Day 9: Bryce Canyon & Zion National Parks

Morning of Day 9 of Crazy-Awesome Motorcycle Adventure II found us in the small town of Cannonville, Utah, close to Bryce Canyon National Park.

After a filling breakfast (not), we loaded up our Harleys and set off…

…to visit this tremendous National Park.

We went there in 2017 (see link below), so we knew what to expect and what we wanted to see.

We rode 18 miles on the scenic road toward the end of the park. We stopped at a view point up there called “Rainbow Point” at an elevation of 9,115ft. It was crowded with bus loads of tourists, so we took a few photos and got back on our bikes and away from the mobs.

We stopped at “Natural Bridge” on the way back down. Also took a few photos, then got back on our bikes.

We stopped once more at Bryce Point that we missed last time we visited this park. Took a few more pictures, then left the busloads of tourists again.

On the way out of the park, we stopped for lunch at a place labeled as a diner. It was not a diner, but more like a combination of a McDonalds and Wendys. Grub is grub; met basic needs. We ate, rehydrated, then rode on. By then it was getting warm (above 85F / 29C). The riding jacket got stored back on the bike. (I cannot understand how younger riders of smaller bikes can wear a jacket like that all day in this heat.)

We passed through the famous Panguich Arch on UT-12 and took a photo of me riding through it (again.) There were a lot of gawkers doing the same thing (or taking pictures of it anyway.)

We completed riding UT-12 and turned south on US-89, another popular and scenic highway. This road rolls through gentle curves, hills, and small towns. It was a gentle and nice ride.

We turned once more on UT-9, yet another famous and scenic motorcycle riding road. This road runs to and through Zion National Park.

I had forgotten that the road through the park is twisty, turny, and filled with traffic. The park was really busy. The road also goes through a deep, dark, and long tunnel whose surface is not well maintained. It was rough and bouncy, which made me uncomfortable to add to inadequacy of vision (did I say it was dark?)

When we emerged from the tunnel, riding partner “S” continued ahead while I briefly stopped to recover my wits, whatever was left of them.

I rode on … and on … and on … for miles until the exit from the park where I found “S” waiting for me.

We rode on to our hotel in the expensive tourist trap town called Springdale. This town is as awful as Moab. Mobbed with the maskless, and damned expensive. Oh well… there we were. Nice hotel and nice view. “Meh” expensive dinner, then rest at the hotel for the night to prepare to ride back to Las Vegas the next day.

Life is short: return through parks of distinction, but avoid the maskless masses where possible.

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