Time to get up and pack the gear up. We’re heading on out to Colorado today via the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Dixie National Forest, Capitol Reef National Park, Arches National Park, and along the Colorado River into Grand Junction.
First though, we spotted the Fairyland section of Bryce Canyon. There’s no sign when you’re coming into the park but it’s there on the way out. It’s a short ride and there’s almost no one here. There’s a hike down to to the bottom if you want but since we have a ways to go, we decided to forgo that until next time.
We headed on out and east. The roads were pretty clear. We did swap places with a Texas couple though pretty often 🙂 On a nice straight, I stopped for a Panoramic view with the bike. Jeanne suggests I should snag one or two of these and make them into a picture at home. Might be a good idea, especially since I’m getting better with Panoramic pics.
While we were cruising, an approaching car flashed her lights at us several times. So I took it a bit slow. At a turn a few miles down the road there was a guy on the left side of the road waving folks down. Around the corner?
A lot of cows with cowboys 🙂 A truck coming the other way just kept going but slow so cows were moving out of the way. And cowboys were moving the cows to either side so we could go. Part of the problem, if you look ahead on the pic there, is cow pies. Hitting a cow (or calf) won’t be much fun but hitting a cow pie at any sort of speed will be a slippery mess. Later I found a bit of cow pie on the front of the bike under the radiator.
We stopped for lunch at an intersection in Torrey and I was checking out the bike. I’d lubed the chain but wanted to keep an eye on the bike anyway with all the work I’d done prior to leaving. I realized I’d pushed the bike farther than I really wanted to. Getting it to the very edge can be dangerous since you leave yourself little room for recovery in case of a problem (decreasing radius turn for instance). Since I have a passenger, I have a harder time shifting in my seat so I don’t have as much room to play as I would if I was on my own. Check my chicken strips. For the non-riders, that’s the area between the wear on the tire and the edge of the tire. The thinner that gap, the harder you were pushing the bike to lean. I normally don’t get that close unless I’m riding the bike at the track.
The Capital Reef National Monument had several good views of the mountains. We’d stopped in at the Visitor’s Center both to hit the bathroom and to check out the information. Lots of people in the park though. I found an emptier spot past the Visitor’s Center and pulled in for a pic.
From there we headed on out of the park and on to I70 to head for Arches National Park. After a nice little curvy road, I spotted a big butte out by itself. The area to the left is the ‘Factory Butte’ I think or it’s what they’re calling the big one to the right.
At Hanksville we stopped for gas and then headed north. We could still see the lone butte and way to the west was a wall. Hard to believe folks only rode horses or wagons out here for days.
I have to say, the winds were pretty nuts from here on. You could see a large cloud of dust being blown around especially as we got closer to Arches. On I70 we were being pushed around enough that I was sitting to one side of the bike to keep it balanced and reduce the fatigue from trying to keep it upright. We stopped in Green River to get gas and just to take a break from the winds. Then headed on to Arches National Monument. We’d intended on stopping in Canyonlands as well but missed the turn.
We decided to head to the turn fork in the road and then turn back and head to Grand Junction. So off we went. It was on the hot side and we snagged some fresh water before leaving. At Park Avenue, we stopped and I got to play with the Panorama mode again.
Pretty cool really. You can see where I had jogged down a little too much and had to jog back up. We stopped at the other end as well for a pic.
Balance rock was pretty cool. A pretty large rock pretty much glued into place. I can’t see how it’s just sitting on top of the white layer.
We also stopped at the Window arches. There are three. Two are in the first picture/
And the third is off to the right.
While under the arch itself, I snagged a Panoramic view of the underside of the arch.
Not sure what the line is in the middle. I know I had to bring it over my head (you can see the black spots) so it may be from the movement or even the pause.
Once we’d reached the end, we headed back to Moab, in part for gas and to take a cool break. Then we headed to 128 to head back to I70. Along the way, we snagged a couple of nice pics of the valley.
After reaching I70, we headed east to Grand Junction. We stopped at the first exit to get gas and decided on a Quality Inn a couple of exits up. We were able to get a room without a problem, unpacked the gear, did some reading, and hit the sack.