As always, the weather cooperated, and only a little melting snow dressed the hills just east of Bryce Canyon National Park.
We ate breakfast at the diner with the usual suspects prior to our departure. The morning sunrise was perfect – blue sky and no wind – which meant the ride across the desert to Amboy and Needles would be uneventful except for the heat.
Our ride captain gave us the briefing, and at 0800 hours we were off for one of the best five-day rides ever. As predicted, Needles was hot, but the elevation was changing as we roared north, and soon we’d be high enough in the hills to keep cool.
The twisties on the way to Oatman via the old road were fantastic. It’s narrow, and the asphalt is poor in some spots, but worth every mile. Lunch turned out to be a stop in Oatman, and judging by the condition of the burros wandering the streets, food is not one of Oatman’s weak points if you’ve got four legs and like carrots.
I’m not completely sure what used to go on in the past at Fast Fanny’s Place, but I think I wish I could have been there in its heyday!
Next, on through Kingman, and then Seligman, where I’m sure that the picture best describes the atmosphere at Delgadillo’s drive-in! The fella that runs this place is quite a character, and his drive-in proves it beyond belief. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop in for a sundae. You’ll never see another place like it!
And now the best part of all: US163 riding through Monument Valley in Utah. The scenery is spectacular, as the photo at the top of the page demonstrates. On the right, similar landmarks point skyward in Arches National Park, just north of Moab.
Below, Utah 279 takes you along the Colorado River for about 15 miles. It’s a popular spot for rock climbers, and it’s easy to see why. Vertical sandstone cliffs on one side and the river on the other make it a spectacular sight.
A tremendous amount of time and energy went into planning this run, and each and every morning we would have a meeting to discuss the day’s routing and events. As evidenced by this picture, I personally never saw more than two people at this meeting.
The leaves were just starting to change back in the hills. There were plenty of cows roaming over this road, which was completely unexpected. I thought we were high enough that grazing at this time of year would be over.