The day started as any other in Zion, with an expensive Cafe breakfast. We were into the park again by 10am. I think we needed to rest, because we both seemed to enjoy the park more on the way back through. We stopped to dip our toes in the Virgin River again. Nope, it did not have restoring qualities, but it was ice cold. We did a brief casual walk and played around with a small waterfall.
Zion isn't for those looking for off road fun, but the scenery is amazing. I also spotted long horned sheep and we were "one of those tourists" who stopped in the middle of the road to take pictures of them. I didn’t find out until several days later that they were wiped out of the area in the early 20th
century, and only reintroduced back into the wild. Apparently we lucked out with our sighting.
We boogied out of the park and headed towards Bryce Canyon in hopes of better riding. On the way to Panguitch we had to stop at a junk yard so Mike could drool over the cars he can't have.
We made it to Panguitch and got a motel room. Mostly because we needed to find a place to park the truck for the remainder of the week. Once unloaded, we headed off on the Space Shuttle 990 towards dirt roads.
On our way to Bryce Canyon, we spotted it - a brown sign that said Loosee Canyon, pointing directly at a dirt road. Sorry Bryce, you can wait. We headed off into the Dixie National Forest and found an ATV road! No vehicles over 50" allowed. PERFECT!
The Space Shuttle was taking us down a wash, through red spires indicative of Bryce. It - Was - Amazing!
We zoomed by a couple taking a break next to their ATV and got a puzzled look. I couldn't get over the beauty; how lucky were we to have this whole area to ourselves. The weather was perfect, the riding technical - absolute joy. Just what we needed after yesterday.
Oh, and we dumped it. I had a 15 second window of knowing the crash was going to happen, he had NO idea. Down she went. The luggage has been sufficiently tested. The side bag popped right off, no cracks, or breaks. At least we got the crash out of the way early.
Our path linked up with Fremont ATV trail and took us through red rock, white rock, pine trees: a plethora of scenery.
This little section was like a roller coaster - slick rock fun!
Looks like the Space Shuttle really was on top of the world.
Turn around and you see this:
After some time and about 13 miles, we hit a gravel road which took us back to Utah 12. We stopped at a rest room and here came our ATV friends from earlier. They are also from Arizona and thought we were crazy Europeans (hence the title) when we blasted by them earlier.
They had been camping and exploring the park for a few days and gave us some great road choices. Oh the people we meet.
Finally we were on our way to Bryce Canyon. Yes, the park is paved and reminiscent of the Grand Canyon with how you have to see things, but we had to go anyway. Insert lots and lots of foreign tourists (mainly French) and bad drivers. The park is beautiful, worth seeing, but tiring at the same time. A lot of putting helmets on, taking them off, dismounting, walking around ATGATT. I prefer our adventure through Dixie NF much better. But it allows you to get a grand view of the rock formations.
Natural Bridge. We seriously need filter for the camera. This afternoon lighting was killing our photos.
After an expensive and unmemorable dinner, we zoomed back to the motel. Mesh gear is great during the day, but it actually cools down when the sun sets. Unlike Phoenix, where 85 is cold in the summer, and only found at night.
On the way back we went through Red Canyon, which we missed earlier because of our Dixie NF detour. I squeezed a few shots out before my camera said "piss off its dark".
Warp speed ahead.
Tomorrow...is up in the air.