Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Mesa

Friday, September 9th - Montezuma, CO

First stop, Durango H-D.  I'll take two.

From Durango we rode West to Montezuma County and to Mesa Verde National Park.

Up around 10,000 feet again the wind whipped and the cold was bone-chilling.  We stopped at the visitor center to add another layer.  You really appreciate a hot cup of coffee to warm the hands. 

The views were worth the cold.

Leaving the Pueblo's behind we charged out to Navajo country on the way to Monument Valley.  Sunnier down here in the valley but we'd dodge thunderstorms all day.

I don't know what to say.  We were all disappointed that the pictures couldn't convey the scale and impact.

North from Monument Valley we rode into Glen Canyon and this was our playground alone for about an hour and a half.  Absolutely awe inspiring.

Until the sky darkened.  Rain its self isn't a problem but you don't want to be the high point on a bridge or pass under one.  At least in the car you have a little protection, that maybe the body will dissipate the charge (maybe/maybe not).  On a bike you're simply fucked

Out of gas and out of luck we followed the signs to Lake Powell for gas, food and lodging.  What we found was the general store closed, no restaurant, thankfully the gas pumps were left on but by lodging they meant the camping area by the lake.  And we found ourselves blocked in by thunderstorms over all exits.

So we did the only sensible thing you could do.  Commandeer the Ranger's station, evict the picnic table and shelter the bikes under the awning.  Crack a beer and wait it out!

Except we didn't wait it out.  We waited until dark and then decided to press on.  Maybe not one of our best decisions...  It rained, and then hailed, sleeted, snowed.  But it was only 40 miles to the next town.  Until it was 50 miles, then 55.  Who's counting?
Eventually we made it Hanksville through some of the sketchiest conditions I've ever ridden in.  Turned into the first hotel, tucked into sandwiches from the gas station, beer from the cooler and heat from the radiator.
Here we are the next morning, rested and ready to go!

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