Great Alaska Motorcycle Trip

Tuesday 9/12/06

Day three! We're really into this now! Today's ride is Cameron, Arizona, up to Zion National Park in Utah. The weather is beautiful again today!

I've noticed, since we got above 5000 feet, that my poor old 500cc, 26 HP BMW is really having trouble keeping up the pace. I find that I can't pull 4th gear with any kind of an upgrade, even at only 55 MPH. I'm afraid I may have lost vavle clearance and may be burning a valve, so at 6:30AM I was outside working on my bike. About 7:00AM Dick showed up to help me out.

Here we are hard at work! Turned out the valve clearances were fine. Dick suggested checking the ignition timing which was somewhat retarded, so I reset it. By 8:00AM everything was back together, and I felt better, but it actually didn't make much difference to the running.

We had a big breakfast at the motel (I had french toast and bacon) and we were on the road about 9:30.

We stopped for a break at Navajo Bridge at Marble Canyon. This is the visitor center. We only stopped to get off the bikes a bit, maybe have a drink and a pit stop, but it actually turned out to be quite interesting. Click the link above to find out more about Navajo Bridge. Carl made a good friend of one of the volunteers in the center, so all-in-all it was a great visit!

We continued on to Kanab. Started climbing into the mountains again. Weather continued perfect.

After lunch in Kanab, we started to approach Zion, We passed the Vermillion cliffs, beautiful red rock formations. This was a very pretty ride, gradual hills, not much traffic. Lots of beautiful scenery.

Zion was one of the major highlights of the trip. What a beautiful place! Riding through on a motorcycle gives unlimited visibility, and you really need it here!

We saw some wildlife in the park. These guys were just sitting here, pretty unconcerned about us. At one point a couple of the big males started a head-butting contest, which made me a little nervous, but we got away without incident.

It's impossible to really capture the feel of Zion with pictures. The formations are so immense you can feel them looming over you! We rode all the way through the park, stopping many times to take pictures, or just enjoy the area. At the visitor center we found out there is another road closed to traffic, so we took the shuttle bus on that ride. Just magnificent!

We stayed at the Canyon Ranch Motel. The motel was just outside the gate to the park in Springdale, and had a great view of some of the formations. We took the shuttle to a local restaurant for dinner, but walked back (we needed some exercise!). What a fantastic day!

Total milage for Tuesday, 201 miles.

Click here to see our Itinerary, and some Maps of the trip.

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