Sunday, May 19, 2013

Day 12

That was by far the worst dump I ever slept in. All that was missing were the cockroaches, but I guess they had less smelly places to be at. I slept well though - I wouldn't let a bad night spoil the next day. Had to shower in the morning again though, being very carefull where to step and wqhat to touch afterwards.

Looks like the bad weather front is East from where I'm headed (northbounds toward Salt Lake) and moving East. Hope it stays that way.

I got under a single rain cloud right after I left, but I just twisted the throttle until I was out of it.

Decided to go South-West to Zion NP and then beeline up to Salt Lake City if I have time. First leg led me through San Rafael desert. Mostly flat desert but with enough change of scenery to make the ride interesting and cruising at 100-110mph possible.

Since I ate a gel for dinner and didn't have any breakfast I stopped in a nice stake house in Hanksville for a hearty brunch.

The really fun roads started right after and continued for the rest of the day. First was the Capitol Reef NP, impressive area with equally entertaining road. Then on through Dixie national forest and higher elevation (~10,000ft) where temperature dipped to 14. Following several desert canyons and river valleys to Bryce Canyon NP. The road there is as impressive as the scenery. It runs like a mad serpent on the edge of the deep and colorful canyon. I finally got rid of the last remnants of my "chicken strips" and rear tire finally looks like a true sport-touring one :). I wasn't pushing it, this road just led me naturally to higher leaning angles.

Faced with the fact that there is no way I would reach Salt Lake for the night I decided to go all the way to Zion and then turn North as far as I can get. Good decision. Both Zion NP and the roads to and through it are one stream of endless beauty. If it wasn't Saturday and the place packed with week enders the road through Zion would be a perfect rival to the Dragon. By far the steepest and most curvey road on this trip. One would have to ride it several times before he could start doing it in a sportier manner. Scenery is just too distractingly stunning. I went through both ways and still couldn't help but stop every 100m to soak up the scenery.

So three national parks and a national forest later I'm enjoying a relaxing evening in Richfield. Planning to take it easy tomorrow - just side roads towards the holy land of speed - Bonneville salt lake.
Check the pictures later. One day I'll use them to do a "scenery change per hour" statistic :)