We rose at 5.00 am for our early start and were checked out and on the bike by 6.00. It was still dark so we took it easy. The road to Kanab was pretty with very light traffic so as it became light we were able to start making up time. I had planned to breakfast in Kanab but at that time of the day nothing was stirring and Liz said to press on to Page, where we arrived at 8.20 am. Good timing. Except it was 7.20. Arizona does not observe daylight saving! This we discovered at the airport we we hoped to get a flight over the Grand Canyon after a couple of enquiries we organized a charter in a Cessna 407 and headed off for breakfast while "Bahb" organized a pilot. On our return there was a bit of a delay over the weather and then we were go!
Our pilot Brett used his iPad to navigate us first over Marble Canyon, then the big daddy, the Grand. I had spotted Marble in my planning, but concluded we would not have time, so this was a bonus; and we did the entire length of it! It is so interesting, cut quite narrowly and deep into the desert plateau. Harsh and unforgiving country indeed. And then of course the Grand Canyon. The visibility was not the best, but the enormity of the place was still overwhelming! Photos, photos, photos!
The two hours went by in a flash and soon, all too soon, we were on our final approach. A real bonus for me was there were few humps and gyrations so I never felt even slightly queasy.
Back on the bike for the long haul to Cortex, stopping at the Blue Teapot in Magenta AZ for lunch (good) and petrol. Hey! What's with the time?! Kayenta is on the Navajo Reservation and they DO observe daylight saving!
On our way again, this time to Monument Valley. Stopping to check the map, I took a five yard yard short cut off the tar across the sand and OOPS! At zero mph the bike fell over! The sand was at least six inches deep and the fall was soft, dusty and rather stressing, especially for Liz. I had been warned by many that ONE day, the bike would fall. OK guys, you were right. I hope it was the last. Getting it back up was a real strain, being so heavily laden and with a full tank!
We took some photos at Monument Valley, rather good ones, I think, and then got underway again.
When stopped for a break at a speck on the map back in Utah an hour from Cortez, I found a missed call and text message from our friends from Melbourne, John and Anne B, who are also in the USA on a rented Harley. The text said a) the gear linkage on their bike (a Harley) had broken and b) they were ....in Cortez! We told them where we staying and when we arrived at the Days Inn they were being dropped off at reception! photo time! Now this is quite special, as John and I know each other from high school and after some twenty years met by chance on a snowfield outside Melbourne. We had a very pleasant dinner together and we are planning to meet up again in a few days and ride up to Mt Rushmore together.
We spent six hours and forty minutes in the saddle yesterday, about twelve and a half door to door. 650 kilometers, 406 miles. A scenic flight, a fall, and a chance meeting with old friends, all in one day. Epic!!