Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Big Ass Crater in my Backyard, I Hope that You Stay a Hole

Somehow our alarm didn't go off in the morning so we got a later start than expected. That was ok because we worked the daylight savings system to get a time change in AZ that gave us an extra hour. We drove to Page, AZ, tourist mecca of Lake Powell travelers and had a hard time finding a visitors center. We did find City Hall, but they had no idea where it was either and called random people to find it. Eventually it was found in a strip mall. Then we went to Denny's for a big breakfast. Unfortunately, we saw the Baconalia menu after we had ordered, but still managed to down lots of coffee and good food.

After breakfast, Mike did some basic maintenance to the chain. The US models (only sold in 1988 & 1989)of the Transalp never had a centerstand, and don't have a mounting bracket for one available from Honda. Thankfully, a fellow on advrider has been working on creating an aftermarket centerstand for the TA. We are lucky enough to be traveling with one of the first prototypes, which so far has been great, and will continue to prove valuable for regular maintenance and tire changes/repairs. The best part about it is that Mike, the guy making the stands, lives south of Denver, so we were able to work with him to get the stand on. Thanks again, Mike, for working so hard to make these stands work out!!

Centerstand in Action

We then hit the road to make it to the Grand Canyon for some amazing vistas and a short hike into the canyon. When we first saw the canyon, it was difficult to fully appreciate the scene - it's almost too massive to take in.

View Across the Canyon

View of Grand Canyon

We caught the free shuttle bus from the visitor's center to the S Kaibab trailhead, where we planned on checking out Ooh Aah point, a couple mile roundtrip hike. Somehow we blasted on past ol' Ooh Aah and made it down to Cedar Ridge, which was a beautiful overlook into the canyon. Hiking down and back up that trail certainly gave us a better understanding of how deep and large the Grand Canyon is.

Bird at Grand Canyon

Us at Grand Canyon

Cedar Ridge Trail

While in the park, we decided to take advantage of the showerhouse at the campground. The place was a madhouse of activity with lots of people doing laundry, waiting for showers, and just hanging out in the parking lot waiting for clothes to dry. Jill had the pleasure of waiting in line for the women's showers behind a 6'6", very manly person, seemingly going through a few changes in life, who apparently felt more comfortable in the women's bathroom than in the men's, even if those around him/her didn't feel the same. Luckily the showers were all separate stalls, so no extra body parts were seen. Unfortunately, we don't have any photos to share with you of that experience.

Due to our longer than expected hike and much needed shower, we didn't want to drive too far at dusk, especially after seeing a few mule deer when leaving the park. In mule deer vs motorcycle, mule deer would win. We made it to Ten X campground in Kaibab Nat'l Forest, which was a nice wooded place to crash. Since it was an official campground, it cost us $10 to stay there, but getting off the road then and also having a picnic table to sit at was worth it. FYI - there are a couple of signed National Forest roads just south of there that would have been perfect for free camping, if you're headed that way.


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