Thursday, June 12, 2008

Motorcycle Chases, Snakes, and Lightening

And we are back. Whew. I had meant to try to post a few times while we were out on the road but as it turned out the internet and all of it's wily ways did not hold much interest for me over the past week. Also... there were only two or three days when I even had access. So.... let me try to give a short summary of the trip and it's main highlights...

We started off in the painted desert and Petrified Forest parks in Eastern Arizona. Very cool place to see. After that we spent on night in Flagstaff before heading up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. There was an actual Airstream Caravan of about 30 trailers that were headed in to Jacob Lake at the exact same time we were passing through so there was some confusion as we were not part of the group but at several junctures they tried to reel us in. Ladies dancing in the street with flags tried to direct us in to their campground and screeched at us when we passed on by.

It is about 40 miles down a long and winding road to the North Rim from Jacob Lake. At about the 25 mile mark we pulled off to let Rudy stretch his legs. There are massive meadows there than span out to the forest line (It's the Kaibab National Forest.) When I say massive I mean it. We figured we could walk him back to the tree line and let him off the leash and throw some tennis balls for him. I will post this image of how far the road was from where we were stationed throwing the balls for a visual reference point for you...

See the truck and trailer there? TINY. FAR AWAY. Right? Safe for dogs off leash? Well, yes...probably for MOST dogs. For dogs that are not crazy assholes anyway. Let me tell you what our crazy asshole dog did. At a certain point in tennis ball throwing and chasing about a dozen motorcycles emerged from the far right hand stretch of the road heading back North and out of the park. They were loud Harley bikes and were zooming along at about 50 mph. As you can see in the photo above the perspective from our position would make the motorcycles look TINY. Apparently Rudy thought these were obnoxious loud chipmunks or something because he TOOK OFF LIKE A SHOT across the massive field in hot pursuit of them. At first we were like... yeah whatever Rudy... like you can catch them, and we were yelling at him to stop and come back but there was not much urgency or sense of emergency. It looked stupid to see him streaking with all his short legged might across that huge field. At one point he fell head over ass tumbling about 8 times and creating a huge cloud of dust. This did not phase or stop him... he kept going. This was when we realized that there was a chance he would intercept the last few bikes at the tail end of the line. We freaked out. We screamed and screamed at him. You can't chase him... because that will do nothing but make him think you are along for the crazy ride too... that you are actually chasing the bikes as well. So we stood there like idiots at the far back edge of the field screaming at him and watching as the space between him and the last motorcycle became smaller and smaller. All I could see in my mind was him popping up over the edge of the road directly in front of the biker and causing a fatal accident for everyone involved. Can you imagine? People... THIS is why they have leash laws everywhere. Keep your dog on a leash unless your dog is 52 and so lethargic that he can barely stand up to walk. So anyway... there was about a 2 second delay in Rudy's timing with the last bike and he (thank GAWD) missed his chance at vicious attack. Did he come back to us then? No. Did he spend the next few minutes weaving in and out of the road? Indeed... he did. Billy finally was able to trick him into coming back to us by throwing tennis balls and chasing after them himself to make them look more appealing. This is not a fun or easy thing to do when you are blindly pissed off. *Sigh* So there you have that story. Sorry it was long one... but I feel it had to be told. Someone else out there with an insane terrier may read it and learn from it and in turn the life of a biker may be saved.

The Grand Canyon! What can I say? It is a cool thing to see. We spent several days peeking over the edge, listening to the wind howl through it and talking big about "going down in there" which we of course never did. We did drive 30 miles back into the Kaibab Forest on dirt roads to various points on the Rainbow Ridge Trail and had a great time that day. Rudy was not allowed on any national park trails so we did this drive to get him out on a trail and to see something different ourselves. I thought the view from a few of these areas was actually better than the one right at the North Rim Lodge. Here's a view of our favorite spot. If you click through on this one Billy is actually in there out on that outcropping. Seeing him gives great perspective of big everything is.

Here's a zoomed in view deep in to the canyon. Props to the Nikon and our new tripod for allowing us to capture such images.

And one more view from somewhere on the rainbow rim trail...

We ended up leaving a few days earlier than scheduled from the North Rim because our battery crapped out. There are no hook ups at their campground there. Normally we can ride for about 5 days with no problem on our battery power but apparently we need a new battery because less than two days in to the stay we were totally dead in the water. So we stayed for three days instead of five. It was wicked cold at night up there (in the low 30's) and our heat did not work. I just did not feel like freezing my ass off, having no running water and sitting around in the dark for two more nights so we peeled out.

We side tracked to Glen Canyon. This had not been a part of our trip plan and I am glad that we got to see it. Lake Powell is huge and looks super weird in that desert landscape. We stayed there for two days and had a great time. In short... I came within one inch of stepping on a five foot long snake while trying to keep Rudy away from a huge jack rabbit, Rudy was nearly struck by lightening by the edge of the lake during a thunder storm, the inside of the trailer was filled up with sand during an actual sand storm and I got plowed on margaritas at Fiesta Mexicana in Page, AZ. Here are a bunch of pictures of Lake Powell and the weird, weird landscape around it...

And here is a look at what Rudy did at Lake Powell... all of his dog dreams were comin' true out there. Holes were dug, rabbits and ducks were chased and he was allowed to get as dirty as he could.

You have never seen a dirtier dog. Large amounts of dirt were consumed, up noses, in eyes and eventually it was all brought in to our bed. Everything was orange and sandy. But a good time was had by all.

OK. That is it for today. I will post tomorrow with the rest of the trip pictures and stories.


Anonymous said...


I work for the North Kaibab Ranger District. I'm glad all three of had a good time on the Plateau and I hope you come back to visit soon!

Bethany said...

Hey you Kaibab Ranger! Thanks for popping in! We did have a great time up there and hope to come through again in the fall. I want to bring our bikes and ride as much of the rainbow trail as we can and maybe camp out in the forest a few nights. What a great place to live and work. It's gorgeous.