Day 3. Go East!
We were heading east this day, into the Navajo reservation & along the little colorado river. We got up around 6, went into the big cafeteria at the yavapai lodge, suited up & headed for desert view.
The views were a little different.. the shadows changed, but the vistas were no less spectacular.
Down below from this overlook, you could see the mighty Colorado river & roaring whitewater rapids.. of course from this distance, it looked like a gentle brook.
I even let the drz take another picture..
We arrived at the desert view tower, at the east entrance of gcnp. It's about 25 miles from the village where the lodges are. The tower is an old structure but still in use.
This was where our next ride would be.. Across the gorge there was a road with our names on it.
Tom was having important calls come in.. i think it was problems with kids or grandkids.. but it might just have been his broker..
But the phone calls ended, we filled our tanks & headed down the dirt road to the switchbacks. This was THE grand canyon ride. The road was rocky, gnarly, & difficult. The views were magnificent & changed at every turn. I think this few miles was the most complete ride.. we even took some pictures of cactus flowers.
Here's Tom coming down the switchbacks, with the Grand Canyon views to the west.
Tom took my video, too!
Here's Tom coming down the switchbacks, & stopping at an open overlook. The videos are in HD, so you can go to youtube & view them in higher resolution.
I tried to connect the camera to a minipod strapped to the handlebars, but it still shook too much.. a helmet cam is the only realistic way to keep it relatively still.
Right above the drz you can see the desert view tower. We were heading to the intersection of the Colorado & the Little Colorado rivers..
But right when we got down to the plateau, the road acquired an addendum... no motor vehicles, pedestrians only. The only road now headed further east, deeper into the Navajo reservation.. the desert view tower getting further away..
We were prepared to turn back, but new roads opening up before us were too irresistible. There were a couple of dead ends.. one led to this old hogan ruin.. judging from the weathered logs, it was probably built in the 20's or earlier.
We got into the most difficult trails of the trip on this day.. both from designated roads on the maps, & side roads we set out to explore. We had some near misses, but no crashes or major problems.
Another dead end, but open views. The big crack in the ground you see is the little colorado river canyon, heading north to the colorado river.
There were several herds of horses around.. many with young foals. It was interesting to see them react to us. They galloped into the steep rocky hills.. i think they were wild & used to being herded by quads & bikes.
There were also ruins of old hogans everywhere.. some may have been relatively recent, but many were probably hundreds of years old.
We didn't see very much traffic on this trip.. not off road, anyway. Out here it was very desolate.
There were also the usual cows.. & they would run from us, but down the road. We couldn't pass, & they kicked up more dust than the bikes.
We stopped for lunch, & decided to head back. It was at least another couple of hours up to the point at the colorado & little colorado, & it would be too late when we got back, plus we might miss the beers & long island iced tea if we dawdled along these remote back roads.
As we neared hwy 64, we began to climb. The rocky roads had some pretty steep switchbacks we had to go up. But it was fun seeing the views open up again.. the little colorado gorge became more pronounced as we went up in elevation.
We crossed hwy 64 & continued on the dirt. We got on some pretty old roads.. another old stage road that headed to the reservation. It went through some beautiful pine forests.
The road connected to grandview road, which we had ridden into the park a couple of days earlier. It was only about 3pm, so we had plenty of time to get changed & walk over to the bar & restaurant.
The sun was hanging low again, creating more shadows & different lighting for this wonder of the world.
Strangely enough, there was another guy wearing this exact same shirt walking around. Tom was afraid he'd be mistaken for Jerry Lee Lewis, but he was never mobbed by groupies.
After dinner, we again hit the hay early. Here's the room inside the park boundary. They weren't anything great, but they were reasonable, clean & comfortable.
End of Day 3.
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