The Trans-America Challenge 2012

7th May - 8th June 2012


Page Rest Day

MAY 18TH, 2012

Going deep. A land to inspire our spirit.

Rest day mornings are generally slow affairs but today's was perhaps a little slower than usual it being the morning after the night that was Gerry Crown's birthday celebration. A civilised breakfast in the lovely garden area of the Page Marriott however cleared most of the 'cobwebs'.

Once you've fixed the car and done your laundry - no tumble dryer required in Arizona - there are a couple of 'obvious' things to do when you're in this part of the world. One is to take a boat trip out onto Lake Powell and the other is to visit the Grand Canyon.

We chose the latter and headed down the 89 to Bitter Springs, across the Colorado River on the Navajo Bridge at Marble Canyon (the only bridge for 600 miles standing 143m above the water) up through the pink desert to the North Rim on the Kaibab Plateau, generally considered the less fashionable but entirely more exclusive part of the Canyon. It also stands 1000ft breath taking feet higher than the Southern Rim and is approached through lush meadows and pine forest, in stark contrast to the desert floor below.

Looking out and over the Canyon was an amazing experience and quickly brought out the amateur geologist in us as we theorised and studied the rock formations some of which have stood for around two billion years. It was established as a National Park in 1919.

There's also a 400 strong herd of beefalo, a hybrid introduced to the area in 1906. They're not making themselves popular though by fouling water supplies and trampling delicate vegetation. They're also big and fast and you're warned to stay at least 75 feet away.  Euphemistically we're told that the park authorities are working to 'eliminate' their impact.

The sweep crews put in a half day today to tend to the walking wounded. Thankfully problems were few and far between. Car 6, Tom and Rosalie Gatsonides Alvis required a new fuel pump. The Car 45 Jaguar of John and Judith Rowe needed some minor brazing to the radiator overflow pipe and many other crews wisely chose to inspect and overhaul their brakes after the ups and downs of the last few days.

So it's an early night tonight and an early start tomorrow. We head North to Provo in Utah.

The adventure continues. 


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