I like Flagstaff, but man, that campground was noisy. Lots of traffic on the road next to it, and the wind! Oh well.
As I was packing up this morning I had a message on my phone from Mike Snively. He and Judy had just arrived in Flagstaff the same day as me, but in a different campground. We know the Snivelys from our time in the LTD program at Forest Springs. Mike was LTD the year before me, I think, and he or they had stayed on for another summer(?) to help out.
Anyhow, after packing up and fueling the bike and myself I went looking for them and found them at a laundromat in town. We talked for a while, caught up on stuff, took a couple photos, and then I was off for the Grand Canyon. By the way Mike, does this mean I’m still on your mailing list??
The wait time at the entrance to the Grand Canyon NP was something like 30 or 40 minutes. Maybe more. I was thinking that it had better be worth it.
After showing the gatekeeper my military NP pass (so many perks to being a veteran!) I went looking for the Canyon. And looking. And looking. I’m pretty good with maps and finding my way around, but the National Park Service has done something that is nearly miraculous. They’ve managed to hide something as massive as the Grand Canyon with a labyrinth of roads, too many buildings, and unnecessary stuff. That was in the Visitor Center area. When I headed east on highway 64 there were plenty of pull-outs and vistas along the road for photo opportunities.
I wasn’t sure where I was headed next–somewhere in Utah probably. I did consider visiting the north rim of the Canyon but it’s a ways out of the way.
The roads up to Utah, highways 89 and 89A, were just as scenic as the Canyon, in their own way, in my opinion.
I finally ran out of daylight, partially due to the confusion at GCNP, and decided on a hotel just over the border in Utah. I’ve ridden in the dark several times now on this trip and I’d rather not if I don’t have to.
The plan for tomorrow is Bryce Canyon and the highway 12 scenic drive through Utah up to Green River. I thought about Zion but it’s going to be a long day, and at this point I don’t want to make it longer.
After that it’s Arches, Canyonlands, Moab, and then crossing over into Colorado to Ouray.
18 days. I’m missing my wife, and my life, so this trip should be over by the end of this week. A few more days though, and some really cool scenery yet to come!