After a good three day stop-over in Brian Head cooling down in the mountain air we're heading to St George via Zion National park to stay for the evening before we head off into the desert. We pass through Dixie National forest, which is populated with Pines and deer. We take some lower altitude breath at Duck Creek, stop the bikes and park up for a short while. A white-haired man approaches us and has a delighted look on his face. He's come to ask us about the bikes. We've been on the road now for a few days and whenever we make a stop, we are approached by someone or other who either knows the Royal Enfield brand, or is just curious as to what we are riding - probably because the Himalayans remind them of their first dirt bike, or just because they are groovy looking machines. Whenever we are approached, the camaraderie between us as humans is cordial and friendly. I can't say enough positive things about the people in this country. We are developing a huge respect for the amount of adventurous souls that are out here on the roads with us, enjoying the nature and the landscape. It's very refreshing to see that adventure still lives on out here.
After exiting Dixie National Park and well on the way to the 'gates' of Zion, we leave Mount Carmel behind us and watch the temperature gauges rise. It's not until we actually reach the entrance to the Zion National Park that the sun makes an appearance and we start to feel warm again.
Riding through Zion National Park is an amazing experience. Andrew and my jaws were dropping at every bend and twist on the way to the canyon. It's like another planet. The colours, the textures, the sheer heights and dips and peaks and surfaces are all mesmerising and the road bends and twists and it's not really possible to stop and take pictures. Vehicle speeds are restricted to 30mph maximum which is good as this is not a place to rush through.
We reach what is for us unauthorised vehicles, the end of the road. The road up to the canyon can only be accessed by special permit holders or shuttle buses. A fellow motorcyclist is alighting one of the shuttle buses and gives us some info as to what's up in the canyon. So we hop on a bus and take it all the way to the top.
By now the desert heat is apparent. We are still in riding gear - boots, jeans and t-shirts. It's no time to be hiking, but if ever we return to the USA, Zion is a place that should be explored more extensively. There are so many hikes - Angels Landing and The Narrows are just a couple to note and there are horse-riding trails up to the Emerald Lake. It will take more than a day or two to even touch the sides.
We get just a sip of this magnificent marvel of nature before we head off in the direction of St George where we have a motel booked for the night - our first stop-over in a US motel and a step closer to Las Vegas.
Andrew "AJ" Jackson of Eurorider Training and Mell Rose.
AJ's Check List
*Motorcycles x 2
*All weather clothing/boots - windproof, rainproof as well as cool and warm layers.
*Panniers for carrying extra loads.
* Friction straps and bungees - multiple & spares.
* Chain oil and lube
* Acquired jump leads
* Puncture repair - fix a flat in a can
* Lots of monies
* A ball of string
* Rucksack for daytime carrying capacity
* Flexible attitude to life and journey
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