Nothing is better then waking up and knowing you are off to go visit not only the most wonderful place in the Western US, but also get to see great friends. This trip is going to be special as I am bringing Laura up to meet everyone. While she admits to being a tad bit anxious to meet everyone hoping they will like her, I am totally at peace because I know that all of you will embrace her like you do me. That is a truly glorious feeling and one I don't take for granted. My friends are amazing.
We get out of the driveway on time and are off! Special thanks needs to be made for Laura's ex who is kind enough to come over and stay with the kids.
Laura is excited and looking great! Not that I am biased
First stop is Flagstaff for breakfast. This Torrey is going to be different. Instead of the normal Moto or Jeep tour, this trip Laura and I are taking the bicycles! I am excited at the chance to ride.
Of course I manage to spill coffee on myself. Luckily I am wearing white pants. Laura uses all of her professional skills to counsel me through my desire to just go home and we make our way to Page.
PHOTO by Laura Z.
Our Hero at the overlook in Page
I decide to take the Cottonwood Canyon Road in order to have a little fun offroad. Laura is having a blast!
The road is in pretty rough shape after a few late summer storms but we make it through. This trip I see a lot of Campers that seem to be made to go to the places I like to go. May have to look into one of these down the road.
Here we are having a miserable time in Utah.
I mean there is nothing worthy to see out there and do.
PHOTO BY LAURA Z.
We stop for Lunch and meet Max the Blue Bird. I have been in places where birds will get close to you, but Max is the first bird in the wild that I have seen that has zero fear of people. He comes right up to us and eats out of our hand.
He likes Apricots too! Right after this shot we discover that this bird is actually not Max at all but his lovely wife Maxine! Max is still over by the jeep.
We head on up the road and into Torrey to meet everyone before going to dinner in Boulder.
We see about 30 of these old cars as we do highway 12 into Torrey. It is totally worthy.
After a quick shower it is off to Hell's Backbone.
The whole gang at Hell's Backbone getting ready to go eat.
Two of my favorite peeps in the world. What is more amazing is that Janet has just finished riding her bike over Boulder Mountain. That is 37miles and over 3000ft of elevation change. She is our hero
Always good to hang with my partner in crime.
We get up and have breakfast and decide we are going to go ride Capital Reef's Scenic Drive. Bob, Laura and I drive over to the park, but Ed, and Janet ride their bikes.
PHOTO BY BOB PALIN
The gang at the top of our ride. Altitude is tough on Laura and I as we only get down the road a few miles before the hills start to get crazy hard. My heart rate is about 104% of max, and I am puffing hard. We decide to turn around after 5 miles and ride back to the Jeep. This is a road though that I will come back to next Spring
Laura and I spend most of the rest of the day out and about riding around Torrey, and meeting friends.
Today we are off to go hike Lower Calf Creek Falls with our friends Barry and Katy from California, and the always lovely Louise. This is a hike I have wanted to do for several years now and today is the day!
The team at the start of the hike
Setting off at the trail head
The Trail winds along the canyon with only moderate ups and downs. The Sand on the trail makes it a bit of march though and we are on the lookout for some Ancient Indian Art
PHOTO BY LAURA Z
Our Hero Checking his GPS. Now if he could only figure out how to turn it on.
PHOTO BY LAURA Z
Still looking for Rock Art. AH AH! We find it!
These images are about 30ft tall and across the canyon from us. Very Worthy
Pretty soon the canyon narrows as we approach the falls
Whew, we won't have to eat Barry if we run out of food. The creek runs all year and there are plenty of fish.
Laura is almost as happy as me as we work our way to the falls.
The falls are amazing and the temperature drops to about 70 degrees. All weekend we have been blessed with perfect weather.
The happiest couple in all of North America
This guy is having a hoot in the falls
The rest of the gang. What a great group!
We move out and make tracks back to the jeep. We are trucking and make it out in 1 hour (3miles). It is a great hike.
The post hike shot! We need to make tracks though back to the Chuckwagon since we have to be at the pool.
Larry had a great ride and the rest of the kids all had a great day as well
Today we are in the chase jeep. We are going to do the Cathedral Valley loop. Lots of good sand at the bottom and some great aspens up top
Barry's Brother Kit comes in from Colorado to join us today. Andy and Debi will be in Bob's Truck with the Gas and to take out any bikes that may have mechanical issues. The route is over 50 miles of dirt and is pretty remote.
Laura sitting in the Jeep. Note the bikes aren't with us here
Bob channels his Monty and gets the troops ready for the ride.
Kit and the crew having a glorious ride and the weather is perfect
We enter the valley in high spirits. I have the truck in 4WD but there is only spotty need for it.
A few moments later I see Bob riding back towards me really fast. He tells me that Jan has had a bad spill in some deep sand and appears to have broken his leg. I speed off towards the accident scene and Laura (who was a medic in the AF) takes control within moments of arriving. I have a good first aid kit, and moments later Ed (who is a firefighter in Texas) arrives to help as well.
They get Jan stable and make sure that he doesn't go into shock. I love Laura for a lot of reasons but I am incredibly proud of the way she handles the situation. Everyone jumps in and helps.
They determine it is most likely a compound fracture and Laura and Ed splint it creatively. We have to go back about 10 miles of rough road and another 100+ miles to the hospital. Again, it is amazing how everyone has their A game, problem solves and pitches in to help a friend in need. And yes we used Duct Tape
My girl is so amazing. I love her lots!
We get Jan loaded into the truck and out to the highway. Laura rides with him to help keep him stable. That means I am heading out too. The other bikes (besides Ed and Sharon) keep going.
PHOTO Courtesy of Jan Barbas
After we see him off, we decide to take out Larry's GS for a ride up into the mountains to salvage the day. Laura and I hoon it up a bit and end up at Fish Lake.
Fish Lake is in full Fall Colors and for the first time I know summer is coming to an end. The GS is a great ride too! I love to moto.
We head back to town and have a grand dinner at El Diablo. Tomorrow we are packing up and heading home. Torrey always flies by but the memories are so worthy.
The girls had a wonderful day
We are not in a hurry to leave. Too many friends to see off, and the lingering pull of loving Torrey always keeps me here.
This Trip's Album Shot. The band keeps getting bigger
Jamie is giving Calvin a run for his cleaning money by organizing the tires. We had a group of Arizona riders stop in and use one Saturday morning.
Matt and Devon stop by to say good bye. Great guys as well.
My fellas who I truly wished lived just a few hundred miles closer
We stop at the park on the way out and pick up 3 pies for the kids back home. They will love them!
We make great time on the way home. So great that a lovely Navajo Tribal Policewoman stops me outside Kayenta to ask for my autograph
Karma keeps me from arguing the stop. I pull over immediately when I see her start the Police car. I am very pleasant to her and she ends up giving me a warning for doing 75 in a 45 zone.
We get home and both agree that the trip was just gloriously worthy. Next Spring we are bringing the whole clan!
See ya soon.