posted on Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bryce Canyon

In Utah they use the expression 'holy mowly', probably spelt moly but doesn't sound like a proper moly at all; it nicely sums up my day. I hardly left one stunning National Park to enter another one that promises to be just as spectacular. Last night at the campsite I met Eric a sixty years old Canadian that started cycling months ago from the Mexico Arizona border, arms burnt with blisters from the days spent cycling the desert. He his cycling my same way but will turn north eventually, heading back to British Columbia. By seven am he was all ready to go while I set off gingerly, for a day mostly spent climbing up towards the 2400 metres of Bryce Canyon. I felt tired, and pretty slow, the old pump not producing the usual goods, felt somehow weak. Wondering what was going on I realised, checking my route details, that I was cycling above two thousand metres and will do so for the rest of the day. After an hour or so I heard a car behind me shuttering the silence with loud sirens and flapping yellow flags. At first I wondered if it might be the Zion police chasing me in order to cash the entrance fee to the park. As a cyclist I was determined to let people with engines pay. For people trekking or biking, Mother Nature should be free to enjoy what! Instead it was a car escorting and warning all traffic of an oversized truck load approaching. I turned around and saw two large villas on wheels moving fast up the road, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and all. Needless to say I moved as far to the side as I could as the front doors and windows raced past me. I passed few scattered farms here and there in an otherwise pretty uninhabited mountainous landscape. One thing drew my attention. Those isolated farms usually had large signs such as 'Duke Hayken Clan. Like in Sicily's good old days, clans seem to rule the land! I hoped the meaning was rather religious than criminal. In the past Mormons could marry several wives. One can easily imagine with the peaceful settings and lack of any entertainment or access to birth control, things can get quickly out of hands. Before you even know it, you've got a clan. At a burger place in Hatch I met Kathleen from Las Vegas and her nephew Robert. They were excited by my journey and insisted on sharing address and taking pictures with and without bikes. If I get stuck somewhere remote now I have two phone numbers to call. North camp at Bryce Canyon was full as expected but I begged the ranger and in the end got a nice tent site usually reserved for park employees. The campsite is located right on the rim of Bryce Canyon and a short walk was all it took to be standing right on the edge of a cliff, staring down at a mesmerising view I will find hard to forget. Tomorrow I will spend another day here, cycling further up Rainbow Point Loop and surely taking in some more grand views of the Canyon and its rocks.