|12-23-2011, 02:48 PM||#47|
Joined: May 2011
Location: Madison, WI
I'm really enjoying this report. Looking forward to reading what happens to the KLR since that is what I'm riding.
|12-27-2011, 11:19 PM||#48|
Joined: Jan 2010
Sunday Day 10 Sept 11 Cont'd
Where were we? Oh ya, just getting out of Black Dragon Canyon... The roads flatten out as we head to Eagle Canyon. We can see the Highway off in the distance along this road in some spots. To think the drivers going by might see us and wonder what in the world?
This was a beautiful part of the ride, nice open fields.
We see some wild Burros on the route.
I take a photo at speed.
The sky is electric. There is thunder and lighting off in the distance. We would ride through it climbing out of Eagle Canyon.
Entering Eagle Canyon at around 4:00PM.
The trail through here was lots of fun...
Eagle Canyon Arch...
With the KLR
Me and Vito facing off for the duel
Vito is armed and loaded
Vito gets a shot off first. My gun misfires, and I am down...
The "famous" view of the I-70 bridge from below crossing Eagle Canyon. For us it spits drops of rain every once in a while. The thunder off in the distance is near us now.
Vito is picking a line to ride our bikes through...
Now we look to cross under I-70 again, the tunnel beckons ominously.
I think we found the entrance into hell, that Dante found wandering through the woods. When we exit the tunnel we climb, and the occasional lightning strike and peal of thunder is around us now. Getting zapped has crossed my mind, but after a long day in the saddle, we just carry on, movement an addiction now.
We pass through the occasional light shower. The climb out is a nice challenge. I drop my bike once climbing a rocky ledge when I stall the bike, but Vito gets off scot free. The KLR just chugs along on the throttle, whereas the F800 is more work, I have to modulate the throttle and the clutch because of the gearing and the poor low RPM response. The chances of stalling are therefore much greater. I need the resistor tuning fix next time I ride this kind of terrain.
An hour later and hey things are brightening up! I think I see a road down there we are working towards. Unfortunately this is my cameras exposure setting, in reality it is getting near sunset and it is about 6:30PM. It will be dark within the hour.
An hour after that and darkness has long since come past. It is 7:30PM. Vito is following me as his headlight is about as effective as a candle lantern.
Then we come to the river Styx, and our path continues straight across it. Holy smokes, we really are in hell! But there is no ferry man waiting to carry us across, I don't have Virgil but I have Vito!
The thought of wicking it up is tempting, just blast our way across. Vito sticks his boot in it and the stream is just filled with silt. We joke that if I go for it, I probably would still be trying to get my bike out of there.
A better feel for the "river".
Given this is supposed to be essentially a dry road, all this water gives us cause for consternation. We decide discretion is the better part of blah blah and so we backtrack to find a way as direct as possible to the Highway.
This is when hell breaks loose. We are deep in the clay and the mud. The rain that filled the "river" has also drenched the road, creating a mud slick.
Hey, this looks familiar... KLR mud unpacking.
We got about 10 miles of clay roads to get onto the highway. We are making progress at about walking speed. Vito looks fresh as a daisy here, well we are just getting started.
My bike in the mud... looks bad but I can still make some progress. I can ride at running speed or better. This is where I entertain the horrible thought of leaving Vito's bike and our gear in the mud till the next day and both of us riding out on my bike. Camping in this crap is out of the question, it is like camping in a mud pit. But we persevere and slog on.
The rest of the evening is a slog in the mud seemingly for eternity. The hours pass. 7:30 becomes 8:30 becomes 9:30 etc. The highway is close, we can see it, but it might as well be a million miles away. So we dig our way out inch by inch. We fight our way back, we climb out of hell, we claw our way forward one inch at a time.
Hey that reminds me of this great scene...
We finally reach the highway and face a one hour ride to the nearest hotel in Salina.
We go over a mountain pass to get there and it gets damn cold at altitude. We don't bother stopping for warmer gear, we just tuck in and ride. Cold and wet from the sweat. It sucks. We finally reach a hotel at 11:30PM. We park our bikes so reception can't see it. Vito is filthier than I am so I go in the hotel to book a room. We basically both look like shit. The guy at the counter doesn't blink an eye. He just doesn't give a crap - he must have seen far worse.
We ride our bikes to the room leaving a pile of mud where we stopped.
We clean ourselves up and have a late meal at Dennys. Our night of hell is finally over. A warm enjoyable feeling rushes through me, now that I am safe and sound with some food in my belly. We have seen the worse the TAT can seemingly dish-up and we survived. We survived hell.
Now off to bed, figuratively and literally...
cathulu screwed with this post 12-27-2011 at 11:38 PM
|12-28-2011, 02:11 AM||#49|
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: right here on my thermarest
Well, I ain't always right but I've never been wrong.
Seldom turns out the way it does in a song.
|12-30-2011, 08:55 PM||#51|
Joined: Jan 2010
Monday Day 11 Sept 12
So Monday morning we wake up late. The night before left a strong impression on me. I knew exactly where I was last night - one of the few times I was confident of that the whole trip.
There is something about the male brain, as both Vito and I seemed to have had a lot of difficulty remembering details from the last day, or even earlier on the current day. Either it is the male brain or we both have early onset Alzeimers. So the question of Where did we eat breakfast, lunch or dinner was often unanswerable. Next time I will keep a journal! It was all a blur and very difficult to recollect. Much like the rest of my life, where I can't remember names, birthdays, or even my own phone number sometimes.
It seemed our lives centered only around the now. We had no apprehensions for the future or worries of the past.
So the mud had thoroughly dried in the desert air and was still caked on our bikes even after the highway run. First thing was a trip to the pressure washers.
We get back on the road around 1:30PM. It is going to be a short day. We decide not to go back and complete the trip to Salina on the TAT route from where we left off as the roads may still be wet and a clay bomb. We are not going to risk another day of that so soon after. So instead we continue the TAT route from Salina. As a result we miss the tunnel. We will have to go back another time for that.
The ride starts with gravel roads and canal dykes following the highway near enough. On this route we find a veal farm... I don't mind letting these little fellars have some kind of decent life for a few years before they "meat" their demise... in other words regular beef is good enough for me.
If I let this little feller out of the cage, it would just stand around waiting to get put back in. Is my aura of freedom a sham, am I in a pen also? Is my fate similarly sealed? Something to contemplate for another day.
Typical run on the canal dyke. We ride through a populous agricultural valley - at least the most populous we have seen for quite some time. The run from Salina to Richfield is certainly the most built-up and urban part of the TAT trip for us.
When we hit Richfield we get back on the dirt proper and climb back into the Mountains. a view looking back at the valley we climb out of...
It is here where a bag comes loose on my bike. I stop on a hill to put it right, put my bike on the side stand and get off. My bike promptly takes a horizontal position and starts leaking gas. I notice my gas cap open. Aarrghhh! I drag my bike around so both wheels are facing down the slope and try to lift it up. It slides further down the hill. Vito is merrily continuing on, I am on my own for now. I keep trying and manage to finally get it up without taking any luggage off. I curse my stupidity, a level stopping point was only 25m away. After I get going again, I meet Vito coming the other way to see if I am OK. This photo is typical, where it looks like level ground, but you can see how the gas has run down the slope.
Back on the road, everything righted. Beautiful countryside.
Shortly afterwards, I drop my bike again. I am getting frustrated. In this case, I took the wrong line and waited too long to climb out of a mud track. My front tire did not bite trying to climb onto the dry line, and I end up on the ground. I think I did an angry dance also which gave Vito a good laugh.
We get onto some ATV trails. This part of the ride resulted in a long and steep descent, I think the steepest descent of the ride so far. I am not sure if it can be done in reverse, it was that steep. It was also narrow, and my leg whacked some hard vegetation riding in one of the ATV tracks, knocking my foot off the footpeg.
At the bottom of the descent it is more open.
We stop for a photo op to celebrate our ride unscathed through the ATV trail.
Over a cattle guard...
And we finally make it to Kanosh. Normally most folks hit Kanosh around noon, and carry on the TAT trail. Ain't much in Kanosh so to speak anyways. Well we hit Kanosh in the late afternoon, near dinner. There we fill-up at the Sinclair Gas station and get to meet Bon Nafus, the proprietor, and a few of the locals including a young lad who made an impression on us. (This photo was taken the next morning)
Bob, well he is a business man and also owns the adjacent Kanosh Motel - the only Motel in town. After a bit of a sales job we agree to check out one of the rooms. The room is very nice, much nicer than we expect, and Bob offers a good rate. Before you know it we seal the deal on a handshake and had a room in his motel.
Bob turns out to be a great guy and is very hospitable to us. It is not true that there is not much in Kanosh. There is good folks and Bob. Bob is getting on, not sure how old he is, I think he is timeless. His hands are practically frozen from arthritis and years of work, but he will be around for a long while I am sure. When you are in town be sure to say hi to Bob.
We ride up for dinner in Fillmore, about 15 miles northeast of Kanosh. There we spy the Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant. As we are from Vancouver, we are feeling the need for some Asian food, and give it a go. We get to talking to the waitress and have a good time. It is a nice family run restaurant and the food was good. I didn't have an MSG attack, so that says something right there.
Then it was back to the Kanosh Motel. An easy day and a good night in a quiet sleepy town.
Our approximate route
cathulu screwed with this post 01-04-2012 at 10:09 PM
|12-31-2011, 09:02 AM||#52|
Joined: Jul 2008
Excellent RR enjoying it very much. In fact this could be on next years to do list. Neat to see some guys doing the TAT on bigger bikes.
|12-31-2011, 11:06 AM||#53|
Joined: Nov 2011
Yea, I really enjoyed the stop at the gas station. The young cowboy I sat with on the bench reminded me of my son, being tall and skinny (and young). I sat there relaxing and chating with him while you and Bob checked out the rooms at the motel. ( I figuered there was no need for me to go along. If a BMW rider like yourself approved of the accommodations, a lowly KLR rider, like myself, would certainly be happy with it). This young fellow (18 years old) was a real cowboy right down to the spurrs on his boots. He impressed me with his maturity!
To my right was a native american reading a book (can't remenber the title) something like -How To Make Money___ ___- ! the book and the way he looked just didn't seem to fit...and then he finally says something. What's weird is that his voice doesn't fit he's looks either. He speaks with this western drawl straight out from a western movie!
I love small town america and its folks...
|01-03-2012, 09:51 PM||#57|
Joined: Jan 2010
Tuesday Day 12 Sept 13
Finish this, I agree! It is becoming my Albatross , I am going as fast as I can, but life intrudes. Vito thanks for your recollection!
We leave relatively early for us, 9:00AM. Today we would leave Utah and hit Nevada. The day largely consisted of blasting along gravel roads at high rates of speed with nary another vehicle for miles, and a nice route through a pine forest. This is lonely country.
This is also where I notice the F800GS does not behave as nicely in the gravel at high speeds compared to the KLR. Not sure if it is the way my load is so high on my bike, or the fact the KLR wheels and tires are narrower, and squirm less in the gravel. I think I top out at around 140kph when I try and catch Vito when the gap gets too large, but mostly we are going 120kph or so (indicated). Because of the dust, I am usually a good half mile behind Vito, he is just a cloud in the distance. Good thing there are largely no speed limits - and the roads are empty!
We leave Kanosh, get on some winding and tight jeep roads and then spill out onto some fast gravel roads for the majority of the ride.
So some highlights from the route in order of appearance:
A fire burned through this forest, leaving stripped lifeless trees. I like to think of this as the forest of suicides. I got a morbid mind I guess, but it reminds me of something from Dante's Inferno.
Soon after the gravel goes flat and you are cruising across valleys and over mountains to do it all over again. Off in the distance is what looks like a salt flat, which I believe is Sevier Lake. Apparently this lake is dry ever since the since the Mormon settlers diveted the inflow for irrigation. During rare heavy rainstorms it floods, which happened in 1983 and 2011 most recently.
The gravel soon gets a beautiful rose tint.
We ride past Crystal Peak. Vito waits for me on the back side.
We contemplate the way forward...
Straight as an arrow on the flats
And sometimes a corner is thrown in.
We eventually get to the border, or shall I say the Border Inn. Hotel is on Utah side, gambling and booze is on the Nevada side. There must be some tax thing for the hotel to be on the Utah side... market distortions are clearly present here.
We grab a lunch here and carry on afterwards.
This photo is in almost every TAT report, might as well be in ours also...
Another water crossing, this one nothing like the one during the night of living hell in the mud. Or maybe in the light of day the crossing that stymied us would look like this? Nahhh...
The roads just speak for themselves.
We start to climb to a pine forest
This is going to be fun! There is a fair amount of ducking around trees, riding around on trails. Vito in front usually is not visible and I follow his track in the ground as best I can. A total blast!
Got the trail to myself...
Off the trail and back on the gravel. Cattle are a real danger, and we slow down appropriately.
The gravel roads are getting more like jeep trails. So it goes. It is getting late in the afternoon. Will it be another late night on the trail?
The sun is getting lower...
Which way now?
Well just head to the lights off in the distance... and we reach Ely around 8:00PM. Like most Nevada towns, the current claim to fame is gambling. And a very nice gambling establishment we have here. Opened in 1929. Seen a lot of money come and go.
No poker tonight... with that it is food, drinks and bed time.
Our approximate route
cathulu screwed with this post 01-04-2012 at 10:10 PM
|01-04-2012, 02:03 PM||#58|
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: Manitoba....for now.
Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.
It's great to hear how the KLR (I have one) did on all the different terrain you encountered.
How were the tires on gravel/ loose stuff? Thinking of getting those for my bike.
On two wheels....That's my Happy Place!
|01-04-2012, 02:33 PM||#59|
Dances with spaniels
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Denial - UK
thanks for sharing
Men do not stop playing because they grow old, they grow old because they stop playing - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Get $5 off Smugmug - use this code NxRfLxbR5xhlE
|01-04-2012, 03:16 PM||#60|
Joined: Mar 2009
Keep your $0.02 if it ain't going towards the bill
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