STRAIGHT TALK: Travel across America, part II
Last week I spoke to you about the first portion of Carmen Dasti, Chuck Glogouski and my trip out to the Grand Canyon, Utah and Colorado on our motorcycles early last month. We were gone for 18 days and traveled 5,569 miles on our bikes.
On May 8 we would arrive into Tuba City, Ariz. This was after we had ridden up through a portion of the Navajo and Hopi Indian reservations that day. It was the first time we would have an issue finding lodging, but with the help of a wonderful desk agent at the local Best Western Hotel in Tuba City, we were directed to a quaint little motor lodge that didn’t open until 4 p.m. and took the first lodgers to show up on their steps. Needless to say we were first in line as the skies were about to open up in a torrential downpour.
The accommodations were more than adequate. There were a couple of other traveling bikers on a similar adventure and we enjoyed speaking with them and hearing about their travels and where they’d be going after the ride to the canyon.
There is a special bond out there between motorcyclists. It is similar to the one found with folks that travel the roads in RVs, boaters or aviators. It’s almost like you’ve known each other all your lives and the stories just start to flow and the laughs are contagious.
When we left Tuba City the ride to the Grand Canyon would take again along some very picturesque roadways with snowcapped mountains in the distance. The actual ride is about 80 miles and would take us to the Cameron Trading Post.
The Navajo Indians now run the trading post and it has quite a selection of memorabilia, a hotel and restaurant. We became a bit of an attraction ourselves as we met a number of French and Asian tourists who were simply taken aback by our bikes and their sizes. I offered one small Asian man the opportunity to sit on my Harley and he quickly jumped aboard and had his wife start clicking away with her camera. He was the first of many who would climb on and grin from ear to ear.
We would leave the trading post and head out on the last portion of our ride to the park. We were now on the last 40 mile leg of the trip to the entry to the Grand Canyon National Park.
When we finally arrived at the south rim entry point, we would stop for a photo or two of the sign. After passing through the entrance we would stop at the first overlook area where we would grab a quick coffee and take in one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen.
After being there for a while I advised my two friends that we might consider moving along to our hotel, which was about a 25 mile ride through the park. Unfortunately I didn’t move them quick enough. Once we started on the road it began to rain, then sleet and eventually snow. We were very cautious on our ride through the park and onto our destination for the evening.
By the time we arrived at the Best Western my windshield was coved with ice and I didn’t think my hands would release from the grips. We had finally arrived and the next day would prove to provide us with some of the best scenery we’ve ever taken in.
The next morning Chuck would take an early walk to a store just next door, and while on that walk he’d come across a bull elk just grazing on some vegetation between one of the buildings. Needless to say Chuck was quite taken by the sight of the beautiful animal.
The next morning was as beautiful as it gets. The sun was bright and the skies were cloud free for the most part. Our ride to the main location in the park only took about 15 minutes, but the sights we’d see after we parked the bikes and walked down the pathway to the overlooks will last a lifetime.
The beauty is indescribable and takes your breath away. I can’t stress enough the fact that it is one of those things you need to see in person and to be sure to place it on your “bucket list.” Life is too short not to experience the thrill of seeing it for the first time.
Now there is a north rim and a south rim, both are beautiful, but we came to the south rim due to the fact the north Rim still had snow on the roads, something we’d laugh about later given the circumstances surrounding our arrival.
We would stay awhile in the park, just marveling at the raw beauty of the scenery.
Another friend of mine from Marco will be taking his wife later this summer on a whitewater rafting trip in the Grand Canyon; I am positive it will be a great adventure for them both.
Next week I’ll tell you about standing on the only place in the United States where you can be present in four states at one time. I’ll also tell you about another area in this country which has some of the most spectacular scenery and beautiful mountains I’ve ever seen, as I finish my little travelogue.