Chapter Four; Bryce Canyon From All Angles
Bryce Canyon, UT. (May 23) -
We started the day at Boulder Mesa Restaurant for breakfast. We were visiting with our friends when another rider came in. He was probably in his forty’s, dressed in full leathers. We nodded to him, then put our heads down and tried to look busy as we continued with our conversation. I’m sorry, but we were doing our best to ignore him so he didn’t think we wanted him to ride with us. Now this was not from any prejudice on our part because he rode a sport bike; we don’t care what you ride, as long as you enjoy riding. But this fellow told us his story at supper last night
Now you have to picture this. He had been riding out in the desert and had a flat tire. Not too uncommon. Lots of people ride the desert with their dirt or on/off road bikes. And they occasionally have a flat tire. However this man was riding a crotch rocket. On the sand trails! With bald tires! Wearing full leathers! He said he had to push his bike back over four miles…..still wearing full leathers!
Now I respect someone who wears proper protective gear, I always try to, but wearing
full black leathers when you are pushing a bike at over 90 degrees in the desert borders on crazy! I’m sorry, but there’s
something just not right about intentionally trying to give yourself a heatstroke. (When it is that hot, it’s best to put on a jean
jacket, soak it down with water, and it will cool you most of an hour.) So, we were doing our best to avoid eye contact.
With his poor judgment, this man was not someone you would feel comfortable riding with. Especially with cords showing in
his rear tire. Not a safe situation!
the most dangerous school bus route in America. . .
So we bid good-by to our friends. I remarked that it must be great to live in an area like this, so they suggested that we should move here. Seems they could use another cook. They said my wife could come and cook for them, and I could ride motorcycle all the time. I’ll run that past her and see how it flies. Right!
Headed out to more great scenery. Our friend on the sport bike caught up with us for a short time but then passed us. Still with a bald tire. We had our only “incident” this forenoon. An oncoming driver passed a truck. The truck driver pulled off the road and stopped. We pulled over and got off the road. The car driver seems oblivious of all of this, just taking his time passing as he drove toward us in our lane. As he passed us, we could see his wife shaking her finger, throwing her hands around and obviously ripping him up one side and down the other! Good for her!
We soon crossed over the “staircase”. This is arguably the worst school bus route in the nation. This twisty road runs on the backbone of the mountain and falls away on both sides! The locals said it is very bad in the winter. Grey rocks again.
Arrived at Bryce Canyon, back to red rocks. Interesting thing about that. Bryce Canyon is full of beautiful red rocks that are actually white! That’s right, the rocks are white, but are stained red from small layers of iron ore. The rocks above the ore layers are white. And when a rock breaks off, it leaves a white spot until getting stained red again
We stopped at Ruby’s Inn, beautiful place. Jim and I decided to do the helicopter tour of the canyon. As we had a while to wait for the ride, Ron and Mickey went on down to the lookout area. We got into the helicopter and had an awesome ride! Our pilot flew choppers in Vietnam and I think we got a little “extra special” treatment. His take off’s and landings were as if he was coming into a “hot” landing zone! Beautiful canyons! Enjoyed it very much. Arrived back at the Inn about 3:00pm with a grin from ear to ear.
Since it was Friday afternoon of Memorial weekend, we decided to get a room here now, rather than chance “no vacancy” signs later. We walked around and looked at all the “tourist” stuff. Ruby’s Inn had a small mock up of an old western town. They also offer horse rides down into Bryce Canyon. That would be interesting some day. We had seen it from above; next it would be neat to see from below. (Hey! Another excuse to come back again!)
We wandered around the Inn. They have everything! Hiking/camping store. Photo service. Convenience store. They even
have a Western store with all kinds of things. We were in there looking around when I saw a picture on the wall. “Hey guys,
they’ve got a great picture of Buck Jones.” I said. I’m kind of a buff about old 50’s and 60’s cowboy heroes. When I
mentioned Buck Jones, the fellow behind the counter quickly came around saying “Nobody knows who that is!” His name
was Bob and I had an immediate friend. We talked old cowboy trivia, songs, movies, and guns for over an hour. (Did you
know that Cole Porter, famous for jazz tunes, wrote “Don’t fence me in?”) All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable evening!
This was our shortest day on the road, about 75 miles.
Bryce Canyon - STUNNING!
Helicopter tour is great - If you have the budget, it's a good idea to plan at least a day here. Arrive in the morning and do the tourist stuff before check-in... and then ride out by mid-morning the next day. It will make for a nice relaxing stop.
Main Street - Ruby's Inn
Tomorrow, on to Zion!
Along The Way . . .