Summer 2016 – Day 12, Utah to Colorado

Today was the start of the final third of my trip. It was time to head home. I decided to return to Colorado for two more days of mountain riding and cooler temperatures. I headed north on I-15, then East on I-70 to Grand Junction Colorado. I saw signs for the Colorado National Monument and decided that I would bag another Passport stamp and pin. So at Fruita, I headed south on 340 to the park and rode Rimrock Drive through the park to the Visitor Center.
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Summer 2016 – Day 11, Zion National Park

The days were flying by too quickly, but we had jammed as much riding, hiking and sightseeing as we could into each one of them. Today was our last day together, and we started it at a wonderful coffee shop right around the corner from our hotel, Willow Canyon Outdoor. It was a combination coffee shop and sporting goods store. What a great idea! With no big box stores anywhere nearby, Kanab is the sort of locale that can support a business such as this. We enjoyed coffee and biscotti and then loaded up to return to Zion National Park.
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Summer 2016 – Day 8, Capital Reef National Park

Today we traveled a large clockwise loop, leaving Bryce in the morning and finishing the day in Tropic, UT. We headed north on US 89, which continued to parallel the Sevier River through a scenic valley. There was little traffic – just mile after mile of easy touring, smooth roads and beautiful farm country. We were thoroughly enjoying our time together on the bike, chatting occasionally on the intercom but otherwise content to simply be in the moment. We went as far north as Sigurd, then turned onto UT 24 and headed south toward Capital Reef. The weather was turning, with thunderstorms moving across the mountains to the southwest of us. We eyed the dramatic clouds wondering if we would escape the heavy rain that we could see pouring from them. Now we were both wishing that we had packed the rain liners instead of leaving them behind in the rental car at the hotel. Murphy’s Law. The rain caught us as we rode past the Koosharem Reservoir Recreation Site, but it didn’t last long and we both agreed that’s it’s part and parcel of the adventure.
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Summer 2016 – Day 7, Zion & Bryce Canyon National Parks

We planned our time riding together so that we would start and finish at the same hotel in Washington. We would leave my extra gear and my wife’s suitcases in her rental car in the parking lot of the hotel. They were fine with leaving the car, even though we wouldn’t be there for 4 nights. She had brought her helmet and jacket in a separate suitcase and I had the foresight to pack my Air Glide jacket as well. Phew! It would be nice to get out of the Odyssey. We had packed our jacket liners -nah, we won’t need these. It won’t rain. It won’t get cold. Guess what? The day we rode to Capital Reef National Park, we hit rain. And the night we returned from the Grand Canyon, it got cold. It would have been nice to have the liners.
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Summer 2016 – Day 6, Page, AZ to Washington, UT

Leaving Page, AZ, I headed south on Highway 89 to Bitter Springs where I would pick up 89A. The section of 89 just north of Bitter Springs descends along the edge of the mesa toward the valley below. The views were fantastic, but alas, there were no places to pull over for photos. I approached Marble Canyon and Navajo Bridge, the graceful arch bridge that spans it. The original bridge is now close to vehicular traffic, but open to pedestrians so it was a nice spot for photos of the gorge and the river below. I met a wildlife photographer who was photographing condors. This was his second day at this location.
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Summer 2016 – Day 4, Million Dollar Highway, Four Corners, Moki Dugway

The day started with fantastic mountain riding in cool temperatures and ended in the hot, dry desert of southeast Utah.

Bear Creek Falls Overlook is only about 10 minutes south of Ouray, so no sooner had I started then I stopped for photos. Absolutely breathtaking. Somewhere between Ouray and Durango (I don’t remember exactly where) traffic was stopped in both directions as road crews cleared rock that had been blasted earlier that morning.
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