The Rest of the Trip
Hey Peter & gang,
I just got home this evening. The head and chest cold that I had been nursing all week hammered me good and made a long trip out of it. Even so I did manage to have some fun on the trip home.
After you left us Brad and I pushed on to Garden City. It was a real nice ride on fairly easy dirt roads with a lot of the roads being a lot of fun. At Garden City we camped out at a small RV park that was closed for the season. The owner (or camp host?) let us stay for 5 bucks a tent and the showers still had hot water so we were all over that deal.
On Sunday we headed back south and since the weather had improved so much we decided to try Section 4 of the UTBDR from North to South. This would run us through the point where I wrecked last year and allow me to say that I had ridden every inch of the UTBDR. After about 25 or 30 miles of pretty good road turning to gravel turning to trail we hit some very muddy and slippery pitches through aspen forests. Just when we thought we had done the worst of it we came to a very steep, muddy and rutted pitch. We debated and decided to give it a go knowing that if one of us went down it wasn't going to be a pretty situation trying to get going again. We made it up but I must admit I was at the limit of my technical abilities in those particular conditions. Being good BMW riders we of course indulged in a Starbucks beverage at the top. The rest was pretty easy going to the sight of my crash. A few nice mud wallows but nothing we couldn't get through. It was however tough enough that we decided to bail out at the Soldiers Summit gas turn instead of pushing on and completing Section 4. From memory we figured about 10 more miles of possibly muddy, slippery trail and it was wet enough we felt we could likely hit an impassable point on the trail. From Soldiers Summit we hit the slab back to Starvation Lake at Duchesne. There were quit a few more people there since it was the weekend but we still managed to score a very nice camp spot, even nicer than the one we had a few days before when you were with us. Of course the slightly warmer weather was a plus for making a nice night of camping also.
The next day Brad and I had breakfast at Vernal and parted ways. I rode north and explored Colorado County Road 318 which is one of the Lost Highways on the Butler "Rocky Mountains" map. I got to ride about 30 miles of nice gravel road before hitting 318 at the Colorado Border. Nothing super special but still a fun ride. I was so drained from this damn cold that I grabbed a flea bag motel at Steamboat Springs and slept for 14 straight hours.
Yesterday (Monday, Oct. 1) I was so rejuvenated I decided to head to Encampment, Wyoming via the forest service roads north of Steamboat. I probably would have made it home to North Platte but I got trapped at a most excellent little museum at Encampment for several hours so I only made it to Oliver State Reservoir just west of Kimball Nebraska. I have went by this place literally thousands of times on the train so decided I'd better check it out. It was off season so it was pretty well closed up but I did manage a nice camp sight and made friends with the only two other people in the entire park. They were two older gals, sisters and were a ton of fun. This morning they brought me fresh baked chocolate cake and coffee. We chatted for over three hours and when I finally left camp I had a little tear in my eye knowing that I would never see them again.
Anyhow that's the rest of the story for me. Thanks for taking the time to create your most excellent write-up of our trip. I didn't take many pictures so can't add much to the thread in that respect. I suspect Brad will be able to help out in that respect. It was a truly great trip despite the weather and adversities. I hope we can pull something together next year.
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing to excess!