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Old 09-08-2011, 09:23 AM   #31
Ironrdr OP
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Looking over my SPOT map, it's August 25th when I left Hurricane and headed towards Escalante.

So, where were we. Oh yeah, Grand Staircase.

What a beautiful ride. Each turn layed out another great view.





Now, last year Mom and Pop did a tour of the country towing their trailer from campground to campground and generally living like retired folk do. They mentioned something about a petrified forest somewhere. Looking at my map, there happened to be one right on my way to Escalante, Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. I thought I should check things out.

A two minute departure from Rt. 12 and I was at the Ranger Station. I got some park literature, was pointed where to park the bike, and shown the trailhead to get to said forests.

Once again, time for a stroll. I grabbed my sunglasses, a bottle of water and set off.

Ut oh:



Now, I reside at maybe 100 feet above sea level. I was already feeling this altitude each time I had to push the bike around a bit. Oh well, I wouldn't have to push the bike around on the trail. Onward I went.


Just past the trailhead, a view of the lake below:



Some interesting sights on the trail, at least I thought so:





Now, I was expecting a dead looking tree that was hard as a rock for the petrified stuff. Boy, was I wrong. These pieces were colorful. Almost looking like glass. And there was quite a bit all around.









I couldn't stop inspecting each and every one I came across. They amazed me with how they were frozen in time. And the sheer size of them resembled nothing that was growing there today. I tried to imagine what the scene must have been like when these giants were still pointing towards the skies.





I think the hike was about a 1.75 mile loop. I was gassed afterwards.

I took a break in the air conditioned ranger station, reading the letters that were sent with returned pieces of petrified rock that were taken from the park. Seems if you take a piece bad luck will befall.

Once back on the bike I continued through Escalante and into another world:







I continued through this landscape, up over a 9200 foot pass and down into Capitol Reef National Park. I was getting chased by a pretty severe storm, so my time in this park was cut short. This could be a park I would spend days exploring. The scenic drive road was closed (I would have surely gotten hit by the storm had it been open), so I made my way through the park on Rt. 24.









I went through here way too fast, but once again, that straight line lightning had me a bit worried.

Onward I pushed, through lunar looking landscapes along Rt. 24.

I turned South in Hanksville onto Rt. 95. I soon was seeing Glenn Canyon National Recreation Area:











After riding through there, I decided on trying to get to Blanding for the evening. But my map showed one more area theat peaked my interest. Natural Bridges National Monument. Neat stuff:







The park literature said there were arches in the park as well, but they were a bit harder to spot. I saw these two walking back from taking a picture of one of the bridges. The arch might be 4 inches tall:



Onward to Blanding I pushed. And, there went Blanding.

I was now on UT191 heading North. Maybe Monticello would be the place to stop. Well, it should have been the place to stop. I fueled up there, donned all my gear for the darkening skies and kept the push North going.

About 20 miles outside of Moab, the skies opened up. Again, that straight line lightning I love. I kept my head low and pushed on into Moab. There I found a place for the night.

-darrell
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:31 AM   #32
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Nice pics and your writing is easy to read / follow.

Keep it up.

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Old 09-08-2011, 12:12 PM   #33
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When I woke up in Moab it was a bit later than usual. After a call back home to make sure everyone was still floating, and to a friend who lived just Noth of Denver (I was gonna try to stop and visit), it was pushing 10 am. I'd have to battle some National Park traffic today. Oh well.

I headed out of Moab traveling North, greeted this morning by grand views of the red rock cliffs. I entered Arches National Park and the mass of people who had already decended upon it. I tried to take my time through the park, but the ammount of people really pushed me out faster than I liked. I still took time to grab some shots:













Here you can see, there wasn't a spot that wasn't filled up. Just too much for me:





Even with trying to get out quickly, I spent a good two hours riding around, doing a few quick walks to grab a shot, and talking with a group of riders from the Denver area.

Once out of the park I continued North. I stopped for gas at a Shell station at the Rt 313/UT191 junction. All the pumps were filled up with Goldwings being operated by what I believed to be Finlandians. They were having a bit of trouble understanding the operations. I hung back, downing a large bottle of water and a good ammount of jerky.

I filled up after a pump had cleared and made my way onto Rt 313, on my way to Canyonland National Park through the North entrance.

It was a great ride.



Those were the same clouds building that dumped rain on me the day before.

When I got to the end of the scenic drive in Canyonlands I was awestruck. I can't tell you how long I stood at the edge of a cliff there and just gazed at the beauty. My mouth was probably hanging down around my knees.











I felt absolutely miniscule with the land that layed out before me.



This was another park I wish I had days to spend. I removed myself from there after about three hours of wandering around.

I hit the road and made a plan. I'd try to get to my buddie's house in Broomfield CO that night. I took 191 up to I70 and started burning miles.

I pulled into Dean's place around 9 pm. His brother was home, but Dean and his wife were bowling. I parked the bike in the garage and proceeded to make myself at home, getting in some quality dog time with his two mini daschunds.

Dean got home about an hour after I got there, and like a good friend does, he had beverages. We caught up a bit, made a bit of a plan for the next day, and then I crashed on the couch about 1 am.

-darrell
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:27 PM   #34
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We spent the next day at Sun Motorcycles looking things over and buying too much stuff.

We got back to his house and started servicing bikes (Dean is an avid off road rider/racer) and generally hanging out. About mid-afternoon Dean decided he would rent a bike and we'd go riding the next day. Sounds good to me.

He and his wife drove up to Thunder Mountain Harley Davidson (I followed on the bike) and rented a 2011 Road King. The same kind of bike Dean use to ride around Philly.

While his wife headed back, we took a ride. First to check on some of his guys working out at the local airport, then down to an asphalt plant to check on some more of his work crew. They had been putting in obscene hours and he had been pushing for a few days off for them all once the job completed.

We wound our way back to his place in time to order some pizza and wings and down a few brews. We decided to get an early start the next day and head for the mountains.

-darrell
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:01 PM   #35
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Early Sunday morning, Dean, his wife, and I left the house and headed North on I25. We jumpped off the interstate at exit 243 and headed straight for the Rockies.

After a few twists and turns, we ended up in Estes Park. We grabbed a quick breakfast and headed into Rocky Mountain National Park. This would be the last National Park of my trip.

We wound our way through the park, stopping a few times to grab some shots.



We'd make it over 12,200 feet that day. The highest I've been throughout the trip.





The last picture I took on the trip:



After winding our way through the park, we stopped in Fraser for lunch. Bellies full, we tackled Berthoud Pass. After spirited riding through the pass we headed back to Dean's.

My trip was winding down. I was a bit bummed, but glad to be making my way back home at the same time.

-darrell
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:17 PM   #36
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I woke up early on Monday the 29th of August, downed a good strong cup of coffee, and said my goodbyes to Dean and his wife. I got out to the garage and noticed something not quite right with the bike. My seat was a bit askew.

After fiddling with the seat for about 15 minutes, bending a tab back into place, I finally got it to set right on the bike. I never start a long trip without some kind of hurdle.

I pulled out of Broomfield with a goal already set for the day. When it comes time for me to be home, that's where I want to be. This was one of those cases.

I dropped south on I25 to 270. When I got onto I70 I was happy to see all the traffic going the other way. Time to make some miles.

The ride back was uneventful but for the texting teen that ran a red light somewhere in Kansas, barely missing the back end of my bike. That would be the closest call of the trip.

I pulled into Indianapolis shortly before midnight. I picked a hotel on the Eastern side so I would miss most of the morning traffic, and proceeded to get some shut eye.

Without knowing it, I had picked the same hotel as I stayed in on my trip back home from Glacier in 2004.

Anyway, I again awoke early the next morning and made with making miles again.

Back in 2004, when I got onto 76 in PA, I had a feeling of being boxed in, with the trees, the Jersey barrier, and all the vehicles. This time I was too concentrated on what they call a road surface to be concerned with all that. Of the 10,000 plus miles I did on this trip, by far 76 was the worst excuse of a roadway I had been on.

As soon as you hit 76 there are road construction signs. And they didn't stop for the entire length. Hey, PA, lemmie give you some advice. Leave the road construction signs up at each end of your roadway, take all the ones in the middle and sell 'em for scrap. With the money you make you might be able to get 10 miles of that POS roadway paved right.

Anyway, I rolled into my driveway about 6:30 pm after dealing with rush-hour traffic in Philly.

The breakdown of the trip went something like this:

27 days on the road (9 in Glacier National Park). 19 different States. A dozen crossings of the Continental Divide. 10 National Parks.

10,154 miles

I'm ready to leave again...

-darrell
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:34 PM   #37
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Great ride report!
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:03 AM   #38
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Nice report, thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:56 AM   #39
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Great Ride and Great Report!!!

Wish I could have done the whole thing with ya!!! I'm so jealous!

Keep up the good work!
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:54 AM   #40
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Wow Darrell. That's alot of miles. Many of your pics of Zion, Bryce, and Capitol Reef Petroglyphs I also took when I went out West in 2008. Check it out below. I never finished the report. I saw a bad accident on the Interstate in Colorado where I had to help evacuate those in the car and I decided to head home a couple days earlier. I had my Girl meet me in St Michaels MD. She was given specific instructions to meet me. I reserved the Cape May Ferry for her and then had her punch in an address in her GPS and just find me pool side. But the trip in itself was the most incredible time being by myself.


http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=363604
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:10 PM   #41
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Sweet report!

You're a good writer, Darrell!

My favorite bit: "Bigfoot!" I laughed out loud at that. Excellent photos, too. Now I'm inspired to take another trip and document it better. : )

If you're ever in the Twin Cities, you MUST look me up!

If one was to follow your route but didn't have a full month to play, what parts would you suggest leaving out?

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Old 09-19-2011, 08:18 PM   #42
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Sweet report!

You're a good writer, Darrell!

My favorite bit: "Bigfoot!" I laughed out loud at that. Excellent photos, too. Now I'm inspired to take another trip and document it better. : )

If you're ever in the Twin Cities, you MUST look me up!

If one was to follow your route but didn't have a full month to play, what parts would you suggest leaving out?

Cat
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:25 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TraumaQueen View Post
...

If one was to follow your route but didn't have a full month to play, what parts would you suggest leaving out?

Cat
It really depends on what type of riding/scenery you want to do/see.

I actually was kicking myself because I was cutting things out along the way that I wanted to see. The Redwoods, Sequoias, Grand Canyon...

But, if I had to cut some stuff out:

Olympic Peninsula. It's beautiful, but there's no quick way around once you've committed.

My Sister's. Not everybody wants to stop in Corvallis to see her. I did.

9 Days In Glacier. Although I could have spent a month just there exploring, the roads around and through could be done in 2 to 3 days.

That right there would cut out almost two weeks of time. I'd have an extra 4 days of time if I wasn't starting on the East Coast.

There's no way to mess up two to four weeks of riding out West. No matter what you do, you're gonna miss a bunch of stuff. But what you do see will be great.

-darrell
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:30 PM   #44
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What a geat write up and pics. Well done on the report and the ride. You hit a lot of my favorite places out west.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:48 PM   #45
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Hey Ironrdr, I'm in Ouray and am heading to Moab, in the morning. I ran into some members here yesterday leaving Salida. Check out the video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-usD...er_profilepage




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