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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ABee, Jun 6, 2013.
The Detour. At the top of Monarch Pass.
Getting pelted with hail on the road to Lake City.
Near Lake City
Lake San Cristobal
The Toad crawling up Cinnamon Pass
At the top of Cinnamon Pass
Leaving Silverton, CO
Silverton, CO to Monticello, UT
I had an ambitious agenda today, I hoped to ride from Silverton to Moab, Utah. This would include going through Ophir Pass, Lizard Head Pass, and the climb back into the mountains near the Lizard Head Wilderness Area. Once in Utah, the Toad would have to get over Geyser Pass in the La Sal Mountains before the decent into Moab.
Ophir Pass was not as steep or as difficult as Cinnamon Pass for the Toad, but the scenery was spectacular. There were only a few sharp, steep switchbacks were I had to scream the engine and fan the clutch to make it. Jeeps clogged the trail as people stopped to take pictures, so it took awhile to get through. I didn’t mind, because it gave me the opportunity to take photos as well. After the descent, I followed Highway 145 to the southeast through Lizard Head Pass. Again, this was no real problem for the Toad as this pass was not terribly steep and the traffic was light. The TAT then turns to the northwest through mountains where it eventually connects with the Willow Divide OHV trails. Although steep and rocky in places, I enjoyed these trails. I had a spectacular view of a canyon as I rode along the rim of the ridge. After dropping down off of the ridge, it gets drier, there is less vegetation and by the time I reached Dove City, I was in the desert. At Dove City, I decided to re-jet the carb for lower altitudes as well as change the gearing for the longer desert stretches that were to come. While doing this, two Honda XR650 riders from California riding the TAT pulled into the station to refuel. They seemed amused by the Toad and snapped a few pictures. Later, they would pass me in a cloud of dust as they headed west toward Moab.
The trail out of Dove City is a series of long, straight dirt roads that point downhill. I could get the Toad moving at a good clip, but decided to back off a little when I feared the impact with cattle guards and larger rocks could cause a compression flat. Coming in to Monticello, the first town in Utah on the TAT, I noticed the Honda Riders had met up with another one of their friends on a KLR in front of the Honda dealership. I still wanted to make Moab at this point, so I just waved as I rode by. I needed fuel, so I pulled into a service station just down the road from the Honda shop. When I did, I noticed that the rear tire was going down! Curses! My first flat of the trip after nearly 3,000 miles! I only had a spare 21 inch tube with me (which will work in an 18-inch tire in an emergency- you have to pack light on the Toad). I decided to limp back down to the Honda shop to buy a tube since it was just down the street. The Honda shop was closed, however, and would not open until 9am the next day. I met the Honda riders, Jim and Tom, as well as the KLR rider, Mark. Mark had just installed a new tire on his KLR and Tom had just noticed that his XR was spraying oil all over the engine and on to the rear tire when he stopped to meet up with Mark. Tom had just had his valves adjusted and hoped it was just a loose valve cover, which turned out to be the case.
There would be no chance to make Moab today after repairing the flat. (I am not nearly as quick as those ISDT riders with the tire irons.) I called Donna and arranged to have her meet me in Monticello instead of Moab, which she did. I had spare 18 inch tubes in the camper, so I waited for her to arrive before fixing the flat. We spent a pleasant evening in an RV campground, where I got the Toad ready for the next day of riding the trails in Utah.
Only 156 miles traveled today. 2.8 gallons of gas and 12 ounces of injector oil.
Going up Ophir Pass
At the top of Ophir Pass
Going down Ophir Pass to the west
Marmot at Ophir Pass, cousin to the Wombat?
Going down Ophir Pass
Trout Lake, near Lizard Head Pass
Toads and Lizards
The Road on Willow Divide, this guy did not make it.
View from Willow Divide
Changing the jetting and gearing in Dove Creek, CO
I have been enjoying your RR greatly , glad to see the toad still hopping closer to the goal daily .
Really enjoying your ride report from up here in the Bering Sea. Your pictures and writing are excellent. Wish I was there, blowing 50 plus here on the first day of summer!
Those pictures are absolutely stunning! Keep 'em coming and good luck with the rest of your ride!
Loving your RR ABee. I've read a few reports on the TAT and I've really enjoyed them, but I love that you are doing this on such a different bike.
Sure, you'd have a great time on your KTM or any other bike, but the hodaka just gives it just a bit more of an edge of adventure for me.
Love it ABee!!! Keep it up!
I ran across news of your epic journey on the Hodaka forum a couple of days ago. What an inspiration! In fact, I've been a lurker on this great website up until reading this thread.
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You really got my attention when you mentioned Pacific BMW. I certainly didn't expect to read about that. I purchased a 1979 SWM RS250GS from that shop and raced it in D36 enduros. Rod Nordstrom was the shop manager.
Before and after the SWM I raced Huskys sold by Jim Bob Dugan and sons at Honda of Arcata.
Lance Burgess was really good but don’t forget about Pat Richter!
I just picked up a model 99 Road Toad in February from the original owner, a rancher, on the east side of Kneeland. Yep, another Road Toad sold by Fred Villopoto of Eureka Cycles & Accessories! Still had the little sticker on the back fender but it was pretty faded.
I restored it for my wife and we will be coming to our first Hodaka Days also.
If you see a couple with a blue Rickman Zundapp and a Road Toad, that’ll be us.
Good luck with the rest of your journey, it’s been a pleasure reading about it!
>"Lance Burgess was really good but don’t forget about Pat Richter! "
Yup. Pat did it all. MX, flatrack and TT. I remember him racing 'Bucks Down The Drain'
(a pro Triumph) with his CZ 400 mx at Redwood Acres*. That was an awesome ride.
*Redwood Acres was a flat and TT Track in Eureka.
Great report and ride!
We did the TAT some years ago on two stroke Yamaha enduros so reading your story brings back many great memories! Several of our group got into Hodakas at about the same time and have been attending Hodaka Days ever since. We had to add a few to our arsenal so people would stop tossing stones at our Yammies!
Looking forward to seeing you in Athena, and more great photos of the Toad on the TAT!
The La Sal Mountains loom in the distance.
Monticello to Emery, UT
Hoping that I would do a better job of keeping air in the Toad’s tires today, I hit the road headed towards the La Sal Mountains north. After turning off of Highway 191 a few miles north of town, I found myself on easy dirt farm roads that took me to the northwest towards the town of La Sal at the base of the La Sal Mountains. Farms, desert and prairie dog colonies were the bulk of the scenery here. I noticed a large firefighting base camp entering into the town of La Sal, with dozens of firefighters camped out in tents as well as scores of firefighting trucks and related equipment. I am not sure if this was a training field exercise or if these men were actually fighting a fire somewhere nearby. I had not noticed or heard of any fires in this area, unlike what was happening in Colorado at this time. The TAT loops up through the La Sal Mountain to the north of town through Geyser Pass. (No geysers here, however, it was named for a cattleman who grazed his herds here in the 19<SUP>th</SUP> Century.) This pass took me over the shoulder of Mt. Peale, which at 12,721 feet is one of the highest peaks in Utah. The pass was very steep in places, and I had to row the gearbox between first and second gears to make it to the top. On the way up the pass, the TAT veers on to a nice little steep and rocky ATV trail to give you a workout. Up on the pegs, first gear stuff for the Toad, but we made just fine. At the top of the pass, I was treated to some great views of Moab and the Colorado River in the valley below. On the way down, the pine trees gave way to red rock canyons and the temperature climbed as I rode into the valley. On the way into town, I rode by the famous slickrock bike and jeep trails. The bike trails were crowded with people out having fun. I was tempted to try a portion of the jeep trail on the Toad, but since I was a bit behind schedule and the trails were thick with traffic, I rode on into town and met Donna for lunch. Coming into town, I noticed that the Toad’s lights were no longer working. No head or tail light, no brake lights, nothing. The new electronic system does not use a battery, rectifier or fuses, so it had to be either a poor ground, loose or chaffed wire, the AC regulator, or (shudder) a bad coil on the stator. Since over 90% of the remaining ride would be on dirt backroads, I decided to ride on and try to diagnose the problem at the end of the day.
Moab was very crowded with people on vacation, so after a short lunch and some fuel and oil for the Toad, I was eager to get out of town and back on the trail. After crossing the Colorado River north of town, The TAT took me down a popular jeep trail off of Highway 191 heading towards the Gemini Bridges. As I climbed onto the cliff slope into Little Canyon, I was treated to some more spectacular vistas looking back toward Moab and the Colorado River. The jeep trail into the canyon was crowded with people on guided jeep tours, but it was easy to get around the slow moving jeeps on the trail. Little Canyon eventually intersects with Bull Canyon, and the TAT veers to the north along the canyon’s rim. You really can’t see much of the Gemini Bridges from the trail, but signs tell you were to stop and park and take a short hike to get a better view.
After Gemini Bridges, the TAT took me north on Dubinky Well Road (an old well to water cattle built by the CCC in 1937) on the way to Green River. The trail here is easy, but I had to be careful when I started rolling down the old frontage road along I-70 into Green River, as it was full of large Toad-eating potholes that would easily give me a pinch or compression flat if I hit them too hard. It was hot and windy in Green River and did not seem like a comfortable place for the night on this day, so after refueling, I pressed on to the west through Black Dragon and Eagle Canyons. Black Dragon canyon was challenging, but a blast to ride on the Toad. Named for the Freemont Indian rock art located here, one of which looks like a black dragon with wings, the canyon is steep and very, very rocky in places. I had to be patient and choose lines to miss the biggest and sharpest rocks that would surely eat the Toad’s tires as well as give me a pinch flat if I hit them hard enough.
There is a short open desert section connecting Eagle Canyon to Black Dragon Canyon that I now know well as a result of having spent some time there repairing a flat. I picked up a piece of wire in the rear tire. Oh well, pop the emergency tube into the rear tire, tap into another CO2 cartridge, and get back down the road. Such is life on the trail. Everyone knows about Eagle Canyon because of the spectacular view you get from your vehicle travelling down I-70. It was interesting for me to look up from the bottom of the canyon to the twin bridges spanning the canyon for the Interstate above. After Eagle Canyon, the TAT headed towards the northwest and the small town of Emery. It was getting late, so we decided to camp in town. There was no campground or RV park to be found, but the nice, clean and tidy little town did have a rest stop complete with rest rooms and a large parking area where we spent the night.
280 miles covered today. 6.1 gallons of fuel and 25 ounces of injector oil. 3,278 miles covered on the TAT so far. The Toad is still alive and hopping, wobbly rod and all.
Geyser pass, La Sal Mountains.
Looking down on Moab and the Colorado from Geyser Pass.
The Red Rocks of Moab.
Crossing the Colorado at Moab.
On the way to Gemini Bridges, looking back at Moab.
Rock formations, Little Canyon, on the way to Gemini Bridges.
Gemini Bridges, looking down.