Canyon Run 2007 – Day 7

Today we were to depart at 8 am for Mesa Verde. Unfortunately, the rest of the group was ready to roll a little early and by the time we arrived at the parking lot everyone had left. We were somewhat disturbed by this, but made the best of it and decided to have a Bob & Willo day. We tailed the group to Mesa Verde and rode into the park (including ten miles of half-destroyed road).

When we arrived at the first pueblo overlook, I discovered my camera was missing. I remembered taking it to dinner, but not bringing it back to the hotel. Once we got back to cell service I called the restaurant and happily they still had it. We considered our options and decided an extra 70 mile loop was no big deal, so we rode back, got the camera, had lunch, then resumed the original ride.Weathering a few rain squalls, we passed Mesa Verde, reached Cortez, CO and turned south toward Four Corners. We skipped Four Corners (it’s really not that interesting) and turned north to Bluff and then Mexican Hat, where we gassed up. At this point a few clouds moved in and the day, which had been pretty hot up to this point, became pleasantly cooler. We headed south into Monument Valley.

Once or twice each day on these trips, one is reminded of just how vast this area is, and how much empty space there is between the roads. This was one of those stretches. Monument Valley stretches for dozens of miles in all directions, and while the dramatic rock towers are the most attention getting element here, taking a moment to refocus and appreciate the enormous amount of unspoiled space here can be humbling. We have ridden through Monument Valley several times in the past, but this was the first time it wasn’t the middle of the day, and scorching hot. It was humbling.

We reached Kayenta, where a number of Navajo dogs greeted us at the gas station. One sadly had a muzzle full of either porcupine quills or cactus spines. Life is not good for the Navajo dog. Nor unfortunately for a lot of the Navajo people.

kayenta dog

kayenta monkey

From Kayenta it was roughly 100 miles to our destination of Page, Arizona, on Lake Powell. While this stretch lacked the dramatic rock formations that make up much of southern Utah, the ride was beautiful thanks to the light from the setting sun, and the cooler temperature. We stopped a few miles outside Page for some sunset photos…

page cattleguard

page butte

page road

We arrived at about 7 pm (6 pm Arizona time), and once the Flyers realized they had DITCHED – I mean accidentally left – us, they were very nice and apologetic about it.

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