Our experience adventure riding in Utah and Arizona in 2011 …
Riding through and out of Colorado the next day we left the Continental Divide Trail and headed south west into Utah. It was amazing how quick the landscape changed back to proper desert and then warped into the surreal valleys and canyons around Moab.
Camping out in the salt brush a bit after Moab, I was again wishing that we were able to have a crack on unloaded bikes around the area as it was prime territory for riding.
Packing up camp the next morning we had a really bike day planned ahead of us. We’d made a booking for a hotel in Vegas for that night and we were still a good 800kms away. Getting underway nice and early we first rode through Mexican Hat (not quite as exciting as the name would suggest), then onto Monument Valley which was just as cool as in al the old westerns, before heading into the Grand Canyon just after lunch. In the heat of the day there was a haze over the background as you looked out onto the canyon that gave it a kind of waterbrushed look that made it look fake.
The heat WAS real though and after the shortest of walks we were desperate to get back on the bikes and get the air moving again. This was the first time in the trip that we’d encountered heat anything like we have during summer at home. It was a real test on the gear as stripping off is not an option unfortunately and we still had another 300kms to Vegas!
We were both doing pretty well, tired but soldiering on until just before the Hover Dam when the wind picked up like we haven’t had yet on the trip. Its hard to explain how tiring it is to ride in the wind (especially with a peaked helmet). Your neck is constantly fighting to keep your head straight and the rest of your body is constantly tense fighting to keep the bike straight and from swerving off into the other lane. Not what we needed at this time of the day but we made it to our destination regardless and wasted no time in getting out and amongst it in Vegas on a Saturday night!
No need for the details of our time in Vegas.. Lets just say it only took us one drink to realise that you should never buy a drink in vegas and so we settled in to a roulette table that we had figured out. Jock came away ahead (from the tables anyway) from the couple of days we were there and I didn’t do too badly either.