Yesterday, we had again been faced with the decision to take a day off to explore, or to continue onward in order to meet our goal and to save time to see other points further along our route.
As we had climbed the last few miles from Tropic to Bryce, Chris had raced ahead, trying to catch an earlier shuttle to allow us more time to walk around the scenic viewpoints. I had trudged wearily along behind, hating the hurry that we so frequently found ourselves in.
By the time that I caught up to Chris, I had worked myself into a tizzy, and, when he asked me what was wrong, I let all of my frustration come tumbling out. He agreed that our riding pattern was not particularly enjoyable of late and said that we would look at the route again to see if we could take a day off at Bryce.
We came up with a modified, more feasible plan for the rest of our trip. After Zion National Park, we will cut over to the Sierra Cascade route, which we will meet up with in Lake Isabella, CA. We will follow that up to Lake Tahoe, where we will catch the last leg of the Western Express over to San Francisco.
My mood lightened considerably when we decided on these changes, and, after a few drinks and conversation with our touring comrades last night, I slept wonderfully.
We had a nice, lazy morning at the campsite before wandering over to Cowboy’s Buffet & Steak Room, where we stuffed ourselves at the breakfast buffet. We then boarded the shuttle and enjoyed a scenic, albeit crowded, hike on the Navajo Trail and Queens Garden Trail.
When we returned to our campsite, we met Cam and Randy, who are occupying the site adjacent to ours. They are from Pittsburgh and are on a trip through the national parks in this area. Cam works at a vineyard in Sebastapol, CA, so we may try to stop there on the post-trip drive from San Francisco to Bozeman.
After our standard dinner of peanut butter & apple wraps, we enjoyed more time with our cycling pals before calling it a night.