Callville Bay, Cannery Casino, Lake Mead Recreation Area, Las Vegas Strip, Mesquite NV, Mojave Desert, Northern Las Vegas, Red Canyon UT, SENA SMH10, Virgin River Gorge, Washington UT, Zion National Park
Day 23 (August 15, 2013). Today was a traveling day. The main goal was to find a new rear tire for Adrián’s KLR650. We also wanted to get as close as possible to Death Valley, hopefully by reaching Las Vegas. We left Bryce after a ride to Bryce Point to look at the canyon one more time under the morning light. Just west of Bryce route UT-12 goes through yet another pretty red canyon, this one appropriately named Red Canyon. We then rode south on US-89 to reach UT-9 which took us through Zion National Park. We did not have a lot of time to spend there so we drove through the park and took a few photos. In a gas station at Springdale, UT—a town at the south entrance of Zion—we talked to a guy who told us that we could probably get a tire for the KLR at Pro Cycle Sports in Washington, UT, a bit over 30 miles away. He got the address from the Goggle Maps App on my phone and fed it to the GPS. We arrived to the store a few minutes before noon. They did have a tire and they could change it for us but we had to wait for one hour because the garage guys were at lunch. We went to an In-and-Out nearby and returned to the store one hour later. It was getting hot by then. The guy who changed the tire was quite unfriendly (no tip for him). In general, the attitude of the people at the store was unfriendly. I hope we never have to go back there again. We continued south on I-15 and entered the beautiful but scary Virgin River Gorge in Arizona. For approximately 14 miles the road has a significant drop in altitude while twisting around the curvy canyon. Huge trucks come down the canyon like giant bullets. We could feel the air getting warmer and warmer as we rode down. Near the bottom of the canyon in the opposite side of the freeway, there was a truck laying on its side against the rock wall and a long line of stopped vehicles that went on for at least half a mile. We commented on how much it would sucked to be sitting there under the oppressive heat (by the way, Adrián and I have SENA SMH10 Intercoms on our helmets so we are in constant communication). By the time we reached Mesquite at the Nevada border we were so hot that we had to stop and get something cold to drink. The Mojave Desert was welcoming back to the south. The thermometer on my motorcycle indicated 105° F (40.5 °C). After gulping down a bottle of Gatorade we continued 29 miles south on I-15 and then took NV-169 to visit the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The road (which later turns into NV-167) is quite nice for a motorcycle ride but not at the temperatures we were experiencing—the maximum registered by the thermometer on my bike was 112° F (44.4° C). The handle grips were so hot that they almost burnt our hands through the gloves. We took a break at Callville Bay on Lake Mead where we were able to park our bikes under the shade of a big poplar and refresh our heads with water. We reached Las Vegas at around 5 pm. It was hot, hot, hot. We found a hotel in Northern Las Vegas, away from the Strip. We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant at the Cannery Casino. Neither of us likes loosing money so there was no gambling.