Bryce Canyon itself… Utah.

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

 

Bryce Canyon is the second part if this map, past Red Canyon… in case you missed it the last time…

I am trying so hard to keep my chin up!… You will never guess, but I found a fourth breakage yesterday.

From above…

From under…

Overall view…

Actually, while I was getting the rig ready to accept the new parts coming tomorrow, one of my neighbors here in camp, an avid bicyclist, curious to all those mounts and arms in between the sidecar and the bike… goes… “look here”. I don’t enjoy posting such pictures… but they are reality today… and if they can save another rider out there with the same dilemma, well, then I have accomplished a good deed.

So tomorrow there will be one more step… after replacing the broken eye bolt, I have already found a welder in town… will have to remember to disconnect the battery as to not fry the electronics when welding… and again we will be set for the road. The comments from the manufacture on this new find?… I must have hit something… My comments will stay erased for the moment… So many thoughts has gone through my mind as I feel “now” that the integrity of the whole rig has vanished… Seattle has become a definite stop, keep the chair and get new mounts?… most likely… even after 4 breakages… there is no lemon law as for automobiles!

I have learned these past years to, regardless of a bad situation, look at the bright side of things!

My Karma has never let me down and I have a lot to thank for even these past days… A couple neighbors have immediately offered to get provisions for me by going to town… one of them will pick up my parts tomorrow morning… and Michael, from near St George, about an hour away, was back yesterday with more help! And I am accepting his offer for the coming days…

As one of the two campgrounds in the Park has closed for a few days, this free BLM land has turned into a small city!!! Much dust mainly from vehicles coming in and out… close neighbors… it is time to pull out… After the repairs, it will be on to Michael’s house where I will take all 3 wheels of the rig off… he will “DRIVE” me to Las Vegas to have my tires mounted… a bit of sightseeing too he said!… and I will end up somewhere a bit north of St George camping on more BLM land… he even brought some pictures and it looks like Paradise… there is even trout fishing near by… I am sure I can come up with a great recipe! And another decision has been taken…

Instead of going West from here… wandering California and San Francisco where BLM land and free camping is so limited… where the gas prices have almost reached $4 a gallon… I will stay in Utah for another month! There is such great camping here, and so much to see..

Now that it is all settled, and again, thankful to my new friends coming into my life… I can tell you more about Bryce Canyon itself… This must have been our coldest ride ever climbing over 9000 feet surrounded by snow, of course not a single bike in sight! We will go back to it, there is no doubt. I felt more like a tourist that day than anything else… quick looks, snap some shots and jump back on the bike only to reconnect to the heated gear which would grow cold in a matter of minutes! I could not even pay attention to the few visitors that as usual wanted to take a shot of Spirit, double coated, in his chair… as I just nodded “yes” when they asked… There was a funny moment however… as this man was trying to take shot of him and Spirit was looking at me getting ready to get back on board… he loudly “yells” impatiently, I think that would be the word, “can you ask your dog to look at me”… no comment!

What you are seeing in Bryce Canyon are “Hoodoos”… Yes! That is what they are called… “Hoodoos”… and here are the definitions of it… a couple anyhow!

– to cast a spell on; broadly…

– to be a source of misfortune to…

I read this yesterday… is there a connection to my misfortunes? I have to shrug it off as, misfortunes or not, there has been no harm done… and the timing could have not been more perfect… right?

Bryce Canyon is not a real “Canyon”. One of the few that actually has not been carved by flowing water. Water has been the active ingredient here, but only in the form of “frost-wedging” and chemical weathering. For 200 days a year… the temperatures goes above and below freezing every day.

During the day, melt water seeps into fractures only to refreeze at night, expanding by 9%. As ice exerts its tremendous force of 2.000 to 20.000 pounds per square inch, over time this “frost wedging” shatters and pries the rocks apart. In addition, the rain water, which is naturally acidic, slowly dissolves the limestone, rounding off the edges and washing away the debris.

Bryce Canyon, I have read, will not last forever. With the average rate of erosion being 1-4 feet every hundred years, they are estimating that the Hoodoos will be cease to exist in about 3 million year…

By the time we reached the end of the 18 mile road into the Park… I was already thinking about the return ride! The lower elevation would be warmer, at the same time it was getting late into the day and more temp drop as the sun disappeared would happen… The ride back actually turned out to be more pleasant than I thought… I had some great tailwind and the motor was purring!

Amazingly also at 9000 feet the bike was running better than ever… to the point where I am even thinking if at lower altitude it is maybe getting too much oxygen… well, too much air anyhow.

We stopped in Mt Carmel to refuel, had a chance to talk to some locals… the word is… the area will get a hard freeze at those elevations till… June! Back into Zion Park… many Photographers were lined up at the main bridge passed the switchbacks… with almost a full moon… understandable!

Well, one more day here trying to catch up on some e mail… planning a whole month or so, whatever it takes to see more of Utah… It has been hard not to ride!…

Someone wrote to me…

“Four wheels moves the body… two wheels moves the Soul”… I have changed it to…

“Four wheels moves the body… two wheels moves my Soul… one wheel moves Spirit’s Soul”

You be well…

Ara & Spirit

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7 Responses to “Bryce Canyon itself… Utah.”

  1. SidecarRon Says:

    Ara,
    So sorry to hear about your rig! For many years I’ve had issues/concerns about “that guy in Seattle” simply because whenever he posts he’s trying to SELL something rather than just offer help.
    I guess one bright note is that you’re in lovely country rather than, say, downtown Chicago — although we do have a wonderful sidecar guru and welder near me.
    Looking forward to seeing what you do with those trout. Pierre, the leader of our “French Chef Gang,” is an avid fly fisherman and must also have some wonderful recipes.
    Sidecar Ron

  2. earlene Says:

    Sorry for all your trouble with your ride. But all the nice people you’ve met and are helping and only 1 jerk. I would’ve had a comment for that gentleman. Sorry to hear you are not coming to SoCal anytime soon, but it’s not going anywhere anytime soon (at least I hope not!) E

  3. Rita Says:

    Hoodoos have brought you good Karma! Thanks for my weekly pic-fix, and good luck with the bike fix.

  4. Allen Madding Says:

    What really worries me about the latest fracture is that it is a fracture of the actual tube, not a broken weld which leads me to believe that the tubing isn’t appropriately sized (thickness) for the application.

    Look it over very closely every morning before you head out for any more of these type failures after the repairs are complete. Just add it to your morning check list. Be safe!

    Allen

  5. Clem Says:

    Ara, sorry to hear about your bike problems. I really enjoyed learning a little about Bryce, as we make our way out there this summer, unfortunately, with the millions of other seekers. I got as far as western Colorado last summer and we were blown away by all the beauty.

    take care

  6. Macrobe Says:

    Reading a bit late, but I see the rig has been repaired. And you found a personal guide for some of the Utah desert country. Excellent on both!

    Southern Utah is my favorite canyon country and you had the blessing of seeing it under a light snow. I’m envious! 🙂 Snow in the desert is such a juxtaposition: a land parched of moisture and water visits it in the form of frozen crystalline beauty to match the just as beautiful angles and geometries of the desert. Precious water in a land where water is mostly a stranger.

    Speaking of snow, we had it falling here yesterday.

    Take care, you two adventurers.

  7. Harry van Bruggen Says:

    Hello Ara.
    So sorry about the problems you have with your combination. With much pleasure I read your blog and viewed your beautifull pictures. My wife and I made in 2002 a 5 weeks trip with a Goldwing 1800 through 8 western states. So some pictures look almost familiar to us :-).
    I hope you overcome the problems and stay well! (the both of you)

    Harry
    the Netherlands

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