Southwest Adventure 2015… Day 5

Steve Kinchen, Sr/ May 31, 2015/ BMW R1200RT, General Rants & Raves About Riding, Southwest Adventure 2015, Touring/ 0 comments

Departure Location: Flagstaff, AZ

Time: 0600

Weather Conditions: 51 and clear

Odometer: 5786

Daily High Temperature: 97

Destination: Mount Carmel, UT

Arrival Time: 1956

Daily Miles Logged: 394

Total Trip Miles: 2550

State Visited: Arizona, Utah

Note to self… before the next motorcycle adventure, delete songs like, “Falling Forward” (Margret Becker) “After the fall” (Journey), “Catch me I’m falling” (Pretty Poison), “I just died in your arms” & “Fear of Falling”(Cutting Crew), “Fallen” (Lauren Wood), “Falling Slowly” (Glen Hansard), “Let me fall” (Josh Groban), “The next time I fall” (Peter Cetera), “We fall down” (Chris Tomlin)… You get the point.  I heard, or I should say skipped, each of these songs in my playlist today as they are not the sort of thing one would want occupying their mind while riding a motorcycle in the mountains…

We decided on an early departure time this morning as there was so much possible to see, and we wanted to make the most of our time in the area.  I had a little lump in my throat when it was decided that we would eat a quick breakfast at McDonalds.  But, in the interest of time, it would provide a sufficient start to what would be one of the most amazing days of motorcycle riding I have ever experienced.


    The opening portion of our day was spent getting to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and consisted of just over 200 miles from the hotel.  Much of this ride was straight and bland, however, we did encounter a few areas of construction where the road was being resurfaced yielding the long grooves and lumps of old road surface in your path… something that motorists rarely ever consider but is on the forefront of most motorcyclists mind when they see the warning signs.

Our first stop along the way was the Navajo Bridge at Marble Canyon.  I found myself welling up a bit and with a lump in my throat as I was overcome by the beauty of what I was seeing.  My words are insufficient to convey how confoundingly beautiful this area of our county is.  I found myself singing a few lines from the Chris Tomlin song “The splendor of our King, clothed in majesty, Let all the earth rejoice…”  In this very spot, I can assure you, the earth rejoices and celebrates our God and how anyone could ever be in a place such as this, fully immersed in the creation, ever doubt the existence of THE CREATOR!

The Navajo are a noble people and have, through the course of American history, they have proven themselves to be patriots

The Navajo are a noble people and have, through the course of American history, they have proven themselves to be patriots

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One would think that certain things do not need to be said...

One would think that certain things do not need to be said…

Before we made our final ascent into the Grand Canyon State Park at the North Rim, we needed to top off our fuel and we found a very convenient mom and pop shop that filled the bill nicely.  The folks inside the store were very friendly and most accommodating to the travelers that flow through their establishment on a daily basis.

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The roadway to the primary viewing area that we had on our itinerary was a fun road to ride, complete with lots of twists and hairpin turns without guardrails!  At one point, the roadway became very narrow and was a bit unsettling as the paving was not in a good state of repair.  The parking lot at the very top was also not paved… YIKES.. but we survived without incedent.

We made several stops for photos and to soak in the beauty that this area has to offer.  Here are just a few: 

Obligatory bike selfie

    

Our lunch was at the North Rim Lodge and they had a decent selection of menu items.  I elected to have the buffet since they had split pea soup with ham and a BBQ pulled pork that smelled pretty good.  This looked like it might be a nice place to stay when we come back as they had well maintained cabins and facilities everywhere.  I was able to start to collect a few trip moments for the kids at their gift shop, but that always presents a challenge when it comes to finding things that they might be interested in that can also fit in my luggage.  I did leave a good bit of additional free space this year over last, but Nathaniel I am sorry, there simply is no room for the genuine Navajo spear!


    
From the North Rim, we set our sights on Utah and Zion Nation Park.  Unfortunately, our arrival at such a late hour in the day did not facilitate any photo opportunities for me as we were all in agreement that we needed to be out of the park before the sunset.  This meant that I would simply have to take it in the best I could while trying to not run off of the road.  Elizabeth and Annette were snapping photos all along the route and they told me that they would share their photos!  I will add those at a later time when I receive them.

Our accommodations for the evening is the Best Western at the main entrance to the Zion Park, albeit 12 miles away from the park itself.  Dinner was at the hotel restaurant and about what you would expect from such.  One interesting tidbit is the term Ho Made.  Maybe what you are thinking maybe not… but we found a lovely explanation on the dinner table that perhaps has now endeared us to the term…


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