Day 2

July 28, 2008 – Day 2:  Washington, UT to Provo, UT via Zion N.P. & Bryce Canyon – 345 Miles

Entrance to Zion National Park
Entrance to Zion National Park

Another hot day on the road, up to 104⁰.  Utah has no helmet law for adults so I put the skid lid away and went al natural today.  Funny, I’ve been riding for 40 years, many of them without a helmet, and I don’t ever recall getting as burned on top as I did this day.  A partner once said the worst part of aging was thinning hair; he was always getting sun burned.

First stop on today’s agenda, Zion National Park.  I leave early, wanting to work with the morning light.  The road up to Zion from Washington just gets better every turn.  The color is simply magnificent.  This has got to be one of the best motorcycle rides in the country.  Majestic mountains surround the rider and the road darts in and out of the light creating amazing photo opportunities.  I find myself stopping to capture an image and being overwhelmed by the sure beauty of the moment.  I pack up, take off and as I round the very next turn I find I must stop for an even more overwhelming opportunity.  It makes for a very long but magnificent ride.  The EF 16-35 sees the majority of the action through Zion and it certainly does an exceptional job.

Zion National Park
Zion National Park

As I exit Zion I find myself reflecting on the beautiful images captured during the morning’s ride.  I can’t reflect long however as I turn north towards the day’s second destination, Bryce Canyon.  Bryce is one of the few parks I have never visited before.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  According to my dad, I was there in the late 50’s but sadly, I don’t remember much of it.  As I turn off US-89 onto interstate 12 it’s like someone put a 25A red filter over the lens.  It soon becomes obvious why as I enter Red Canyon.  The hills, the cliffs, everything glows in shades of red.  Only once before, in Sedona AZ, have I seen such majestic views saturated with so much color.  I actually believe these images will need to be desaturated a little just to keep them real, it’s truly amazing.

Zion N.P. from Route 9
Zion N.P. from Route 9

By the time I actually reach Bryce Canyon it’s around 11:00am and hotter than a…  Well you get the idea.  The beauty of the canyon literally has me stopping every few hundred feet for another shot.  By the time I leave the canyon, I am totally exhausted.  It’s already 2:30pm and I still have the majority of the day’s ride ahead of me.  As I ride up US-89 through central Utah I find myself torn between the beautiful country I had left behind and the scenic road before me.  I finally pull into Provo around 8:00pm, have some dinner, and get a room.  Funny thing though, I lay in bed unable to sleep, my mind keeps wandering back to the magnificence of the day.  The next thing I remember the alarm on my phone is sounding off and I feel the warmth of sunlight on my face.  It’s day 3 and it’s time to move out.

Checker Board Mountain, Zion N.P.
Checker Board Mountain, Zion N.P.
The Road to Red Canyon
The Road to Red Canyon
Entering Red Canyon
Entering Red Canyon
Red Canyon Roadside
Red Canyon Roadside
Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon, South Rim
Bryce Canyon, South Rim

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