on it has passed.  Coming into Delta we hit some strong winds.  The locals told me it seemed to be constantly windy lately.  Little did I know the winds in Texas would make the Colorado winds seem like soft breezes.

Tomorrow, the best part of the trip for me. Rocky Mountain national park!

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