Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day 09 - Chasing the sun

Today we went to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to be tourists. We left Vegas early and got on the road after gassing up. Of course it was raining. Any of you who live in Vegas - Why the HELL are all the roads greasy and slick as oiled glass? What do they use on them to make it so slippery? I couldn't wait to get out of Vegas (from a motorcyclist's point of view). Strippers and gambling aren't my thing, and we weren't going to be in town long enough for me to try to get tickets to some of the shows I would enjoy. Robin Williams, Kathy Griffin and David Spade are all doing shows in town. Ah well.

We hit the road and plowed thru' a few rain storms and finally got away from the worst of the weather... just in time for it to turn cold. All the way up to the North Rim, it was getting colder and colder and eventually started hailing and snowing. Nothing too serious but it added to the feeling that I'd been cheated on this trip.

I wanted to use the word "jipped", which I assume is actually spelled "gypped" or "gyped", which I further assume is a dig on Gypsies, but I won't use that word because I don't wish to insult hundreds of years of Bulgarian and Romanian history and culture. That's just not cool.

Cheated, yes. Death Valley was down right chilly, Oregon was ridiculously hot, San Francisco was definitely NOT the beautiful weather I remember from my previous visit, and the Grand Canyon was covered in clouds, rain and snow. Dang it all... this East Coast boy's perceptions have been completely turned upside down.

Clouds were comping up the canyon while we were sitting there

The camera doesn't do justice to the canyon's many colors and textures and contrasts

The camera doesn't do justice to the canyon's many colors and textures and contrasts

Keith brought up a good point... do each of these plateaus, mesas, whatever... have their own isolated eco system? Other than the birds, it appears not a whole lot can easily get in and out.

These two pictures really show the frustration of the day... the sun was always just out of reach, all day long. We could see it. We could see where it was and where it had been when the roads were dry, but we could never really find ourselves IN it. Grrrrrrrrr.

This chipmunk was pretty social. Came right up to us.

And this crazy looking blue bird was pretty sure we had dinner for him.

It's really impossible to properly capture the scale of this big hole. It's just... huge! And when you think about the fact that's just a river that cut into the ground over millions of years... it's pretty awe-inspiring.

I could have sat here for days. If the Lodge had any vacancies, I would have stayed a day or two and just sipped drinks by the canyon. I'm just not even kidding a little bit. It was so peaceful and made me start thinking deep and introspective thoughts.

Have any idea what kind of spider this is?

A hawk was flying around us. I think he was hoping to snag the chipmunk that was visiting us earlier.

We were suiting up to leave and I decided to snap a picture of my bike in a slight out-of-focus foreground setting. I then did the same for Brian's bike, showing him to do this.

A beautiful red Triumph Sprint ST hitting the road.

We were about 8800 feet up at the park. WOW! This is as we were heading back down.

This picture shows snow on the ground from a morning snow fall. It doesn't show well in the picture, but there was light snow falling then, too.

The car in front of me was kicking up a snow-wake.

YAY! More clouds! More rain! YAAAAY!

And today's route...

1 comment:

Charles said...

YAY! More clouds! More rain! YAAAAY!...More Cows, Too! WAAAAYYYYYNE

There, fixed that for ya...