Friday, July 8, 2016

Bullfrogs, Ferries, and Natural Bridges, Oh My....

Our morning started cool as we left Bryce Canyon.  We had spent two nights in a campground, and while we loved the convenience (and the showers) we were very ready to get more remote again.

We met a cool gal named Sara that morning, who was motocamping with an RX3.  I texted Nathan from the bathroom "There's a girl on an RX3."  He wanted to meet her, but waited for me to be headed back.  I wandered up to camp and said "Is that an Rx3?"  She was surprised!  She has spent many an hour explaining her CSC bike to people asking "What is that?"  We had a grand time chatting.  She had a super cool cooler (ooo, pun intended) that I later checked out.... The Yeti Hopper.  I found them at Gearheads in Moab, and discovering that they are $300, I promptly lost most of my interest.  Anyway, we gabbed for quite a while, and I sat on the Rx3.  She had some of the lowering, but not the seat.  It was almost low enough to touch on both sides.  We talked about top speeds, and how it is fuel injected, so it wouldn't be challenged by elevation changes.  She loved her bike, and had even considered getting a TT250 for even more offroad playfulness.  She talked about how cheap replacement parts are (significant when you've come off of a BMW) and how sturdy the bike is.  Being a short rider, she discussed dumping it a lot from a stop, a phenomenon that I am very familiar with.  One of her stories cracked me up.... She talked about falling over by the side of the road, and while she and her bike were both still on the ground, a kiddo came up and said "What are you doing?"  She responded "Looking at the bottom of my bike."  Kiddo said "Why is your bike laying down?"  She said "it's easier to see the bottom that way."  Or maybe she said "we're napping."  Either way, it was a super fun conversation.  And the Rx3 definitely came up later in our trip.

The saddest thing I have to share was that once on highway 12, which is the most magnificent highway in Utah, I stopped stopping to take pictures, because it was SO incredible.  So you will have to go experience it yourself.  Remember the ridgeline from Fairyland Canyon in Bryce?  That was highway 12; you got to ride (other people drove, even campers, which looked terrifying for them) a two lane ridge line highway, with magnificent canyon views on either side.  Highway 12 put Bryce Canyon to shame.

We had heard about Burr Trail Road from Scott at BMW, so that was on our route.  Burr trail road is a curvy side road, though some unmarked small towns.  No yellow lane down the middle, just lovely curves.  The lack of photos from that I attribute to two things.  One, it was raining, so stopping was less appealing.  And two, we were catching a Ferry in Bullfrog, and I didn't know how the ferry worked, outside of it being first come first serve, and if it was full, we would be taking a different route.  Which would have been fine, but we had agreed to try to make the 2:00 ferry.

These were some of the views on Burr Trail Rd.... not the prettiest parts, but fun none the less. Nathan did video it; maybe someday I'll grab a clip and toss it on this blog.  Burr Trail Rd becomes gravel partway through, and takes you down some MAGNIFICENT switchbacks!  Oh yes... Besides the timing of the ferry stress, we had some worry about the weather.  Some of Utah's off road becomes impassible when wet.  So, we were a little concerned about the grey skies.  Though we had everything we needed to camp, so that was my mental backup plan.  Later I talked to Nathan, and he had thought the same thing.

Look at that smile... that is a boy who enjoyed the switchbacks.

We made it through the bad weather, and entered Glen Helen National Recreation area.  In the middle of nowhere, there was more amazing beauty.

Since we were in a recreation area, and suddenly a city of boats had appeared, I made an incorrect assumption that we could get lunch in Bullfrog.  As it turns out, the resturaunt is only open for dinner.  So, Nathan hit the gas station and brought cheese and apples.  It was so yummy.  I was so hungry. :)  We thought maybe we'd get something after our ferry ride.

 Hey look, there's our ferry!

Well, isn't that an itty bitty thing.

You can see the long line in front of us.  We realized that we hadn't been at much risk of missing the ferry due to not having space.  

Matter of fact, that car realized it had waited too long with their radio on, and killed their battery, so they push started it, turned around, and skipped the ferry ride.  Which gave me the opportunity to take even more photos without a car in front of me.

Now, on the ferry my hands were not busy.  I could take LOTS of photos!  


The ramp in front of me

My windshield with the ramp in the background

A picnic table

The ferry captain.  Rumored to be the only Native American Female Ferry Boat Captain.
 a grinning girl

Glen Helen

They ferry is actually an extension of Highway 276.

so pretty

a grinning boy

Oh, we're getting off over there! 

In case anyone was wondering, it turns out Halls Crossing is an even smaller town than Bullfrog.  No Gas Station or Restaurant.  There was an outhouse, however.

Heading toward Natural Bridges National Monument, our journey became even more remote.

I had done a little research about camping near Natural Bridges.  There are about 12 camp spots near the visitor center, the rest was dispersed camping.  We figured it would be prudent to take a peek at the campground, which as we'd guessed, was full.  So we went back to the dirt road that led to the littler dirt roads which led to even littler dirt roads for camp sites. 

We loved this one.  Miles from other people, trees to protect us from wind, fire pit.  

We made use of the trees for airing out our gear.  Spanky played in the trees too.

I skedaddled to take some pictures of the layered rocks.  The red rock and the green trees.  Amazing.

ooo, what's that?  There's a little cave!

 I highly recommend juniper bark on fire... The smell was phenomenal.  It was also super easy to light.

I had to run off for sunset photos.  

Nathan tended the fire and cooked dinner.  We absolutely loved being this far from any civilization.  

Good night everybody.

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