Independence day! But I didn’t see any aliens. Or Will Smith. Or Jeff Goldblum. But I was not disappoint. There were plenty of other things to see! Warning! More pics here than any previous post from this trip. And they’re some of the best.

Started the day off heading into Canyon of the Ancients National Monument. Rode past a bunch of ranches with donkeys running around all over the place. Now this was the desert. I’d never been to the desert before. Fuck was it warm. Not hot because skychismo would be pissed if I said anything under 100 was hot. I had actually intended to camp here but was running late and didn’t want to navigate a rocky trail in the dark which is why I stayed in Cortez the night before. There are supposed to be some ancient Anasazi ruins here but I didn’t have time to hike in and find them. I’ll need to come back.

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Yes, please tell me about all the cool things I missed. By not going through Grand staircase. But don’t worry, I’m an even bigger disappointment the next day. I’ll come back. At least once. I loved this whole area so much.

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Anyways, as you can see, I made my way to monument valley and Mexican hat (zoom in close for this one!) as well as valley of the gods.

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In case you were curious, soft sand on the Monster is not easy but I managed and didn’t drop it or get stuck!

The plan was to check out antelope canyon, but didn’t have enough time. I did however check out antelope point national recreation area, which was super cool and you should all check it out. If you go to the north rim of the Grand Canyon, you should really do antelope point and canyon because they’re pretty close and absolutely worth the trip.

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Remember how I said it was warm earlier? Well after leaving canyon of the ancients, temps went over 100. I’m calling this hot. Especially with a 1200cc engine between my legs and armored pants on. Trust me, you so not want to know what my feet smelled like at the end of days like this. And to be honest, I think I’ve blocked out the memory of just how bad that smell was.

Here are some random roadside shots from on my way to the big canyon thing that seems to be kind of famous.

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Did you know there’sa National Forest on top of the north rim? Me either! And that buffalo live up there? Well now we both know! In fact, there’s a whole herd of them. And about a hundred gazillion moths. But I finally made it to the north rim of the Grand Canyon!

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They have a lodge, cabins for rent, and a Teddy Roosevelt themed saloon.

After roaming around here for a while, I headed out to find a place to spend the night. There is free dispersed camping in the national forest so that’s what I did. Fifteen miles out a right and very rocky dirt road I set up a few hundred yards from the rim of a small side canyon. I could’ve walked around naked and yelled at the top of my lungs without bothering anyone. It was magical.

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Taking camp down the next morning I made a new friend! She had business to attend to though so couldn’t hang out and chat for too long.

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Only a few more posts left in this series! I'll try to finish next week. My favorite campsite yet to come!