NomadGal's Year on the Road

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by NomadGal, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. bobw

    bobw Harden the phuck up

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    998
    Location:
    God's country, Western North Carolina
    Fun report and my popcorn bowl is full, IN:freaky for the duration.
    #61
  2. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Thanks Hair! They look pretty sweet, but $80 is pretty steep if you ask me! Think I'll just buy a large wood clamp and that way I just need to twist the lever until the bead breaks :D
    #62
  3. zoid

    zoid Dirty Old Hippie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,399
    Location:
    Where the N stands for Nowledge
    NomadGal, I've been following your report since your first stop in Lincoln for Euro Bike night. Didn't get a chance to meet you that night but at least I got to meet you at Pie-fest. Enjoying your RR and looking forward to reading more about your travels.
    #63
  4. Ladybug0048

    Ladybug0048 Bug Sister

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    12,427
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    NomadGal, I suspect you have a lot more people subscribed to your Ride Report than you realize. I've been subscribed since the start. :clap

    Keep riding and keep smiling. :D
    #64
  5. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Was nice to meet you Zoid! Glad to see that there are still hippies about! :rofl
    #65
  6. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Hey Ladybug! Not really sure how to see if someone subscribed. Fifthcircle is the first one who mentioned it, so I assumed he was the first subscriber. Haha, maybe I have secret subscribers :loll
    Nice to "meet" you!
    #66
  7. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    I'm back in Ames Iowa.
    After Red Oak I encountered some road work, thought this was a pretty unique road composition, black and white.

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    Looked at the map, and decided to take Highway 25, just cause my B-Day is on the 25th. While riding I glimpsed this hug rock that had been painted, I turned around cause I was curious as to what was painted on it.
    Turns out this rock is famous.

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    The young man who started this, think he was 19 at the time, did this after seeing Saving Private Ryan.
    He changes it every year

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    I am so against war that seeing this made me very sad...... what a waste, we could do so much better than this!
    The only way I can cope with mankind's stupidity is in believing that everything happens for a reason.
    Guess the only way to long for world peace is to finally get fed up with world war. I sure hope that comes around sooner than later!

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    The view behind the rock gave me a bit of peace. Nature does wonders for the soul. A bit of heaven in this crazy world.

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    Another red barn

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    Iowa has some amazing skies, and the camera is not doing justice to the different colors of the field. There were different hues of yellows and golds and ochres.

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    Now I can truly say, without lying, that I have been to Jamaica!

    Got back to Ames via some obscure country roads that were just awesome, P30 is one of them.
    Back at Robert's house Nickel was happy to see me again. He kept following me around like a young puppy dog, even though he is a really old cat (14yrs).

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    Using the sink together was a bit of a challenge. Hey Nickel, can I spit out my toothpaste now??
    #67
  8. Paddygfw

    Paddygfw Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    WOW:clap:clap:clap:clap
    Love the RR
    #68
  9. CB160

    CB160 another old fart....

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    SoCal (LAX)
    :clap Still following, like many others.
    Stay safe and keep smiling!
    #69
  10. BOBaloo22

    BOBaloo22 RIP Baby Girl

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,820
    Location:
    Orangeburgville, Va
    Just found your RR this AM. I'm caught up now and it looks like the start of a great adventure. My wife and I have ridden from Va to some of the places you've visited but for now we've put traveling on hold.Our yellow lab Libby is almost 14 so we do just day trips now.
    Travel safe,

    Bob
    #70
  11. achesley

    achesley Old Motorcyclist

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,536
    Location:
    Jennings, Louisiana
    What an awesome report! :clap:clap:clap I was wondering at first about the battery on your KLR as they don't need a battery to run unless something else is amiss. I've had to push start mine several times due to flat batteries or loose connections either on the battery , ground or fuse. Glad the wires you found solved the problem. Love the back roads of America also no matter if on my KLR or Bandit. Thanks for the time and work to share your journey. :clap:clap:clap
    #71
  12. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    YAY! Back on the road again..... guess I'm a restless soul.
    Spend 6 days at Robert's house watching the cat and painting. I loved it, his house is very comfortable, and he made me feel welcome.

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    Wow, he even posed!

    Starting to pack up the bike before he even got home showed I was anxious to get going again.
    I love sleeping in my tent, and being in the forest or just outside.
    I had a great lucid dream the night before he came home, about my grandmother who passed away. Seeing her in my dream made me realize I was dreaming and I became lucid. It was wonderful being with her again, and asked her questions about how she was, and what it was like bing dead. She gave me some funny answers. One of them was that she was learning how to ride a horse. LOL.
    Still it felt real being with her and I gave her a hug goodbye as I felt that I couldn't hold on to my lucidity.
    I left Sunday August 26th, and right before I did so, Robert gave me his Down sleeping bag, and I left my colossal bag with him. Wow, Spirit looks better without it on her! Haha.
    Now a smaller sleeping pad, and I can get one of those cases on the back and stash everything in it.
    I am a tad worried about the wind on Mackinaw Bridge, so not having that huge thing sticking out is a relief!

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    I think this is a Norwegian little town.

    I rode Eastward and watched as the landscape changed from corn to forest.

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    Yep another red barn

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    My first glimpse of the Mississippi!

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    Found a campsite, Pike's peak National Park, overlooking the Mississippi, and pitched my tent.

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    It was still light so I decided to walk to the bluff and take some pictures.

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    Wow! A parking spot just for bikes, cool!

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    The view was amazing!!

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    The thing about riding everywhere is that you start to feel like your legs are atrophying so I decided to go for a little hike.

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    It looked like fun heading down there!

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    Hmmm, not so much fun heading back up (only 200 steps though)

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    I can imagine how amazing this fall must look in the spring. Iowa has had a long dry spell!

    Left the next morning (sleepily, some drag racing going on outside the campground in the middle of the night!) after having talked for a while with one of the campers who turned out to be a hypnotist. He was on the road as well, from one gig to another, helping people to get over fears and other things. He said the problem was that people just wanted to get fixed, but never really wanted to delve into their own psyche to find out what the trouble really was. I guess that will only happen when you are finally ready to take a deeper look at yourself and deal with what you find.

    On my way North I dropped by Effigy Mounds National Monument.
    There are tons of mounds there that are still being researched. Basically they are burial grounds of animals and humans, and no one knows exactly who made these.

    Rode through a pretty little town called McGregor

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    Decided to go into Wisconsin so I could ride close to the river.

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    Yep, here too, red barns!

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    Had to turn around and take a pic of this street. Saw it as I rode by.

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    After looking for a reasonably priced campground I decided to go over the bridge into Minnesota, seeing as I though $27 was a tad much for camping out.

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    Found a cool site for $11 at Kruger camp, south of Wabasha. Spirit and my tent, Home sweet home!


    Now, don't get me wrong, meeting folks is great, but here at the camp, while riding into it, I met this guy on a Yamaha called Elmer. He invited me to his place, but I kindly told him no thanks, I love camping. I didn't know what to think of him.... He kept spitting , yuck!
    I said bye and started looking for a good camping spot, when he showed up again and said he'd show me the perfect place. I tried to have an open mind and heart and said ok. He drove to the other side of the campground and indeed showed me a nice little spot with grass and a bit of a view. Then he lingered for a long while while I pitched up my tent. Then the campsite host joined him, and together they watched me pitch up my tent and get my stuff off the bike. It feels rather odd being observed doing my thing! Elmer just couldn't believe Spirit was capable of riding that long of a distance and with all that gear on it. I think Spirit would have spit at him of she could have!
    Finally after having talked a bit more, he was a farmer who grew corn, and also a power plant worker at the local prison, Elmer said bye. He still must not have believed me when I said I loved camping, LOL. He was an ok guy, and meant well, but I still didn't feel very comfortable around him.

    Spend a great night in my new sleeping bag, it was wonderfully quiet! BRoke camp and headed North along the river toward Stillwater.

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    Lake Pepin

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    Rode through Lake city, a very picturesque little town.

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    Right now I'm in Red Wing, having some salad and fries at you know where!
    Time to post this and hit the road again. Not going too far today, I thin I want to paint some more.
    #72
  13. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Currently in Duluth, got my first glimpse of the lake!
    Here are some pics of the last few days.

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    Going through Stillwater

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    Perfect shot of this gorgeous red barn!

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    I love it when a town has flowers hanging from the street lights

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    If you look closely you can see my shadow *:Hap1:

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    From my campsite to the river

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    I think the rock was too shiny, so I look very ghostly haha

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    How much room does one gal really need!!!! A lot! Hahah, airing out my junk

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    One more classic red barn
    #73
  14. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    In Grand Marais right now drinking a cop of tea in a coffee shop, which is funny cause I've decided not to drink coffee anymore. I miss it though ;.(..
    After Chengwatana I headed North to Duluth.
    Well....... my first glimpse of it was not to good, my reaction was basically YUCK!
    It was all grey and ghetto looking, smog and industrial chimneys, too many cars, big freeways with bridges running over and under each other. Basically the stuff I normally avoid like the plague.
    Once I got past it and saw the nice part of town and the lake, it was all G!
    I love the road along the lake, it is gorgeous and not too many folks on it at all!

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    Saw this humongous statue on the side of the road. I should have put the restaurant in the pic as well to have a reference. This guy is about 15 or more feet tall

    I checked out another state park, and again it was $25! so no way!
    Stopped by Tofte forest ranger station and they gave me a map of some free camp sites. Yay!!
    Rode up to country road 2 and up into the hills. The road soon changed into gravel and I kinda felt skittish being on dirt again. After almost 4 weeks my rib is feeling pretty good. I can sneeze and cough again without hurting. Still can't push on it, and it feels a little off. Being on gravel again felt scary, but I decided it was worth getting a free night. I rode for about half an hour or more on this.

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    Pretty hard but very squarely with ruts underneath.

    Afterwards I found my turnoff 164 to trout river campsite.

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    They weren't' kidding about the trucks!!
    Holy cow, one came thundering down this narrow road, and I had to ride into the ditch to avoid being squashed!

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    The road was so worth it!!!

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    There was only one other camper there, and quite a ways away.

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    Found this little trail and wanted to see if there was an overlook so I could see the sunset. There wasn't one nearby, instead I found a lot of these!

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    I wonder if a slug can eat these, would it be safe for humans too?

    I really want to learn which mushrooms are safe for consumption. my mouth was just watering seeing them all. I love fried mushrooms, and thought of Jim's friends in Lewiston Idaho, who took me out Morel hunting.

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    This picture doesn't do the peace and serenity of the place justice, but then again, no picture really could!

    Had a great night's rest. It was pretty cold at night. After a week of 80 degree nights, the temp dropped to 45. I am loving the down sleeping bag, and find myself still breathing in the morning, so I guess no more allergies! :nana

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    Turns out that the dirt road further down to country road 4 and down to Lutsen was a heck of a lot shorter and easier. Go figure!

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    Rode up to Grand Marais

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    Lovely little town on the lake.

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    I took the Gunflint Hwy cause I heard so much about it.
    Well........... It was a major let down! I had expected a way more rustic road with lots of views of the water and wild moose.
    What I found was a wide road with not much to see, and restaurants, Lodges, and giftshops scattered along the way.
    Still was able to take a view okay pics

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    I am pretty sure this was an eagle! It kept following me.

    I rode back toward Grand Marais faster than I rode to the end of the road, and decided to have a cup of tea and post my RR.

    I am heading to another free campsite on the map. I hope it's as nice as last nights one.
    Then because my friend in Minnesota has no time for me I decided to just head to Minnesota tomorrow of the day after. So I get to give Duluth another chance.
    #74
  15. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    Aaahhhh, I am all relaxed and ready to ride for a while!
    I rode back toward the free campsite I had stayed the night before, but right before I got there decided to take a peek at White Fish lake, that also had 3 free camping spots. I am glad I did.

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    It was beautiful and very peaceful, and had only one other camper, a family of three.
    At first I thought that 2 of the three sites were taken, but it turned out that the family really did not want to end up with some noisy days barking next to them, so they just planted a bunch of stuff on site 2 and "screened" the drive by's. :D
    They did ask me if I wanted to camp on that site, but the other one actually had a flat spot so I took it.

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    Steve dropped by later and asked if I wanted to come over and have dinner.
    I warmed up my Indian food, and went over.
    His wife Nancy and son Mike were very nice too, they had made me a veggie shish kebab, very tasty!
    We sat and had dinner and shared stories. One of them was hilarious!
    Steve's friend, let's just call him Buddy, is a pretty big guy, and he had bought himself a mummy sleeping bag good for cold weather. So he goes of and camps out in the forest during the winter. Crawls in his mummy bag and goes to sleep.
    Well, he ends up waking up in the middle of the night and find that he can't move his hands. Of course half asleep, and not thinking clearly, he panics thinking his arms were frozen, and tries to get up and out of the tent.
    He finally manages to get on his knees and his face near the zipper so he can open the tent door with his teeth, only to have his tong get stuck to the freezing cold zipper head. After the door is open he has to yank his tong off the zipper, and he hops outside still stuck in his sleeping bag. Well Steve is mimicking the whole story, so it was pretty funny to watch as well! End of story is that after hopping a while Buddy realizes that he can feel his arms again, they had been asleep because he had been lying on them. LOL

    I stayed at the campsite the next day and moved the rear wheel back a tad to tighten the chain that finally after a few thousand miles stretched a teensy bit.
    I also got a chance to mend a few things that had broken, like the velcro on my tent, and gotten on pants.
    As I was sewing, look what walked into my tent site and then walked out again. I followed it into the other site and took a picture

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    I had a blast watching a squirrel tackle a half apple that was on a bench, he was really chewing off some good sized chunks, and rolling around with that apple while doing it.
    then a beautiful butterfly landed on the bench.

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    Then I ended the day with a shower out of the bag, and working on my paintings. Very relaxing.
    Walked over to Steve and his family to let them know about the fox, and we took a group picture.

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    That sweater makes me look like I'm twice as beg! LOL! now I know what to wear when I see a bear!

    Toward sunset I walked to the lake and I was glad I did, managed to take a good picture of the sunset

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    Broke camp early this morning and I am in Twin Harbor right now, heading for Duluth and Minnesota.
    #75
  16. NomadGal

    NomadGal Esther

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,133
    Location:
    Everywhere and Nowhere
    There are several things I have learned yesterday!
    1. Don't rely on my memory!
    2. Learn the difference between left and right
    3. My brain doesn't function too well when I am tired
    4. Don't just assume,
    5. I can handle Spirit better than I think I can at times

    Why all these little wisdoms?
    I will tell you in a bit.
    I left Duluth, happily, and headed into Wisconsin. Hwy 13 along the coast is wonderful and quiet, and I rode through Ashland and Cornucopia, which someone must have thought was a fun town.

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    Because Duluth had taken all the wind out of me, I decided to not ride too much further that day, and aimed for a campground in the Chequamegon National Forest.
    It was an ok campground and even though it was right on a small country road, there was not traffic after dark.

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    Now, I have to admit that the thought of not paying the camping fee was very tempting. It was Labor Day Sunday, and I did not think a park ranger would show up on Labor Day Monday. Still, I could not do it, and faithfully paid my camping fee, a whopping $13.00 for a site without water and 2 Pit toilets.
    It was a fairly warm night and I slept soundly till 6am, at which time I decided to try and get out of there earlier than usual.
    Well, I still made it by 9AM after having made myself some scrumptious gluten-free cranberry, apple and banana pancakes topped with Raspberry Agave syrup!

    I found myself in Michigan before I knew it! And rode a small country road through the Porcupine mountains and along the coast! Heavenly!

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    The beach sand is white, and for a second I could believe I was back on Kauai!

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    The leaves were already changing color!

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    Entering Houghton, pretty cool place!

    I had planned on going up the peninsula to shipwrecks beach, but decided that I would never make it to the campsite on time if I did.
    I am glad that I didn’t, as you soon will find out.

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    There is actually a town called Christmas!!! I never knew!

    Now you will hear the rest of my story…

    I found out on free campsites.net that there was a free campground in the Hiawatha Forest, and I made it the end of my long day of gorgeous and fun riding.
    After reading the instructions on how to get there, it seemed easy to find, which in retrospect was true.
    Anyway, I turned right on Hwy 94 after having passed through Munising, Mi.
    Rode for 6.4 miles and yep, there it was Forest Road 2254 (2264 was right before that and I almost assumed that there was a typo on the website).
    Went down 2254 which in no time came to a split, pavement to the left dirt straight ahead. Well of course I assumed that a free campground had to be on dirt, so I drove op and down teeth rattling dirt roads for 30 minutes trying to locate the forest road 2473, which of course was not on the dirt road.
    It finally dawned on me that maybe I should have stayed on the pavement.
    Once I got on there I indeed within 4 miles, found Forest road 2473.
    Now, the sun started getting low in the sky, and I was getting tired (and a tad discussed with myself for assuming) that when I saw 2473 my memory said turn left, which I did. Boy was that dirt road ever getting hairy!
    It turned into a very rocky and sandy dirt road, but still passable. After a little while I saw a small dirt trail turning right, it had the number 2369 on a small post. This was it???? the road to the campsite?? OY! Anyway, I attempted it, almost wiped in the sand but put my feet down and held Spirit up! Yay!! Decided to slowly coast down the dirt trail with my feet on either side Spirit keeping her straight up.
    But then I cam to a section that went up 45 degrees, and consisted of nothing but pebbles and rocks. I parked Spirit to go and scope out the slope. No way!!!! I could barely walk up there!
    So I decided to give up and turn around, but I would take a picture so I could tell about this trail.
    Do you see a picture? Nope, I forgot as soon as I got back to the bike.
    After carefully going forwards a foot and backing up a foot over and over again, I got myself and Spirit out off the predicament we were in.
    Got back on 2473 and decided to just go and pay for a campsite.
    As I hit 2254 I noticed that 2473 also went to the right. I started thinking, wasn't I supposed to turn right?? I asked a guy in his front yard and he confirmed that there was indeed a free campground there. OY!!
    So I turned around again and this time turned right.
    Then, I relied on my memory again! I should have known not to. I rode way to far down the road and ended up on a sandy part. I got spirit turned around safely again and decided to look on my laptop for the saved instructions. Sure enough, I only had to go half a mile, not one and a half.
    I finally found the turnoff only to see that it was marked 2367 and not 2369. Ha! an error on the website.
    I finally got to the campground which turned out to be gorgeous. Now if only I had looked at my notes beforehand, and not............... Oh well, there is a reason for everything right?

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    Made myself a campfire! My first (not counting Moab)

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    If you think these are flowers, you are wrong. Believe it or not, these are all spider webs!

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    Morning mist

    I was exhausted and slept like a baby! The morning mist was heavy, and left camp late because I had to let everything dry a bit. It was a good excuse for some more of those scrumptious pancakes!
    #76
  17. aholecop

    aholecop Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    59
    Location:
    nj
    stumbled on to your report great job ! good luck ! :lurk
    #77
  18. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    738
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    I can see that this is going to be a great one to look at. The photos are super-cool too. Thanks for taking the time to do this for the rest of us. I'm not finished yet, but I always like to have something in my bookmarks to go to next.

    Gary "Oldone" [​IMG]

    Grampa’s Lake Superior Ride
    Grampa’s National Monument Ride
    #78
  19. CB160

    CB160 another old fart....

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    80
    Location:
    SoCal (LAX)
    Hi NG,
    The further you go, The better it gets!
    Have a great time, Thanks for sharing,
    Ride safe :)
    #79
  20. Paddygfw

    Paddygfw Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    75
    Location:
    Newfoundland
    Love your RR...have a great day:clap
    #80