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Old 10-22-2007, 10:23 AM   #166
TwistySV650
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Angel's Landing

As a long term lurker on this site, I just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed your rr and pictures. I did the Angel’s Landing hike about 15 years ago and I thought it was the coolest, scariest hike I have ever done. Your picture of the trail while beautiful does not do it full justice to how narrow the trail is and how close to the sheer drop-off you really are. Also, you didn’t mention the “saddle” section, where the trail drops off about a thousand feet on both sides and you have to holding on to the chain for dear life. That trail is incredible.

So, I hope you enjoy the rest of your ride and can avoid the snow as much as possible.
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Old 10-25-2007, 11:42 AM   #167
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Back at a computer for the day! So, I'm working on updates....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MOSLEYDS
I think it's called "A-big-ol-ugly bug" or something like that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepoof
Either that or a "SweetJesusGetThatAwayFromMe".
Haha! Yeah, it was pretty impressive. BuckRider got it right; it was definitely a Jerusalem Cricket. Guess it can bite then, good thing I didn't pick it up!!
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Old 10-25-2007, 01:19 PM   #168
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Day 45

I was surprised by how early everyone was up and out of the campsite that morning (I hadn't yet realized that I was in Mountain time... oops), and after stopping at the Visitor Center for the bug ID and some camping suggestions for the evening, I was on the road out of Zion. The ride out was amazing, and so much better from the bike than it had been through the tinted windows of the shuttle bus the previous day. As Eyes Shut mentioned, the mile-long tunnel is a lot of fun to ride through -- completed in 1930, it is very narrow, and unlit save a window here and there cut into the rock. There are still more stunning and colorful rock formations on the other side:



My route for the day would ultimately lead me to Kodachrome Basin State Park, via Bryce Canyon. To get there, I took a detour up through higher elevations and Cedar Breaks National Monument. As soon as I started gaining altitude, I could feel the temperature drop, and I started to wonder if I had made the right decision. I could also feel the bike struggling a bit with the altitude. I stopped at the Chessmen Overlook, at 10,500 feet of elevation, to have a look. The view was truly awe-inspiring, but my hands were completely numb from the wind and cold after taking a few pictures. Sadly, none of the pictures came out very well . Got back on the bike, and coaxed it into starting up again before heading down. By the time I stopped in Panguitch for lunch, I was pretty chilled (hadn't thought to put on the heated vest that morning!). Fortunately, the restaurant had a space heater, and when I left, I donned the heated vest as well. Take that, wind and cold!

On the way to Bryce, there were some impressively bright red rock formations:



Everything was so beautiful that day that I kept having this desire to envelop it, wrap my arms around it, and more than once, tears came into my eyes.

After a bit more gorgeous riding, I arrived at Bryce Canyon National Park. I spent a few minutes at the visitor center to recharge my camera batteries, and headed to the Sunrise Point overlook. Here, pictures truly fail. It is impossible to capture the sheer wonder of gazing over thousands of alabaster and red spires, stretching across the landscape like some ethereal garden. Against my better judgment, I will post a sad attempt:



I still had a bit of time, so I decided to take a short hike, following the Fairyland Loop trail. Although the overlook had been pretty crowded, the trail wasn't very busy, and it was an interesting experience to descent into the canyon after seeing it from above. There were some enchanting natural windows in the rock:



... as well as delicately carved spires,



Something that constantly amazed me as I traveled through these desert parks, dominated by rocks and sand, were the trees that managed to eke out a living. They were always twisted and gnarled, tortured by the inhospitable environment. Here is one of my favorites: what a tough -- but graceful -- beauty!



It was getting late in the afternoon by the time I ascended out of the canyon, so I headed to my final destination for the day, Kodachrome Basin State Park. It was $15 to camp there, and I was very impressed by how well equipped and maintained the facilities were. Free hot showers, wonderfully clean, tidy, and spacious campsites, and a dishwashing sink, to name a few things -- and, unlike the national parks, it was not crowded at all. This was nice for a change, and I decided to spend an extra day there to explore it a bit.

On my way in, the park rangers warned me that it would drop into the 20s during the night, so I put on all my layers before crawling into my sleeping bag that night. I have found that this is the key to staying warm: wear everything (almost) that you own ! I was looking forward to a bit of solitude the next day, and not having to pack up again the next morning.

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Old 10-25-2007, 01:57 PM   #169
PrairieBoy
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WOW!!! Almost as impresive as Manitoba......
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Old 10-25-2007, 02:38 PM   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrairieBoy
WOW!!! Almost as impresive as Manitoba......
Yeah, like Churchill without the polar bears and the rocks are a bit redder.
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:12 PM   #171
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Day 46

I was looking forward to a day of peaceful exploration of Kodachrome, and the relative quiet and solitude of this park after several days of spectacular -- but crowded -- national parks. I packed up some water and food, and set off at a leisurely pace. It was a beautiful sunny day, not a cloud in the sky. The jackrabbits were out in full force, and there are a lot of jackrabbits in this park. They are much better hiking companions than bears !

This one was resting nearby when I was having a snack. I think I was sitting right where he wanted to be having his snack, and he was waiting for me to leave:



These rabbits have such long legs that they have to sit with them folded up!

While Kodachrome isn't as achingly spectacular as Bryce, it is still quite beautiful:



This rock formation, in profile, looks (to me, at least) like the Man in the Moon:



I had a lovely day hiking, though at times it was a bit melancholy, since I knew that my journey was nearing its end. Only a few more days of carefree travel were left.

When I got back to the campsite, there was a flock of chukars hanging out by the chukar feeder, hoping for a treat. So I gave them some of the birdseed:



They were pretty persistent, and a bunch of them followed me back to my tent to see if there was anything tasty there as well!

It was another cold night, and I bundled up and headed to bed before too much desert chill set in.

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Old 10-25-2007, 06:51 PM   #172
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violagal: More great pictures!

I don't know if you sleep cold (I do), but some things that help me for those cold nights are dry socks on the feet (don't wear your sweaty ones from the day), and a little high-calorie snack right before hitting the sleeping bag, like chocolate.
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:11 PM   #173
jim hale
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Photographing Bryce

You are right about not being able to photograph Bryce. The photos can not convey the beauty of the "hoodoos" . It's just too 3Dish I guess. I had always thought that Bryce would be uninteresting when I had only seen the pictures, but actually it's my favorite Utah park. There are some great trails there e.g. Sunset Point. It's pretty high up though and a bit chilly this time of year.
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:12 PM   #174
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Thumb

Good stuff. Looks like your laptop is working again.
Stay warm and remember to put on your heated vest before starting the morning ride.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:19 PM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyes Shut
violagal: More great pictures!

I don't know if you sleep cold (I do), but some things that help me for those cold nights are dry socks on the feet (don't wear your sweaty ones from the day), and a little high-calorie snack right before hitting the sleeping bag, like chocolate.
Thanks, glad you're enjoying them ! Yes, dry socks are a must. In fact, I have been layering them for cold nights, two pairs of SmartWools! And the snack before bed is good, too. 'course, I do that even when I'm not camping !

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim hale
You are right about not being able to photograph Bryce. The photos can not convey the beauty of the "hoodoos" . It's just too 3Dish I guess. I had always thought that Bryce would be uninteresting when I had only seen the pictures, but actually it's my favorite Utah park. There are some great trails there e.g. Sunset Point. It's pretty high up though and a bit chilly this time of year.
Yeah, I'm definitely looking forward to going back and exploring some more. I think you're exactly right about the reason that it's hard to photograph. Perhaps I should take some side-by-side pictures and make those 3D image slides out of them!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dinamasu
Good stuff. Looks like your laptop is working again.
Stay warm and remember to put on your heated vest before starting the morning ride.
The heated vest has definitely seen some good use, and certainly will tomorrow as well! It will be a bit of a haul, 600 miles and probably around 12 hours from Urbana, Illinois to Waterloo, Ontario.

The laptop, sadly, is still dead, but I'm visiting with my brother right now and using his computer . Trying to catch up a bit with the report before I get home!
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:24 PM   #176
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Day 47

The ride from Kodachrome Basin to Natural Bridges National Monument was, of course, spectacular:



Wherever there was plentiful water, there were trees turning brilliant shades of gold,



Here, the fall color traces the path of a stream that winds through the valley:



There were also other fall activities afoot. I was delayed for a brief time while some cowboys and a cowgirl guided a herd cattle of cattle down the road:



Seemed like a nice relaxing day at work for them. Sure beats sitting in front of a computer!

I pulled into a scenic overlook, where the plaque informed me that I was looking on the remains of a town, Hite City, which was built around uranium prospecting. Ultimately, it was inundated by water from a nearby lake, though it looks like there are some new settlements down there now. Quite a dramatic view from above:



I reached Natural Bridges in the late afternoon, pitched my tent, and set off to see the sights. I hiked down to Sipapu Bridge, which was a fun descent that included wooden ladders:



It was pretty amazing to stand underneath the bridge:



By the time I rode through the park, the sun was setting, and the colors of the red rocks and blue and purple sky were quite beautiful:



I went by the visitor center to top off my water bottles before heading back to camp (on the way in, the rangers had informed me that the pump at the visitor center was "the only water in 40 miles"). Had a quiet moonlit dinner, and called it a day...

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Old 10-26-2007, 06:24 AM   #177
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I see you made Hwy 12. My fav road.



I think this is taken from near where you stopped. The road was decending into the valley as I recall.





Great ride and thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:33 AM   #178
jim hale
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Nice pics. Though I live in Utah, I never get tired of seeing pictures of it. It's equally beautiful high up on the slopes in the Winter.
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Old 10-27-2007, 03:40 PM   #179
violagal OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah
I see you made Hwy 12. My fav road.
Yes, this was one of the most beautiful days of riding of the whole trip. Just amazing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim hale
Nice pics. Though I live in Utah, I never get tired of seeing pictures of it. It's equally beautiful high up on the slopes in the Winter.
I'd love to come back in the winter sometime -- though I think I'd have to get a lot better at skiing to really appreciate it!
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Old 10-27-2007, 03:58 PM   #180
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Day 48

I left Natural Bridges and made the not-very-scenic ride up to Arches National Park, arriving around noon. My original plan was to camp at Arches, but I was informed on the way in that the campsite had already filled up, since this is the high season for them. Kind of funny that the last campsite of the journey was the first full one I had encountered!

So, I found a nearby private RV/tent place, set up camp there, and headed back to Arches to have a look around.

Just after riding into the park, you are looking down over the Moab fault, which is pretty neat. Here you can see where the earth has split apart, one half pitched at a completely different angle:



The park is, of course, beautiful, even without any arches:



After riding around a bit, I decided that I wanted to adjust my carbs for the altitude so that the bike would be happier. This had been bothering me for a little while, and where better to take care of bike maintenance than a national park? So, I took of the tank, pulled and checked the spark plugs (a little black but not too bad), and adjusted the mix screws (half turn farther in). Got to chat with a few other riders as I was working, which was nice.

Unfortunately, the weather was taking a turn for the worse, and shortly after I finished reassembling the bike, a storm had rolled in:



The temperature dropped precipitously, and a strong wind picked up. I had left all my liners and raingear at the campground, since it had been a hot sunny day! I rode through the rest of the park in the rain, but didn't really get to see too much, and had a long stop at the visitor center to warm up before heading back to the campsite.

Kind of an anticlimactic way to end the "scenic" portion of the journey, but the plan was to start the return trip the next day, with Denver as the first stop.

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