I felt pretty good considering then previous night’s escapades. I was very much looking forward to Monument Valley after it got rave reviews from my buddy Rick. He was certainly right! My pictures don’t do it justice but it was quite amazing. Even better, you actually got the chance to see the rock formations up close if you paid 5 bucks to take the 17 mile loop around parts of the reservation. This loop is comprised of rough dirt roads that require a high clearance vehicle. My bike qualified, although I was a little apprehensive because I no longer had the knobby tires on. I took my time riding around the loop, gaining confidence with each mile.
Near the end, I was stuck behind a slow going SUV so I passed it with a quick rev of the gas. After passing it there was a fairly steep uphill climb that was all sand. When I came down it coming into the park it was packed sand but as I gathered steam to take the hill on the other side of the road (really just 30mph) I took a closer look at the sand in front of me. It seemed… Soft! However, I spotted some tire tracks going through it so I assumed it wasn’t as soft as I thought. WRONG!!! I hit the sand and quickly realized that I was in deep sh#t! I gave it more gas and tried to power through but by this time my front wheel was ten inches deep in sand. Everything slowed down then… Like in the Matrix… and the bike came to a grinding halt before tipping over to the right and back downhill! I was smart enough to “exit the vehicle” as it went over and I stuck the landing with both feet. The judges gave me two tens but the Russian judge gave me a 9.9 out of spite 🙂
Now there are tons of other cars coming down the hill and they stopped to watch the spectacle. Of course, the SUV I had left in the dust just moments earlier came teetering up behind me and a guy who looked like that guy from the Transporter movies gets out to ask if I need any help. Sheepishly I say yes :). The two of us heave the 800 pound bike up and slide it 50 feet backwards down the hill until we get to packed sand. From there I goose it and take off up the hill after saying my requisite thanks. So… first time off the bike not too bad. No damage and no injuries unless you count my ego 🙂
Heading through the rest of of the valley, the scenery was just as stunning as I made my way north toward Green River, Utah. This meant that I rode not only Monument Valley but also the Bicentennial Hwy from Blanding to Hanksville. In my opinion, the Bicentennial Hwy is just as spectacular as any scenic drive. The ride through Glen Canyon was awesome and the sheer scale of the canyon with its red rocks was something to see. The only disappointment was that it was raining on and off so the pictures were not so great. Even the vast desert plains near Hanksville had their own beauty.
As I rode the highway, I kept thinking about naming my bike. Weird, kind of, but it seemed right because this is something that I need to be reliable, dependable and supportive for the next year… I also need her to do what I say… Pity I can’t find an actual woman with those traits :). I thought about naming her Ann, after my daughter but that didn’t seem right. I thought about Samantha, after my first love but again, not right. In the end, I settled on Juliette… now can anyone tell me why? I gave you a hint in one of my earlier posts. Now I just need to find an artist to make it official 🙂
Maybe the tattoo artist I am going to visit will know someone 🙂
My ride was long that day but I chose to end it in Green River because the town sits on the Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Hwy and I thought that my beautiful daughter would like it if I did a dinosaur based ride… She’s going to be an archeologist, so she tells me. I say there is no money in it… to which she replies that she will marry someone rich!!! Her mother has taught her well 😦
Monument Valley pics