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Old 04-04-2014, 08:12 AM   #1
WanderingCowboy OP
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Location: Monterey, CA
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Cross Country Day Trippin'

So I'm moving from Monterey, CA to Washington DC, and I figure what better way to do it than to load up the truck with camping gear, my dog, and trailer the bike (basically all the essentials I could possibly want). I'm going to take about 12 days to meander across California, Utah, New Mexico, and West Texas before going to MotoGP in Austin (and visit family) on 13 April. After Austin....I'll figure something out.

But I figured y'all would appreciate the route info and especially the eye candy.

Day 1, I made it down to Death Valley and set up camp at Texas Springs (as any self respecting native Texan should do). If you're into car (or on-road bike) camping, Texas Springs is pretty good. Great view, quiet neighbors (on a Tuesday in April), fairly warm, and decent amenities. The next morning before breakfast, I decided to take the bike out for a quick warm up ride. I took Echo Canyon road (just off highway 190 past Furnace Creek Lodge). It wasn't quite what I expected. Mostly small rocks that were fairly deep in sections. I slide around on it at 10mph up to the canyon before having to stop, get off, and relax myself for a bit. A little more gnarly that I would have liked before coffee. Just wish I had some scout tires and some bigger balls to push on to the old mine just past the canyon, but alas, I wussed out, turned back and loaded up to get to the next gem....

The Rig




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Old 04-04-2014, 08:45 AM   #2
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After Death Valley, I rolled on to Cedar City, UT. I figured it would give me good access to Highway 14 (more on this) and allow me to load up and push on the Moab after.

Thanks to RedRockRider's thread, I got some ideas for some routes. I headed back south on I-15 to Toquerville and took Highway 9 toward Virgin, UT. I jumped on Mesa Road, and absolutely loved it. It's a roughly paved climb up to the mesa, where it dead ends into a graded dirt road. I loved this road. I was mobbing along around 50mph with only a few jeeps and trucks coming down the road. Lots of great views of the back side of Zion. And it puts you out on Kolob Terrance Road, which itself was a blast going downhill back to Virgin. From there I took Highway 9 into Zion (since I was there). I normally avoid tourist roads for obvious reasons, but since it was a weekday and I have a free Natl Park annual pass I figured I'd check it out. Was a great road to stop and take photos every time I got behind a 15mph tourist taking photos from the car and breaking sporadically.

After leaving the park I opened it up to 90mph headed toward Highway 89. I didn't plan too, but since I was making good time I figured I'd check out Bryce. Highway 89 is really sparse, however, there were more sheriffs hanging out on the 2-lane highway that I'm used to. Had one coming toward me at the top of the hill as I was around 85 (in a 65). His lights came on before I got to him so I stopped immediately and got off. He walked up to me, found out I was in a military and said he was going to give me a warning since I stopped fast anyway, but shook my hand and sent me on. Super nice folks out here. I also let off for the rest of the ride (against the wishes of my now freezing body). The weather gradients in the mountains change quickly. Near Zion I was almost sweating. Here my bike told me it was around 41 degrees. I got into Bryce (apparently tourist season starts in May). And it was so so. More made for parking and taking photos than "experiencing" like Zion was. Though Red Canyon on the way in seemed cool. And there were a lot of unpaved logging roads in the Dixie Natl Forest surrounding it that could be a lot of fun.

After getting a photo from the viewpoint, I was bored of Bryce and headed back toward Cedar City. I was planning to take Highway 14, knowing it feed out onto main street in Cedar City. I knew the summit on the highway would be near 10k feet but the whole day had been clear, so I just prepared myself to be cold. I DID NOT prepare myself for the white-out snow storm that developed during the day. It was miserable. It got down to 22 degrees on the bike thermometer. Thank god for heated hand grips as I was getting concerned about frost bite. It was eerily beautiful and if I hadn't been so could I would have stopped to get some photos. But there is something about riding in snow that feels like going warp speed in outer space. But, the descent into Cedar City into an awesome windy canyon was almost worth it. And by the time I got to the hotel I could feel my hands again. Fun but brutal day. Totally worth it. On with the eye candy.

Mesa Road












Inside Zion


Logging Road
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:53 PM   #3
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Just finished having a blast around Moab. Too tired to go into details so pics























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Old 04-06-2014, 02:39 PM   #4
txplants
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Wonderful pictures!

Enjoyed them all! I hope to visit Utah in 2015. Ride on Cowboy
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:41 PM   #5
Mudclod
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Great shots man!
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If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there.

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