Sunday, September 09, 2007

Bonneville Excursion 9/8/07 - Big rocks, getting in the dirt, living well

This is what you see when you wake up in the morning outside of the Marble Canyon Lodge:

Pretty frickin' incredible, eh? That shocked the heck out of me when I peaked out the window this morning, having arrived in the dark with hardly a clue as to what was around us.

There wasn't much shade to work with this morning, and the sun was unrelenting. It would definitely be a scary thing get caught out here without water.

After lunch, during which I was provided with an outstanding, yet simple veggie melt sandwich (with avocado, I might add), we gassed up at the station next door. What do you get there besides gasoline?

...another stunning view of the Vermillion Cliffs. This was truly breathtaking, and I was sorry we'd come in under cover of darkness the night before and doubtless missed a number of other gorgeous sights suck as this one.

We didn't travel far before I signaled for a stop and pulled over to grab a couple of shots. The cliffs were just too beautiful to pass up, and in some places such as the one below, they reached right to the edge of the road.

Funks and I gave the location two thumbs up.

Here Andrew takes a last look around while making sure my bike is going to stay standing after the fall I took while making the initial stop - Oh, I forgot to mention that, didn't I? It was lovely. Take a look:

I pulled up with the bike positioned over a low spot. When I went to put my feet down, well, there wasn't much to put them on. The bike immediately started to go over, and there wasn't much I could do to keep it up. I made a grab for it about halfway down, but it was over before I could really do anything. The bike and I hit the ground with a good thud, me taking a smack to the back of my helmet that was surprisingly hard. Even with the helmet on I still noticed this evening that there's a lump on the back of my head. Funks and I surmised that were it not for the helmet I'd probably be in the hospital with a minor concussion - and the bike wasn't even moving at that point! Score one for the argument in favor of helmets. As it was, I just got up, dusted off my ego, shook my head a bit, and after the shots we were back on the road. Now the S bears my scars which I myself have inflicted, a dubious honor, but there you have it. I took the paint scratches with great grace, being chiefly grateful that nothing on the bike was broken.

When we got back on the road we headed for Scenic Route 12, our destination road for the day. We missed a great photo opportunity at Red Canyon, thinking that we'd see more of the gorgeous rock formations later on the route. Unfortunately, such was not the case. We did stop at Powell point, however, gathering this view:

After Powell, we motored on towards Boulder, UT stopping at Boynton Overlook for a bit.

I had Funke shoot a pic of me opposite the overlook, mostly because I figured that a pic of me in front of a massive read boulder would somehow prove that I'm not Photoshopping this entire journey out of tourist handouts.

"Yes, yes, that really is me standing on Route 12. What? Photoshop? Never heard of it."

A view from Boynton Overlook.

A second view from the Overlook. Would you believe that this actually pales a bit in comparison to what we missed shooting at Red Canyon? If you're ever in the area, the drive from Marble Canyon to Hatch, UT has some positively amazing views. I really wish I had stopped to shoot some, but I was mistaken in thinking I'd see so much more of it on Route 12 and was prepared to stop later in the trip.

The next stop after Boynton Overlook was a little town called Boulder. Boulder contains a hideaway called Boulder Mountain Lodge, and I must say that it's a wonderful place to get away to if you've ever got the notion. It was pricier than we were used to, but then we got what we paid for:

If you're looking to sneak the missus away to somewhere unique and special for a long weekend, I recommend looking this place up. There's a good bit of sightseeing in the area, from which the lodge proves to be a good hub. They've got their own aviary, the view of the sunset from the on-site restaurant is gorgeous, and the food is outstanding. Last night we didn't even get shampoo laid out for us. This place has friggin' Aveda everything on hand. I may take some more pics of the grounds in the AM, as it's fairly impressive.

Tomorrow we head further north up Route 12, and once done with that we'll head up one of the main highways to Salt Lake City where we'll get the rental truck the following day to be used while we race at Bonneville.

Woah, it's finally upon us - World of Speed. Just days from now we're going to be blasting down a massive expanse of white salt crust, concerned with only the sight of the black line leading us toward the timing lights.



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