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Day 6

Today we're headed to Zion National Park.

First we head out on a little detour...







...it's a beautiful day, sun has been up for just a couple of hours...









...enough to take the chill out of the air...








...that's Arizona ahead...wanted to see the road we would be taking tomorrow as we head to the Trike Get-Together that Kurt has orgainized.








View from the road as we head back toward Zion...








...Mary in the Mirror...









...this 100 mile detour has been fun, letting it open up with no traffic around.








On the road to the park now...









...a look back...








...and a look ahead. Fun Road!!!

 

Here we are at the Park Entrance...








...and at the line to get in. Not so bad...









...we're in. Wow!








And a look up from the bike!









It is a fun road (and a red one)...








..with amazing sights around every curve...








...and there are plenty of tight, blind curves!








Spectacular Views...








...and a fun road!







Mary In The Mirror, on another blind curve.

 

The combination of amazing views and a fun road to ride can be a dangerous mix. We're just putting thru.






Coming up to a little tunnel...







...and looking back at it.






At the front of the waiting line to go thru the 1.1 mile long Mt. Carmel Tunnel.







Here we go...







...there are no interior lights in this 1.1 mile long hole in the mountain.






There are some holes cut in the side of the mountain...







...giving the tunnel a few "windows" and some natural light...







...but mostly it looks like this...







...until you get to the end.

 

50 yards out of the tunnel, this is the view to the right.







We're headed down into the canyon...







...the curves and the views are amazing!









Mary in the Mirror with some jagged mountains in upper right.








Nice curve, can't really tell, but that is a pretty steep drop off to the right.







There, you can see it better in this photo....along with the road, a long ways down there. Oh, also notice how nicely some of the curves are banked. 








Many switchbacks later, closer to the bottom of the canyon now.








At the bottom there is a shuttle you can take down a very picturesque road...at the end are the "Narrows". We planned to walk up them a bit, but there is a Toxic Cyanobacteria bloom in the water. So we are passing on that today.

Here is a photo from when we visited in 2016-





This is a LINK to our "40 Days Following The Front Wheel" Ride Report from 2016. Day 12 is the time we spent in Zion National Park back then.





Since the main thing to do in the canyon all focuses around the Virgin River, and we don't want to get near that toxic bacteria, we head back up the hill...








If you look at the center right of this next photo, you will see one of the holes (Window) in the tunnel thru the mountain.





Headed back up the hill...






...toward the tunnel. Zion is a spectacular place.








Mary in the Mirror as we enjoy...








...the curvy road & the stunning views.








Uh-oh, this is the road we just came up. I pulled a u-turn and parked right next to this sign...








...because we saw this. It is the 1.5 mile long line to get back thru the tunnel!

So we stopped and ate lunch here, watching the line slowly, VERY SLOWLY, creep forward.









We decide to take a different way back, so off we go, back down the curvy hill. Nothing wrong with riding a great road 3 times in one day!!!








We're out of the other side of the park now, eating up some miles at 75+ mph.








Now we're on Interstate 15, headed toward Cedar City to...








...pick up the 14 for a nice, steep, curvy ride.

 

We've never ridden the 14 before. It looks good on the map, and this sign is very promising!







From the get go we're climbing, the road is curvy...







...and the views are great!







It feels like we're nearing the summit...








...but we just keep climbing and enjoying the curves and the views. This is one of our new favorite roads!







It's got the magic 3- Elevation changes, curvy, & scenic!









Summit at 9910 elevation.








Soon after the summit the landscape changes...








...absolutely stunning high meadowland. Gotta know this is covered in snow during the winter!








What is this off to the side of the road???

 

Crazy! Up here, on the top of this high meadow, are lava fields!








And Lakes!








This road bears a longer, more relaxed ride & exploration. We're well past 8 hours riding so far today, and have another 1.5 before getting back to camp. So we are scooting right along. We hope we'll be back here soon.


Started down the other side now...








...oh yeah, this side is even more...









...fun than the other side coming up.









Came around a blind curve and there is a deer in the middle of the road, some more on the side, and a car coming from the opposite direction...








...habit kicked in...looked in my rear view to make sure I would not get rear ended, and pulled it down from 50 mph to 5 mph almost instantly...all the while hoping that the car did not hit the deer sending it our way.









Wow, it sure looked closer in those few seconds than it looks in these gopro screenshots!








I always ride on high alert, but especially when hitting the blind curves at speed. We have a lot of critters in our neck of the woods, so I get some pretty good practice. There is no time to think in situations like this...it all has to be habit and happen instantly, without conscious thought.



Well, that was fun. We took a minute and watched the deer make their way up the side of the hill.




The 14 is the bomb. We gotta come back. At the 89 now, and turning south toward camp.








Riding back toward camp on the 89-amazing riding in these parts.





That's it for Utah! Tomorrow we take off for Arizona and 3 days of riding that Kurt has organized.

 

DAY 7 HERE