Just in case you wondered why these blog entries don't always appear on the same day as the events they describe, this is because not every hotel we stop at has free wi-fi access, so I'm not able to log into the blog and upload pictures and text.
Today was another day spent at altitude and cooler temperatures. We got up as high as 9,600 feet above sea level on today's ride from Mexican Hat via Glen Canyon and the Escalante Wilderness to Bryce Canyon. The continued hot weather in the region sparked off several spectacular thunderstorms and while we did get rained on briefly several times we always seemed to be on the fringe of the worst of the bad weather.
Our journey from Mexican Hat took us to an area known as the Valley of the Gods where Dean told us he had a little treat in store for us! As we rode towards the cliff face he told us we'd be riding up the mountain directly in front of us, but we couldn't see a road. This turned out to be 3 miles of narrow gravel road that snaked it's way up the sheer face of the mountain. Happily we all made it to the top without any mishaps and were very glad to be back on tarmac roads for the rest of the day.
The next 97 miles took us through some of the most amazing multi-coloured landscapes on Earth. The towering rock formations just took our breath away. Words can't do justice to the variety of shapes and colours of the mountains and even photographs don't convey the full splendour of this area.
One of the rock faces featured ancient drawing made hundreds of years ago by the native American Indians.
At one of the highest points on the ride we rode along a narrow ridge, known as "The Devil's Backbone", just wide enough for one lane of traffic in each direction and with sheer drops of several thousand feet on either side - and no crash barriers! Not a good time to discover that you are afraid of heights. No photographs of this due to the intense concentration needed to stay on the road.
This was a hard days riding covering 280 miles in total, so we were all very glad to reach Best Western's Ruby's Inn at Bryce Canyon in plenty of time to have a shower and meet for an evening meal.