T- Another nice camp, another squadron of generators to keep us company. It must be hunting season or something up this way as there seems to be a heap of campers all through the national forests up here and our closest neighbours passed our camp this morning all decked out in their camo gear.
We hit the road nice and early today. Partly to get a good run at the border and partly to beat the heat. We knew we would be working our little bikes hard over the next few days so we wanted to try to make it a little easier on them.
C – I felt 100 years old this morning. Two nights of poor sleep don’t bring out the best in me. Poor Todd ended up standing around waiting for me to get my stuff in order. It was one of those mornings when I just couldn’t think and get my act together! Still, we managed to get on the road by 8am.
T – We had been climbing yesterday for about 107 kms, a big chunk of which was in third gear for little old Mabel. So it was nice to start out on some downhill action! We zipped and zoomed along the highway descending at a dizzying rate of 70 km/hr. Both of the girls were singing along quite happily!
Then the scenery started to change. The alpine type trees slowly gave way to scrub and then to grasslands. Massive red cliffs suddenly thrust up out of the ground in front of us and we raced across the hot ground towards them. We were in canyon country now!
The views were just stunning. Even the busy strip of tarmac looked awesome with this backdrop. But boy was it warming up now!
C – Wow. The canyon lands were just sensational
C – And the air began to warm, with Todd and I relishing the warmth from the sun. We were conscious though that the girls don’t like the heat as much as we do and we were trying to be cautious with how much we pushed them.
T – We raced on. Throttles pinned wide open. Our eyes soaking up the views, our bikes soaking up the heat. We rested the bikes occasionally to give them a 5 minute break and a quick cooling off. One time, as we were pulling off of the road, a car didnt see two bikes braking and indicating for the last 50 meters and narrowly missed ramming into Chantelle at highway speeds. What a moron. I flipped him off and screamed a pile of obscenities his way, but he wasn’t too bothered and just drove off with one hand resting on the wheel and one arm hanging out the window. Tosser.
C – I couldn’t believe it. We had three vehicles catch up to us in the space of about one minute and we could see a turn out about 500mtrs up the road. So, we started to indicate to give the cars behind plenty of time to slow down, or choose to overtake us. The guy behind was not paying any attention at all and I could see how quickly he was catching me. I had slowed to about 40km/hr as I was just about ready to turn. I had no time to turn, with him sitting basically a meter from my left hand pannier. I accelerated as hard as poor little Rosie would go and he missed me by about a foot, swerving suddenly into the other lane at the last minute. After I pulled over I spent some time ranting and raving whilst the adrenaline wore off, hoping I would see him up ahead so I could explain the concept of indicators and brake lights to him.
T – We dropped lower and lower before crossing the Colorado River over a short bridge. The canyon below us. Even though this was a very shallow, very narrow section of the whole thing it was still terribly beautiful. From the bridge we turned west following the highway along the base of the soaring bright red cliffs. We passed stand after stand selling knick knacks to the tourists. But there were no customers, just bored looking sales folk who waved as we zipped by.
The road started to climb almost straight up from the desert floor. Winding back and forth around hairpin bends. Back to second gear in places. Mabel screaming her lungs out. Up and over we went passing 9000 feet and then the fast descent back down to the desert on the other side. Mabel now screaming flat biccies as she flogged around curves!
It was quite a lovely ride and it wasn’t too long before we flashed by the signs that said we were in Utah. And boy did we know it!
The red and orange hued rocks that we had seen in photos were every where. Full of beautiful folds and hollows. Stunning!
C – It was amazing how the scenery just changed the minute we crossed that state line. Dramatic rocks and beautiful, bright red sand. As it was late in the afternoon, the light from the setting sun created the most beautiful effects on the rocks and we rode along in complete awe. Utah was already living up to its reputation!
T – We turned for Red Canyon where our camp was for the day, the road here cut through the rocks in big arches and short tunnels, while behind us the sun started to set, casting a brilliant red orange glow across the entire place. The magic hour in the photography world. It certainly was the magic hour in postie bike world too!
Finally we pulled into our camp and set up our tent. Both of us quite tired and ready for sleep. We managed some 300 kms today and we felt every one of those km. My ass hurt, my knees ached and my shoulders screamed.
Tomorrow we shall push on towards Salt Lake City. Our time in the US slowly coming to an end. Chantelles parents only 2 weeks away now and we have a lot of riding to go yet.