Arizona and Nevada

 More like Idon’twanna and Neveragain…

(Jess typing) 

I want to preface first off, that I really am having an amazing time! This trip has been not only filled with amazing sights, but has taught me how far I can push myself through something uncomfortable or even painful; this brings us to Arizona and Nevada.

After reluctantly leaving, we packed up camp and set out from Cortez, CO with our goal in mind: the Grand Canyon! Neither of us had ever been, and I for one, had been anticipating this stop throughout our planning. I was so excited the day was finally upon us. 

However, it was hot. I mean, hot like- both of our mothers were continuously texting to see if we were alive and sending warnings of the heat wave that people were dying from in the areas we would travel through- kind of hot. And we know they only meant well 😉 So, we took precautions.

Now, if you’ve never heard of a “Frogg-Togg,” they are amazing. These little towels can hold so much water in them, and are excellent for wetting and placing around your neck for cooling. These things pretty much saved our lives over the next couple of days. We of course were drinking tons of water, Taylor through his camel back, and I with my hydro-flask; but at every stop we would also re-wet our frogg-toggs, and it made a world of difference. 

Continuing on…we took our new friend Chris’ advise to go through Mt. Elmo pass. It was pretty awesome with its turns and farm-like land. Then we came out a little more into the open. Imagine being on Mars, that’s the only way we could describe it. But then! Wild horses! I had never seen them before; so beautiful. We came upon a group of them that were super close to the road, so Taylor slowed to almost a stop, and a white and brown speckled one kind of panicked and hopped across the road in front of us, just as I turned on the go-pro! Now that was cool.

Pressing on through Arizona, i.e. Navajo Nation, we continued to feel more and more in the middle of nowhere. The giant rock forms there are beyond description. They are massive from a distance, towering like guardians of the desert. Somewhere along the way we saw a sign for Navajo jewelry, and stopped at a tiny stand, in the middle of nowhere, and bought some matching bracelets that we just think are the coolest 🙂 Heading back to the bike, Taylor took a sweet pic of the bike with the giants in the backdrop. 

We then saddled back up on the bike, only to attempt a sharp right turnaround in the soft sand, and slowly but surely…down we went. First drop of the bike! From Taylor’s descriptions you may know that this is not a small bike, plus the weight of our gear on the back. So after 3 different attempts, one of me flying backward into the sand (laughable moment) we teamworked and  hoisted that bike upright, and onward we went. 

Let me fast forward for you….there’s so much to say! 

After being in the middle of nowheresville for hours, super hot from above and below, we finally came to an incline! The craziest part of this is that we were just enduring 100+ temps, and now our temperature gage was steadily dropping, and then there were green plants, and then trees! We twisted and turned up to the mesa, toward our goal, the Grand Canyon. Y’all it’s a whole different world up there! The cooler air rejuvenated us as we raced the sun to the North Rim in hopes to catch Sunset. 

Then, we were there. My heart was racing as we stepped up to the rim, yes because it was so far down, but mostly because I was so overwhelmed with emotion. How far had we come through scorching heat, sand dried faces, and burning eyes? Only to be cooled and refreshed by the wind at the top of the Grand Canyon. (There’s a life lesson in there somewhere ;)) All I could do was sit and stare out; trying all I could to soak up the goodness that is God’s creation. If you’ve never been, go. 

On our way back to the lodge at dusk, we saw hundreds of deer grazing on the mesa, got a bite to eat, showered and went straight to sleep- exhausted from a hard days ride; little did we know what the next day would bring. 

Nevada- in summer heat waves- no thank you. 

We had almost forgotten about the heat, but once we drove the short ride down from the mesa, there it was. As we got closer to Las Vegas, the temeperature was 113-114 F. Now just imagine with me for a second- imagine you go into a sauna- some people like that I guess- now let’s say, oh but you really need to put on these socks and black moto-boots, and black moto-pants, and here’s your long sleeved moto-jackets. You’re set! Oh wait- let’s cover your face with a helmet- now you’re good! No, no- stay in the sauna like that and we’ll turn it up to 117 F. “Gosh it’s hot!”- you say? Ok fine- we’ll give you some wind…queue blow dryers on hot mode blasting at you from all angles. If that doesn’t make you uncomfortable, I don’t know what else to say. 

Dry heat? Yea, if you’re in shorts and tank top. I was miserable. I sat on that bike in disdain that day- and what for? To see the Hoover Dam. Sorry y’all, but that day, I couldn’t give a Hoover Dam to set eyes on it in those conditions. It was not worth it to me lol. Admittedly- an amazing engineering feat of man- maybe go in the winter? 

And if I never see Nevada again- it will be too soon. Peace out. 

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