Woke up frozen again. Packed up pretty quick, but ended up waiting forever for the guys to get their act together. We decided to head back to monument valley to see how much it would cost. On our way out of the camp we realized why there was the road closure the previous day. As it turns out, Paramount Pictures was filming a movie a rocks throw from where we went to sleep. They had some expensive cars and camera gear when we rolled by. I’m not positive, but I think it was for the next transformers movie. Regardless, we made our way back to monument valley. They weren’t charging too much, but we figured it wasn’t worth it for a couple of photos. We decided to take a picture next to a monument valley sign with some statues in front of it and keep going. That is, until another BMW biker from Canada stopped by to chat up the guys. Already a little tired of waiting, and really needing to speed things up to be in Vegas by Friday, I left the guys behind figuring maybe they’d catch up with me at Goosenecks park.
The park proved pretty amazing. A huge zig zagging canyon with a river at the bottom. I even saw people in kayaks in the river. The sight was definitely worth the small detour.
I got back on the road. At this point I won’t see the Canadian guys again as they’re heading elsewhere. I made my way westward towards Bryce. My route took me up a cliff that proved to be one of the most memorable pieces of road I’ve ever ridden on. It was about four miles of zig zagging up the side of a cliff. Almost all of it was just gravel. The gravel part wasn’t so much the issue, but rather the fact that it was smoothed with a tractor or the like such that the road was absurdly bumpy. Despite the low quality of the road, the scenery was amazing. It really took you up close and personal with one of those huge mountain cliffs you usually only see in the distance. It really gave you an appreciation for how massive these cliffs are.
Continuing my way to Bryce, I had mapped to go on a ferry over the Glen Canyon lake. Eventually I came up on the sign to turn south towards it. The sign provided for going either left to head south to the ferry or west over the bridge. After making the left I saw a sign with the posted ferry tolls; a motorcycle costing $15. Then additional money for entering the park. A little pricey considering the lake isn’t nearly as distant as the previous ferry I took across mobile bay for $8. I really wanted to go on the ferry though.
40 miles later and almost out of gas I came up on the park entrance. I skipped the automated fee machine and made my way to a little shop to ask when the next ferry was and to see where I needed to pay. Turns out the ferry is out of commission until July. I had just gone 40 miles out of my way for naught. A saving grace, there was a gas station next to the shop, as well as outlets with a bench nearby. I gassed up and sat down to write to the journal for a little. On my way out, I asked the guy about shower heads near the lake beach. He pointed me to a nearby campground with free showers. Score!
No ferry, but at least gas, juice for the dying phone, and a free shower. I backtracked to UT95 and continued westward. My route through Utah has proven to be one of the most scenic of this trip. Miles and miles of riding along mountainside cliffs on one side and canyon depths on the other. Eventually I came up on Hanksville and gassed up. Not particularly late, but realizing I wasn’t going to make it to Bryce, I decided to stop by a campground to see how much they wanted for the patch of dirt. Right as I’m turning away based on price, a biker couple from Switzerland rolled up seeking refuge as well. I figured to try and split a spot with them and they agreed. Turns out the place charges by the tent. I thanked them anyway and started heading out. As I’m gearing back up on my bike to head down the road, the girl walks out and tells me they’re going to pay for my tent spot. If there’s a life lesson anywhere here it is that people everywhere are willing to help if you ask. And sometimes even if you don’t. Not much of a lesson I guess, but dammit in life sometimes you just have to go for it and things have a way of working themselves out.