Monday, October 13, 2008

Day 10 - Oil change in the parking lot

This morning the temperature was 45 degrees as we started our day. First we had breakfast at the hotel's restaurant since it was included with the room rate. Then I took care of the Final Drive service in the parking lot with supplies that I had bought last night from the AutoZone next door. I also learned AutoZone carries Mobil 1 20W-50 for motorcycles, and it's cheaper than Cycle Gear with my instructor discount, and I get Autozone points to boot. Doug headed off to Wal-Mart for something while I was changing the oil.

After the work was done we packed up and left town heading Las Vegas, all of this by 8:15am. Not too bad considering AutoZone didn't open until 8am for me to drop off my used oil. So we headed east on 160. As we got closer to Vegas we started running into more and more traffic, traffic lights and construction. Las Vegas is just exploding with new home construction, if there's a credit crunch it's hard to see around Vegas right now. Then we picked up I-15 heading up to Utah. The cross wind was a real bear as we headed north. With a short 30 mile ride across Arizona we were into Utah. We stopped for gas at a Flying J that felt 2 sizes too small for the number of people and cars trying to get gas. Once fueled up we continued up I-15 to Washington, UT where we took UT-9 toward the Zion National Park.

When we got to Springdale we saw several signs telling us that parking in the park was full and to park in Springdale. Not clear on what was going on we continued on into the park and went to the visitor center. There we cruised the parking lot for nearly 10 minutes until we found a spot. Then it was time to secure our stuff and head over to the park shuttle bus to check things out. The bus is the only way to see the park now since they had such a horrible traffic problem in the 1990's.

The bus is great. It takes you through the park with a little mini guided tour and lets you off at several points along the way. There's a bus coming along every 7 or 8 minutes so it's easy to get off, check out a stop, and catch the next bus to continue along the way. We rode up to the mouth of the canyon to see where it all starts. The last mile you have to walk along a concreate and stone path. At the mouth you see where the river enters  and everything north of that is just a little river from side to side of the canyon. Afterwards we caught the shuttle back to the visitor center for a little shopping and then got back on the bikes. There was still the eastern side of the park to drive through and then find a place to stay for the night.

So we headed out UT-9 east. At Mt. Carmel Junction we saw a "Fred Motel" which had a restaurant next door and another across the street. Since it had a sign for Internet we pulled in. The inn keeper was a little testy, and the signs around the office seemed to indicate less than friendly management. But the rate was fair and the room looked alright. Oh, and they had washer and dryers to do laundry. We headed next door to check out the restaurant which the inn keeper claimed to have a 100 item salad bar. The food was incredible and the scones... well you just to try them and be sure to use plenty of the honey butter that's served along with them. Think native american fried bread.

Today was a light riding day, we only covered 249 miles but it was through some beautiful parts of the US. Tomorrow we are heading through Bryce Canyon to stay in Hanksville. Then Wednesday should take us down to Alpine so I can hopefully hear the Elks buggling in the morning before we leave. From there we'll head south and I want to check out a little road in New Mexico that runs along the US border over to El Paso. We may be on the return leg of our trip but there's still some adventure to be had.

No comments: