Rock ‘em Sock ‘em

Day 51-52 • April 21-22, 2012 • Cameron to Marble Canyon, AZ •  72 miles

As we were leaving Cameron we met Jose who is on a 20 month, 48 state, 15000 mile solo tour.  He’d taken up cycling a few years ago and liked it so much he wound up quitting his job as a manger of a Winn Dixie store in Chicago, sold most of his possessions, and hit the road.  At about 11 months in he is still going strong.

We weren’t sure where we would end up today so we just started riding.  We took a break at a roadside stand where a Navajo woman was selling her jewelry.  We had a nice conversation about cycling and life on the reservation.  Zoe bought a bracelet.  This stand had been neglected by the tour buses which increases your odds of talking with the artist and decreases the cost.

Cedar Ridge was the highest point of the ride at about 6000 ft and was the first place that looked suitable for stealth camping.  We got there pretty early in the afternoon however and decided to push on rather than wait around ‘til dusk to set up camp.  Why wait when you can sit on your butt, watch the scenery roll by, and wind up twenty miles further down the road at a good campground?  That’s what we asked ourselves anyway.  The reality was that we had already ridden about 50 miles on a pretty hot day and though I felt good at the time, I was only a few miles away from intestinal meltdown.  I blame bad food/Gatorade management.  By the time we reached Marble Canyon I was in pretty bad shape.  Fortunately Rob was there with his Geo Metro and had already scoped out a spot for us at the Lee’s Ferry campground.  There was no way I was going to make it up to the campground so we locked the trikes along the highway and Rob drove us to camp.  He had a nice surprise for Zoe as well.  Earlier in the day he had back-tracked our route down from the canyon and found her Rock ‘em Sock ‘em robot toy along the side of the road.  Rob pulled our first and probably last 70-miler from the near-disaster to the success column.

Next day was a planned rest day that we spent exploring Lee’s Ferry and Navajo Bridge.  At Navajo Bridge we watched a California Condor fly up and land on the bridge.  This time we were close enough to see the tag–  C1.  We looked it up to learn that this was a seven year old female who had been raised by hand puppet at the World Center for Birds of Prey in our hometown of Boise!  Pretty cool. In our condor talk at the canyon the ranger showed us an example of a hand puppet that looks vaguely like an adult condor’s head, used by handlers to raise chicks in captivity.  In recent years this technique is becoming less common.

We spent a lot of time at the Navajo Bridge visitor’s center.  We’ve been hitting a lot of these in the national parks and monuments, this one representing the Glen Canyon Natural History Association, and have found them to be fascinating places with very knowledgeable staff.  Mary was a good example of this–  she had a ton of information about the C1 condor we had just seen—it apparently visits here often—and gave us a detailed back story on a fossilized dinosaur print on display. She even offered up, with no prompting from me, a cautionary tale for Zoe on the problems with collecting rocks (and trinkets) along the trip. We struggle with striking the right balance between the acquisition of stuff and the space and energy it takes or us to move it down the road.  And she was the first of several people to recommend the awesome milk shakes available down the road at Jacob Lake.

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2 thoughts on “Rock ‘em Sock ‘em

  1. Yeah! We are so proud of you Zoe, Kurt and your awesome adventure! Ella is excited to skype with Zoe in class – I think today?!

    Like

  2. Pingback: Cop #3 | TransAmerican Trike Adventure 2012

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