Green River Utah – Mexican Hat Utah, 217 miles (trip total 1900)
I was thinking, as we rolled through the too-exquisite-to-describe Glen Canyon, just how different an experience the car behind me must be having. They couldn’t feel the temperature changes, or smell the creosote or newly tarred road, didn’t have a canopy of blue overhead. I felt sad for them.
And then we got to these signs warning what lay ahead, and I wanted to hitch a ride in that car and ditch my motorcycle (sorry Lil’ Hoss. You know I love ya!).
I kept hoping maybe they’d made a mistake. 10% grade. Tight switchbacks. On gravel. Yes, gravel. I hate gravel.
But you know what? I like to be challenged, even when it’s scary, because I like knowing I pushed through the fear. And really, it wasn’t so bad. Intimidating, yes, because some of the downhills looked vertical, and the switchbacks were tight with sheer drop-offs at the edge, and motorcycles like sliding on gravel, but I knew I’d built it up in my head to be much scarier than it really was, and so finally, right toward the end, I relaxed and even enjoyed it… a little. Even so, I was glad to hit pavement again.
Since Brian has ridden dirt bikes most of his life it didn’t even faze him. I hope I get to that point someday, when gravel doesn’t freak me out. (Notice how I waited to get the shot of Brian until after we were out of the gravel.)
I’m at a loss on how to describe this most perfect day. A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to a Jillian Michaels podcast, and she was talking about a family vacation they’d recently taken to Utah, and commented on how some people save a lifetime to visit Europe and yet have never been to Utah, and how incredibly stupid that was. It’s true!!
Utah’s landscape is something you truly have to experience in person.
I can use all of the descriptive words in the world, take the most amazing photographs, and it wouldn’t begin to the compare to the experience of doing it. So if you haven’t… DO IT. I mean it. There were times going through Glen canyon that my eyes welled with the beauty of it all. I started thinking about how when I’m an old lady and can’t ride anymore, I can put my Sporty up on a pedestal at the Motor Palace and remember all of the amazing adventures we shared together. Glen Canyon would be top of the list, with the majestic Colorado river snaking through the canyon around us. We went all rebel-like and stopped on this bridge to grab a shot.
And if that wasn’t enough, we got a room at the San Juan Inn in Mexican Hat!! This is the Mexican Hat of Mexican Hat.
We’d passed by in 2009 and both agreed we wanted to someday stay there. It’s a hotel built into the cliffs alongside the San Juan River.
Brian had tried in the years since to book a room for us with no luck, and our neighbors, who recently made the trip, had no luck either. Well, luck was on our side this trip! We got a room!!!
The river is an extraordinary color, so we hiked down the path to grab a couple of shots.
What I see when Brian is shooting…
Since it was a short riding day, we dumped all of the gear at the hotel, and hoped back on the naked Sportys and zipped back down the road to Goosenecks, feeling many pounds lighter.
Goosenecks was another one of those places we missed in ’09 while trying to outrun a storm. It’s something to see. A long time ago (looooonnng time ago), the San Juan River carved its way into the rocks and now snakes a lovely pattern through the rocks. I didn’t even bother taking many pictures because I knew a photograph couldn’t do it justice.
But it was a perfect background for my nekked Sporty!
We horsed around a bit. Some of you may have seen this picture on Facebook. There’s a story behind it. I grew up, for the most part, in Arizona, but the only time we went to the Grand Canyon, my mom wouldn’t let us near the edge to see it. There’s a picture of my brother and me, arms folded, looking mad as can be. So this picture was for Mommy. Mean, aren’t I?
Lucky for you, we don’t have lightning lizard internet pace…
… otherwise I would have included about a bazillion more pictures.
Tonight’s plan? We don’t know yet. Gonna look at a map over breakfast and figure out.
Until next time…
Check out Brian’s blog at 66motorpalace.blogspot.com for a much more interesting post!
By the way, these Churchhill Mojave Joe’s truly are the perfect summer riding glove. We have a couple pairs left if you’re interested. Drop us a line!