Well, I survived the first three days of Epic Road Trip 2017. My phone, however, did not. More on that later. So far, I’ve visited the North Rim and Bryce Canyon National Park for the first time and enjoyed an awesome stretch of highway called the “All-American Road” - that’s Highway 12 in Utah that winds through the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (another first).
I picked a good day to vacate the Valley of the Sun. I was prepared for nearing heat stroke before I made it to Yarnell Hill, but plenty of cloud cover from the previous night’s rains kept the temperatures down, even cool, as I ascended Yarnell Hill and the traffic was surprisingly light. I didn’t actually deal with any heat on Highway 89 until I approached Cameron, just north of Flagstaff.
At Prescott, I stuck to Highway 89 rather than veer off on 89A and go through Jerome and Sedona. I’ve traveled that stretch before, so I wanted to see something new and was rewarded with some great scenery from Prescott to Ash Fork. I’ve also never been to North Rim of the Grand Canyon. While I didn’t make it into the park, I ended the day’s trek at Jacob Lake and I don’t think I’ll ever visit the South Rim again. Between the Vermilion Cliffs and the climb onto the Kaibab Plateau, I had plenty to take in. I spent the night at Jacob Lake Campground where my wife met up with me. She stayed for the weekend with a friend while I continued north.
On this leg of the trip, I learned that the North Rim is closer than I thought and there's definitely a benefit to having a support vehicle, especially on long trips. I also found a few new ways to attach things to my Fury. I store a sweatshirt (wrapped up in plastic grocery bags) between the windscreen and the instrument panel (secured with a bolo bungee) and that the void beneath my gas tank can easily be used to add a little extra cargo space - I've had my travel chair secured to the frame and it's held up well.