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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by hitchiker_forever, Aug 15, 2011.
Looks like the hard part is over. All you have to do is Utah, Wyoming, the Rockies....ect piece of cake kid! Your doing fine.
...I'm in!!! Awesome! My wife would never let my son go...I, on the other hand would encourage it...
Subscribed... This is good stuff. Good luck and take care of yourself...
Hey...if you're old enough to fight in a foreign war, you're old enough to make your own choices in my book. Good report.
This brings memories back to my 18 year old hitchhiking days and numerous trips across the country. I think a trip like this is really a very 18ish experience where young persons are coming out and learning about the world and defining themselves.
The thing I like about this report and trip is that so far it is a real adventure. No one on Adventure Rider offering accommodations and help is quite refreshing. Too many of the Ride Reports, IMHO, depict the riders being taken care of by Adventure Rider readers with what I call lavish accommodations, meals, and expensive wine.
It is only a real adventure when what you will be eating, where you will be sleeping, who you will meet (both good and evil) is an unknown. I think it is great that this report is after the fact and not real-time.
I am anxiously waiting for more.
Ely wasn't what I expected.
Part of me wanted to see some kind of classy small town with a clock tower and old timey ranches. Instead I found a dark town filled with bored teenagers. I stopped to ask for directions to the nearest campground when a van pulled up beside me blaring some hardcore music, one of the teenagers leaned out of the window and screamed along.
"WAKE UP MOTHERFUCKER WAKE UP"
I gave him the bird and knocked on the door of a pizza shop, there was someone in there but it looked they were closed. Stealth camping by the high school or park was out of the question, I didn't want to wake up to firecrackers in my mouth or some redneck with a shotgun.
I stopped at a gas station for more suggestions. A chubby Hispanic man manned the register.
"Well, theres a KOA down the street and too the left"
"Nah they're to expensive"
"Just pick a mountain, no one will bother you out there, thats what I'd do"
A local construction worker pitched in.
"Down the street and to the right we're doing construction, you could sleep out beside the mounds, you could have a campfire and everything"
I didn't like any of those options, so I drove a little furthur, found a guy on the side of the road and asked him. Tured out he was drunk.
"Is that a 50 or a 90"
"A 70 but do you know where the nearest campground is?"
"You don't want to camp in this town, but if you don't want to be killed theres a nice KOA just down the road"
As I was leaving I heard him and his buddy talking.
"No, you can't drive your drunk"
"Your drunk too!"
Fuck it, I drove behind the community college, went up a dirt road about a mile and set out my bivy and sleeping bag. I had a handful of nuts, called my parents, took off my shoes and crawled into my bag. Facing away from the wind I slept sometime around 11pm.
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I woke up to the blare of headlights.
Shit I was in someones backyard, I'm pretty sure he saw me because he stayed in his driveway looking in my direction for a good 5 minutes. I had overslept, it was 7am and the sun was up. I packed up and went before any cops could show up.
No real food for a day, I could feel the fat burning.
Back at the gas station from the night before the same man was there at the register, I brushed my teeth in the bathroom and talk to another woman at the register for directions through and to Utah.
"I'm sorry I've never really been to Utah"
This happens a lot, people in small towns that never leave it. It astounded me every time. I mean you live less than an hours drive away from another state yet you have never been there. Don't they wonder what its like on the other side? Whats over the next mountain? Hell some people don't even know where they are on a map. I paid for some gas and left.
I decided to keep following highway 6 through Utah, it was a beautiful day. Clear sky again, and Nevada was green here. There were forests! If it wasn't for the dead deer on the side of the road it would have been perfect. I passed by some abandoned mines and Great Basin National Park until I reached a gas station on the Nevada border. I didn't feel as excited to reach this one though, I'm not sure why but it was just another state to me. I guess New York was my destination, I would get my rush there.
A Harley Rider stopped to talk to me.
"Hey we saw you taking your picture next to the sign over there where you headed?"
"East, to Delta"
"Haha nice, my buddy just broke down, so were calling a tow, we just came from a trip up through Canada"
"Wow, could you help me with some directions?"
"Well, got to go nice to meet you"
Huh, did I just get blown off or did he really have to go?
I asked the man at the register for the least hilly way to the through Utah.
"Sorry, I don't really go to Utah that often, this road will take you right into it though"
You work on the border of Utah and you don't go there often?
Nevada wasn't very helpful.
I could describe how beautiful Utah is, but I won't.
If there is anything I want to highlight about Utah, its the kindness of the people I met and the state's history.
The first town I entered was Delta.
Very properly named because as you entered the town the road was surrounded by water. A massive delta surrounded me as I entered the small farming town and the first person I see at the gas station...
A teenage girl dressed in 19th century clothing. First impression? I'm going to like Utah.
It was a little odd though because everyone else was wearing normal tight 21 century clothing, a mix of the old and the new. Mormon country I guessed.
Rain clouds gathered in the west as I drove. I needed to find some kind of patio or something for tonight since I didn't bring a tent. I did have a poncho tarp but I wasn't confident that that would keep me dry at all. Sigh. Another day to worry about my butt.
So I passed through some spectacular scenery and some small towns until I hit the town of Santaquin. I needed gas and directions to the nearest campground since it had started to drizzle. There I met some of the nicest teens named Bradley and Jessica, I think they were siblings?
"Where you from?" Brad asked.
"And you rode that all the way here"
"How fast does it go?"
"Where are you going?"
"How long have you been out and how far away are you?"
"3 days should take me another couple of weeks, but I gotta make it back to school"
"How old are you?"
"I get that a lot, know where the nearest campground is it?"
"Wait just let me get out my phone"
He opened up google maps and showed me a nice campground with an overhang for me to stay, it was just off highway 6 about 20 miles down the road. Perfect. Thanks.
I filled up my tank and waved goodbye. Nice kids.
I passed farm country, some windmills, entered a canyon into the Wasatch mountains and found the place but something wasn't right. Hmm...why does it smell like gasoline. I remember it smelling like that after the gas station. I lifted the chair and checked the gas tank.
This was a big O'shit moment.
My gas cap was gone and gasoline was spilling everywhere.
I had to back and look for it so I headed back on highway 6 on the daylight I had left. I made it about halfway through the canyon when my buddy started bogging down bad. I kicked it over and over again, just to have it die whenever I applied throttle. Come on B, go, go, go.
One carb rebuild later and nothing, I even stripped a screw in the pet cock and now I was leaking even more gas. i spent a good two hours on the side of that road before I started to push it back to the campground. I'll get it fixed tomorrow.
Then fate sent a Angel. His name was Jim.
mad respect. I dont know how u do it. the longer the road, the faster i travel. But that C70 is SUPER tough!!
be well and safe and enjoy this. U will have a story others envy
In 1981 I was 22 and rode a Vespa P200 two stroke coast to coast and in Mexico for six months without a tent. I've taken lots of trips since but that was among the best. If you want a good ride for another low rent trip think about a P200. 60 mph, 60 mpg and ten minutes to change a flat, if you aren't in a hurry.
You have got the wilderness camping thing well sorted out and you listen to your instincts which is the smartest way to travel. Well done.
The fact is that if you have some obvious problems there are many, many people willing to offer help. The generosity almost brings tears to your eyes.
Subscribed! This is a great RR. I am really enjoying your writing style, your enthusiasm and your sense of adventure. And I agree with you about Utah - gorgeous scenery and amazingly friendly people. Love that state!
Your writing style is gripping, and hilarious, all at the same time. That's what makes following your adventure so much fun! ... and the pictures, of course. Keep the report coming!
Wow kid this is great!
It's good to know that not ALL youth is wasted on the young.
Get yourself another bike and do somethin' else just as good!!
In. Awesome job thus far, sucks about the camera, my 70 y.o. Father just came back from Alaska on his bike and said the same thing about Utah.
Keep it up!