Cortez to Hanksville
Song of the Day: 1,000,000 – NIN
“grace is just a measure of the fall” – Jeffrey Foucault, Northbound 35
Video of going up the Moki Dugway:
Another day of amazing scenery. A lot of things were closed on Sunday morning in Cortez, CO. The first three coffee shops I wanted to go to, including a cool one in an Airstream, were closed. Eventually I finally found one to get a cup of coffee before heading out.
Lots of wide open desert with surrounding mesas before my first stop at Four Corners. Kind of glad I stopped and paid the entrance fee to see it, even if it was only a brief stop; now I can say I’ve been. I was surprised to see so many folks there because there hadn’t been much traffic on the road.
After that I headed on to Kayenta. Once there I fueled up and settled for Burger King for
breakfast as both of the restaurants in town were closed. Shortly after getting my order a whole busload of French tourists descended upon the place. I’m glad I got my order in and went to the bathroom when I did. As I ate I watched about five of them outside taking pictures of each other with my bike. My motorcycle is apparently quite popular.
Then on to Monument Valley toward Mexican Hat. Monument Valley was really cool. I can see why it was a featured location in so many movies. As I approached the descent into Mexican Hat the wind gusts picked up and caught me off guard. It was like that the rest of the day with unpredictable gusts followed by little or no wind – I spent most of the day with both hands on the bars ;). After Mexican Hat I took the turnoff to head up to the Moki Dugway. It was hair-raising enough going up; I don’t think I could handle going down. I really don’t care for heights. I passed a guy on a little bike with a surfboard attached (nod to the PHD Surfster) and we passed each other a couple times on the way up.
Once top-side you could really tell the elevation change; there were trees everywhere. Most of the colors in the rocks had turned a darker red. For quite a while I rode alongside Fry Canyon, a neat and shallow canyon that parallels the road for a few miles. After that was the descent into Glen Canyon. Wow. Spectacular. There was almost no one out there….felt like I had the place to myself. Lake Powell must be really low because where it once was is now this lush green river valley alongside the Colorado River. It was really picturesque.
After that I climbed out of the canyon through more amazing rock structures and eventually on to Hanksville, UT; my resting place for the night.