Day 16: Reminds me of a Taylor Swift song…

IMG_4137 ResizedIn the 1980’s I loved Debbie Gibson. She wrote and sang her own songs, and played piano. So I have to admit that if I was a young teen today, I would probably love Taylor Swift. ( I am not saying I don’t like a lot of her songs now…but that’s not the point…)  Before this cross country trip started, I joked with a few people that this trip kind of reminded me of some lyrics of a Taylor Swift song.  “It’s either going to be fantastic, or it’s going to go down in flames!”  I took creative license and changed the line ever so slightly.

I did not know that today the part about the flames would actually come true. The four of us were all going to ride together on the Shadow and sidecar and go to Zion. Frank and I had been to Zion before but were not able to hike the Narrows, so we were looking forward to it today. We got up, had breakfast, and got our gear on, and hopped on the bike, with me driving. I drove literally 10 feet out of our parking spot, when all of a sudden smoke starts coming up from between my legs. (Hold your comments to your self, I did not have a case of Montezuma’s Revenge, or some new STD…it was worse) It took me half a second to realize this was bad, and I hit the kill switch. We both jump off and Frank yanks off the left side plastic cover to find flames and more smoke coming from the area above the battery. Frank is trying to put out the flames, I run around and start yanking the snaps off the sidecar cover, and yelling to the kids to “get out now!”.  Makayla, my little bookworm, was already engrossed in a book and oblivious to the possible danger. While I yelled at them to get far away and sit on the nearby grass, Frank was desperately trying to prevent our ride and it’s full tank of gas from bursting into flames. I think I heard him yell for someone to bring a fire extinguisher.  I found out later that one of the other riders actually punched the glass case to get the fire extinguisher out of the case to bring it over to us! How amazing is that? I am surrounded by super women on this ride.DSC00312 Resized

The good news is that Frank was able to stop the flames without the fire extinguisher. The problem was that over time the wires leading to the positive side of the battery had been rubbing on the metal frame of the motorcycle, and it wore off the protective cover.  We are guessing that the extra weight of both of us on the bike seat caused the wire to get pinched down on the metal and caused a spark. The red plastic cover over the battery terminal melted, and the wire harness completely broke. Fortunately I travel with my very own electrical engineer, and we had made a tool kit of all the tools we needed. Also, the gas station in town had a full garage service station, so Frank was able to take the wire harness over to the garage and the guys were able to fix it. For free. More awesome people. Frank bought them lunch as a thank you. A lot of the other riders came over to check on us, and make sure everything was all good.  They were able to give us a few other miscellaneous items we needed for the repair. We eventually got everything pieced back together and we went on our way. My only regret is that because of the general shock of it all, I did not think about taking pictures of the repair process. Oh, well, next time.  Wait did I just say next time? God no! No next time!DSC00412 Resized

We were definitely getting a late start on our day trip to Zion, but we still went. We were not going to let the near disaster put a damper on our plans.  We got to experience the winding road with curve after curve of scenic views, each more stunning than the previous. And it was good to have Frank as my passenger, as he was busy taking pictures from the pillion seat. We packed plenty of water, Powerade, snacks, and beef jerky in our back packs. and took the tram do the end of Zion and hike the Narrows. (My personal spoiler alert: I actually thought the Narrows was Antelope Canyon, which is over by Page AZ. I still loved the Narrows, but now we have to go back to Arizona, so we can hike Antelope Canyon.)

Today’s story would not be complete without a discussion about rain.  Yup that’s right, rain again.  We got back to our bike and the dark clouds started rolling in.  Time to get moving! Frank and his trusty weather doppler app, showed that there were two weather systems threatening to swallow us up. This rain thing is like deja vu. Didn’t this just happen in?  So we stared at the sky as we headed back toward Bryce, watching as it got darker and darker, and eventually started to rain on us. At one point we even started driving slower because the storm was heading northeast toward our hotel. We couldn’t outrun it, so maybe we would stop and let it get ahead of us. We stopped for gas, then finished the final miles, and to our excitement the rain stopped and the sky started to clear up slightly.  Then as the sun began to set, we were gifted a gorgeous rainbow, then a double rainbow, and then a full rainbow. So what started out as a day that literally went up in flames, it turned into a day filled with incredible things, that left me breathless.DSC00511 Resized

[It was a very full day, we got to the hotel restaurant at 8:30pm, and we were all starving. Dinner tasted so good. Another fun highlight from today and the hike: I got to see a Park Ranger scold all the stupid tourists for feeding the squirrels.  He was awesome! I was really proud of him for kind of yelling at all the people, “You are killing these animals! If I see anyone feeding these squirrels I will write you a ticket!” It bugs me that people do that too. And these squirrels are pretty fearless and come right up to people because they are so used to getting free snacks. ]

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Partial Lyrics “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift

Nice to meet you, where you been?
I could show you incredible things
Magic, madness, heaven, sin
Saw you there and I thought
Oh my God, look at that face
You look like my next mistake
Love’s a game, wanna play?New money, suit and tie
I can read you like a magazine
Ain’t it funny, rumors fly
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends
Grab your passport and my hand
I can make the bad guys good for a weekend
So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game’Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space, baby
And I’ll write your name
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