We had to backtrack 38 miles to the
highway, but the upside was that
we got to stop at Newspaper Rock.  

We didn't stop of the way in because it
was raining (I'm sensing a theme here...)
and we were worried about making it
into the park before the gates closed.  

Mike had never been off the interstate in
Utah before, so everything over the next
couple days was new to him.
We spent several days in the
Four Corners area without picking up
a single IBE or GPS point.  

I love this whole area and there were
a lot of things I really wanted Mike to see,
unrelated to the AMA Tours.  

Also, I am leading several motorcycle tours
through the Four Corners region this year,
so scouting out any changes that have
been made since my last visit here will help
me plan a better tour for those guests.
Our wanderings took us through
Glen Canyon Recreation Area
and around Lake Powell,
Capitol Reef National Park,
Grand Escalante National Monument
and Dixie National Forest on our
lush and varied ride to
Bryce Canyon National Park.
Below is a picture of a previous visit to
Lake Powell where the water reached nearly
up to the buildings at the base of the cliff
(the buildings appear as white specs in this picture.)
This year you can't even see water in the picture.
That's my friend
Bob in 2001
But the lack of water didn't mean
a lack of enjoyment.  

Mike was thoroughly awestruck by
the majesty of the landscape.
We were lucky enough to get the
very last campsite in the entire
park, saving us from having to
ride about 60 more miles to the
next accommodations.  

Odd, since at least six other
vehicles had been circling and
none of them took this spot.  

In the morning, we found out why.  
EVERYTHING was coated
with a thick, impervious layer
of sap from the trees.  
Apparently seeing us coming, the tree also dropped heavy deposits on the ground
and then covered it up with sand, ensuring that every surface of out tent was evenly coated.  

All I have to say is... eh.  It was after 9pm by the time we set up camp, so it's not like
we would have opted to keep going even if we would have know of the tree's evil plot.  
Plus, being coated in sap gave Mike another remotely plausible reason to pronounce
that we would be spending the following night in a hotel.  
(Last campsite AND a night in a hotel?  Sounds like a win-win situation if you ask me.)