Posts Tagged ‘Utah’

Rewind…some of the best stuff is worth seeing again!

Here are a few of my absolutely favorite riding photos!
Dona and Sarah…look ma, no hands! 😉

Roxanne and Diesel

My little mishap caught on camera and tweaked in photoshop.

Riding great roads makes me smile!

Tioga Pass..at the perfect time of day after a storm.

Capitol Reef National Park (if only I could live in a NP)

A Week of Firsts…New Bike part 4…the final leg

Leaving Cedar City was best described as chilly at 47 degrees but I truly had no idea just how cold I was about to be. Even the GPS seemed confused wanting to take me north to Beaver before heading west and I’m sure it too was too cold to think. 😉 I combed over the maps and decided that the best route would be going through Ely and across NV via Hwy 50. By the time I reached Panaca, NV I had changed my mind knowing that Ely is one of the coldest places in the state of NV and I was already vexed from the cold.

The winds were just starting in Panaca with a fairly strong breeze but nothing overwhelming like the day prior. But the cold was another matter. I left Cedar City figuring the temps could only rise, well I was wrong. It was 47 degrees when I left and in Panaca it was a bone chilling 42. Ok, time to head south and maybe go over the ET Hwy 375, surly it couldn’t be as bad! I headed south to Caliente only to have the winds gaining in strength. When I got to the cut off, I decided Vegas would be the warmest decision. So off to Sin City I went.

Beautiful but COLD!

Just west of Caliente.

Now this is truly the beauty of traveling solo. There is never anyone to confer with regarding direction!

In this case my decision was not the best scenario as little did I know that sin city was battening down for a horrid record-breaking wind storm. Yes, it was warmer, but the wind created the such a challenge I became all too aware of the spot on skills needed to keep the bike upright. When I stopped for gas, I was told that they were expecting gusts over 60mph and the current gusts were blowing 40-50. If that was the case, I definitely wanted to be off the road before they became 60mph! I headed into the heart of the city and found a room.

A neon zoo would be the best description of LV.

I believe he and I are thinking the same thoughts. 😉

I spent the better part of the afternoon and evening hanging in Vegas people watching. Truly one of my least favorite cities, Las Vegas is a Disneyland for adults with all the insanity of crazed children standing in a queue. I was really quite ready to be home. The weather report was for gale winds not only that day, but the following. I was disappointed, but knew it was probably for the best to stay put, however after a decent nights sleep, the warnings didn’t stop me from trying to leave.

Sitting outside at the Tropicana, watching the winds blow!

You can see that I am the only one braving the elements. I asked the waiter if anyone had ever died from the sun screens blowing down. He replied, “not this year.” 😉

Now those are some gams…i guess those shoes definitely build some calves! I don’t believe I have ever seen as many platform shoes since the 1960’s.

With a leisurely morning start, the wind just didn’t seem so bad, so much improved over the previous day that I altered my route and thought it would be warm and lovely in Death Valley. Well, that change in route was my nearly swan song. I had filled my bike in Baker, CA and by the time I reached the intersection of Hwy 95 in Amargosa Valley, I was down to one blinking bar’s worth of gas meaning I had 9/10 of a gallon left. I had ridden only 95 miles in extreme headwinds and my mileage had taken the toll.

I stopped in Baker, NV at the Mad Greeks for a quick coffee and Baklava.

Luckily there was gas at the intersection and I didn’t have to cross fingers while making my way to Beatty which was only another 30 miles. Nevertheless the wind made for a dicey ride. Those 30 miles to Beatty were filled with deliberations and I decided I simply couldn’t keep going, as I was tired of fighting the machine and the elements. It was just too cold, too tiring and too dangerous. I had not seen another motorcycle since I had passed through Shoshone, where a group of BMWs where all parked and laying low. There were no other fools out on April Fool’s Day.

When I got to Beatty, NV and the winds were so extreme that I just got a room and hoped for the best the following day. I always stay at the Atomic Inn which is reasonable, comfortable and quirky and as much as I wanted to get home, this felt very inviting!

The room interior

    The following morning when I arose it was 37 degrees. I waited until the temps rose to 45 and then braved the lesser winds and headed toward home. This was to be the day fraught with brutal cold temperatures, medium winds, and almost zero focus. I felt lucky to have made it to my friend’s home in Carson City and there I called it a day. It was 4:30 pm and I had ridden my very favorite road Hwy 266 and Hwy 168 like a new rider. I was FREEZING, unfocused and just plain tired of fighting the elements. It was sad to not be able to enjoy one of my favorite roads. I was even passed on this road by a FedEx van. Yep, I was tired.

    After nearly 350 cold and windy miles, one night with friends made up for all the nights alone. I had a wonderful home cooked meal, sat outside under heat lamps and looked to the starry sky. It was lovely. We listened to music, drank wine and spent hours talking. At the end of the evening, I slept like a baby.

    The final leg was only 130 miles, but the forecast was for cold temperatures and possible snow over the summit. My friend Mike who is also a rider, had a motorcycle trailer and suggested that he take me and my new Versys home. After about a moments deliberation, I said, “let’s do it”. So I trailered my bike the last run home. I was thrilled to be both warm and wind free.

    Now hows that for a final leg?? I’ve had my new bike for 10 days and I have 2800 miles on it!

    Ahhhh….there’s no place like home.

    The route to Carson…

2011…Riding the World, my end of year slide show!

Another awesome year of motorcycling comes to an end, but there will always be next year! I do hope you enjoy seeing where I’ve been as much as I’ve enjoed going…well almost as much! 😉

Cheers and Happy Holidays to you all!!

Miles of friendship: Ride to the Southwest to see old friends–The final leg home!

Dave camped in Bluff and I continued on to Torrey, UT. My plan was to go over the Mokee Dugway and down the scenic Hwy 95 to Hanksville then into Capitol Reef NP to Torrey. The scenery on those roads is amazing.

I left Bluff at 5pm and knew that riding the 200 miles to Torrey would more than likely get me into Torrey at dark. I was not wrong. The worst part about the ride was missing the beauty of Capitol Reef, but I figured I could simply ride back in the following day. For now, I was all about finding a room and a meal, especially dinner since I had only had toast and egg early in the day and was beginning to get a bit spacey.

Mokee Dugway was its usual challenge. It’s funny as the distance of the actual climb up the plateau face is a mere 3.5 miles, but it seems much longer. Now the first mile was lots of loose gravel, the balance was a serious washboard, but with the paved corners, it’s not terribly bad for any bike. I met people later on the top of the Escalante Staircase who were told it was 8.5 miles of dirt, very dangerous and not well traveled. Hmmmm. Since they were riding a Harley, I understood their concern regarding the dirt and gravel, but when I told them it’s a mere 3 miles, they laughed since they had gone nearly 45 miles out of the way to avoid those 3! Oh well, when you don’t know you go by other’s word and in this case the result was disappointing for the riders!

Hwy 261 to the Mokee Dugway, UT


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2010 the MOST AWESOME RIDING Year Yet–A year end synopsis slideshow