9th June – 12th June
Our rest day in Sedona was very productive – not much resting! JC met a great bunch of guys at Sedona Lube when he was trying to get a replacement shock absorber and spent most of the morning talking to them about off roading – they even offered to take us on some of the trails around Sedona, which sadly didn’t work out due to other rally stuff going on. To Matt and the boys - sorry we didn't make it, it was great to meet you all and thanks for all your help - hope you keep folowing the web site! I spent most of the morning updating the website and then took a trip to the Laundromat to do our washing. If I had done it at the hotel laundry it would have cost me at least 100$ and I managed to do all the washing and drying for 20$ - we travellers have got to keep to budget you know. JC visited the barber which was a bit of a different experience not like Tim’s at all! I had my roots done – thanks Lisa they knew exactly what colour to use once I gave them your instructions. My hairdresser was called Eileen and from California originally. She said she was related to William the Conqueror and then proceeded to tell me that her family was from Cornwall and had some German and Italian roots too! Only in America! JC spoke to Nikki and Keith is out of hospital permanently now although it will still be a long job before he gets back to normal. After our busy day in Sedona we had a great meal at a Korean restaurant – very different from Mexican food.
On the way to Grand Canyon today is 24C and sunny. Just the right temperature after the 40C+ in Central America. Fabulous views as we drove out of Sedona, through the Kaibab National Forest and past the Arizona Snowbowl to reach the Canyon.
It’s been one of my lifetime wishes to visit Grand Canyon and it lived up to all my expectations and beyond. The colours, the majesty, the great feeling of peace and silence when we got away from the crowds, were incredible or awesome as the Americans would say. Another fridge magnet Faye!
Around the Canyon - Amaaaaaazing................
Heading North now into the desert with beautiful rose coloured sand – it feels like we are back in Oman driving the long straight road through the desert. We were held up for about an hour due to an accident on the road ahead of us. We were the 11th car in the queue and couldn’t see the front. We were both wondering whether any of the rally had been involved. Lots of radio traffic going on and thankfully it was not one of ours but some of the rally group had been the first at the scene, called the emergency services and staying with the victims until help arrived. It was very serious with helicopters lifting people off. Quite a sobering experience for our friends who when they used their satellite phone to ring 911, were asked how they could know that there had been an accident as they were ringing from a UK number!! It had been a long day and some of the cars had taken an off road track through the sand to avoid the accident. When we arrived at the motel, there was much washing of vehicles going on and mutterings because there was no bar and no beer available in any of the local supermarkets. We were inside of the Navajo Indian reservation – no booze allowed anywhere!!!! Thankfully for JC, he had a supply of six cans in our fridge. Not enough to go around so Paul, Nikki, JC and I shared them in the privacy of Toyota Hotel. Although John did take pity on Chris Wray who had even been off into the nearest village in search of bootleg! He said it was the best Heineken he had ever had!
Today we will drive through Monument Valley to Moab. We set off early, before the rest of the rally so that we could get some good photographs in the early morning. Met up with Paul and Nikki who had set themselves up in a good location to video the cars as they came down into the valley.
Within the Navajo reservation, Monument Valley is an absolutely amazing place, very special to the Indians who are determined that the government will not get it back. We drove a 17 mile loop through the monuments and got some great video and photographs.
When we got back from the loop drive, Paul and Nikki had been off to recover the E Type and Colin and David. They had towed it to the parking place but there was nothing Paul could do. The next challenge was to get him moved to Salt Lake City – our nearest major town. Finally, we found a friendly Navajo called ‘Carlos’ who went off into Kayenta and came back with his four x four truck, a trailer, some ramps and an assortment of straps and ratchets. JC used all his old haulier skills to make sure the vehicle was secure on the trailer, before we sent them off with some sandwiches and a bottle of water for the 290 mile trip to Salt Lake. When you see the photos of Carlos you will wonder why we were all a little worried. Still Colin said at least he would have some good stories for his grandchildren!
The four of us then set off for the Mokee Dugway a road made to service the mines which was steep, gravel, with hairpin bends. Great fun for us but not long enough at only around 6 miles. At the top the scenery was terrific and JC climbed over the barrier at the top to stick a Global Rally sticker on a board covered with stickers from all types of other groups.
Him again!!! The view from the top - the road..... The arrow marks Global Rally woz 'ere...
We split up on the way to the hotel in search of beers. We would not get caught without any again! Success! Carried on to Arches park for yet more fabulous sandstone and JC, Paul and Nikki climbed up high to watch the sunset before we gathered out of sight of the rest of the tourists to have our beers.
Met Chris Wray in the carpark this morning. He had found Heineken and repaid John with interest when he gave him 3 Heineken! Today its the turn of Bryce Canyon and 400 kms plus, but the road looks good. The scenery changes constantly as we pass first through sandy/gray coloured canyons into Capitol Reef National park and its beautiful deep reds and then into the Dixie National park where we could have been in the Black Forest!
The changing scenery today and JC making the sermon on the mount........................................
The road takes us up above 9000 feet and the Toyota doesn’t like it very much, keeps juddering a bit. Apparently not enough air. Dr Cox had a brainwave and took the cyclone off the snorkel, which immediately let in more air and she was running a lot better. We were making good time for Bryce Canyon when we had a radio message of a breakdown ahead. Gerry and Corrie in another Jag were stuck on a garage forecourt (or so we all thought) with clutch problems. Here we met the first unfriendly American of our whole trip. He accused us of interfering with his business – apparently it wasn’t the garage forecourt but his parking lot. He asked Gerry for compensation for his loss of business and threatened to have him towed. He just did not seem to be able to accept that he couldn’t just drive the car away. Fearing a punch up we all pushed the car to a workshop just a little way away, where the mechanic let us use the ramp to check out the problem. Helping us to push was an old Harley rider who we had met earlier today and who was totally embarrassed by the behaviour of his fellow Utahan. How different people can be. Dr Diesel arrived, worked his usual magic, ably assisted by JC and we were on the road again over the Grand Stairway Escalante National Monument – stunning scenery...
Made it to Ruby’s (the only place to stay, eat, fill up your vehicle, buy gifts, books get internet access) – in other words a ‘gold mine’ and Bryce Canyon. Very different to Grand Canyon, many people say they prefer it. I know what my favourite it but take a look at these photos and make up your own mind.
Let me know what you think. Thanks for your patience whilst I got this sorted this out. Thanks for all of your messages - even the ones about John's hair.
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