Anyway. The Federal Authorities have closed everything down, so most of the camping areas are closed, the National Parks are closed, even the Grand Canyon is closed, and even those with permits can not get on the Grand to start their Raft trips.....I would have been very disappointed this time two years ago, having traveled from NZ... Yesterday, while we were out biking, someone came and locked the toilet at the campsite we were at, and put a sign on the door....."Closed by Federal Authority"....Oh s&¥t, where do we go to s&¥ t?
The previous evening, after climbing out of the Moab desert, and crossing over a beautiful mountain of colorful Aspen, we found a quiet small car park. It had a No Camping sign. We decided to
go for a walk down into the Canyon, which was stunningly beautiful.....slick rock with volcanic boulders, beautiful waterfalls and pools, and no one about. When we got back to the van, the No Camping sign had a plastic bag over it.....good enough for us.....freedom camping.
We drove out the next morning to find we were in the National Staircase Monument Park.....more stunning scenery, and heading to Bryce Canyon, which was closed.... Instead we did a detour to Kodac State Park. This was very, very small, cost $6 to enter, was extremely under welming, had no available campsites, and all the parking spaces were occupied, so we didn't even get to stop, just drove in, through and out again.
Eventually, along with the other kiwis, we found an empty campsite.....like, no one else was there, and it was only 5 minutes bike ride from the trailhead for today's Thunder Mountain bike ride. Only problem was it got cold. Murray did a great job, as usual with his bbq and Fire, but by 8pm, the snow flurries and biting cold wind, had sent us all to the"warmth" of our beds. Water, froze in our water bottles, inside the vans. Temperature dropped to 22F (that's approx -10C),and it wasn't much warmer at breakfast time. However, the bike ride
made up for it. Stunning track, up to 8500feet, winding through beautiful forest, like we haven't seen since Crested Butte. Mostly smooth and flowing, with some fun switchbacks, narrow ridges, and through some incredible bright red formations. This was Red Canyon. Yet more stunning scenery....gets so boring.... Just to keep us alert, a few of us had stumbles off the bikes, but no serious hurts, and except for the freezing wind, a great days biking.
Then it was off to Hurricane. Ju and I decided to go via Zion National Park. Yep it was closed, so we could drive the road but were not allowed to "Stop, Hike, Bike or leave the road". Stunning, stunning stunning scenery. We dodged all the traffic cones placed across all the stopping points and car parks, (and illegally stopped a couple of times to take photos), and because the park was closed, we didn't have to pay the $25 drive through fee.....
Now we are camped at Fred and Diane's, and looking forward to 3 or 4 days of fun biking on some of the many famous trails in the area. What have you got for us guys???
All Blacks play Spring Boks today. Go Black.