Archive for April, 2014

The final leg of the Big Money Rally Run to the SW!!!

Ok…finally let’s wrap this journey up!!!
I grabbed the first motel in Holbrook which happened to be an American’s Best Value. I wasn’t expecting much, but it ended up being super clean, crazily painted, and had a great bed. What more can one expect, all that and for under 60 bucks. They provided a voucher for breakfast at the diner sharing the property, which was awesome, so the entire situation was a win win.

Ok, I was ready to make my way gathering points up into Utah. Let’s start with a map of the route.

For those that haven’t ridden this area, much of where you will ride is on Native American Reservations. Mostly they are poor, the area in disarray and the people very very kind. I have been though much of what our government deemed “good country” for the native Americans, but I can tell you in riding though much of this land, it’s mostly what our forefathers thought useless. Whatever your thoughts, it’s high desert and very pretty, though little will grow except for the winds.

This area is simply the quintessential backdrop for all westerns. Just look at these painted plateaus.

I swear, if I was going to make a film about American Indian natives or cowboys, it would be filmed here.

When I stopped for gas I couldn’t help but chuckle at the Judd sign. I mean seriously, what else could anyone desire???

After bagging the local library for points, I found this bonus word of Dog in what I felt was a reasonably artistic sign.

What I discovered about rally riding, was that you don’t always get what you want….sound familier??? Once again, I had to go north to go south. In Panguitch, UT, i got the library and the beautiful courthouse points.

Once my mission in Panguitch was complete, I wanted to head the most scenic way possible to Cedar City, UT to get another bonus point and then from there to St. George. I had no idea just what the passes held. Let’s just say the heated gear certainly came in handy at 10,000 ft!!!

Once in Cedar City, I decided to simply jump on the freeway and make my way to St. George. Man o’ man, as I entered the freeway, the speed limit was 80mph. WOW…now these guys know how to ride in the desert!!

I called Gary my husband/concierge and he got me set up in a motel in St. George. I found an awesome sushi place sharing the same lot as the motel and called it a night! I was very content.

I was up early and out so I could grab the local courthouse for BMR points and then found some awesome sculptures around the same area.

Love this guitar!

Another beautiful bronze. This area of St. George was very scenic.

I consulted my maps and decided I could make Beatty try to grab a couple of NV Cat House bonus points and see if I could actually make Ridgecrest via Trona and Wildrose Canyon.

On my way around LV, I finally made it to the Valley of Fire and just in time to see all the amazing wildflowers. Wow, it was extraordinary. I really wish the focus had been better with this shot!

The “heart” of the wildflowers.

As I rode to Beatty, I skirted a downpour nearly the entire way.

It caught me for about 2 minutes!

I got a shot of the local brothels for my BMR points and headed into Death Valley. There was lots of wind, but the day was gorgeous.

I wanted to go through Trona so I could get the library points and decided it would be best to utilize the Wildrose Trona Canyon short cut. NOT……

Here began 29 miles of dirt and rock. Lovely…but simply too far along to turn back. I put on my big girl pants and carried on, but being solo on these roads is a bit disconcerting, I must admit.

This is what was at the other end of the road. Nice of them to close it on one side and not on the other.

I got some serious dirt riding with my new baby. I don’t think it liked dirt any more than the Bandito. My dirt skills suck too, but i remained upright. Once I connected to 190, I found a group of street riders along the side of the road. I stopped and chatted with them and they were awestruck that I had gone through the canyon. They thought i was either nuts or had some and of course neither was true, well, maybe a little nuts. 😉

They told me that upcoming was about 3 miles of gravel and it wasn’t fun, but would be nothing after the canyon. Well, I’m not so sure about that. The gravel was about 8 inches think and I was terrified as the bike squirreled around. I just thought of my pal John, saying in my ear, “when in doubt, gas it out”. So, I did and made it just fine.

I was ever so glad to reach Trona knowing Ridgecrest was only a few miles farther. I asked Gary to book a Best Western as it was time to be a bit spoiled. As nasty as Ridgecrest is, the BW is a reward. They have a spotless hot tub and an awesome breakfast. I also met two French travelers who had done a tour though Eaglerider and they were a wonderful addition to the day. We visited and
did bike admiration. I queried as to what they rode at home to discover they had a DL1000 Vstrom. They said, “when in American, we had to ride an American classic”, so they did. He did say, it was perfect for the roads they had traveled, but he could not see it fairing well on the narrow roads of France. I had to concur.

Here is Eric and Sylviane. I hope to visit them in France soon!

I considered how to get home. I wanted to do it in a day, but knew it would be a long one. So, I decided I could gather more points going up Hwy 395 bagging libraries along the way. It was an amazing day of riding!!

The Lone Pine film museum

I adore the old neon and this in Bishop is classic.

I went up 6 to Benton to get library points and then took Benton Crossing to Mammoth for more library points. The road was perfect!!

The White Mountains

The Sierra Nevada Range. I was feeling very nostalgic for home.

Tufa in Mono

Monitor Pass was wide open so I briskly sailed over one of my favorite cut off roads and while in Markleeville, got yet another library point! I headed over Hwy 88 for my final miles.

And at last the rolling hills near Sacramento.

It had been 15 days and over 3000 miles. I was very content with my new machine and my re-polished skills!

St. George to Ridgecrest, although google wouldn’t route me over Wildrose Trona…like i don’t know why! 😉

Ridgecrest to home

Big Money Rally continues across NM into AZ and UT

The next chapter!
I actually slept in a bit and didn’t get up until nearly 8am. The wind was already blowing, although without nearly the power that would come later in the day. I geared and packed up and headed to my friend’s home 30 miles east of Albuquerque but stopped on the way to get a BMR shot of the Madonna statue.

It was early in the day when I arrived at Colleen’s home but not without challenge. The directions she provided were impeccable and the GPS followed them perfectly, however I was not convinced they were correct and turned a dirt road early and ended up having to do a 6 point u-turn as she watched me from the correct street. We both had a good laugh when I finally arrived!

Colleen’s lovely home

The wind picked up with high warnings for the next couple of days and I found myself enjoying the hospitality of my friend and her two wonderful children. I even watched a few episodes of Kino’s Journey a great anime tale of a motorcyclist traveling in dystopian society.

Good Morning Chickens…

Fancy pants or is that stole?

The morning is truly special in the desert. Just look at that light!