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  • Camaro’s & GTO’s: Folsom Lake Meet

    Posted on April 6th, 2013 tcorzett No comments

    Today was the first, of hopefully many, GTO and Camaro get-togethers. The meeting location was at the Folsom Sports Garage around 1pm, which was nice for those who were making the drive from the Bay Area.

    The turnout was good, with a total of three Camaros, four GTO’s, and a G8. Most members were from Sacramento or the East Bay, but the diehard award goes to the member who drove from Tracy to Dublin, to Concord, to Folsom!

    After car and driver introductions, and the involuntary drooling period, we headed-out on the cruise.

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    The route around Folsom Lake was excellent! Despite being later in the afternoon, with a bit of weekend traffic, the group was able to stick together. The road was smooth and had plenty of turns/elevation changes for those who wanted to partake in spirited driving, but was also relaxed enough for a Saturday afternoon cruise to take-in the scenery.

    After the cruise we returned to the Folsom Sports Garage for food and happy hour pitchers. The Camaro and GTO owners all did a great job mingling as we ate; sharing stories and talking about cars/modifications.

    Today was a great success! It was nice to make some new friends and the cruise was a reminder of all the beautiful and fun roads that are to be had around the Sacramento area. The phrase I heard most often at the event was, “We have to do this again soon”!

  • Spontaneous Cruise: Napa

    Posted on October 21st, 2012 tcorzett No comments

    Since returning from my Road Trip I’ve spent the past few weekends “recovering”… which is another way of saying, sitting on my butt watching TV. This weekend I decided to be spontaneous and lead a cruise with the NorCal GOATs up to Napa!

    After some deliberating on the details, I came-up with several different potential routes and posted the event info. I arrived at the starting location early and waited to see what the turn-out was going to be like. With these sorts of short-notice events it’s always a toss-up when it comes to participation, but it would have been nicer to have a couple more cars… none the less, those of us who came out had a total blast!

    The group decided on my “Short Route” (~2.5hrs) and we headed out…

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    Our first stop was at the Monticello Dam for some photos. I drove past here on my road trip without stopping, but I’m really glad we did this time… I’ll need to keep this on my list of potential photo locations.

    We then proceeded towards Lake Berryessa, which I only recently learned was the site of one of the Zodiac killings (remind me not to stop there for a picnic!). Before turning off onto Knoxville Rd. we stopped at the Turtle Rock to stretch our legs… boy were we surprised at what we found!

    This is the sort of place I love to find on drives. Just like The Junction out past Mines Rd. in Livermore, it’s the sort of “hole in the wall” watering hole only known to locals. There is a certain type of “character” in these places that makes them fun. I will for sure be stopping here again the next time I come through (I hear they have “world famous egg rolls” too).

    The road to Lake Berryessa was nearly devoid of traffic, which made the drive very enjoyable. I didn’t want to loose the cars behind me so kept the speeds reasonable. It would have been nice to get a little more “spirited”, but the relaxed pace added an extra element to the cruise. It was nice to just slow down to just enjoy the atmosphere…

    Since we started the cruise early today the sun was still fairly low in the sky by the time we arrived at Lake Berryessa. I knew finding a good location for photos would be possible, but also a bit difficult. I didn’t just want a photo from the road with the lake in the background, but rather something that would really allow the cars to standout. I spotted a deserted picnic area and pulled over to try and find a good shooting location. It was a bit awkward to get a clear view of the lake, and there were quite a few nasty speed bumps, but we found a decent spot.

    After taking far too many photos of the individual cars, then group shots, we eventually got back on the road. The rest of the drive was nice, but the road started to get a bit more rough/bumpy so wasn’t as much fun. We also started to get more traffic, including a semi hauling grapes who had zero respect for the center-line, so the speeds slowed dramatically in some places. Fortunately the views of Lake Hennessey and the various vineyards around the area made-up for it.

    The final destination for the cruise was the Beaulieu Vineyards (BV) tasting room. When proposing the spontaneous cruise I figured having the option to stop for lunch or wine tasting would be nice, but today everyone seemed to have more pressing engagements. I get the feeling that most people aren’t really into that aspect of a cruise… oh well.

    Overall the day was a success. It was great to see some friends and spend some time cruising on the backroads of California’s wine country. With all the positive comments about the route and scenery I’m sure we’ll be back up here again soon!

  • 2012 GONE Road Trip: The Numbers

    Posted on October 10th, 2012 tcorzett No comments

    Here are a few stats for the road trip:

    • Total distance Traveled: 11,146 miles

    Average Driving per Day: 265.38 miles
    Shortest Driving Day: 29 miles
    Longest Driving Day: 449 miles

    • Gallons of Gas Used: 596.60

    Average Fuel Economy: 18.55 mpg
    Highest Fuel Economy: 22.64 mpg (11.30 gallons @ 69.2 mph average)
    Lowest Fuel Economy: 16.32 mpg (8.82 gallons @ 42.0 mph average)

    Total Fuel Cost: $2492.66
    Highest Fuel Cost: $5.599/gal (91 Octane in Bridgeport, Ca)
    Lowest Fuel Cost: $3.889/gal (91 Octane in Wyoming)

    • States Visited: 16 (map)
    • Number of Photos Taken: 10,235
  • Road Trip: Day 42

    Posted on October 9th, 2012 tcorzett No comments

    Today was the final day of my 2012 GONE Road Trip. I started this journey so long ago it’s difficult to remember what it felt like.

    Since I only had a few hours driving until I made it home, I slept-in as late as I could (I’m on vacation after all) then hit the road.

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    Yesterday evening I briefly contemplated driving over to Highway 1 and up the coast, but decided I best save that drive for another day. Since my route was almost entirely on the interstates, nothing really exciting happened.

    One thing to note though, I could tell I was back in California. There’s just something about the way Californians drive on the freeway that told me I was “home”. Having spent the last 42 days driving the speed limit, trying to minimize the risk for tickets, I quickly remembered how impossible that is in California. Even people on the on ramps are easily doing 10mph over the limit, so just cruising in the slow lane is not an option. Fortunately the G8 has some extra “pep” for these sorts of situations.

    As I approached the SF Bay Area I turned-off onto Patterson Pass Road. This is a local favorite for “spirited drives”, but I took my time and found a place to take an “I’m Home” photo.

    It was a little bitter-sweet pulling into my garage to end the trip. While it’s a great feeling to be home, and to have completed such an epic road trip, it’s a bit sad to not need to wake-up in the morning early for another day of driving.

  • Road Trip: Day 41

    Posted on October 8th, 2012 tcorzett No comments

    Today was the last “real” driving day for my Road Trip, and it did a good job living-up to the standard set over the last few weeks. With over 7 hours of driving, including going through a National Park on a “Holiday” (is Columbus Day really a holiday), I wanted to get an early start. After quickly stopping at Subway for breakfast, I hit the road.

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    Several years ago I drove through this area taking photos, so with the sun still low in the sky (golden light) I figured it was worth another try. Wow, have I been spoiled with the views the past few days at Bryce, Zion, etc… every location I found just seemed so “blah” in comparison. I did drive through Genoa, the first settlement in Nevada, where I saw people swimming in a hot spring and a nice buck crossing the road.

    About an hour into my drive I reached the border into California. It was a little surprising to have to stop at an inspection point (the first time for any of the states I drove through). When the officer asked “Where are you coming from” I pointed to the map on the side of my car. With no fresh fruits or vegetables they waved me on, but it made me think about what other things I could have been transporting around the states.

    Most of the morning was spent driving on Highway 395. Within the NorCal GOATS there has been much debate over this route as an alternate to GoatRun, so it was good to see what all the fuss was about. I found it to be nice and scenic, but wasn’t overly impressed with the “spirited nature” that was often given as a reason for driving it… then again I was by myself and kept things at the speed limit. I’m sure it would have been more fun with a bunch of G8’s and GTO’s!

    Having last filled-up on fuel in Fernley, NV I needed to stop for gas before heading into Yosemite. I stopped in Bridgeport, Ca to fill-up, mostly due to a long delay for road maintenance, and nearly choked when I saw the price… $5.599 per gallon for 91 octane!

    I knew gas was expensive in California, but this was just insane… I paid less than $4/gal a few days ago! Up the road I even saw a station that was $0.20/gal more expensive. I understand this was the in middle-of-nowhere, near a National Park, on a “holiday”, but come on… I sure am glad gas price was more reasonable the other places I was traveling!

    I turned off Hwy395 at Highway 120 and made my way over Tioga Pass into Yosemite. Being “the highest highway pass in California and in the Sierra Nevada” I was expecting a bit more, but I guess that’s because I’ve recently been climbing mountains in Colorado.

    Once inside Yosemite the views did not disappoint. I’ve been there before, but was much younger, so it was good to see things again. I stopped several times in search for “the shot” of Yosemite Valley with Half Dome, etc. that I had in my mind. While the first place I pulled-over wasn’t what I was looking for, it was still a nice view.

    It took me a while to get through the park, and somehow always found myself driving behind slow moving tourists. The speed limits inside Yosemite are slow, as would be expected in a National Park, but for some reason no one could drive the twisty roads at more than 15mph. To make matters worse, most areas are no passing zones… and when you do get to a passing zone the slower car somehow manages to drive 10mph over the speed limit, making passing even more “difficult”.

    I eventually made my way around to the Tunnel View overlook. I figured, being a “holiday”, it would be packed with people… but it was surprisingly light. I was able to get a parking spot and took quite a few of the “classic” shots of the Yosemite Valley.

    With traffic being light, I figured it was worth trying to get “the shot” I had worked-out in my mind. I drove the G8 the wrong-way down a one-way street, stopped, and jumped out (engine still running) to get my photo… Totally worth it!

    Sure, I got a few strange looks as I was sitting in the middle of the road, but sometimes you have to go all-out to get the shot you’re after. In this case, due to the position of the sun, I had to take several photos and blend them together in the “darkroom” (Ansel Adams would have been proud).

    With my photographic needs met for the day I set out to enjoy the remainder of my drive. The first joy was a childish run through the tunnel… which has below average grip (or maybe I was just using above average throttle). I then drove to Glacier Point, even finding a some space between other cars to enjoy the switchbacks.

    The drive out of Yosemite on Highway 41 was fairly enjoyable. Having recently been repaved the road was smooth, but was not yet lined (making it all a no passing zone). Fortunately I had a stretch all to myself and was able to enjoy some “spirited driving”. After a construction delay, which bunched-up everyone on the road, the driving was tedious and well below the posted speed limit… but it was getting late and I was ready to relax.

    I arrived into the Fresno area and checked into my hotel for the night. After dinner with a friend from college I prepared for the final day of my Road Trip by eating some free ice cream and going to sleep early.

  • Road Trip: Day 40

    Posted on October 7th, 2012 tcorzett No comments

    Today was an extremely boring day, and not just because I didn’t go over 150mph. I woke-up at the “normal” time and got on the road for nearly 6 hours of interstate driving.

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    Spending so many hours just staring at the road started to get to me after about 3 hours. I started asking myself questions… “How do they make the rumble strips?” (answer); “How many grades of USDA beef are there?” (answer); and others that shouldn’t be mentioned here.

    One cool thing I spotted was the “It ain’t easy being green team” Dodge Challenger from this past year’s One Lap of America.

    It was going the opposite direction on the interstate, but it would have been fun to talk with them about their experience. One Lap is something that I’d love to do one of these years!

    Another event that would be fun to compete in is the Spectre 341 Challenge. My reward for spending so much time on the interstate was an out-and-back run on Nevada 341. Unfortunately today was the “World Championship Outhouse Races” in Virginia City, so the road was full of traffic. I was also surprised to see that since last year’s event the road has been repaved and most corners now have guardrails. While I couldn’t push anything, I had a good time… especially compared to the interstate.

    When I arrived in Carson City I spent over 30 minutes driving around looking for someplace to take my daily G8 photo. Despite my best efforts I just couldn’t find anything reasonable. I decided I would “cheat” and use one of the un-used photos I took a few days ago; who would know right?

    I checked into my hotel, which I’m not paying for, and was upgraded to a 2-room suite! Must be a slow night in Carson City, but I’ll take it! The Casino next door had a steakhouse (USDA Prime, in case you were wondering), so I put on a collared shirt and sat down for a nice dinner.

    When I finished eating the sun had fallen below the hills, casting the entire area into a shadow. Not wanting to give-up on my daily G8 photos I went back out searching for an appropriate photo location. Last year when I received my first Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) I pulled into the Nevada State Railroad Museum to diagnose the issue, so figured I’d try to get a photo there.

    Tomorrow I’ll be heading to Yosemite on my last “real” day of this Road Trip. It’s going to be a long drive, but should be full of nice twisty roads!

  • Road Trip: Day 39

    Posted on October 6th, 2012 tcorzett 1 comment

    For a day spent mostly driving on the interstate, today was adrenaline packed!

    It started very late, as I didn’t really know where I wanted to drive. Since I essentially did my planned drive (Provo to Salt Lake City) yesterday, I had options. I was looking at drive “The Loneliest Road in America“, but didn’t like the 9hr 39min estimated travel time. I had made several hotel reservations for tonight, and even considered just staying staying in Salt Lake for another night, but decided to hit the road and drive I-80 to Elko, Nevada.

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    When I first planned my trip, today was going to be spent in the Tooele area. I spent 6 months there for work a few years ago, and it’s always great to see people again. Unfortunately the restaurant I always eat at has closed and Miller Motorsports Park didn’t have any driving events available. Since there wasn’t anything to do there I just passed by the exit.

    The “only” exciting thing today was the mandatory stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Last year when I stopped at the Salt Flast it was early in the day and the place was deserted, but not this year. I noticed a few race cars at the gas station just off the interstate, then spotted several cars/trucks making their way off the salt. After stopping to take a few pictures, I spoke with some people about what was going on today, then headed out onto the salt!

    Turns out the past few days the SCTA was running the “World Finals“. The event wrapped-up earlier today, but there were still a few cars in the pits packing-up.

    The people at the main road (in a rental car) described the flats as a “free for all” where I could do anything I wanted, but I knew better than to believe that. I parked the G8 and walked over to one of the crews to ask a few questions.

    Since the official event for the weekend was over the “track” was being dismantled (timing loops, cones, etc.), so doing a run on the race surface was out. The 3 mile stretch from the main road to the pits was in good condition and more than long enough for what I wanted to do. Before setting-out on my run I took a few photos of the G8 out on the salt.

    On my way out to the pits I had scouted the section; slowly increasing speeds, testing what it’s like to stop/turn on the salt, etc. In preparation for a high speed run I checked tire pressures, verified oil/fuel pressures, watched fuel trims, etc. Since I knew I wasn’t going to be focusing on the speedometer during the run I reset the “max speed” history on my GPS. I also attached a couple GoPro video cameras for additional documentation of the run.

    When I saw I had several miles of salt to myself I headed out on my run. I slowly brought the speed up, getting a good feel for everything. After checking the G8’s vitals one last time I down-shifted and pushed the peddle to the floor!

    I’ve had the G8 up over 100mph several times on pavement, but the salt is an entirely different animal. On a road you have a clear definition of where you need to go, with lanes marked by bright colored paint. On the salt there is just a vast white surface. Any imperfections that can upset the car at high speeds are nearly invisible, it’s even difficult to see where you want to go since everything is so flat and landmarks are so far away.

    Above ~130mph I started to hear some wind noise from the driver’s side door, but it’s happened before… so I pushed-on. Above ~150mph I was starting to really feel the stress of the speed, and my mind was racing with the “what if’s”. My eyes were darting left/right in front of me trying to spot anything flying my direction that could upset the car. The sounds from the engine and exhaust had turned into a constant roar, but I’d not yet heard the rev-limiter. While I tried to hold-out a little more, I just couldn’t take it and backed-off the throttle. I had pushed to ~6200rpms in 5th gear and a top speed of 168mph!

    I pulled off the Salt Flats and and back onto the paved road… trying to comprehend what had just happened. I stopped at the local gas station for some water and Bonneville swag, but the adrenaline was still flowing. My mind was lost… I couldn’t understand what the cashier was saying (I asked him about where to find a car wash) and even left my credit card behind! Before heading back to the interstate I forced myself to stop and re-equilibrate to reality.

    The remainder of my drive was a bit of a blur, as I kept thinking about my run on at Bonneville. After checking into my hotel I made my way to a car wash to get the salt off the G8 and to get some dinner. Now I need to get some sleep; somehow…

  • Road Trip: Day 38

    Posted on October 5th, 2012 tcorzett No comments

    As planned, I woke-up at some crazy time in order to get to Bryce Canyon before the sun even thought about coming-up. How early was I? I was the FIRST car in the parking lot at Bryce Point!

    Without all the city lights, the sky around Bryce was very dark… and the stars were extremely clear. Not having a tripod I was planning on just watching the sunrise, but with the whole place to myself I propped-up my camera on pack of gum and took a few photos lit only by star/moon light.

    While I was taking photos people started to arrive, and by the time I made my way out to the overlook there was already a crowd forming against the railings. I found a place to stand and waited for the sun to rise, then did my best to capture something usable. It was actually a little funny… everyone standing around waiting, then a “mad dash” to get photos once the sun cleared the horizon.

    I stuck around for a while after the sun rose, while most of the crowd dispersed. Looking at where the light was shining I just couldn’t figure out how any other lookouts would produce good photo. It would have been great to hike down into the canyons, but I had many hours of driving ahead of me. Fortunately it was still early enough to get a good breakfast at my hotel!

    After some eggs, sausage, french toast, and a mocha latte (really roughin’ it aren’t I?) I packed-up the G8 and got back out on the road. Just outside of Bryce I found a great place in Red Canyon to take my daily photo of the G8.

    I had originally planned a crazy drive (even for me), but waking-up at 5am was making me dread a 9 hour drive. I had an alternate route, which spent more time on the interstate, and decided to drive that one instead.

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    The stretches of interstate were a bit more exciting than most, as they were part of 80mph test zone. In no time at all I was approaching the town of Nephi and the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway.

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    The road was nice and twisty, the scenery was full of color (yellow, orange, red, and green leaves), and there were only 3 slow cars on the road (and they all pulled-over fairly quickly). While much of the road did not have a center line, it was all two lanes wide and well paved. The cow patties were a good reminder of the “open range”, along with the three cowboys on horses driving cattle down the road!

    My favorite part of the drive was dropping-down into 3rd gear and just letting things rip. Climbing up to the 9,345 foot summit was a blast, and listening to my exhaust screaming through the trees made it even better. I’m sure everyone in the area could hear me, and so what if I was “disturbing the peace and quiet”, I was using my engine to reduce speed while descending (rather than riding my brakes like everyone else). The descent came with tight hairpin turns and was a little sketchy without clearly defined lanes, but with no center line I didn’t feel guilty driving a proper late-apexing line!

    Far too soon I rejoined the interstate and found myself driving towards Provo, where I was planning on spending the night. I wanted to stop and rest, but it was only 2pm and I knew I could make it the extra hour to Salt Lake. With all the traffic and construction on Interstate 15 going into Salt Lake, I’m really glad I drove it today… tomorrow morning rush hour traffic will suck (oh, crap, I just realized tomorrow is Saturday!).

    Tomorrow I’m starting the last leg of my road trip. I still have a couple days to go, and at least one more National Park, but I need to get home eventually.

  • Road Trip: Day 37

    Posted on October 4th, 2012 tcorzett No comments

    Yesterday I stayed-up way too late working on my photos and blog entry, so the day started with me sleeping all the way until 10am. Fortunately today I only planned four hours of driving.

    It wasn’t until noon before I finally made it out on the road… first stop Zion National Park!

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    As I approached Zion, I passed through the town of Virgin. I took a double-take as I passed a tree filled with shoes! I would have stopped, but I only brought one pair of shoes with me… and I don’t think going barefoot from here would be very smart.

    Zion is incredibly beautiful. The past few days I’ve been in areas with stunning geological features, and the colors and scale of Zion Canyon is second to none. There were even a few times I wanted to stop in town to take photos, but I forced myself to wait until I was inside the park. After driving through the main gate I found the perfect little place, just large enough for the G8, to pull-over… and set to work taking photos.

    Because it’s still the busy season I wasn’t able to travel Zion Canyon Scenic Drive (without parking back in town and taking a shuttle), so I proceeded through the park. The climb up into the Zion tunnel wasn’t “spirited”, due to the traffic, but I took the opportunity to take some more photos.

    I was a bit surprised to see that it was already 2:30pm as I made my way out of Zion, but since I got a late start it made sense. I stopped at a gift shop to pick-up a few postcards and kokopelli branded merchandize… I did resist the temptation to get a large stone statue though.

    Given it was late in the day I considered cutting my drive short, but decided to stay the course and drive to the Cedar Breaks National Monument. When I turned onto Highway 14 the wall of caution signs told me I made the right decision. The climb was full of sweepers at 50mph until I rounded a corner to see a pair of semi-trucks pulling onto the road. Normally this would have ended the fun, but not these trucks… now I was climbing and cornering at 60mph!

    When I reached Cedar Breaks I pulled over to take a breather (now at an elevation of 10,350 feet) and to take some photos.

    The descent from Cedar Breaks was a blast; filled with lots of coasting in neutral. It’s really a challenge to drive down steep grades without using the gas or brakes. It’s even more of a challenge to do it when the car in front of you is a Sheriff blasting radar! It was fun though… trying to catch-up to him without going over the speed limit (maintaining corner speeds) and/or “making-up ground” while out of line-of-sight.

    As I was approaching my hotel for the night I realized that I was close to Bryce Canyon, and the sun was just starting to get low in the sky. I didn’t plan on going into Bryce today, but I just couldn’t pass-up the perfect light.

    I made it to Sunset Point and grabbed my camera and wide angle lenses. The sun was low enough that much of the canyon was already in deep shadows, but parts were well lit… and the contrast was spectacular. I hiked around towards Sunrise Point, taking photos along the way. It was fun, but I really felt out of place around all the other “serious” photographers with their tripods.

    Despite not being properly equipped for this sort of shooting, I managed to walk away with a full memory card… and a couple decent images.

    Tomorrow I’m planning to be back in Bryce for sunrise; despite not having a tripod. I’m not normally someone to just watch the sunrise, as I’d rather be sleeping, but it should be a nice change of pace. I’m sure I’ll be able to get some good photos, but one of these days I’ll need to return to this area on a “Photo Trip”.

  • Road Trip: Day 36

    Posted on October 3rd, 2012 tcorzett No comments

    Due to the funky Arizona time zone today was spent in a perpetual “fog” of not knowing what time it was. It started when I woke-up… at 6am, but that’s 7am in Utah (where I’m staying tonight). Well, whatever time it was I was still tired so rolled-over for another half-hour. I eventually hit the road, but needed to get gas and breakfast before going off into the middle of the desert.

    I found a gas station and filled-up the G8 with a tank of 91 octane. I then drove across the street to a Subway for breakfast. For the past month I’ve been surviving almost entirely on “$5 footlong” sandwiches, but the special ended a few days ago. The new special is “buy one 6-inch sub, get one free, before 9am”. In Arizona it was still before 9am, but since all my clocks said it was after 9am I didn’t take advantage of it (and paid full price for my footlong).

    By the time I got back on the road the sun was climbing in the sky. I had several hours of driving to reach the Grand Canon, and knew the light was going to suck for photos, but I reminded myself this is a driving trip.

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    On my way towards the Grand Canyon I found myself in a unique situation… there was a slow moving vehicle in my lane and a broken center-line. When I pulled-out to pass I noticed the rest of the road was empty, straight, and begging for me to put the hammer down. Well, my G8 has a new official top speed… even if I had to end the run early due to on-coming traffic. I can only imagine where things will top-out when I’m back at sea level…

    The first interesting place I encountered was the Navajo Bridge. I had no idea it was out there, but I’m really glad I stopped… the view was awesome.

    There were also four (California) Condors hanging out under the bridge. I was tempted to get a long lens, but since they were just camped-out I passed. Oh yeah, for anyone stopping by this area… they have an interesting composting toilet system.

    On route to the Grand Canyon the road passed through the Kaibab National Forest, which was absolutely ideal for a mid-morning drive. Not only was there no traffic, but there was no enforcement of the just slightly too slow speed limit. The road climbed just enough to allow gravity to slow you down into the tighter corners, and with the longer curves at constant speeds, I got into a real rhythm… it was fun.

    I spent most of the day at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Unlike my visit to Arches, I did my homework last night… and I liked what I was reading:

    Averaging 8000 feet above sea level, the North Rim rises 1000 feet higher than the South Rim, and is much less accessible. Even in good weather the North Rim harder to get to.

    While the North Rim is pretty remote, Cape Royal is a good half-hour’s drive (or more, depending on your curvy road skills) from the main entrance road. The narrow, winding pavement carries you out to the end of a long peninsula, the Walhalla Plateau, that juts out into the middle of the world’s biggest hole.

    “Harder to get to”, as long as it’s still paved, means lots of fun for me… and I have decent “curvy road skills”.

    The “cautions” were spot on, and the 15 mile drive out to Cape Royal was awesome! The trees/brush run right up to the side of the road and there were no shoulders. The speed limit was fast enough to make a few corners difficult, despite most of them being heavily banked. I actually forgot that I was driving around the Grand Canyon, I could have easily been on any road in The Sierras, until I came around the last corner to see the view.

    At the end of the Walhalla Plateau I made the short hike to Cape Royal Point and Angels Window to take in the view. Being at the top of a cliff was a little unnerving, but I was able to take a few photos.

    After hiking back to the G8 I enjoyed the return-drive on Cape Royal Road; stopping-off at Roosevelt Point, the Vista Encantada, and Point Imperial. I also made the drive to the main North Rim visitor center/lodge area, but wasn’t feeling like dealing with all the people (or doing another hike).

    The remainder of my drive was mostly uneventful, but I did need to find a place to take my daily photo of the G8. I tried several times to find someplace at the Grand Canyon, but there were no locations where I could drive that the canyons were clearly visible. I eventually found a nice place for a photo in a little town on the border of Arizona and Utah.

    There was a freshly paved road (it had to be at least 5 lanes wide) with a clear view of a nice rock wall. I stopped briefly and took some photos.

    While stopped, with the G8 idling, I was receiving quite a few strange looks. With the keys in the ignition and me standing on the other side of the road, I was a little unsettled… to make matters worse a gang of people was heading in my direction! I wrapped-up my photos and quickly went back to the G8. Curiosity got the better of me and I drove in the direction of the group of people… only to find out later that it was a group of polygamists!

    After a few more miles I reached my hotel for the night and checked-in. I got the best parking spot in the lot (an end spot closest to the front door), so walked down the street for some dinner. I’m still trying to figure out what time it is here, but I think it’s late enough that I need some sleep.

    Tomorrow I’ll be driving past Zion National Park on my way towards Bryce. It should be a short day, depending on how long I spend at Zion, but that’s a good thing… as I need to be up before sunrise the next day.