What an amazing place Bluff is to wake up in – everywhere is still and clear, warm too which is always a bonus when anticipating a day motorcycling
Our breakfast was at the Twin Rocks cafe (very aptly named as you can see from the photo….) and a great way to set you up for the day ahead. This photo was taken with Jan and Karen Thomson, (on the yellow GS) from Avid Moto Tours which is based in the US, Karen was assisting Frank with this motorcycle tour through Colorado, Utah and Arizona.
From Bluff we had a 30 mile ride to the Gooseneck State park. It is where the San Juan river runs deep through a canyon and in this section snakes for over 6 miles but actually only spans 1.5 miles due to the large curves it takes – hence the name “Gooseneck” – it is well worth taking a visit there – and if you can do it by motorbike, all the better as the roads are fantastic.
So we’d already started the day with fab roads and great views but more was to come – Monument Valley which is more jaw dropping than we can properly describe here! The whole landscape is a deep red colour with these fascinating columns of rock emerging from open plains and carved over millions of years by the elements. This photo was taken on the approach to the valley and does not really do justice to the scale of the place – our advice here would be “if you get the chance, get on your motorbike and ride out there…you will not be disappointed”
We went over to the visitors centre and you can see some of the more well known “monuments” close at hand – there is a 17 mile dirt loop which you can take to get even closer, however, it is not recommended for most road motorbikes. Although we were on BMW GS’ on this tour, our insurance was such that we could not take this dirt road – maybe next time…!!
We had a long ride ahead of us though, Kayenta to Cameron was a 96 mile stretch of tarmac with some very long sections of straight road, but it was a means to an end as our destination that day was the Grand Canyon in Arizona. After fuel and a slice of pizza we turned off the main highway and headed towards the Canyon’s South Rim but also into heavy storm clouds.
We got lucky though as we only had light rain for the last 40 miles or so, but you could see that there had been a considerable downpour by the pools of water settled on the road side and some of our fellow motorcyclists on this tour had been caught in the full force of the storm (not good!!). Luckily we had seen the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle tour some 5 years earlier, on this day though we got to see a more dramatic side to it with the storm going on in the canyon and we were above the storm clouds which was kind of eerie.
Did we get to see it in better weather next day????? Read our next blog to find out