Thursday, June 7th, part 1
Total Mileage: ~ 200
As the crow flies, the distances covered today weren't that far - but there were a lot of twists and turns.
This day, and one more down the road, are going to be a challenge to report on. Because there was so much to see and because there was such a target-rich pic environment. To me, the scenery just kept getting better on this trip. Paring down the number of pictures to include is going to be a challenge. But here goes...
After leaving Page, you have to go south a bit, then do a lot of switch-backing (if that is a word) just to cross the Colorado river. We are heading for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
After traveling south, the road starts to get cool!
The top of a plateau, before plunging into the Colorado River valley:
You drop down into the valley and are in tribal land
Until you cross the Colorado at Lee's Ferry
Then you run parallel to the cliffs, by the little town of Marble Canyon. I missed it, but there are some amazing rock formations there. It is hard to describe. It looked like huge boulders had rolled off the cliffs, and then stopped in an incredibly impossible balancing act - as if there was no way they should have settled how they did. This pic does not do it justice. Imagine a rock like this shaped like a unsymmetrical ice-cream cone, landing upright and you will get what I saw. Too strange...
We traveled along the cliffs for many miles. This pic does a good job getting the enormity of the cliffs in perspective. They were HUGE.
And then ran for a while in the wide-open desert/valley floor
Approaching the opposite wall of the valley, I was able to pass a bunch of motor-homes (and other slow-pokes), that the Support Team got stuck behind. Then blasted up the twisties - climbing the huge plateau - that down the road would abut the north rim
As I climbed to the top, the temps dropped, and the landscape became greener. At the top I waited for the support team (for ever)
Then we hung a left on 67, and ran though some evidence of past forest fires
And some large, long, beautiful meadows
It was about here that a lone young buck came trotting out of the wood-line...(or should I say "sproinging" - it seem to move differently then the white tail deer in Georgia - maybe it was a mule deer?) I stopped to look at it, as it was running across the meadow strait for me, but before my camera would spool-up, the deer saw me and sproinged away.
And now, for the first time, I would see if my new NPS yearly pass sticker on the bike would get me through the gate without the pass actually in my possession - the support team had it in the Support Vehicle behind me (getting both vehicles through at once is technically against the rules).