Thursday, September 24, 2020

345 miles today from home in Arizona to La Verkin, Utah

 We started a 4-day trip this morning, leaving our home in Prescott, Arizona and heading north first to Flagstaff, and then continuing north on US 89 through the high desert of the Navajo Reservation.

This landscape looks almost other-worldly, and even though we've ridden this way several times, we never get tired of looking out over the sand and rocks.

We've been looking for a shiny tanker truck so we could take a photo of us on the BMW as we ride by, and today we finally find one:

Soon after this photo, the BMW's odometer turned over to 26,000 miles and we did a little happy dance on the bike for all the fun we've had over the past 2.5 years.

We turned left onto US 89A, and stopped at Marble Canyon to walk across the Navajo Bridge over the Colorado River. This is considered the beginning of the Grand Canyon, and is where the historic Lee's Ferry was located. For about 55 years the ferry was the only way to cross the Colorado River, until the first bridge was built in 1929. A new bridge designed for larger trucks was completed in 1995, and the old bridge is now reserved for pedestrians.

We continued west on US 89A past the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument near the Arizona/Utah border where the Paria Plateau drops 3,000' to the valley floor.

After passing by Vermillion Cliffs, the highway winds and climbs up the Kaibab Plateau and the landscape changes once again, this time to dense forests of tall pines. We stopped for lunch in Jacob Lake where we couldn't pass by the large, delicious homemade cookies. 89A continues west at this point, winding through the pine forests that unfortunately were decimated by the Magnum Fire in June of this year.

We wound our way down an average 6% grade off the top of the Kaibab Plateau to the high desert floor below us, and when we reached Fredonia we turned west on State 389, riding through part of the Kaibab Paiute Reservation only 50 miles north of the Grand Canyon.

The temperature rose into the mid 90's and we were glad we only had a few miles left until we reached La Verkin, Utah where we're staying for 3 nights. We're looking forward to some gorgeous motorcycle riding!

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