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Old 05-05-2004, 11:34 PM   #58
MikeO OP
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Scarning, Norfolk, today...
Oddometer: 6,782
8th April

Well, it was a fine morning – but, as I left the hotel for Monument Valley, I had a feeling that the damage had already been done by the rain last night. The road up towards the Utah border is very scenic…



…but even a short trial ride over the gravel and dirt ‘shoulder’ had the Adv sinking drastically, and I was glad to regain tarmac…:(



The spectacular Mesas that dot the valley are huge and impressive. Completely in contrast are the little shanty towns housing Native Americans built in clumps in their shadow…

I’m soon approaching the entrance to the Navajo Park at Monument Valley.



I talk to the girl at the gate. She confirms that the dirt road leading round the valley is probably impassable to anything except a 4x4. I’m very disappointed, and ride off thinking about what to do next… The weather forecast for this week is for scattered storms for the next 4 days. It’s not worth hanging around to wait for the track to dry out, so I decide to ride on, following the route North that Arch & I planned, towards Bryce Canyon National Park. If I can possibly get back here later in the trip then I will…

I ride up the straight and undemanding 98 and 89, through pleasant, but hardly spectacular (relatively speaking :P) countryside. At least it’s dry…

I cross the impressive and elegant bridge at Glen Canyon Dam…



…which holds back Lake Powell, an enormous water-sports area.



From a scenic pull off (up a veryrough track), the whole area I’ve just travelled through is on display. As usual, the camera struggles to do it justice…



The hills in the background, centre, are about 60 miles away…

As I get back on the bike, I notice I’ve been hit by a sniper…



The rock has left a small hole in the front of the screen, but the ‘exit wound’ is the size of a 50p piece.

I press on North towards Bryce Canyon. After a brief stop in Kanab, where I refuel and get a (much needed) haircut, I ride North through much more interesting roads…



…before encountering my old friend, the hailstorm, again. I decide to stop at Bryce Canyon for the day, so that I can spend tomorrow (hopefully in better weather) exploring it. I check into the Best Western in Panguitch and unload the bike.

I do a check of the bike for damage, insecure bits etc every couple of days. I noticed that the rear tyre was squaring off a bit when I was in Alamogordo and made a mental note to arrange for the tyres to be replaced when I got to Montana. As I check the rear tyre now, I’m astonished to see it’s almost down to the canvas in the centre :eek: I can’t believe it! 3 days (& 900ish miles ago) it was fine (I re-check the ‘arty’ photo of it in White Sands…).

I check everywhere in town – no joy – they only do car tyres. Eventually I find a BMW dealer, BMW of Salt Lake, who has a pair of Tourances in stock and will fit them for me tomorrow lunchtime, for $295 (163ish). Time for a very sedate 250 mile ride early tomorrow morning – Bryce Canyon will have to wait.

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All text & original photos Mike Oughton 2004 - 2014

MikeO screwed with this post 12-11-2010 at 02:43 PM
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