Blame It On Facebook

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by guitarhack, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Wednesday, June 6th
    Total Mileage: ~230

    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> Have I mentioned (whined about) my chain lately? :norton


    Today was the first day of the trip where the day didn't go exactly as planned. The original plan was to hit Mexican Hat, Natural Bridges, the Moki Dugway, and Monument Valley before ending the day in Page, Arizona. I was looking forward to it all, and missing those sights was going to be disappointing, but we made the decision to drive strait to Page. By this time we had been traveling for about a week without a break, and the Support Team needed a light day - and so did my chain. Knocking four hours off of the day made a lot of sense.

    After looking at a map, I realized that we would be doing a lot of backtracking from where we had been the previous day (towards the 4-Corners Monument) and prepared ourselves for a boring day of traveling. We were pleasantly surprised.

    We crossed back into Arizona on US 160 and enjoyed the rock formations along the way...
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    My wife... um, I mean Support Team Leader, didn't appreciate the fact that I wondered if this photo should be age restricted
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    I know that some of these are a little blurry, but remember, they were taken left-handed, upside down, flying along on a V-Strom. Weeeeee
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    Finally, we hung a right and started going north on Hwy 98.

    A good portion of the road had just been paved, and it was sweet!. One minute you are rolling along, just enjoying the ride,
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    then you would round a corner and see something ultra-cool.
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    More mildly suggestive rock formations:evil
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    Nearing Page
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    It wound up being a nice ride (when I managed to ignore that my bike felt like it was falling apart).

    We got to the overpriced budget-brand hotel where we had reservations, and the desk clerk told us the hotel was at capacity and that we would have to wait until 2:00 to check in. We looked at our watches, did the math for mountain time, and looked at each other :huh thinking WTF, you are going to make us wait 35 minutes??? But we hadn't had lunch anyway, so we ran to the local billion-burger and were back in a half hour. The clerk recognized us when we came back. For a millisecond we perceived an odd look from her, but she checked us in, and on to the room we went.

    When unpacking, one of us looked at the clock on the nightstand and a bell chimed. DOH! We had totally forgotten that Arizona doesn't recognize Daylight Saving Time. No wonder we got the weird look from the clerk. We were still an hour early. :shog

    After unpacking and unwinding for a while we decided to do a little exploring.



    Once again we were surprised by some dam cool sights: The Glen Canyon and Glen Canyon Dam
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    A little known natural phenomenon: There are places with 90 degree gravity shifts in the area. As you can see in this example, here is a member of the support team walking on a dam wall:
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    From the Dam Visitor's Center (yes we got our passport stamped) :D
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    More Dam Pictures (ha, that joke never grows old) :freaky
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    The canyon below the dam (bet the trout fishing is good down there)
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    We ended up really enjoying the day. It was easy and slow-paced. We needed it.

    Tomorrow: The Grand Canyon
    #41
  2. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    764
    Location:
    Darnestown, MD
    Awesome, great ride report!
    #42
  3. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Thanks for the encouragement, poolman. :*sip*

    I was wondering if the only person I was amusing with this RR was myself.
    #43
  4. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

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    Thursday, June 7th, part 1
    Total Mileage: ~ 200

    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} </style> <![endif]--> As the crow flies, the distances covered today weren't that far - but there were a lot of twists and turns.

    This day, and one more down the road, are going to be a challenge to report on. Because there was so much to see and because there was such a target-rich pic environment. To me, the scenery just kept getting better on this trip. Paring down the number of pictures to include is going to be a challenge. But here goes...

    After leaving Page, you have to go south a bit, then do a lot of switch-backing (if that is a word) just to cross the Colorado river. We are heading for the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

    After traveling south, the road starts to get cool!
    The top of a plateau, before plunging into the Colorado River valley:
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    You drop down into the valley and are in tribal land
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    Until you cross the Colorado at Lee's Ferry
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    Then you run parallel to the cliffs, by the little town of Marble Canyon. I missed it, but there are some amazing rock formations there. It is hard to describe. It looked like huge boulders had rolled off the cliffs, and then stopped in an incredibly impossible balancing act - as if there was no way they should have settled how they did. This pic does not do it justice. Imagine a rock like this shaped like a unsymmetrical ice-cream cone, landing upright and you will get what I saw. Too strange...
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    We traveled along the cliffs for many miles. This pic does a good job getting the enormity of the cliffs in perspective. They were HUGE.
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    And then ran for a while in the wide-open desert/valley floor

    Say Cheese:
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    Approaching the opposite wall of the valley, I was able to pass a bunch of motor-homes (and other slow-pokes), that the Support Team got stuck behind. Then blasted up the twisties - climbing the huge plateau - that down the road would abut the north rim
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    As I climbed to the top, the temps dropped, and the landscape became greener. At the top I waited for the support team (for ever) :gerg Then we hung a left on 67, and ran though some evidence of past forest fires
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    And some large, long, beautiful meadows
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    It was about here that a lone young buck came trotting out of the wood-line...(or should I say "sproinging" - it seem to move differently then the white tail deer in Georgia - maybe it was a mule deer?) I stopped to look at it, as it was running across the meadow strait for me, but before my camera would spool-up, the deer saw me and sproinged away. :(:

    And now, for the first time, I would see if my new NPS yearly pass sticker on the bike would get me through the gate without the pass actually in my possession - the support team had it in the Support Vehicle behind me (getting both vehicles through at once is technically against the rules). :augie
    [​IMG]
    #44
  5. Chub

    Chub Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    188
    Location:
    Colorado
    Subscribed great report looking foreward to more :lurk
    #45
  6. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

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    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    I was a little apprehensive as I approached the gate. Very prevalently posted on one of the windows there was a sign that said something to the effect of, "All pass holders must show ID". As it turns out, the ranger/lady wasn't born yesterday (or within the last half century either). Needless to say, she didn't buy my line of BS and let me know that if the bike went in I would have to pay admission. She seemed upset that someone at another park would have given me bad information. In all honesty, that other ranger didn't give us bad information - we just tried to push the truth envelope a little bit. She was really nice about it, and even apologized to my wife (when she got to the gate) for the situation.

    At that point I felt like a real jerk. In the long run, the only thing I regretted was trying to con her with a load of crap.There was a small parking area next to the shack, and she agreed to let me park there. With a secure place to park the bike - being together in the Support Vehicle ended up being a better way for us to enjoy the park anyway.
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    After securing the Wee, we drove to the Visitor's Center
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    ...got our passport stamped, and got a sticker for the side cases (more on stickers later).

    Then we walked over to the Lodge
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    This doofus couldn't buy a clue and wouldn't get out of the shot :ddog

    The back of the Lodge was spectacular.
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    The views from back there were even better:
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    The Support Team Leader busted me for taking this photo
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    ....What? it was a cool looking rock. :dunno

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    We wolfed down a light lunch out of the cooler, then drove to several overlooks
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    We thought the ridge in the above picture looked like a fat man (who needed a manzier) with a leaking belly-button

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    I think our favorite overlook was Cape Royal
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    After a short hike
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    ...we came across about as cool of a sight as there is...
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    See the people on top?

    A little closer
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    ...and a little closer
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    That was our first glimpse of the Colorado River - Through the keyhole

    From on top. We tried to wave our arms to make a shadow - to confirm we were on top of the hole. It didn't work. The plateau was too enormous and our shadows were too insignificant to see.
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    Some more random views:
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    Overall impression of the North Rim:
    It was Absolutely Amazing! :clap

    I visited the south rim as a boy of about 8. I remembered it to be very hot, dry, and colorless. The north rim was the opposite; it was extremely colorful, had pleasant temps, and was just incredible.

    We backtracked north, picked the bike back up, then headed into Utah
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    ...where not only did we have a cool room
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    ...we even thought the bathroom was cool. :lol3
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    But cool room aside, the best thing about the hotel....

    My new chain and sprockets were waiting for me at the front desk! :wings

    Through the help of an inmate in the regional forum, I located a mechanic in Cedar City (the next nights stop) to swap out my chain and sprockets. They would be expecting me.

    Only one more day until I could stop worrying about the bike. :clap
    #46
  7. rockinrog

    rockinrog Long timer

    Joined:
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    2,984
    Location:
    Central PA
    Enjoying the RR, thanks for sharing,
    #47
  8. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    764
    Location:
    Darnestown, MD
    Really enjoying your ride report and pictures, your family will bank a lot of fond memories!
    #48
  9. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    I just spent about 10 minutes responding to all of you comments - then lost them! :baldy

    ARGH! :kboom
    #49
  10. STUFF2C

    STUFF2C We Ain't Left Yet!!

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,078
    Location:
    O-lando
    well i just read all 4 pages... THANKS for taking us along :freaky
    #50
  11. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
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    Dave, :wave

    Utah was a total BLAST. The scenery was just magnificent. And I have you to thank for the inspiration to go there. :bow



    Thanks Chub. I have really enjoyed writing this up. It has helped me clarify and reflect on the memories. ...sort of like a diary. I think I will enjoy it for years to come.


    Thanks Rog. It sounds cliched, but the pleasure is all mine.


    I think you're right. One surprise I have discovered while writing this RR; I have really enjoyed the "Banking" dividends after reflecting on the trip.


    Thanks bud. I have been on this site for several years and thought it was time I contribute something other than snarky comments and nonsense. So far, the exercise has been selfishly rewarding.



    Upcoming: one of my favorite / funny moments riding
    [​IMG]
    #51
  12. jetjackson

    jetjackson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Somewhere in Europe on a Motorbike :)
    You must be one hard ass to ride on those beads... Doesn't that hurt after a bit?
    #52
  13. westerlywinds

    westerlywinds Two Wheels-Ride it

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    168
    Location:
    El Paso?
    Hi Ijust read your report. Iliked the stories The colo and utah photos were memoriey refreshers .Next trip go to Box Canyon Falls Ouray Colo.:clap
    #53
  14. marcopolo27

    marcopolo27 The Tiny Ship was Tossed!

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    163
    Location:
    In the Molehills, not the Mountains
    A fantastic RR - have thoroughly enjoyed the pics and your writing. Thanks for sharing! :clap
    #54
  15. sgio

    sgio Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
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    116
    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I am really enjoying your report. Thanks:D
    #55
  16. whatsgnu

    whatsgnu Scheissekopf

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
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    Location:
    S. VT / W. MA
    Fantastic. great pictures and writing. Thanks !!
    #56
  17. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,298
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    Friday, June 8th
    Mileage: ~ 100

    Today, we really had only one major objective: get the chain and sprockets replaced.

    Luckily we didn't have far to go. I plugged the dealership's address into the Garmin before going to bed the night before, and after the standard free hotel breakfast (that we were growing sick of) off we went. A couple of hours later we wind up in a very nice, tiny, little town - that had nothing even close to resembling a motorcycle shop. It dawned on me that the night before there were two locations that matched the address I plugged in. So I plugged in the other address and discovered that we only had a few more miles to go.

    On the way, we ran into a little traffic; in the form of sheep.
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    We were stuck behind this little cattle...er, I mean "sheep drive" for quite some time. There wasn't a safe way to get through them, and they were heading in the same direction that we were. So for several minutes we just had to follow along.

    I have something to confess: had this happened while I was riding at home, I would have been PISSED.

    I am not blessed with patience, and was looking forward to getting to the dealer and getting the chain issue resolved. But, this cluster-____ had me laughing for minutes. Not only were the little critters a riot to watch (they kept trying to break out of the pack to nibble on plants), but I think "vacation mode" had finally sunken in for me. Time just didn't matter. I wish I could operate on that zero-pressure level every day....

    Finally one of the guys on a 4-wheeler plows a path for us and we are again on our way
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    So Gretta Garmin routes us right past our hotel and lands us at the dealer. They were great. They figured out who I was when I walked through the door and got me written up and the bike in the bay within minutes. They told me to come back in a couple of hours and off we went in the Support Vehicle. We checked into the hotel and did laundry. By the way, doing laundry at a hotel is EXPENSIVE, but I digress.

    After a couple of hours we went back to the dealer and the rest of the team went back to the hotel. The bike wasn't ready, so I plopped my butt into a chair in their showroom and killed time (by way of my android) on ADV. I was excited to see iDave had written a new installment on his latest RR and started reading. If you have seen his writing you can relate to what I am about to say... Dave is a great / passionate writer - and in the RR he shares a painful story of recently losing his beloved dog. I am a dog lover. (My dog is my shadow and is laying on the sofa next to me as I write this.) And well, the tears started flowing right there on the showroom floor. :cry There is no telling what the folks there thought was wrong with the lunatic wanting his chain fixed . :twitch

    In time, the bike was done. The mechanic and I talked for a few minutes, and before I left he cautioned me to not take it on the highway for 50 miles or so - just in case there were any problems. WTF? I appreciate the honesty, but what problems are you expecting (I am thinking to myself). SUPER, just when I thought my overly paranoid mind could stop worrying, this guy plants a seed of a problem in my mind. :baldy I put it out of my head, and out of my head it stayed. The chain and sprockets problem was over.

    I rode back to the hotel and we did some exploring.

    Zion National Park has two separated sections. We were staying near a less visited one called Kolob Canyons. It was beautiful.
    [​IMG]


    This section of the park is just barely buffered from the interstate by mountains. It was super-convenient for us to get to. Of course, we stopped at the Visitor's Center and got our passport stamped, then we started driving into the canyon.

    I really appreciated the color of the pavement. It fit in perfectly with the natural surroundings.
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    Everything was just picture perfect


    This picture (well really none of my pictures do).. This pictures does not do this site justice. This layer of strata was huge and visible for miles
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    After stopping at several overlooks...
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    ...we took a short hike
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    I may have mentioned this already... Cacti seemed to be blooming wherever we went on this trip.
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    After hiking to an overlook, Christina finds a rock with her name on it..
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    ...and chills out
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    Throughout the park, the views were exceptional
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    On the trial ...
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    ...there were numerous signs, placed in strategic spots, imploring people to stay on the trail.
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    In general, people are clueless. Unfortunately, the signs didn't appear to be 100% effective. :bluduh ..but, for the most part, I really believe people are getting better in our parks. All in all, they looked great.

    Anyway, we hiked back to the car and enjoyed the views
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    We got back to the hotel and I plugged in - to charge up for another day
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    Tomorrow, more Zion
    #57
  18. guitarhack

    guitarhack Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,298
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    I know they look like they might be hard to sit on, but those beads are awesome. Monkey butt is a thing of the past.

    I have had them for several years and don't realize they are even there - they just work. That being said, without them the trip would have been miserable.
    #58
  19. flux_capacitor

    flux_capacitor I know a shortcut!

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,659
    Location:
    Cumming GA
    GH, this looks like it was a great trip. Lovin' every minute of it. Thanks for taking us along. Now quit referring to it as BORING. Its anything but.

    As a former resident of Omaha, NE I am NOT looking forward to getting across Kansas next week when I head out to CO for a similar trip (minus the Grand Canyon unfortunately). But those long straight fast dirt roads are kinda calling to me at the same time...
    #59
  20. jetjackson

    jetjackson Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Somewhere in Europe on a Motorbike :)
    Nice, I might have to give them a crack... I was using an airhawk back home but they are not cheap.
    #60