Sunday, May 8, 2011

Near Death Experience #1

We got an early start to the day, as we had a long day of riding and sightseeing ahead of us. We took Highway 95 to 24 to 12. If you are ever in the area, we would strongly taking this route because most all of it was quite spectacular. Our first sightseeing stop was at Natural Bridges National Park about 40 miles outside of Blanding, UT. There are several hikes you can do to get closer to the bridges, but if you are on a crunch for time, there is a 9 mile loop you can drive that enables you to see all 3 bridges.

Bridge 1

Bridge 2

After that, you will hit Glen Canyon National Recreation Area where you can access Lake Powell. Also quite beautiful.

Nice Ride

This is the Colorado River.

Colorado River

Eventually, we ended up at Hanksville, UT. We stopped at this sweet convenience store that was built into a rock.

Gas Station in a Mountain

Capital Reef National Park was next. We just drove through a portion of the park, but it seems like it would be a nice place to spend a day or two.

Nice Rocks

Us at Capital Reef

Chimney Rock

Then we hit Highway 12 and ended up camping outside of Boulder, UT on Burr Trail, in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This was the road.

Beautiful Road

Driving the Canyon

The Transalp looks so good in the canyons.

The Transalp loves Canyons

We ended up finding a good campsite.

Campsite II

Which leads us to Jill's 1st near death experience of the trip. Please keep in mind that we were in flip flops, Jill is somewhat terrified of heights and especially uncomfortable with climbing. So, we decided to climb the large rock in front of our tent. It was no problem going up, as the rock was pretty striated. We had a nice view of the entire area for awhile from the top. Coming down, we decided to take the more difficult side of the rock that was significantly steeper. At first it was ok, but then it started getting steep and Jill decided to start crab walking down, thinking that would keep her from falling. Mike decided to try one way and Jill thought he told her to walk to a lower tree. So, she took off towards the tree and ended up trapped on the rock face holding onto the rock with her right hand and no other grips in sight. She had water and the camera in her other hand. Mike had to come over from the top of the rock and physically help her to the next safe place to stand. It was actually a pretty close call to at least Jill sliding down the rock face and seriously hurting herself. But, everything ended up fine, with no casualites, including the camera or water, so no worries, and actually an adrenaline filled end to a great riding day.

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