I’m sitting in my (last-of-the-trip) hotel room here in Page, AZ, looking at pictures from the last few days and listening to the news in the background. I haven’t followed things quite as closely as I normally do over the last month and a half and it’s interesting to catch up on things…there’s much to catch up on. And, much has happened in the last few days here, but I’m mostly going to let the pictures tell the story so that I can get out of here. I’m heading to the Grand Canyon today and I’d like to leave myself as much time there as possible.
I left West Yellowstone on the 22nd, drove back through the park and down into the Grand Tetons. I think the most impressive thing about the Grand Tetons is how they stand out in stark contrast to everything else around them. They’re part of a range, but they tower over the other mountains and certainly over the vast plains below them. The lakes at their base are clear and blue and I’m told that on a calm day (which the 22nd wasn’t) they perfectly reflect the peaks above them. I drove out of the park, through the rest of Wyoming, into Idaho and finally down into Utah. The temperature rose as I traveled south, reaching 97 in Jackson, WY, and 101 in Afton, WY…not fun when you’re on a bike. It’s not too bad when you’re moving, but sitting at stoplights (like I had to in Jackson) makes for a hot bike and a hot body…a different kindof hot than I normally have, that is. Parts of this drive went through canyons but most of it was through open prairie and the contrast was very interesting. The little towns that spring up out of nowhere often have much more character than their “Population 100” sign would indicate…and they’d better if they’re going to make me slow down to 35mph whilst transiting through their character-laden streets.
I spent a few great days with my Aunt and Uncle and Grandma and Grandpa in Spanish Fork, UT, enjoying the chance to be with family and to relax a bit. It was hot the whole time (106 in Provo) but I didn’t mind all that much. It would have been a different story had I been camping. I left yesterday morning and began the drive down I-15 towards southern Utah. Again, the temperature rose as I drove south and I found myself stopping for water and shade much earlier than I would stop for food or gas. One of the highlites of the entire trip came on yesterday’s travels as I got to spend some time in Zion National Park. This was yet another place that I’ve been to on this voyage where I immediately knew that I would need to make a return trip in order to adequately appreciate it in its entirety. Beautiful. Much of it is comprised of old, solidified sand dunes looking something like hardened cake batter which has been just been poured into a bowl.
I drove out of the park through its mile-long tunnel and off through the colorful deserts on my way to Arizona. Thunderstorms with giant rain clouds and bright lightning strikes were everywhere but somehow I seemed to avoid them on this leg of the trip. I got rained on several times earlier in the day and while I would have been frustrated by the rain about a week ago, I welcomed it in the midst of the 106 degree weather. I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. Much like how driving the 35 minutes to my parent’s house used to seem like a “long” drive before I took off on this trip and spent 10-12 hours a day on the road. Speaking of being on the road, I need to get out of here. I hope you enjoy the pictures…they don’t quite do reality justice, but it was fun to try. Two more days…
(Oh, also…you may see some random “spam” comments left on my posts. I try to delete them as soon as I see them, but please ignore them if you catch them before I do. They’re generally pretty bad…nothing I’d like my mom to have to read. I’m guessing it’s from an automated system, but if it’s from a person and that person is reading this, then I can confidently tell you that none of us are interested in your naughty wares which you peddle. Go peddle elsewheres. Thank you.)