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Fasten your seatbelts it's going to be a fun ride

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Zion National Park and the ride home

On this ride, I've had a total of six excellent meals. 
That's 22 days of riding.
6,000+ miles of riding.
Two meals a day, usually I have three....
So a sad commentary on food in my home country.
This is some of the best fried chicken I've had in a while. 
Page AZ.
Boy was it good!

My other passion is swimming.
I have to reserve my swim times via an online system that opens at midnight on Tuesday's. 

So on to less emotional topics. Here is the dam for Powell Lake.
I lived in AZ for a couple of decades and never saw this before today.
Quite impressive.

Gorgeous in each direction.

Tiny town before painted and dressed up like Disney's 'Cars'.

Zion was the last Utah National Park and quite spectacular. 
Felt like I saved the best for last. 

People have commented before on my photos without people and vehicles. 
Just requires patience. 
For those of you who know me well, quite a feat. 

This is the long tunnel to exit the park on the St George side.
There is an attendant at each end that allows cars to enter. 
Only one direction can go through the tunnel at a time despite a double yellow line in the middle of the road, because I went slow (couldn't see a thing, no lights) and it's a lot more work on two wheels, I exited a bit after the cars ahead of me. 

Which prompted the other side to let cars and RV's in before the opposite side had exited. 
I know I caused an issue....fine with that....frankly I find people rush through things a bit too much.

Cracker Barrel is a place I like to have breakfast or lunch.
I had a pretty good salad and was able to get out of the heat for a bit. 

I planned to stay in North Las Vegas for a couple of nights with a friend from my Leapfrog days.
I got the 'evil queen' room which was nice and dark.
I woke up with a migraine. 
Maybe it was because I had to ride in 115+ degree weather for a few hours...?

Decided to treat myself to one of the best mani/pedi's I've ever had!
My hands have a mood stone reflective color and bright bug green on my toes. 
I'm a girl again.

I left N Las Vegas at 5 am to avoid the heat.
At that time it was already 80F. 
I ended up in Tonopah and saw this Bob's Big Boy! 
Love Bob's Big Boy chili spaghetti. 
In fact, I have a legit horde of the sauce in my freezer. 

I found this old hotel with a restaurant in it.

They take 'a cup of coffee' seriously here. 
Large carafe. 

Choked down another terrible omelet with tasteless tomatoes. 

Original vault for gold. 

Mini museum. 


Just my kind of place.

So a rather abrupt ending to my ride this year....I just pushed through a storm, heavy smoke, relentless wind to get to a friend's in Reno then the final ride home on Kit Carson pass to see dad in Lodi and home to my sweetheart and a very big G&T. 

Thanks for coming along on the journey with me.


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Natural Bridges & Monument Valley Utah/Arizona

Once I got on the bike, after the first hour of riding, I felt very sleepy but didn't want to turn around. I knew I just needed to see something new and feel the excitement of discovery again.
I passed this Cedar Breaks canyon look out as I checked in a few days ago so stopped to take a look. 

Spooky signs.

I saw this on the way in. 
Freakin hysterical. 
Google maps is not always right.
That is why I carry paper maps, a GPS and triage that with Google.

So on ADV Rider I was told by an inmate that a place called Tandoori Tacos in Panguitch was well worth the stop. I checked online and they looked open. Called, left a message. Not open. Tried again a second time, still not open. Too bad. So sad.

Gorgeous drive through red rock arches.
Even more nonsense here like at Bryce Canyon with the sign. 
This time after the first ding dong pulled in front of me as I got ready to snap the photo, I pulled up really close so no one could cut in line again. 

The Utah landscape is so unique and changes every 10-20 miles.

This has to be one of the prettiest rides I've done in a while.
It was a lot more fun, with time to spare and during daylight.

Turned back for this cute valley photo.

The road then meandered through a valley of red cliffs along a stream.

These landscape photos really don't do the colors justice. 

Insane beauty.

So....riding a few days before, late in the day, under the pressure of the setting sun, after my bike got rammed and a new chain installed, passed by the "Broken Spur" where they have a well known steakhouse and the smell of steak nearly made me fall off the bike. I was so hungry.
I kept thinking about this place, all three days at Brian Head, eating not so good what did I do? I decided to go back and stay the night.

Yep, giant stuffed cougar on the wall behind check in.

Room #7. Lucky. 
King size bed. 
Not as squishy and soft but still comfy.

End of the building with beautiful vistas.
Trucks kept wailing around the corner so I re-positioned the bike closer to the door.

Indoor heated pool and jacuzzi. Didn't go in.

Luxury 'wagon' accommodations. 

Yes. In 20+ languages.

I went to the office after I checked in and met Francine. 
I'd emailed her that I had ridden by a few nights before and wished I could have stopped to eat. 
I had a hard time deciding between rib eye and rack of lamb. 
I saw a lot of sheep that day so opted for that. 
Thank God they put a full rack, I was hungry.
It was delicious. I was happy and excited again. 

The next morning I woke up at 7, so excited to get on the road. 
That cold front was holding and fortunately the desert temps were below 80.
Had rubber eggs and dry breakfast sausage. (yuck)

So I-95 south from Torrey UT has got to be in my top 5 rides of all time.
I was slack jawed most of the way. I swear I almost teared up a couple times because it was so beautiful. I even slowed down to 40 mph just so I could admire the scenery more.

That's the Colorado River below.

Scale. Little Grindle over there to the right.

National Bridges National Park.

To see most of the bridges required a short hike.
Fat chance. Will come back with my mountain goat next Spring.
He can go hike and take photos while I sip margaritas in the shade.

Now it was the Moki Dugway.
2 miles of steep downhill gravel, sheer drop offs, and heart pounding inducing turns. 

At the bottom, epic wide open desert with red rock towers. 

This is Goosenecks park. Spectacular too.

I couldn't take enough photos!

Zoomed in.

THAT is what I came down on the Moki. Can't even see the road hun!

Finally, Monument Valley.

Remember that short fuel range? I was at the last bar and a bit nervous.
Then I saw a road construction sign that said Hwy 163 closed at Mexican Hat starting Sept 15th.
Where is the available gas? Mexican Hat.
What day is it? Sept 15th.
My heart sunk....thankfully they weren't going to shut the road down until 6 pm that night, otherwise I would have had a four hour detour....made it to Page AZ to my lovely Airbnb. 
Nice and cool inside. 98F outside. Yikes! 

Tomorrow Zion National Park.