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Touratech Travel Time 03_2011_en

UTAH/ARIZONA ADVENTURE 732 2011 f you consider that a good 20,000 tourists travel to the Grand Canyon on a nice day, it is not really surprising that we approached this wonder of nature with a great deal of scepticism. And then you see this massive canyon. It comes up on you so suddenly and unexpectedly, that you nearly fall into it before seeing it. The Grand Canyon is overpowering and ex- ceeds anything we had imagined from films, reports or the fancy high- gloss picture postcards we had seen in the past. In awe we stood at the six kilometre wide, one and a half kilo- metre deep and 250 kilometre long canyon and could hardly believe that this small grey ribbon winding its way through the canyon – the Colorado River had created all this. For two days we discovered the emptiness and silence of this gigan- tic canyon, which seems to absorb all noise, before saddling our bikes again, closing our astonished mouths, and moving on in a north-easterly direction. On the way to Page, the country- side gives a taste of what’s to come II A motorcycle tour through Arizona and Utah is not just an exceptional riding experience, it is a plethora of colours and shapes, a geological discovery tour through one of the most natural regions on this planet. For Andreas Prinz and Susanne Urlichs it was a festival of the senses. Text: Andreas Prinz Photos: Andreas Prinz, Susanne Urlichs with its endless plains, abruptly ending plateaus and red cliffs. Shortly before reaching the town, the Glen Canyon dam dams up the Colorado River to create the 300 kilometre long Lake Powell, which looks a bit unreal with its deep blue colour amid the rough rocky desert. Page is the starting point for Antelope Canyon. What looks like a nondescript gap in a cliff, turns out to be one of nature’s real master- pieces. Over millions of years, water and wind have created a 40 metre deep narrow gorge through the red sandstone. Especially at midday, when the steep cliff sides resemble molten lava, glow in the most bril- liant colours ranging from red to orange to brown, and rays of sunlight pierce the canyon like arrows – it ren- ders you speechless. But the narrow can- yon also has its dan- gers. In 1997 eleven tourists were killed in a flashflood caused by rainfall. The floods we Shapes and colours of the Antelope Canyon are spec- tacular (top right). The road to desire: on the way to the ascent to the Moki Dugway (bottom right)