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Old 09-15-2012, 06:07 PM   #16
scarysharkface OP
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Originally Posted by ThumperStorm View Post
What kind of instrument are you playing? I only count 5 strings but it looks like a guitar? Is it some kind of banjo?


Lakland 5-string fretless bass guitar. I find the extra string and lack of frets give me more opportunities to screw up.



John
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:12 AM   #17
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Once camp is setup in the Colorado National Monument, Neil and I go for a ride down the Rim Rock Drive. Almost immediately Neil has a close call with a bighorn sheep as it lunges across the road less that 10 feet in front of him. So there is a little trepidation, added-to by my still riding on a back tire that's disintegrating, so it's a fairly gentle ride. The scenery is incredible. It's a nice ride and plenty twisty.

Link to the official National Park Service map:

http://www.nps.gov/colm/planyourvisi...d/COLM_Map.pdf

After twenty or so miles we reverse course and explore around camp..

















It's a restful night, but the moon is killer-bright and so I end up sleeping with my jacket over my face.

John
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:46 PM   #18
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Did I mention that the campground has flush toilets and running water?

We packed camp, brushed teeths and headed into town for some doin's. Neil's GS make making what seemed to him to be an odd sound when he accelerated and I needed to get a new helmet and rear tire if possible, so while he headed for the nice BMW/KTM/Harley shop near the Interstate I made the circuit of Japanese bike dealerships along the river..

All-Terrain Motor Sports had the helmet I was after (Fly Trekker) and Motorcycle Accessories was running a special on tires if they mounted them. So I ended up with one of these..



A quick Subway for lunch and we headed toward John Brown Road (If memory serves) to ride some gravel to Moab..



Don't see too many of these anymore..





The road we just came up is down there somewhere..



This picture is level. Getting the KLR back upright was a chore and I think I bent the kickstand mount. Neil had some big fun as well..



Eventually canyon gave way to this..





The riding was very good..















John
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:31 PM   #19
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Over the hump and dropping down the West side into the Moab area, Neil demonstrates the lengths he will go in motocross boots to frame a shot..





I stayed down on the road. I'm old. And lazy.



Speaking of lazy, I took far more pictures with my cell phone (Samsung Galaxy S3) on this trip than with the DSLR. Neil had a Lumix camera on a lanyard around his neck, and probably that's the real answer for most of it..



So if it seems that the picture quality is inconsistent, that's why..



Once into town, we booked a room and took the shanks-pony to Paradox Pizza just South of downtown..



I *highly* recommend the place.



John
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:39 PM   #20
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Morning comes and while Neil issues warnings that he's a slow starter I note that the right side of my bike is covered with fork oil. He can delay all he likes but I dare him to match my ability to derail progress. Luckily Arrowhead Motorsports is just down the way a bit and Fred Hink gets me fixed right up..





The right side fork tube is practically dry. The left side tube is fine and full, but the bushings are shot so those get replaced as well on both sides.



A couple of New Zealanders are performing maintenance on a lovely pair of KTM 990's, and we have a nice chat. They're riding the TAT on bikes they just bought in California..





Being in a country where one uses the wrong side of the road calls for visual reminders wherever you can put them..





John
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:28 PM   #21
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At a reasonable hour my bike was buttoned back together so we headed North along the river.. Great paved road..

Shortly after crossing the river, we made the left turn to check out some of the UTBCDR. We'd been pondering if it might be something we'd enjoy on the big bikes, or if it might be too much for us with all the gear. As it so happened, we made a decision pretty quickly that the combination of heat and moderate sand were probably not the keys to happiness for us, and so we bailed on at least that section after one sandy wash crossing and the immediate prospect of several more..



Of course, on the ride back out I biffed it. Too slow for the sand and down I go. My heart just wasn't into it I guess. Two fingers signifying that my packed KLR is too heavy..



Heading further North, the *plan* was to see if any of the section immediately North of I-70 was more big-bike friendly, and it was. Thankfully!

Riding it for a bit convinced us that the heat was as bad as the sand. Good riding, but we didn't want to put ourselves in a situation where we'd be stuck out here too tired to ride back out.. So we rode back out..













Quick dinner in Green River and a gander at the map..





Maybe we ought to head North out of this heat?

John
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Old 09-18-2012, 10:30 AM   #22
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Morning finds us in Duchesne, Utah..



Good place for breakfast. In fact, the only place for breakfast!



We scoot along nicely, eventually stopping for lunch somewhere along I-80 in Wyoming..



By evening, after some cold cold rain and a fierce headwind all day we are at the Colter Bay campground in Grand Teton National Park..



One cubic foot of wood later...



And Neil makes fire!



John
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:19 AM   #23
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Great RR. How do you like the Fly Trekker helmet?
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:31 AM   #24
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:57 PM   #25
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Great RR. How do you like the Fly Trekker helmet?
At this point I like it a great deal.





Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdon View Post
I thought of you at a couple of places. Pictures upcoming. :)

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Old 09-18-2012, 06:25 PM   #26
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When I finally crawl out of my cocoon I fear Neil's been up awhile and waiting for me. I slept pretty well and it may have been kind of late, judging from the ample daylight. Nope. He tried sleeping in his gear with little success. There was ice on the bike seats this morning and he wasn't a whole lot warmer than that overnight. Come to think of it, I was in my +15 degree bag with my fleece jacket and pretty comfortable and if he was in a 30 degree bag (recall that our "plan" was Moab in September, and warm) he surely must have frozen his butt off last night.



At any rate, we weren't eaten by bears..

Neil ponders the map, the road ahead and the inevitability of a long ride home after a quick tour of Yellowstone.

At least he's pondering it on something other than an empty stomach..



We discuss what we'd like to see and where we'd like to go, and figure this is a reasonable time to split so he can be home on schedule. It's been great riding together and we knew this day was coming.



Neil put in 700+ miles after scooting through the East side of Yellowstone, and I looped through the West side..

Jazz Hands



Some ways into Yellowstone I had the epiphany that I wasn't going to ride any sand for at least a couple of days, so I stopped to lube the chain..



Beautiful park with so much to see, but traffic was heavy enough that I didn't stop for pictures until almost West Yellowstone..



Lunch is a Snickers bar and some Gatorade near Butte, then more chasing the sun westward down the slab..





I have a destination in mind, but I have no idea where. So I keep going..

John
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Old 09-18-2012, 06:47 PM   #27
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It seems Missoula is a college town. I pop into an Albertson's for some saline nasal spray and everyone else is checking out with shopping baskets full of alcohol. I suppose it IS Saturday night...

At any rate, I sleep like a baby in a warm hotel bed and hit the road early..

I've got plans, I just don't know what they are yet. The front wheel knows where to go, even if I don't..



I've seen the signs before...



Forest fires in the region...



This guy, Matt, is a long way from home. I pass him later and he flags me down. Seems he has no pictures of him riding, and would I please txt him the one I just took.. No problem!







It's another delightful stretch of pavement, and the gps reflects this..



John
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Old 09-19-2012, 01:32 AM   #28
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It always amazes me how beautiful our country is.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:33 AM   #29
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It always amazes me how beautiful our country is.
Man, isn't that the truth!

I recall when I moved from Midland, Texas, back to Indiana, how first everyone said we'd never find a place as beautiful as Midland, followed by "Indiana? OH MY GOD IT'S BEAUTIFUL THERE!" Sometimes it's hard to remember that we're surrounded by it, and what becomes mundane isn't any less beautiful.

John
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:59 AM   #30
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So the smoke gets into everything, nostrils included, but makes for some interesting photographs..



I guess this just gives me one more reason to come back and ride when it's clear..



I eventually find civilization and grab lunch at Kooskia Cafe..



Then follow some squiggles to the main highway..



Still a lot of haze, and after a few miles I understand why..



It's difficult sometimes to fully appreciate the scale of these things, and the scale of the response..



Seeing it relatively up-close doesn't always help. It's interesting to watch though.

Chopper flies over with one load of water from the river...



Brings back an empty in the time it takes to park the bike at the next pullout..





Grabs who knows how much from the river..



And the process repeats, and repeats, and repeats..



John
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