Colorado/New Mexico/Utah - Princess and The Toad, a Report from the Road

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by The Toad, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. The Toad

    The Toad Let There Be Light

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    07/01 - UPDATE - Ride Report begins a few posts down



    Well, its 8 days til the wife and I load up and head out for 9 days of riding thru Colorado, New Mexio & Utah.
    Route is pretty much planned out just gotta load the GPS.
    We will be meeting up with one or possibly two of my brothers in CO who will be joining us for the ride.

    Launch date is June 27.
    Expecting to arrive in CO the evening of the 28th.
    Since we want to get to the good stuff asap, we will be trailering via superslab (not very ADV I know, but it will get us to the gate much quicker).

    Plan is to spend a day double checking bikes and gear.

    Then head out making a near figure 8 pattern:
    Colorado Springs South to Santa Fe, N.W. to 4 Corners, East into UT, North thru Monument Valley back S.W. to Mesa Verde, North to Black Canyon and more.

    Pics and Ride Report to follow
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    That's gonna be one very scenic ride.. some of the best riding in the west! Lots of pics!! :deal

    :lurk
    #2
  3. pyrate

    pyrate Walking the plank

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    is it June 27th yet? :lurk :jkam
    #3
  4. The Toad

    The Toad Let There Be Light

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    Spent the weekend getting the gear ready and (sorta) finalizing routes.

    Laid out all the stuff and surprisingly didnt pile up as high as I thought I remembered (did that makes sense?)

    tent, sleeping bags, tools, clothes, all the usual stuff....

    Changed the route a little so its more of a circle (seemed to make more sense)..

    Gotta test pack the bikes tonite ill snap some pics of bikes & gear to post in this, still "pre" ride report.

    more to come...
    #4
  5. The Toad

    The Toad Let There Be Light

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    Test loaded the bikes tonight.. all good

    Just need to change oil and clean/lube chains

    Without further ado the bikes that will be making the journey

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. The Toad

    The Toad Let There Be Light

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    Well it took a few days but finally got some time to post some words and pics.

    Part 1: "Gettin outta Dodge"

    Friday, June 26th - We got the trailer loaded:

    Bikes
    Riding gear
    Tools
    Luggage


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    Loaded and ready to roll......

    Part 2: "Gettin There"

    Saturday, June 27 - We started out about 9am (an hour later than planned) but managed to get about half way to Colorado that day.
    Passing thru Michigan/Indiana/Illinois and stopping outside Des Moines Iowa about 14 hours into the day.
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    Sunday, June 28 - After a mostly good nights sleep, we hit the road about 8am. We made our way across Nebraska and into Colorado :D

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    We got to my brothers place in Colorado Springs by 8pm. Night night.

    Part 3 - "Exploring"

    We had a 2 day wait in "The Springs" (learnt the natives call it that), so my Bro could get his bike together (needed tires, brakes, stuff). So the wife (here to after known as "Princess") and I "The Toad" decided to explore the area.

    Monday, June 29 - Learning the Dealer wasnt open on Mondays :huh , my brother decided to join us for a ride. After a hearty bowl of Cheerios (sorry no pic), we headed out to Cripple Creek area. See some nice pics below:

    Pit Stop - Florissant<WBR>, CO - Day 1
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    Making Friends in Cripple Creek
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    What the hell is that in your hand Princess ???
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    Road to Cripple Creek (CO67)
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    Day 1 (continues) - Rampart Range
    Princess and I deciced to do some "off the beaten path" ridden. As my bro's bike was in need of some fixin', he opted out of a ride up Rampart Range Road. Boy did he miss out. Great road, great views and great fun was had riddin the fairly well groomed dirt road up to Rampart Resivior (spelling?)

    Rampart Range Road (Pikes Peak in view)
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    Princess & The Toad - Rampart Range Rd
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    The Toad on Rampart Range Road
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    Princess looks out at Pikes Peak
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    End of Day 1

    Day 2 - "Gettin it Fixed"

    Tuesday, June 30

    After dropping my Bro's bike off, Princess and I went out to do some ridin'

    On the road to Victor, CO - Day 2
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    View of Canyon (road to Victor, CO)
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    Road to Victor, CO
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    Time to fill the tank @ Feista Mexicana - Woodland Park, CO
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    Day 3 - "Off, Off and Away" (well some of us)

    Tuesday, July 1

    Today is the big day !!! We are heading out towards western Colorado, crossing the Continental Divide and down to Black Canyons NP.

    Bro got his bike back last night, new shoes, brakes and ready to roll !!!! However, Bro was not so "ready?" He decided the night prior that he would only be joining us up to Salida, CO. Not sure why he opted out ??? Would have been nice to have him along. But alas, Princess and I pushed on. Luggage loaded, bikes checked and off we went........

    First stop was Salida for a coffee break, where we would part ways with the Bro.

    Princess & The Bro - Coffee Break - Salida, CO - Day 3
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    Last we saw of The Bro - Salida, CO
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    After heading out of Salida we headed west on US50 towards Monarch Pass. The road surface was good to great and the traffic was light as we climbed towards the summit.

    Monarch Pass - US50 - Day 3
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    View from top of Monarch Pass
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    Princess & The Toad (Self Portrait) - Monarch Pass
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    After a pit stop atop, we headed down towards Gunnison, CO for an intended lunch break... but weather had other ideas... so we pressed on thru the oncomming storm towards the next town. Turned out to be a good plan as we quickly got out of the rain and into the Blue Mesa Reservoir Area. Staying on US50 the traffic stayed light and the scenery was well.... see for yourself.

    View from bikes (US50 - near Black Canyon)
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    Roadside US50 near Black Canyon NP, CO
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    Self Portrait
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    Making our way to Montrose, we stopped in Cimmaron for a quick snack (deciding we'd fill our bellies at days end).

    Making more new friends in Cimarron, CO
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    Princess making time with my new friend
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    Humming Bird taking a break in Cimarron
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    Ending the day 238 miles later we stopped in Montrose, CO for the night. It was a great day of riding and new to us scenery. Tomorrow we head south towards Mesa Verde.

    Done for the day- Montrose, CO
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    Best Western - Montrose, CO - Bike Friendly for sure !
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    Planning for tomorrow
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    to be continued.....
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    :super

    The Princess and the Toad... lovin' it :thumb
    :lurk
    #7
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Thread title updated as per your request.. :thumb

    Beautiful.. :lurk
    #8
  9. WildTurkey

    WildTurkey Beast Master

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    My Blue Heaven
    :lurk

    Does princess need a place to sleep in Santa Fe?
    SWMBO might be out of town :evil and no toads are allowed in the house:deal

    -Sleepless in Santa Fe-
    #9
  10. The Toad

    The Toad Let There Be Light

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    Day 4 - "The Road to Durango...and beyond"

    Thursday, July 2 - started out not looking so promising as storm clouds loomed overhead. Undaunted princess said.... "come on Toad we got some riddin' to do". So after a not so fresh and not so hearty breakfast of stale bread products and warm orange juice we readied up the bikes and off we went.

    The route today was simple enough... US550 south towards Durango, CO and then west to Cortez, CO.

    Skies look a little menacing on the way out of Montrose - Day 4
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    About 30 minutes into the ride the Western slopes came into view and the skies started to clear.

    The Western Slopes Come into view
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    The "simple enough" route proved to be a bit more fun, challenging and enjoyable than we had planned on when we began the first of 3 summit climb passes.

    Hole in the wall - US550
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    Numero Uno -

    Top O' Red Mountian (US550)
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    Nice view from near top of Red Mountain
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    Next up -

    Molas Pass - US550
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    Last but not least was -

    Coal Bank Pass
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    US550 between Montrose and Durango was a blast... lots or twisties, switchbacks and everyother kinda turn. The road surface was great and the traffic was light.

    Switchback<WBR>s all the day long - US550
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    Once we got to Durango we stopped to refuel (ourselves and the bikes)

    Lunch in Durango
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    Not much to say about the road betweeh Durango and Cortez except the road surface was great and the traffic was light. We decided to head to our cell... I mean room for the evening, unpack the bikes and go 2up back to Mesa Verde. Princess brought her camera and took some great shots from the back seat of my bike as we made our way thru Mesa Verde NP.

    Road to Mesa Verde
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    Climbing in Mesa Verde
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    Twisties galore
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    Plenty of Switchback<WBR>s
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    View from my bike - who needs guard rails???
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    Helmet Head - Mesa Verde
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    The road thru Mesa Verde was a blast and a great end to a great days riding (mind the $15 charge to enter the park :eek1 ). 212 Miles. Countless Switchbacks, Twisties and Whoopdies.

    </P< p>
    #10
  11. The Toad

    The Toad Let There Be Light

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    Thanks for the fix :clap
    #11
  12. The Toad

    The Toad Let There Be Light

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    Day 5 - "Utah here we come"

    Friday, July 3 - In spite of weather forecasts calling for storms.We woke to find a most beautiful day for riding :D . After yet another breakfast of stale bread and weak coffee, we packed up the and checked over the bikes and headed out to Four Corners and beyond to Monument Valley, Utah.

    Filling up for the days ride - Day 5
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    Rolling towards Four Corners
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    Guess where ???

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    After "doing" Four Corners we headed SW into NM/AZ on US160 and the turned North towards Utah on US191.

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    As we headed North into Monument Valley not only did the scenery change greatly from previous days but the temps began to rise as well. A sign of things to come.

    Catching US163 we headed north up to Bluff, UT to refuel, have a quick snack and fill up our Camelbacks in preperation for the ride thru the Valley of the Gods.

    I cant say enough about how great this 18 mile(ish) ride was. Climbs, Swithbacks, Twisties and all in the dirt :clap .

    As the temps rose into the triple digits, we were sure glad we had the Camelbacks.... cuz it was HOT !!!!

    Its said a picture is worth a thousand words...so here is about ten thousand words or so.....

    Entrance to Valley of the Gods (off US163)
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    Princess Climbing past Locomotive Rock - Valley of the Gods
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    The Toad Valley of the Gods - Mexican Hat, UT
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    Exiting The Valley of the Gods out onto US261, we headed South to Mexican Hat for dinner and rest for the day.

    Only mishap was all with my helmets windscreen. Somehow? 2 podscrews worked there way loose and I nearly lost the shield. Had to pulll of the road and luckliy 1 of the screws was still there. I made a quick repair and we gotback on the road.

    Roadside Helmet Repair - Outside Mexican Hat, UT
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    Checking into our room at the Hat Rock Inn, found the room to actually be better than expected. We put the bikes up for the night, cleaned up and headed down the street to the Swingin Steak for dinner.

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    Princess saying goodnight to the bikes
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    Cookin Dinner @ The Swingin Steak - Mexican Hat, UT
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    Dinners done
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    Another end to another great day of riding. 185 miles or so of varying terrian and scenery. Looking forward to more of the same tomorrow when we head North.

    some more pics from today:

    Only in Utah ??
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    Friend of The Toad - The Lizard
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    Princess & The Toad - Mexican Hat , UT
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    More to come.....
    #12
  13. The Toad

    The Toad Let There Be Light

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    Day 6 - "Whaaaat a Ride !!!"​

    July 4, Saturday

    Arrived in Moab... pretty tired.. but if anyone wants to know more.. I can post up todays report after a shower and somegrub....
    #13
  14. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Riding through Monument Valley looks awesome!! You're one lucky toad! :thumb
    :lurk
    #14
  15. 10/10ths

    10/10ths Road Trip Fool

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    More, more, more!
    #15
  16. The Toad

    The Toad Let There Be Light

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    Ok... had a shower and some chow... so here we go....

    Day 6 - "Whaaaat a Ride !!!"

    Saturday, July 4 - Good Morning Mexican Hat !!! We had a great time riding in and around Mexican Hat the previous day and a great stay at the Hat Rock Inn... so its a little hard to leave.... BUT there are great roads ahead of us and time is a wastin'

    After a homemade breakfast of bacon and eggs @ the "whatever you can think of store" next to our hotel... I took a little time to clean and lube the bikes chains and we were off !!!!

    Saying goodbye to Mexican Hat, UT
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    Todays route included a climb up UT 261 (known as "Mokee Dugway") that had Princess a little more than anxious ... good thing it wasnt more than 10 minutes into the ride :thumb.. After the previous few days of riding I was sure she was up for it and she made it thru it like a pro :clap

    Princess takes the lead entering Mokee Dugway (Utah 261)
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    View of UT 261 from midway up Mokee Dugway
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    Almost to the top
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    The "Official" Salute from atop Mokee Dugway
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    Princess surveys her achiement atop the Mokee Dugway
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    After the climb up.. we continued north on UT261... which was a great road and nearly free of cars all the way up to UT95 were we headed east towards Monticello for a lunch break.

    Heading East UT 95
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    Pit stop along UT 95
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    Lunch in Monticello<WBR>, UT
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    Lunch @ Subway included a chance encounter with a fellow ADV Rider - "GTomic" who was on his way back home to Oregon. We of course talked about WeeStroms and great rides.... Nice to meet GTomic.

    GTomic and his 60K Wee, Monticello<WBR>, UT
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    Heading out of Monticello we did our best to outrun the first real rain we have seen the whole time (knock on wood)... 10 minutes down UT191 and we were in the clear :clap alll the way to "Hole N' The Rock"

    Out running the storm on the road to Moab, UT 191
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    Great hopping Toad it's HOLE N' THE ROCK!
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    Browsing the crap shops in "Hole N' The Rock" we came across something odd....Some strange things happen in life... "coincidence", "chance", "fate".... you decide..

    What are the odds?
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    After a water and browsing break... we continued on to Moab. Our destination for the day. It was yet ANOTHER great day of riding and we are looking forward to exploring the Moab area tomorrow.....

    One last pic for the day

    Make your own caption....
    [​IMG]

    more to come.....
    #16
  17. The Toad

    The Toad Let There Be Light

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    Catching up a little...

    Day 7 - "Moab - Extreme Dude !!!"

    Sunday, July 5 - We arrived in Moab the previous evening, got some food.. watched the fireworks and settled in for the next days ride thru Arches NP.

    After another free breakfast of stale bread products and cold eggs we headed out to Arches NP to do sightseeing and ride some of the "backroads". I was excited to ride thru Arches (not really sure why?) but actually after the previous days ride, dealing with the tourists and cagers in the park... was kind of a disapointment. Not too mention the SUPER heat and encountering one of the worst roads EVER. Washboard worse than I have ever encountered, BIG rocks, sand, ruts... you name it.... not really a good ride.

    I can see how this might be a great place for the "true" off-road biker... or true off road bike.... but we really beat the hell out of our bikes and ourselves on a 12 miles (roundtrip) ride down the WORST ROAD EVER.

    Princess taking on the washboard road to hell
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    Taking a break on the WORST ROAD EVER !! - Arches NP
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    A little pissed after the WORST ROAD EVER !!!
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    Ok, so enough about that road... wait.. one more...

    Where we turned around on the WORST ROAD EVER !!! (not to scale)
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    Ok.. now im done...

    anyway... the main road thru Arches wasnt too congested and we did our best to enjoy the park and the scenery.... here is some of what we saw..
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    Look closely for the ADV salute
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    Princess - Arches NP
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    Hiding from the sun
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    Toad will climb
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    So that was Arches.... wait... no... one more..

    Wow look at that GIANT arch.... might be able to get the bikes thru it.....may<WBR>be ?
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    Ok... enough about Arches... lets move onto Moab...
    Nice little town.. if ya dont mind the extreme EVERYTHING !!! Its kinda like a living Mountain Dew Commercial... we saw everything for the extreme adventurer... here's a few..

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    there were all kinda tours and rides and things you could rent to ride on... and ride in.... BUT.... by far the VERY best MOST EXTREME thing you can do in Moab is...

    [​IMG]

    We ate some over priced Chinese food... and some overpriced pizza food... but all in all... it was a good day and a half... and I could see how a person could enjoy themselves in Moab... guess we really just got spoiled by the solitude and excellent riding in and around Mexican Hat.

    ________________________________________________________________

    Day 8 - "Do we really gotta ?!?!?!"

    Monday, July 6 - today we turned and headed back east... thats a sign our journey is coming near its end :cry . BUT... ALAS !!! Its not over just yet !!!

    We headed back towards CO on UT 128 which turned out to be a GREAT ride...

    But im tired.. or drunk .. or suffering from head trauma from that F'ING Bee that hit me in the head while riding thru Black Canyon NP earlier...so..

    more to come........
    #17
  18. The Toad

    The Toad Let There Be Light

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    Day 8 - "Do we really gotta ?!?!?!"

    Monday, July 6 - today we turned and headed back east... thats a sign our journey is coming near its end :cry . BUT... ALAS !!! Its not over just yet !!!

    We headed back towards CO on UT 128 which turned out to be a GREAT ride...

    Heading out of Moab on UT128
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    Lots of Twistes on UT128
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    Road side at what was the Dewey Bridge - UT128
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    Dewey Bridge remnants - UT128
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    Dewey Bridge story can be found here -
    http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/apr/08/boy-7-blamed-after-fire-guts-historic-dewey-bridge/

    After a great ride up UT128 we hit the Superslab thru to Colorado Junction. We exited at US50 and headed Southeast back to Montrose, this time to explore the Black Canyon NP. The ride up to the park on CO347 to the South Rim was a good one. Once there the views were great.

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    Holy Black Canyon Batman !!!
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    Saying goodbye to Black Canyon NP
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    On the way out of Black Canyon, we were out running a serious storm all the way back to our hotel....

    Princess heads into the menacing weather
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    it just keeps getting better !!!
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    I dont think were in Kansas anymore !!!!
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    Dinner - Montrose, CO
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    Day 8 ended back in Montrose were we ended Day 3.... way back when. The plan for Day 9 was to head back to Woodland Park were our Journey began. But some plans change..... this time for the better...

    more to come....
    #18
  19. JemezMtns

    JemezMtns Been here awhile

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    Hi, Brian. Great ride report. Is that a helmet-to-helmet communication system on your helmets? If so, what make and model is it?
    #19
  20. ADV Fool

    ADV Fool Been here awhile

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    Enjoying your RR & the nice pics. Thx for taking me/us along.

    Randy
    #20