Southwest Day 28: Hatch to Kanab

September 20, 2021. 54 miles, 1934 feet of climbing.

Today was easy navigation: head down 89. Which I did. This was mostly a connector day (get far enough that I can get up the hill to Jacob Lake tomorrow), but the scenery turned out to be better than expected. And yesterday’s headwind had turned around to be a tailwind today, which was nice.

The first half of the day was mostly somewhat pastoral with Utah cliffs in the distance. The same bit of the road I saw from the car a while ago.

The shoulder was as I remembered - mostly good with a couple of tight sections. I am not a fan of rumble strip installers who let them wander into the exact middle of relatively narrow shoulders though.

Around the turn-off toward Zion were golf courses (seems like not the greatest environment for greens, but so it goes) and the fist signs for the Grand Canyon. It’s starting to make it really feel like I’m getting close to the end to see my “final” destinations with relatively low mileage numbers. I am kind of going the long way around though.

The middle of the day was a very nice, long, downhill. There’s something pretty amazing about coasting downhill for miles and miles. I’m glad that’s what sticks in my memory over the hours spent grinding uphill.

About half way through I overtook a pair of touring cyclists (a rare sighting around here). They were pretty loaded down, and had been going for quite a while all over the US but were heading home to Arizona. We sort of biked together for a couple miles, but I pretty quickly lost them somewhere. Maybe they stopped in one of the little towns or something.

The second half of the day had a reasonably significant climb, but it came with some nice views. The downhill from there into Kanab was really pretty. None of my pictures really do it justice. The road curved between colorful cliffs with all sorts of interesting rock formations and contrasting green trees here and there.

I rolled into Kanab in the early afternoon. I didn’t really feel tired (thanks, gravity!), but given that there aren’t a lot of promising places to stop later on I decided to stop here anyway. I made a grocery run and got another hotel room and spent a while working on blog posts and lazing about a hotel for the second evening in a row. Tomorrow is a big hill climb, and then I think I’ll have time for a trip to the North Rim if I’m feeling up for it.

Bronwyn Woods