Rain, rain and more rain greeted us at the Grand Canyon this morning. Over breakfast at the Lodge there was talk amongst the rangers who had spotted a bear lurking very close to the hotels during the night – sooo glad we were not out there! Wonder whether bears like motorbikes……..??
Due to the weather we set off earlier than usual and rode the first 25 miles out of the park in a mix of rain and drizzle. The speed limit in the National Park is drastically reduced anyway because of the wildlife, but riding a motorcycle not only in the wet but that early in the morning put us on a higher alert than usual for any sudden movement in the woodlands either side of the road. We did see some deer but they thankfully stayed off the road for us.
It was a shame that we did not get to see more of the Canyon this visit, thankfully we had been here some 5 years ago on another motorcycle tour and the weather had been kind to us that time around – I guess though it was good to see a different side to the Grand Canyon – it certainly took on a different dramatic feel in the stormy weather.
Our ride today took us out of Arizona and back into Utah to our destination for the next couple of nights which is the Zion National Park. The initial part of our ride was through some fairly flat landscapes but we soon arrived at the Vermillion Cliffs – so named due to the most fantastic red colouring of the rocks, (although these were to prove to be just a warm up for the colouring of the rocks in Zion). We climbed up onto a fantastic motorcycling road – the 89A passed Jacobs Creek and the turning to the Grand Canyon North Rim.
After lunch we continued our ride onto Zion and the small town of Springdale where our hotel was. It is hard to describe this National park and do it justice – to us it was better than the Grand Canyon as you are actually riding the roads inside the canyons and through the rocks here – it is so spectacular.
The road surface was paved in a terracota coloured tarmac to blend in with the rocks, it was so smooth and would have made for an excellent motorcycling road had it not been for the 30mph speed limit!!! But any faster and you would simply miss the landscape. We are so looking forward to having a couple of days here to fully explore.
What a wonderful motorcycle tour this is proving to be…. bring on tomorrow!!