Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day 7 - A day of 'ests'.

This, our penultimate day on the bikes, turned out to be a day of extremes, from the coldest to the hottest, the highest, the longest, and the scariest. Fortunately it was not also the wettest as it turned out we only needed our rain gear for an hour or so at midday.


When we left Torrey at 7:30 AM it was less than 40 degrees and promising to get colder as we  climbed up the side of Boulder Mountain. A heavy dew the night before meant that the roads were still very wet. Feeling the air get colder as we climbed, combined with all the Icy Road signs, did not make for a very comfortable ride for the first while. The fact that cattle were wandering loose all over the road didn`t help either. However soon enough we reached the summit (9,600 feet) and started the ride down little knowing that the most interesting riding was yet to come.


Just south of Boulder you hit the 'knife edge' as the road follows the Hogsback Ridge. In places the road is a very narrow two lanes wide with a 3 or 4 foot shoulder on either side, then oblivion as the sides fall away hundreds of feet to the valley floor on either side. With no guardrails or other barriers to stop you, oncoming RVs hogging the middle of the road, and swirling crosswinds it's definitely a scary ride. You do not want to be less than 100% focused on your driving when crossing this ridge.




We continued through Escalante to Bryce Canyon where we stopped to view the hoodoos and take a short walk down into the canyon. Due to time constraints we only had a couple of hours to spend there but again we were blown away by yet another spectacular and completely different geography from what we had seen to date.





The rain and hail started as we left Bryce and stayed with us until we were a few miles from Zion. Again mother nature favoured us with nice weather when it really counted and it cleared up for our ride through Zion. Another gorgeous ride in a spectacular setting!


By the time we reached St. George it was well over 100 degrees, the highest temperatures we`d seen so far. We`d also done abour 260 miles, making it the longest day of our trip. Sadly it was also the second last-est day of what had been a phenomenal trip.

Tomorrow - back to Vegas.

2 comments:

  1. I remember that section of 12 between Torrey and Escalante. I'm not a fan of heights and that short piece of road was the "est" of them all, definitely scary. I had Nancy on the back of my old Goldwing, and when I realized there was nowhere but "down", I told her, "it's been a good life", and a blipped the throttle and she sank her fingernails into my shoulders... I heard about that for a while...

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    Replies
    1. Erik - I can imagine! Definitely an experience worth having but I was glad I was on a motorcycle and not a 50' RV crossing that ridge.

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