Sunday, July 30th, 2017
The camp tidied up and secured, I'm off to find the sunset. I don't get but 100 yards down the road before seeing a trike and a huge trailer parked in a campsite. I have to stop and take a look at this setup. The owner is Dave, a man in a wheelchair from Arizona. He's come up with this arrangement to still be able to travel in the open air despite missing a leg. I'm impressed. He sleeps in the back of the trailer and says he manages quite well; having already traveled around the US like this. We chat for a while. He's a former gold prospector who has lived in Alaska, in the Southwest, in the Appalachians -- always looking for gold. He has 10 acres now in Arizona near Kingman where he spends the winter but gets out to travel in the summer to escape the desert heat. I say my goodbyes as the sun is getting low.
I drive up to the end of the park road which climbs from the canyon floor to the top of the western end of the ridge. In spots the road has been washed out, it's bumpy gravel. There's a nice view back east over the canyon but I can't see much to the west. I park the bike and head off on a hiking trail called "Sperati Point" in the hopes of getting a better view of the sunset. The path winds through knolls of grassland, ending at another overlook pointed to the east; I'll have to get off trail if I want that sunset. I head due west through the grass until I find a hill larger than the rest. Here I plop down and wait for the sun to get to the horizon. As it does it becomes progressively more red, until the whole sky looking west is a big fiery red ball. The search for the sunset was worth it.
It's getting dark when I get back to the motorcycle. I fire Greta up and... no headlight. Oh shit. Hopefully just the bulb, I've got a spare. Concerning that the persistent high-beam doesn't work either, however. That could be a more serious problem. Smells like maybe the switch is bad. I'm very careful on the way home, using the highbeam flash which for some reason is still working. I can't hold the flash down and operate the clutch at the same time though. The whole scene is made even more dodgy by the ridiculous number of deer who have decided to run across the road whenever I come by. At dusk it's like a deer slalom course up here. I'm relieved to roll back into my campsite. The headlight problem can wait until tomorrow.
Stats for hike (Strava data):
Miles hiked: 3.1
Elevation gain: 304 feet
Moving time: 0:57:38