Getting There - Aneel's Travelogue

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To Page Page, AZ, Friday, 14 September 2012 11:52pm

Arizona doesn't follow daylight savings time, it turns out. Who knew?

I'm camping in Page, AZ tonight, in the Glen Canyon NRA, near Lake Powell. This is mostly because I'm going on a tour of Antelope Canyon tomorrow that leaves from Page, and there seem to be no motel rooms available anywhere nearby. When I asked the desk clerk at the Travelodge in Page if she knew of anybody nearby who might have a room, she told me there was some kind of tournament going on and four teams and their hangers-on are all in town at once. This is the first time on this trip that my lack of pre-arranged lodgings has caused trouble. I was able to arrange for campsites for tonight and tomorrow night. After that, I hope to be further from Page.

I started the morning with a ten mile round trip jaunt to Capitol Reef National Park, really just to warm up my chain before waxing it. Looks like a pretty park in daylight.

The next order of business was to ride down Highway 12 to Bryce Canyon National Park. This ride came highly recommended. Through the first part of it, I was wondering why, but once it entered Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument it became clear. There's one section where you ride along the ridgeline with sheer drop-offs and stunning scenery to either side. I'm a little sad that my plan to stay in Escalante last night fell through, because it seemed like a cool little town, but I'm glad that I did that part of the ride in daylight.

Bryce felt strange. The last time I was there was with my mom and my sister, in 2003. My mom was giving her car to my sister, and it needed to get from Connecticut to California, and we stopped in Bryce on the way. Bryce was covered in snow at the time, but it looked eerily familiar today. I had a nagging feeling that I was taking exactly the same pictures as I took then. I cut this visit short.

My little GoPro camera has been taking pictures too quickly, and filling up its memory card, so I stopped for a while in the parking lot of the general store in Bryce Canyon City, and transferred the pictures to my laptop. Weirdly, all of the people who struck up conversations were from the greater SF bay area (Menlo Park, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz), though they all had license plates from other states on their vehicles.

From Bryce, I took US 89 towards Arizona. I was gauging the time carefully, because I wanted to set up camp before full dark, which meant arriving in Page around 7:30. When I got to the turnoff for Zion National Park, it was around 5:30pm and the GPS projected that I would be in Page by 6pm. Since it was only half an hour to my destination, I decided to ride into Zion, which I remembered being an amazing trip. I got some great late-afternoon views along the way.

On returning to US 89 at about 7, I looked again at my projected arrival time: 7:30ish. No problem. Hmm. But wait, this says I have about 90 miles to go... It turns out that, because Arizona doesn't use Daylight Savings Time, 7:30 in Page is 8:30 in Zion, well after sunset, and I had not 30 minutes, but 90 minutes left to go. Nothing for it, but to ride in full dark along a rural highway in the middle of a deer migration zone. I made sure I was always following a car with good headlights. I'm sure Lake Powell will be beautiful when it's light enough out to see it.


hubba! sonic (Anonymously) Saturday, 15 September 2012 10:43am

warm up your chain before waxing it!