Walkabout day 8: natural wonders

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 13 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.

Need­less to say, Grand Canyon was stunning:

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.

About the Author

Jim Harriger

1 Comment

  1. Brett

    FWIW, I checked on the hel­mets to see what oth­er cool stuff they had, and all their moto hel­mets have been recalled due to fail­ing fed­er­al safe­ty standards. 🙁

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