Moab for a day

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Mil T, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. Mil T

    Mil T Been here awhile

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    My friend John in Calif. emailed and asked if I wanted to join him and his son John Jr. on a trip up to Moab for the KTM Adventure Rally. Both John and John Jr. bought KTM 990R’s back in February. They were also going to take a few days after to do some riding on the west side of the Green River in the San Rafael Swell area. I took them up on the offer and left Thursday morning on my 650 V-Strom to meet them in Flagstaff, AZ. They were coming from Seal Beach, California and I was just an hour south of Flagstaff in my little town of Payson, AZ. We hooked up around 12pm and headed on up towards Moab.
    We took the 89 north and across to Kayenta and through Monument Valley. The weather was perfect.
    We arrived in Moab around 6:00 pm. Checked in to the Holiday Express Inn which was next door to the hotel and area that KTM was holding the event. Then we headed downtown to grab some Italian food at one of the many great restaurants that Moab has to offer.
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    This is the rock formation that the little town of Mexican Hat is named for.
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    The shadows were getting long as the sun was going down and we were just a few miles out of Moab.
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    #1
  2. Mil T

    Mil T Been here awhile

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    We got up and had some breakfast at the hotel then wandered next door to where the KTM people had a few venders set up and they were letting people demo bikes. There were about 100 people it looked like stirring around waiting for the festivities to start. We were introduced to a few KTM people and then they talked about a few rides going out. It didn't seem to be to organized in comparisons to other events of this type that we have all been to in years past.
    Their rides were follow the leader type rides. There was Paul Krause, Mike Rafferty and Mitch ? who had raced in the ISDE. The problem was that non of these guys had ever been to Moab before and they were going to use GPS's to find there way. J,J and I have been to Moab many times over the past 25 years and know the place pretty well so we decided to solo it and make our own ride.
    Since J, Jr. had not ever been on the East side of Moab and into the La Sal Mtns, we decided that this would be a good loop to make for the day.
    We headed up the river road and into Castle Valley. From there we hit the dirt road that went into Gateway, Colorado but took a turn before heading into Gateway that would take us over the La Sal Loop road. We got off the trail and back into Moab just about 5:15 and had a great ride with a little challenging down hill as we came off of the La Sal Pass road on the West side. Steep and Rocky.
    We got cleaned up and walked across to get one of the two dinners that were provided for the $120 registration for the KTM event. Pizza. The event was held outside behind the hotel and the entertainment was hearing about Mike Rafferty and Mitch ? talk about themselves and their affilitation with KTM.

    We headed back to our hotel and decided the jacuzzi was much more rewarding.
    The first report of some serious weather coming in from the south and the West started showing up on the news channel.

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    The fall colors were in there prime as we continued through this ride as you will see by some of the pictures.
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    At this point we noticed that the breathing got a little harder and noticed that the summit of La Sal loop was over 10K feet.

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    Then it dropped really quickly into the valley that Moab is in. The down hill got tiring from standing up and holding yourself back it was so steep and the road was littered with soft ball to bowling ball rocks that you had to strategically avoid hitting or you would be doing some soil sampling. We got down and came our on nice road that took us back into Moab.

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    #2
  3. Mil T

    Mil T Been here awhile

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    When we had decided to go take in the Jacuzzi on Friday nite we started talking about our next few days and what the impending weather was going to do. The weather maps were already showing some of the bad weather system had entered Utah and that the southern storm coming up through Arizona was going to hit on Sunday. We have all been in the San Rafael area before and the soil is not to conducive to good traction and mud tends to stick to motorcycle tires in many areas. The storms according to the news were going to be hitting sometime Sunday and lasting most of the week. We decided that this trip was going to have to be cut short. J and J decided to go ahead with heading over to hwy 24 and 12 to go home as this is the time of season that makes Utah hwy 12 one of the nicest rides to see the fall colors etc. so they were going to push on and try and get home by Sunday sometime.
    I decided to take the 191 south all the way home.
    The weather was great all day. I was able to turn some pretty good speeds while out in the deserted hwys that go across the Navajo Indian Reservation.
    As I started approaching Holbrook and my last 85 miles to home, I noticed the clouds on the horizon. I was thinking hey they aren't supposed to be here until Sunday they said. So I pushed on and wasn't paying to much attention out on the road from Holbrook and Heber and one of Arizona's finest caught me doing 85 when the speed limit was 65. He was nice enough to drop the speed to 75 at least so I guess it's traffic school time to keep this one off the records.
    Once I left my new friend, I noticed the cloulds getting a little thicker until I was just 7 miles from home and it opened up on me. It was hailing, raining and very nasty. It stopped just as I was approaching my house.
    So all in all this was a fun trip but it would have been nice to have finished the planned route.
    Also unless KTM takes some lessons on how to put an event like their Adventure Rally on from someone that knows how to put on an event, I certainly would not pay the high price of registration for a piece of pizza, a hamburger and to follow a couple guys around that don't know where their going. (ok, this last part was only my opinion.) The KTM motorcycle is an awesome bike however and I love my KTM 530 that I ride.

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    #3
  4. Mil T

    Mil T Been here awhile

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    Here's a couple of videos I took.

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    Then after getting home and cleaned up changed and all, I looked out in the back and was rewarded with one of our wild pets in the area. Now you hunters can't be drowling on the key board.

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    And here's my wife possing with our wild pet.
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    #4
  5. Mil T

    Mil T Been here awhile

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    couple more videos

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    That's All Folks!!

    Uncle Mil T
    #5
  6. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Hi Mil T. Nice Pet! At first I thought you got a new bike, until I spotted your Strom hiding behind those beautiful 990s.:smile6 I thought about riding up for the KTM Rally, then realized there would likely be other people there.

    Monument Valley looks so much different than when I rode trough twice in 24 hours in the dark last weekend.:loco
    #6
  7. Mo-Tarded

    Mo-Tarded Been here awhile

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    Very nice... Beautiful ride. Beautiful animal. Beautiful wife.

    Can you provide escort services for my wife and I next year ? I'll buy. :evil
    #7
  8. Sportakus

    Sportakus Been here awhile

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    Thanks :clap :clap

    Great travel and give you a cool beer at your "new" friend... :deal

    Bye :norton
    #8
  9. Mil T

    Mil T Been here awhile

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    :lol3 Yea it probably helps to ride through in the day time.
    I am planning on getting a 990 probably next year. I do like the strom and I havn't ever had problems taking it where I want.
    Still looking to ride with you one day.
    Mil T
    #9
  10. Mil T

    Mil T Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the nice words.
    Funny, cause my two friends live in Seal Beach and Jr. is a fireman for L.A. City.
    Escort to where?? Anything can be arranged. :D

    Mil T
    #10
  11. AZCPP

    AZCPP Been here awhile

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    So, that was you we passed about a 1/2 mile from your house yesterday. T. and I was on the Versys and Alan was on his red roadliner. Our plans got changed when T. said she wanted to ride, so the planned long two day ride became a day ride.
    #11
  12. Mil T

    Mil T Been here awhile

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    I thought that might have been you guys. You should have turned around and stopped for a few. Did you get thet rain and hail in Star Valley when you went through? Probably a good thing since the rain was supposed to hit today but so far I don't see it. The clouds are really heavy over the rim and out towards your place it looks like.

    Mil T
    #12
  13. AZCPP

    AZCPP Been here awhile

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    I seen the blue Strom but thought it couldn't be Mil, he's in Moab. We hit the rain on the east end of Star Valley but it didn't last too long. We hit hail earlier in the day above Strawberry. I looks like it is gonna rain here any time now.
    #13
  14. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Fantastic ride and pics!! Thanks for the report and pics :thumb
    #14
  15. OldtimerTC

    OldtimerTC Been here awhile

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    Nice Run Mil !!

    C-ya Satruday...Brad and I will be at the Days in sometime Friday evening.

    You gonna be there friday for the fish fry ?
    #15
  16. Mil T

    Mil T Been here awhile

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    pulling in sometime Friday afternoon probably with the truck and trailer.

    I'll be there for fish fry but there's a Fudruckers down the street and I might go there. I love their ribeye steak sandwich.

    Mil T
    #16
  17. redeye-az

    redeye-az Been here awhile

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    OK ya'll 2..(AZCPP & MilT)....

    i'm crushed....when the weather hit in star valley...
    you were 1 mile from my house, with shelter & refreshments.
    and didn't seek shelter..
    i know, chuck, you didn't know & mil was 2 mi. from home being gone 5 days........
    anyhow it would have been good bench racin' anyhow........
    nextime.....
    next weekend.....................
    redeye..............db
    #17
  18. Signal

    Signal Cynical Idealist

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    Very nice, love the La Sal/Castle Valley stuff--beautiful less traveled area :nod

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    Stayed here? :clap
    #18
  19. AZCPP

    AZCPP Been here awhile

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    Redeye, When are you getting your worn-out part's replaced? I'll stop by to bench race when you are recouperating and cant ride.
    #19
  20. ARZ

    ARZ Adventurer

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    Sweet, thanks for taking us on the virtual trip, Mil.

    Did you guys get to do the loop through Monument Valley park? I assume since you have been to Moab many times the answer is yes, but if not and if your Cali crew, hadn't been, you guys missed out. They have a small fee, but its worth EVERY cent, even if you don't stop in the gift store or anything.

    Its like sensory overload, you cant have enough eyes in your head, there is something to see around every corner and the view changes so radically every 50 yards or so. Hillsamer and I did it this July with the sun setting. We were headed through with the bikes in the back of the truck trying to get home before midnight and he had never seen it. We unloaded the bikes and fired up the helmet cams and blasted it out in an hour. Fast for sight seeing, but not to fast to see most of it or be disrespectful to others. It was kinda funny, it seemed like we got lots of reactions. We weren't going too fast, and we certainly weren't being disrespectful to others and their experience, trying to be a quiet as possible. There were many people in busses, rental cars and Jeeps, and almost NO ONE on a bike. I noticed mixed looks from all the other tourists, some people had scowls and other had smiles and gave thumbs up and even shouted cheers and even "Pop a wheelie!".

    It didn't dawn on me until loading the bikes back at the truck that the dirty looks probably came from (what I would have guessed) Americans, and nearly all of the cheers and thumbs-up's came from (I would assume to be) European tourists. Just an observation and really, since usually when I'm on the bike, I try to get AWAY from the tourist attractions, so maybe I was hypersensitive about it.

    It did make me think about the way Americans revere motorcycles, especially in town. I think all kids should be required to ride a bicycle or a motorcycle in traffic as their main transportation for a year. This would give EVERYONE (except snowbirds) a feel for how vulnerable you are as a cyclist, and hopefully a healthy respect for others on the road. Snowbirds are another issue all together, don't get me started on that one. LOL

    #20