385 miles today, Kingman to Kayenta, AZ. An absolutely beautiful day. Temps from 65 to about 80, clear skies with the occasional cloud. Rode to Grand Canyon National Park, took a bunch of pictures, bought the requisite lapel pins. Had ‘a moment’ on the way there though: about 15 miles west of Williams a 2 ton dualie flatbed in front of me blew it’s outside right tire at about 70mph. fortunately, I was riding in the left 1⁄3 of the lane, like we were all taught, and dodged all of the debris and the rapidly slowing Ford. Whew! Got my heart going for a moment there!
Not too long after that, a guy on an orange Moto Guzzi, with a Pumpkin for a helmet passed me on I‑40. I caught up with him at a gas station later. His name is Jim, and his helmet was made by a company called Head Trip. Wow.
The absolute hi-zoot way to see the Grand Canyon would be to book a room at one of the lodges on the rim, leave the car in Williams, and ride the train up. Looks really cool!
Left the main lodge area and headed east, stopping at Desert View, where they built a really cool observation tower in the 30’s.
It was then across the Navajo nation to Kayenta, where I paid through the nose for a hotel room. Tourist season, dontchaknow. There’s a bus of Asian tourists that checked in right behind me. After showering and grabbing a bite, I decided to run up to Monument Valley to catch it in the late light of the day. Glad I did:
Today’s cultural note: I go into a Subway here in kayenta, which is deep in the Navajo nation. When I open the door, there’s a very loud, very clear DING! from the door. Every head in the place swivels towards me, most swivel away, but there’s a couple of folks obviously wondering if I’m lost. Felt very much the outsider, I did. I sat down and had my dinner, and watched the scene replay itself everytime someone came in. In most cases, the entry drew no more notice. I wonder why they have such a loud and attention-getting door bell there?
Leftover musing from yesterday: entering Kingman, passed an absolutely Ginormous factory; sign said Nucor. Turns out it’s an old steel mill, shutdown decades ago when it was North Star steel. Nucor bought it in 2007 and restarted it as a rebar plant last year. Good to see at least a few basic industries still in this country.