Thursday, September 26, 2013

Colorado Trip 2013 - Part VII (The End)

Just a quick post to finish off this adventure. This is the final segment of a amazing trip my dad and I took to Colorado back in May of 2013.  Having spent the night in Kanab, Utah we broke camp early and started heading south on highway 89A where we quickly crossed back into Arizona.

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This is at the Le Fevre Overlook in the Kaibab National Forest.  We met a couple, visiting from England, who agreed to take our picture. 
 From here you have an amazing view of the The Grand Staircase to the north.  On a sad note, two months after my dad and I stopped here a couple was hit by lightning at this same location.  The lightning struck just to the left of where my dad is standing in the above picture.
 After crossing through Kaibab we came to a overlook where we could see the Vermillion Cliffs off in the distance.
 We had some cloud cover in the morning which gave us a break from the heat, but also added a nice surreal effect to the ride.
 Looking down you could see highway 89A stretching off into the distance.
 And here are the Vermillion Cliffs up close.  We pulled over at Lee's Ferry to walk out over the old Navajo Bridge.  This is the last bridge crossing over the Colorado for quite some distance.  There's a little hole in the ground called the Grand Canyon which prevents north/south travel.  Heading west, your next bridge crossing is at the Hoover Dam.
 There are two bridges here.  The old one was completed in 1928 and  used all the way up to 1995, when a new bridge was built.  The new bridge is what you're looking at here.
 The Colorado river looked like bluish green glass at the bottom of the canyon.
 This is looking across the older bridge.  They allow people to walk out on it.
 Looking east we could see a couple of rafting tours coming down the river.
 I zoomed in to see what they were up to.
 Back in ~2002 Kiri and I were lucky enough to take one of these rafting trips down the Grand Canyon.  Trip of a lifetime!  There's a long waiting list to get on these trips though, so sign up soon!  I believe this is the company that Kiri and I used: HERE.
 The older bridge is much narrower then the new bridge.  Can you imagine two semi trucks crossing in this space??
 From Lee's Ferry we headed south, through Flagstaff, and then southwest into Oak Creek Canyon.  We met a fellow rider there who chatted us up and was nice enough to take our picture.
 The road drops down into this canyon is about 5 or 6 hairpin turns.  Amazing ride if you're ever in the area.
 After Oak Creek the temperature really started to soar.  We passed through the towns of Sedona and Cottonwood before making it to my Uncle Sid's house in Prescott.
 The required glass of margarita once you reach his place.  He makes a mean margarita!  We spent the night before making the final push towards home.
 The next morning we left early and still couldn't beat the heat.  You forget what hot is after spending time at higher altitudes.
 Last shot of the trip.  This is at a gas station outside of Tucson.  It was so hot we had to pull over and cool ourselves down by pouring cold water all over our shirts.  It was a great trip and we were already talking about our next adventure.  Thanks for following along!  Until next time!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Colorado Trip 2013 - Part VI

Like I said, I need to catch up so here's the next post.  We'll be moving fast so try to keep up!

We spent a restful night in the town of Huntington, UT and woke up eager to see more of what the state had to offer.

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Breakfast that morning was powdered donuts and Coke Zero at the nearest gas station.  Forty miles later we pulled over at a nice rest stop, in the town of Emery, so I could use the faculties.  Nothing serious..I just needed to use the bathroom.  My dad checked out the local history of the area.
 On the last post I mentioned we missed our turn off and had to go over a summit twice.  I was incorrect.  It actually happened this day on Interstate 70.  We missed the Fremont Junction and ended up going over a 7900' summit twice.  Eventually we got our bearings and took highway 72 south.
 It's hard to pick your favorite day on a motorcycle trip.  Since you're not at work, everyday is a great day:)  But I really enjoyed the roads through Utah on this particular day.  Spectacular riding!
 The theme of today's trip was vistas.  And we saw quite a few of them.
 We were in the Fishlake National Forest.  Beautiful country!  If you ever get a chance to visit Utah, make sure you drive through this area!
 Sweeping roads following meadow streams.
 At one point we arrived at a fork in the road.  I was pretty low on gas but my dad noticed the map showed a nice road curving around Fishlake.  I was nervous about the additional miles and mentioned "Not sure if I can make that."  His reply? "Ah you can make that, lets go!"  So off we went.  In the end my dad was right.  We got to see a some more amazing country and I rolled into the town of Loa with mileage reading 148 miles and my reserve light not even lit up yet.
We headed east out of Loa on highway 26.  Our first signs of sandstone cliffs appeared behind some green pastures with grazing buffalo!  After _not_ stopping for pictures of pronghorn sheep I knew I'd better pull over for buffalo.
Summer was approaching so it looked like they were shedding their winter coats??  Just a guess.
I liked the color transition of the lush green next to the rusty orange.
We turned south onto highway 12 and entered the Dixie National Forest.  The amazing views just kept on coming!

I actually made a u-turn to come back to this look out.  I'm sure my dad was getting tired of taking pictures every few miles.
Looking out to the east you're able to see the Capitol Reef National Park.  According to Wiki the park got it's name from the domes and cliffs of white sandstone that look like the Capitol building in Washington D.C.
Pa no-ramic!
We saw quite a few people biking their way across the southwest on our trip.  This guy was leaving the lookout when we pulled in.  No matter how rough you think you're traveling, there's always someone else doing it harder/better. 
We stopped for lunch at a place called Burr Trail Grill, park of a larger resort near the town of Boulder.
While the place was nice, we just happen to get there at the wrong time and it took a really...really long time to get our food.
I made the critical mistake of ordering a blue cheese cheeseburger.  It sounded great until I realized I hate blue cheese.  Let's eat something that tastes like dirty socks.  Blue Cheese will never be ordered by me again!
After a lunch to be forgotten, we headed farther south into the Escalante National Monument.  This place has to be visited to be believed.  There's no way I can properly describe it and do it justice.  The road was paved over vast endless sandstone formations.  The temperature was just starting to get toasty.  Not sure I'd want to visit in the middle of August:)
Be sure to click on this photo and see if you can follow the road and it snakes out to the left.  It was a neat road to ride.
Pa no-ramic!

We started descending down the Grand Staircase.  We pulled over to snap a picture of Powell Point off in the distance.  I took some more pictures of it from the west side, in the town of Tropic.
Some motorcyclists going by as we were getting back on our bikes.
As promised, Powell Point off in the distance. "Powell Point was named after John Wesley Powell, who led expeditions in the late 1800s to map this region which at that time was one of the last “blank spots on the map” of the continental U.S." (source)

We buzzed through Bryce Canyon National Park.  I should have pulled over and taken more pictures, but we were getting tired and I had visited this area once before while in college.  Take a gander of what's there via Google images:)

We made camp in Kanab, UT at a place called Crazy Horse RV Camp park.  Not a five star location, but the owners were very nice and let me borrow some of their laundry detergent, for free, to do some laundry.
That evening my dad and I walked down the road for dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  On the way back we passed the Kanab City Cemetery.  It was Memorial day and the main entry of the cemetery was lined with flags.  There was a extremely bright light, at the end of the road, giving some nice back lighting to the Red, White and Blues.  With the large cliff in the background I was suddenly reminded of what a great country we live in and the people who gave their lives to make it so.  Until next post, stay safe out there.  Thanks for reading.