I was a little apprehensive as I approached the gate. Very prevalently posted on one of the windows there was a sign that said something to the effect of, "All pass holders must show ID". As it turns out, the ranger/lady wasn't born yesterday (or within the last half century either). Needless to say, she didn't buy my line of BS and let me know that if the bike went in I would have to pay admission. She seemed upset that someone at another park would have given me bad information. In all honesty, that other ranger didn't give us bad information - we just tried to push the truth envelope a little bit. She was really nice about it, and even apologized to my wife (when she got to the gate) for the situation.
At that point I felt like a real jerk. In the long run, the only thing I regretted was trying to con her with a load of crap.There was a small parking area next to the shack, and she agreed to let me park there. With a secure place to park the bike - being together in the Support Vehicle ended up being a better way for us to enjoy the park anyway.
After securing the Wee, we drove to the Visitor's Center
...got our passport stamped, and got a sticker for the side cases (more on stickers later).
Then we walked over to the Lodge
This doofus couldn't buy a clue and wouldn't get out of the shot
The back of the Lodge was spectacular.
The views from back there were even better:
The Support Team Leader busted me for taking this photo
....What? it was a cool looking rock.
We wolfed down a light lunch out of the cooler, then drove to several overlooks
We thought the ridge in the above picture looked like a fat man (who needed a manzier) with a leaking belly-button
I think our favorite overlook was Cape Royal
After a short hike
...we came across about as cool of a sight as there is...
See the people on top?
A little closer
...and a little closer
That was our first glimpse of the Colorado River - Through the keyhole
From on top. We tried to wave our arms to make a shadow - to confirm we were on top of the hole. It didn't work. The plateau was too enormous and our shadows were too insignificant to see.
Some more random views:
Overall impression of the North Rim:
It was Absolutely Amazing
I visited the south rim as a boy of about 8. I remembered it to be very hot, dry, and colorless. The north rim was the opposite; it was extremely colorful, had pleasant temps, and was just incredible.
We backtracked north, picked the bike back up, then headed into Utah
...where not only did we have a cool room
...we even thought the bathroom was cool.
But cool room aside, the best thing about the hotel....
My new chain and sprockets were waiting for me at the front desk!
Through the help of an inmate in the regional forum, I located a mechanic in Cedar City (the next nights stop) to swap out my chain and sprockets. They would be expecting me.
Only one more day until I could stop worrying about the bike.