Saturday, April 06, 2013

Uraling to Alaska - Day 1: Zion National Park, UT

April 5, 2013

We all woke up early and everybody was on the road by 6:35 AM today!  Martha, Terry K. and my sons were headed back to Denver with the BMW X5; my father-in-law: Richard was headed in the Buick back to Phoenix to later on catch a flight back to Wisconsin.

I was the last to leave and I had no issues cruising up US89 North once again, past the town of Cameron and soon reaching the point where I had to detour onto US160 towards Tuba City.  There's apparently construction going on northbound US89 and the detour would end up costing me perhaps an hour, maybe more.The detour took me to Page, AZ via US98 and although the ride was sedate, still time lost.

 Rock formations on the road to Page, AZ

Once I was past Page, I crossed the bridge over the Glen Canyon Dam and got some glimpses of Lake Powell.
 Lake Powell Views

I arrived at Kanab, UT around lunch, figure about six hours travel time from Flagstaff.  I had a quick lunch at the McDonalds where I was UDF'ed slightly by a rider in a 2011 BMW GS, he was headed for the Grand Canyon's North Rim area.

I left Kanab and with a slight detour to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park (which was disappointing but only cost me $3)

Not very "pink"

I was soon at the entrance to Zion Canyon National Park.  The cost for a motorcycle is $12 and you get to see most of the park while on the road which crosses the park.

I left Zion and as the sun was still pretty high in the afternoon sky, decided to press on to Bryce Canyon National Park instead of overnighting in Kanab.  It was about 70 miles or so to Bryce Canyon City, and you reach it from US889 via State Hwy 12.  Near the junction is Red Canyon Park, a nice little appetizer for the larger rock formations of Bryce Canyon.

One of two similar rock tunnels one rides through on the way to Bryce Canyon

The sun was close to setting as I entered Bryce Canyon National Park, the fee station was closed so I just rode on through.

I was trying to catch the sunset and turned onto a viewpoint labeled as Sunset Point!  Alas, the light was not with us today

I along with the rest of the folks still at the viewpoint didn't get much in the way of sunset lighting.  I will try and catch the sunrise tomorrow though.

Night fast approaching now, it was past 7:30 PM I think, I exited the park and went the Ruby's RV Campground near the entrance to the park.  Got myself a campsite, near the bathrooms/pool and got my camp set up in a quick and easy manner.

Dinner was Ramen Noodles cooked on my two burner Coleman Stove, it was yummy.

It's 8:15 PM and the promised wi-fi service in the campground, while apparently evident, is not working for me.  Oh well, I guess I'll turn in and try to find a wi-fi spot tomorrow to upload this posting.

I started the day with 22639 on Valencia's odometer, it would show 23256 km at the campsite.  About 12 hours of saddle time today, covering 617 km or a bit over 370 miles....not too shabby for the first day of the trip to Alaska.

Previously: Prelude to Alaska -Spring Break Day 5: Sedona


SonjaM said...

Stunning scenery being enhanced by Valencia. Zion NP is a park that I would love to see in different seasons. I have been there during spring and fall.

Even though the sun wasn't with you Bryce Canyon is as colourful as usual. Hope you get to see the sun rise, it is spectacular!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Sonja! I think Bryce Canyon would be "cool" with snow, do they restrict traffic a lot?

Unknown said...

Again, Great photo's. the colours are magnificent.
I would love to ride these areas.


redlegsrides said...

Wile E, thanks for the nice comment.

redlegsrides said...

video added