Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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Arches, Bridges, Canyons Torrey, UT, Thursday, 13 September 2012 11:02pm

I fell a little behind schedule today. I was supposed to end the day in or near Bryce Canyon National Park, But I'm well north of there in Torrey, UT, just outside Capitol Reef National Park.

I started the day by getting a new rear tire put on my bike. The old one was out of tread in spots. Too much riding in straight lines with a lot of weight over the rear wheel...

The first place I asked for a tire only stocked dirt bike tires, but they referred me to Fred at Arrowhead Motorsports. Fred sold me a new tire and installed it on my wheel while I watched. He pointed out some seals that were worn, that I should get replaced the next time I'm getting the bike serviced. He also gave me advice about my route, suggesting that I go south instead of north from Moab and ride some two-lane highways instead of the interstate.

After getting the tire put on, I had some tasty ginger pancakes for breakfast and headed into Arches National Park. I thought that the Double Arch was pretty impressive, and there was a lot of great scenery in the park. I scrambled up a bit of rock face (in my motorcycle gear, carrying a camera), and it made me eager to return here and do some actual rock climbing. The sandstone here feels much nicer on the hands than the granite I climbed on in Rumney NH.

I stopped for lunch in Moab (definitely one of the best towns I've visited so far on this trip for availability of food), and then headed south. Considering the amount of time I spent getting the tire put on and sightseeing in Arches, and the length of the southern route, I was pretty much resigned to not reaching my intended destination before sundown.

Since I was going to miss that target, I might as well stop early in Torrey, which meant that I had an extra hour, which I spent in Natural Bridges National Monument. The bridges were a bit of a letdown after Arches. They're neat, but not as dramatic.

I was kind of wondering why Fred had been so positive about the southern route. I mean, it was pretty, but not remarkable for this part of Utah. Then I reached Glen Canyon. The canyon is spectacular, particularly at sunset. There's a variety of color that had been missing in the red rock of the area I'd passed through earlier, and the road was a series of fun curves.

I stopped enough times to take pictures that I didn't arrive in Torrey until well after sunset. One upside of that was that I got to see a few bats flying around. One downside was that my helmet is covered in the remains of the bugs that the bats were out to eat...