Sometimes I know exactly where I am going. In that case it’s easy, pick a route and go.
More often I have an idea where I’d like to end up, and generally speaking a direction to go.
Once in a while I just follow the front wheel and see where it takes me.
Vermilion Cliffs (previously published)
Headed to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The South Rim is where everybody goes, it's where you see all the pictures. There is a city of hotels and eateries and souvineer shops on the South Rim. There's even a train station. Complete with bus loads of tourists, it's one of the most popular stops in the National Park System.
Not so much on the North Rim. It's a long ways around to the North Rim from the South. Less than 2 miles across the divide, and better than 150 mi. by road. To get to the North Rim you have to come in through the metropolis of Jacob's Lake, AZ. Maybe 500 people there on a really busy day. Last place to get gas.
Navajo Bridge/Vermilion Cliffs
To get to the North Rim from the South you have to spend some time on Arizona 89A, an iconic highway that has had tens of thousands of 'lonely highway' pictures taken along it. Most times you can just stop on the road and take your picture without fear of another vehicle coming up on you.
You travel through the Vermilion Cliffs area and when you cross the Navajo Bridge you are on the North side of the Colorado River. Not the North Rim, yet, but at least on the right side of the river for it.
Navajo Bridge(s) and Marble Canyon
I gave it away. Navajo Bridge has two bridges. In this photo the one on the left carries cars and the original on the right is a pedestrian walkway.
Navajo Bridge walkway
The walkway is pretty darn cool. You can stroll across the Colorado River. The next time you can do that is Hoover Dam at the other end of the Grand Canyon. This is truly wild country that hasn't changed much since long before Columbus came to North America.
Cross the river and you are on Navajo land. The southern edge of the largest reservation in the US. Life happens differently when you are there.
New Bridge and the River
The Grand Canyon has started by the time you are here, you just can't tell. When you come up on the Canyon from either side it seems incredibly abrupt, but here on the east end it has started to rise. It's got a ways to go, but it doesn't happen all at once.
This is a not uncommon sight on the North Side of the Colorado up towards Utah. This is a family outing of a family that lives in a 'big house'. Pologomy is illegal but tolerated in this lonely land. For my money, a family outing at Navajo Bridge is a good thing.
We won't go far to start the next episode. Lee's Ferry is close and it's worth taking a look. I hope you'll come back for the rest of this ride.
All words and photographs in this post are mine. For better or worse
You want some real motorcycle travel? Check out Velimir. That’s some kind of motorcycle writing.
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