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Old 05-05-2004, 09:19 PM   #86
Rogue 1 OP
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Joined: Mar 2004
Location: New York City
Oddometer: 659
Saturday October 19th

After a few days here my batteries are fully charged. The sun is shinning and it is super chilly as Mike and I ride out together at 8:30 am.

A quick stop at his clothing warehouse and I pick up a woolen cap. Another stop at BMW SLC, goodbyes, a few pics of Silvers old, worn tires for historical purposes and the 6k service stamp in my owners manual.

There is a brand new bright yellow H2 Hummer in the parking lot, the property of a very proud manager at the shop. When he hears of the route I'll be following south into Zion, Bryce and the Escalante Staircase he jokes that he will keep his eyes open for me as he will be taking the same loop in the opposite direction. I tell him that I will see him first in that yellow monster.

I'm heading South on I15 at 10:15 AM after a hard parting with Mike. Sunny and crisp, I exit I15 back onto 6 and catch 89 South. Beautiful country, stunning in fact, mountain twisties, perfect roads and the air is pure. I pull over and install the Blue Iridium shield for my Arai Signet. I have been carrying it, unused, for the last 6000 miles. I figure the bad weather is finished and I can now use the tint. Yeah! Looks hot!

Hunting season opened today and the hunters are out in force. Kirsten had suggested an orange vest to avoid getting mistaken for a very fast moving deer but I choose to forgo that particular safety device. I am a big fan of safety gear, but those guys that ride with those neon safety vests on just crack me up.

Property Values are sinking in this area...

Great roads, inspiring views...

Diggin the shield...

I stop at an outfitter; buy a couple of cans of chili con carne, a small mess kit and some chemical hand warmers... yup, I am finally going to camp.

89 will get me to Bryce Canyon National Park, but the rider back at BMW recommended the "Scenic Back Way" (a new term for my touring vocabulary, main roads, scenic byways, with which I am familiar, and now I find the real "off the beaten path," the scenic back way).

I find the off shoot and head south on 12. Man, this is some fine piece of country.

If you want to ride here as well, here are the co'ords

I'm just rollin' in it... lifes a bitch, huh?

Mankind messin it up

This is what I call "layering"

Can you believe this is all one day?

The original GS

I enter "Dixie National Forest" at 7pm. The sun is low and once again magic hour works its charms. The rock formations have a life of there own and the fire within them glows in the late day sun.

I stop at gas station/Subway for campsite directions.

The woman behind the counter is on the phone with a customer that is convinced that his bread is not fresh. She looks at me helplessly, explaining to him that they bake there bread fresh 3 to 4 times a day and letting him know if he'd like, he can come in and they will gladly refund his money.

Just like home. Poor girl, I guess people are the same everywhere... glad there are more of the "good" ones.

She hangs up, smiles at me and we shrug it off together... whatreyagonnado???

Singletree Campsite, a Nat. Park Service run area, is about 20 miles further into the park and up the mountains.

I'm warned, "It's going to be cold... it was 17 degrees when I got up this morning and you're going to be at a much higher elevation."

Another ominous gas station comment. What is it about gas stations?

"If they find a motorcyclist dead of hypothermia tomorrow, tell my family I love them."

Outside, I pause for a moment and gaze longingly at the Days Inn next door, however I am determined to start camping (even if it kills me) and I head deeper into the park. As I climb the twisting mountain roads the sun sinks below the horizon and the cold comes quickly. I reach Singletree (elevation 8700ft, oh boy) and rush to set up camp before the light is gone completely. I don the wool cap and silently thank Mike because it really helps.

My tent set up and the cold shakes nominal, I breakout the Miller Light 40's and my MSR stove to whip up some dinner. While it is not much, just the act has the chili tasting pretty special.

As I eat, the moon rises high and is almost full... so bright it is, that it casts solid shadows and everything is visible.

Like the sun on a dimmer switch.

Behind my tent, through a thin stand of trees, a short, brush covered plain drops away into a valley that I cannot see. Beyond, a snowcapped mountain range is framed by the black, star filled curtain of the night.

My God it is inspiring. There are some moments when you truly feel life... when it all makes sense and you just want shout to the stars for how lucky you are. It makes the beer taste better.

The temperature keeps dropping and I climb into the tent to warm up and do a little journaling. I settle in and exhaustion gets the best of me, about 8:30 I fall fast asleep.

I wake up at 9:30 shaking like a leaf.

I cant feel my hands. Man oh man is it COLD! Out of the tent, jeeeezz! I grab my balaclava, my thick thermal socks, my Thermax glove liners and the second, thicker fleece pullover Mike gave me. Back inside I transform into the little brother in "A Christmas Story" (you'll shoot your eye out).

The night is long and cold, I can't feel my toes and when I roll off the Therma-Rest pad the chill stops the circulation and wakes me up again and again.

The moonlight is overhead and so unbelievably bright it makes the tent glow. If I had the inclination, I could probably read in here. I am cocooned in the sleeping bag, the draw string pulled tight over my head, my mouth the only exposed area so I can breathe. Sleep comes and goes, the night passes.

More to come...

Thanks for reading...
``~~~=o&o> Rogue1

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Frank Herbert , "Dune"

"I never drive faster than I can see... other than that it's all in the reflexes..." BTILC

"Remember the face of your father." Roland the Gunslinger

"T.A.L.R. Redux 2007" HAS BEGUN!!! Visit the "I once was lost..." Website

Rogue 1 screwed with this post 08-12-2006 at 12:37 PM Reason: yeah yeah yeah
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