The “Well crap, the National Parks are closed” Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by KYMike, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    This year would be a busy one. Busy at work, busy at home. As my kids got involved in different events, it became apparent that this would be the year of individual vacations. As such, I was able to get 11 days off for an epic ride. Well, as epic as you can ride in 11 days. Thanks to The Mobius Trip, I realized the best way to maximize my time was to plan a one-way ride.





    My trip would start in early October, but the planning started much earlier. I decided to visit several of our National Parks out West. I’d been to a couple as a kid, but hadn’t seen most of them. I started planning early. So early in fact, I had to abandon the planning phase for several months because I couldn’t deal with the wait. A couple months out I found an ADV’r with great route advice and garage space for the winter. A return plane ticket was bought, and the planning began. However, before this trip could start, I would almost derail it by trying to ride off-road.





    So now, the prequel to the “Well crap, the National Parks are closed” tour………..





    The LBL200 is a 200+ mile ride in Land Between the Lakes (KY/TN) on hiking trails, gravel roads, and the occasional blacktop. Held in September, it would take place less than four weeks from my National Park tour. I bought a Yamaha XT250 for this ride (and another one in Missouri), and had my friend Voodoo Child mount some knobbies.





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    I had never ridden off-road before, so of course I had to buy the appropriate safety gear and apparel.





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    As a hiker, I thought it would be fun to ride the hiking trails. Little did I know most folks would treat it as a race. Long story short, I rode too hard and too fast trying to keep up with all those orange bikes (not sure of the make, as they were flying by me too fast to read). I actually think I did pretty well, but in a low damp area, my front wheel hit a root at ground level and I went down hard. My right foot took all of the force as it hit the ground. I knew my foot hurt, but didn’t know the extent until I took a shower that night.





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    It was extremely tender. I decided not to ride the second day, not wanting to hurt my foot so badly I couldn’t ride out West. For the next 3+ weeks I let it heal.
    #1
  2. Wdwrkr

    Wdwrkr Long timer

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    In :D
    #2
  3. acidman1968

    acidman1968 Been here awhile

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    Living in a state with five National Parks, I'll be waiting for this one...


    :lurk
    #3
  4. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    First off, here I am ready to gear up and head out. Day one of nine days of riding.
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    And the bike all packed up. [​IMG]

    As I head west on the WK Parkway, it’s a little foggy and overcast.
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    This highway is actually nice, decent scenery with very little traffic until you reach Paducah. But I’ve driven this way too many times visiting family in Missouri, so I’m not having that “adventure” feeling yet. However, I am riding my bike instead of being at work, so all is well.
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    I take a selfie and later realize I must have left my neck at home.:rofl
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    By the time I reach far western Kentucky, the sky is blue and sunny. I pass by a few crops….
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    …and eventually get to Wickliffe, KY.
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    I cross the Ohio river and briefly enter Illinois.
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    After crossing the bridge, turning right will take you into Cairo. I stopped here one year on my KLR and looked around. I’ve got a Day Trip on it if you’re interested. I turn left instead and cross over the Mississippi….
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    ….and into Missouri (my home state).
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    A few more crops, then I just slab it towards Springfield.
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    I visit a high school friend living in Ozark for a couple hours, but it’s hardly enough time to catch up after 25 years. I then head over to my cousin’s home in Nixa for a home cooked meal and visit with his family. After the bike cools down, we let his girls sit on it. They were cute as can be, and lots of fun. Tonight would be my last night in a bed for a while.
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    #4
  5. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    Of course by now the National Parks are closed. I knew this when I left my house yesterday, but it didn’t really matter. I can’t change my trip dates, and I already have a plane ticket home. I have camping gear and food packed, so I’ll just make the best of it. Besides, it’s only Friday and I’m not planning to visit or stay in a National Park until Sunday night. Surely the government won’t stay shut-down too long….not with this economy.

    Today was planned to be the longest, probably most boring, day of the trip…around 630 miles across Kansas and into eastern Colorado. I should mention that I’m technologically challenged. I use a car GPS on my V-Strom, and have some routes loaded for the entire trip. As I leave Springfield’s traffic, I quickly get into the countryside of Southwest Missouri and the riding is nice. It’s a beautiful morning and traffic is minimal. Before long the GPS takes me North, then East. Hmmm….I shouldn’t be heading East. After some goofy routing, I go through Nevada Missouri and start heading West again. I snap a picture of their water tower. After all, I’m not visiting the state of Nevada on this trip.
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    I soon reach the border of Kansas….
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    ….and the scenery is what I expected.
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    I don’t mind the miles and miles of flat grassland, but it’s the wind that gets to me. I ride with the bike leaning sharply to the left until I reach Wichita. I have two things going through my mind: My tire is going to wear out on only the left side, and there’s a 95% chance the next gust of wind is going to blow the V-Strom right out from under me. That never happens, but when I reach Wichita the winds change direction. I now have to lean sharply to the right, which takes care of the tire wear issue. This kind of riding is not enjoyable.

    I gas up just before leaving Wichita and soon realize my ipod shuffle mounted to my tank bag is gone. I wear ear buds for noise reduction, and listen to music when on the highway. I can’t believe I’ve lost my tunes and it’s only Day 2.

    Not too many photo ops along the way. I pass through Dodge City and like their sign.
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    Eventually the sun starts going down.
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    I see this sign and think “not likely”.
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    And then I’m in Colorado.
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    The rest of the day is progressively worse. The only bright spot is a conversation I have with an older gentleman who rides a GS. I don’t take any more pictures, so I’ll boil it down for everyone.

    First, I start to wonder if shoving my ear buds down into my jacket might have caused the ipod loss. Gravity would make them slide down the inside of my jacket and eventually out the bottom. If this happened I would find the ear buds wrapped around the rear wheel. Sure enough, the next time I stop I look at the rear wheel and see what’s left of my ear buds. That ipod must have been launched from the tank bag and I didn’t notice in all the wind. A homeless guy is probably enjoying some ‘80s music right now.

    Next, the temperature drops and I add my down puffy jacket which helps until I reach my destination, John Martin Reservoir State Park. I get to their campground and it’s completely dark and windy and cold. I’m used to the wind dying down in the evening, but here it’s gusting. I can’t find a spot with any cover, so I just pick a spot near the bathrooms/laundry. Once I get off the bike I realize I’m freezing. I try to quickly get my tent together (and do), but it’s literally flying in the air like a kite. I take the footprint and wrap it around part of the bike so I can use both hands to stake a corner in the ground. No dice. The ground is too hard. I finally decide to pack it up and sleep in the laundry room. I take the tent apart and stow it. When I look for the footprint, it’s gone. Must have blown away. I never even noticed. I got my sleeping pad and bag and went in the bathroom. It was warm and dry, and I got a few hours sleep. Not the best, but good enough.

    So, no pictures to capture the wind, lost ipod, lost footprint, or having to sleep in the bathroom. But, very memorable. It’s part of the adventure, right?
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    #5
  6. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Nice! I always enjoy reading about someones first long trip. I'm looking forward to the rest.
    #6
  7. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    Thanks Wdwrkr and acidman1968 for joining in.

    Thanks Dave. The trip and pictures get better, although nothing close to yours.

    I'm taking my youngest daughter on a overnight backpacking trip into Mammoth Cave NP today, so the RR updates will have to wait a day or two.
    #7
  8. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    I didn’t sleep too well last night, probably worried someone would come in the bathroom and find me. I wake up early, pack up, and move out of the bathroom. It’s still dark outside as I load up the bike, and I’m amazed at the stillness. No wind at all, nothing like the night before.

    I decide to make breakfast. I brought it with me after all. That was the plan…cook breakfast and dinner while camping, and buy lunch on the road. I take my stove and some oatmeal into the laundry building and boil some water. I take advantage of the power to charge my camera battery and phone. Soon I’m eating hot oatmeal and drinking instant mocha coffee from “Four Bucks”. The oatmeal brings some warmth to my body, but the coffee doesn’t taste like the real thing. Maybe it’s the lack of whip crème.
    I fire up the bike (which takes longer than usual), and head out. After about 30 minutes I come to Las Animas, CO. It’s cold.
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    While stopped I notice the history museum next to me. It’s one of the nicer buildings in town, and I like the pictures they’ve put in the windows.
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    I continue riding towards Pueblo and finally see something other than flatlands in the distance.
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    I reach Pueblo, get gas, and park at the nearest McDonald’s. I need to warm up and (like the Hobbits) decide to have 2nd breakfast. My credit card is declined twice, so I just pay the $3 in cash and shed a few layers in a corner booth. I wouldn’t mind traveling with one or two other people, but traveling alone allows me the luxury to go where I want, when I want, and stay as long as I want.

    I leave Pueblo and before long reach Canon City, CO where the terrain finally changes. It’s at this point, I feel as if my trip has actually begun. This is what I crossed Kansas to see. I head north and then I see it…snow covered mountain tops.
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    A little further up the road I see the first of many aspens.
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    I make my way to Buena Vista with plans to ride through Aspen. Signs indicate ice on the road, and I turn back.
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    I get gas then stop for lunch so I can review my map. As I park, four deer walk through the middle of town right between two buildings. I grab my camera but only quick enough to catch the last two.
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    Over lunch at Jan’s Restaurant I decide to head south towards Salida, then west on 50 towards Gunnison. Along the way I start to climb and see the combination of aspens and snow.
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    Then it’s just snow.
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    I reach the peak and stop for a minute. I’m feeling good about riding my bike up here until I see a guy on a bicycle.
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    On the way down the aspens reappear.
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    I pass through Gunnison then stop at Curecanti National Recreation Area.
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    Somewhere along the way the blacktop disappears for a bit. I then come to a road crew and must follow an escort vehicle. The heavy rains have washed out a section of road. Fortunately they’ve put enough new dirt in place to keep going. It’s not the smoothest road, and I’m riding slowly with cars in front and close behind. I’m tempted to take a few pictures but decide it’s not a good idea.

    More color.
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    Eventually I reach Ridgway State Park, my camping destination for the night.
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    Today was good. Good roads, nice scenery. I call my wife and she tells me about the credit card company calling her about potential fraudulent charges. Yup, forgot to tell those guys I was going on a multi-state trip. She cleared it up which explains why the card worked everywhere else today. I eat dinner, get a shower, and settle in for a good night’s sleep.
    #8
  9. SRR

    SRR Flattrackin

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    This looks so much like the beginning of the ride those guys did in Cycles South!
    #9
  10. Questor

    Questor More Undestructable

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    Ooof.
    Rough second night.

    By the way, they rent extra long necks if you need one.

    Keep it coming. Nice pics.
    Q~
    #10
  11. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    Hey SRR, it's been a while since I watched that one. I do remember thinking we put too much thought into tires and luggage after watching those guys.

    #11
  12. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    I always enjoy a Questor RR. Would love to spend some time in you neck of the woods.

    #12
  13. SRR

    SRR Flattrackin

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    Methinks we all put a little too much thought into pretty much everything after watching those guys. :huh

    Hope you're havin fun out there!
    #13
  14. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    I awake to a cold morning. The bike is covered in a thick layer of frost.
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    I look twice because the sheep skin appears covered in snow.
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    As the sun rises over the mountains, the park lights up.
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    I pack up and hit the road. It’s cold and I need gas. The views are nice.
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    Ouray, CO is only 15 minutes down the road.
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    I go through town and don’t notice a gas station. Silverton is only 24 miles away, so I figure I can make it there. As I start to climb, I stop to take in the views. Behind and below me is the town…
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    …and above me lies the Million Dollar Highway.
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    The ride was interesting with incredible views and no guard rail. Apparently (according to my SD card), I didn’t take any pictures while on the Million Dollar Highway. Oh well, I’ll have no trouble remembering it.
    I continue on towards Silverton (I still need gas). The sun hasn’t yet made it over the mountain…
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    …and then it does.
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    I take in the scenery as there is no one else on the road.
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    The 24 miles to Silverton seems to take forever with the low speed limit. I’m cold and waiting to run out of gas when I finally reach Silverton. I am ecstatic and stop for gas, coffee, and a snack. Apparently too excited for pictures.

    I head toward Durango and start to see color again.
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    Oops…a little crooked.
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    I love to see the mixture of colors and rock.
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    After going through Durango I head west then north. The terrain is so different.
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    I’m sure I was on the other side of those mountains earlier today.
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    And then it’s flat again.
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    I reach Dove Creek and stop for gas and lunch.
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    It’s Sunday, my first planned night in a National Park. The parks are still closed, so I consider taking a short-cut over to Monticello, then up towards Moab. I’m supposed to camp in Arches NP tonight, so I need to find a new spot to camp. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to ride through Aspen as planned, so I tell myself to stay the course. I head up 141 towards Grand Junction, and the terrain changes again.
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    Down I go into the bottom…
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    …have to pass this guy first.
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    The ride is relaxing, and again there’s no one else on the road.
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    I start to see some canyons.
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    45 MPH…yeah right!
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    I reach the Hangling Flume and stop for pictures.
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    I then start riding through a tight and twisty area…
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    …and emerge into more beauty. I can't believe I almost skipped this section.
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    Love the geology.
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    I eventually reach Grand Junction, and jump on the highway for Moab. Just before getting on the highway I see a sign that says “No services for 70 miles”. Oh crap, that’s cutting it close. I keep going and then regret it.

    I leave Colorado…
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    …and enter Utah.
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    I exit the highway on fumes (2nd time today) and gas up. Knowing Arches NP is closed, I head for a state park nearby. Before I even reach the park, I see a sign “Campground Full”. I turn back and pull off at Cowboy Camp, one of the BLM sites. It has closed signs and cones, but I’ve got nowhere else to go. I pull in to find other campers not seen from the road. I find an empty site, and try to hide the bike behind my tent.
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    I think I’ve found a decent spot.
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    The views are great.
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    As the sun goes down, I feel better about being hidden behind my tent and blending into the trees.
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    I enjoy the sunset…
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    ...and then see this.
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    As I lie in my tent, I hear the metallic sound of my cook kit and stove falling over. It’s in a mesh bag just behind my tent beside the bike. Must have fallen over, I think. I hear it again and realize something is running off with my stove. I rush out into the darkness but don’t see any animals. My leftover dinner is gone (which is fine), and I put the gear inside the tent. Time for bed.
    #14
  15. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Nice. I gotta get back up to ride the 141 someday. It was so kind of you to feed the wildlife.:D
    #15
  16. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    Hello Dave. I've got 5 more days to post.

    Pretty sure I didn't feed any other animals on this trip!
    #16
  17. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    After a good night’s sleep, I wake early enough to watch the sunrise. A little dark at first…
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    …then lighter…
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    …and finally light enough to see the Canyonlands in the distance.
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    I knew I could be seen from the road, but I wasn’t as concerned as last night. I packed up slowly and looked again at the Canyons I wouldn’t be able to visit.
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    At this point I realize my trip has become completely flexible. With the National Parks closed, the only place I really have to be is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on October 13th. Besides putting in miles on the bike, I wanted to hike in our National Parks on this trip. I decide to visit Dead Horse Point State Park and see what kind of trails they have. But first, closed or not, I head out to visit my first National Park of the trip.

    I ride a few miles down the road to Canyonlands NP. Since no one is around, I ride right up next to the sign for a photo op.
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    I had passed a dirt road on the way here, and decide to check it out. The dirt road leads to this…
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    …and then a view of the Canyonlands.
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    I then ride over to Dead Horse Point State Park.
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    From the Visitors Center, I sit and eat breakfast under a covered deck. It’s early still, and only a few cars are in the parking lot.
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    From here I can see some folks walking around the paved pathway nearby.
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    I can see coming here was a good choice.
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    I hike maybe a mile or so to take in the views.
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    I look down at the dirt road below and think what a blast it would be on my XT250.
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    In the parking lot at this overlook I find this bike. Yeah, I would trade with this guy for a day (except I never did see him/her).
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    I like how there’s no fence to keep you from the edge. A fence would certainly detract from the beauty. Although as a parent, I would be nervous visiting with little kids.
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    I hike back to the Visitors Center for a drink and am amazed at the number of people and cars. Every parking spot is taken, along with an overflow of cars and tour buses parked on the side of the road. The State Parks are picking up all of the National Park traffic. I talk to a Park Ranger in the Visitor Center who is franticly trying to restock the shelves with t-shirts. This is not what she had in mind when choosing to become a Park Ranger.

    I amusingly watch several cars try to pull into my parking spot only to abort after finally seeing my bike. I gear up and back out, and within seconds my spot is taken. I head out and again the scenery is great.
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    I head towards Moab, and of course pass signs for Arches NP. I don’t bother to stop as I can’t see anything from the road. In Moab I gas up, then head South on 191 to Mexican Hat. Apparently there’s a hole in the rock.
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    I see an arch up ahead (Wilson Arch), so I pull over. It must be the stray arch outside of the National Parks.
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    Then it’s back on the road.
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    I stop at The Peace Tree Juice Café in Monticello for lunch. I highly recommend the chicken sandwich for anyone in the area. It was grilled chicken with a little BBQ sauce, bacon, and cheese. Probably the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had. Or maybe I’ve had too many zip-lock bag meals on this trip.
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    A nice retired couple invites me to join them for lunch. They have a restored 1960’s Airstream and are on a 5-day trip in Utah. He was from Utah, and she from Minnesota. He owned an older BMW with nearly 100K miles on it, and told me his riding buddies all had BMW’s. Then one guy sold his and bought a V-Strom and bragged about how much fun it was. The guy seemed genuine, but may have just made up the story to make me feel good. I mean, who brags about owning a V-Strom?

    After a great lunch, it was back on the road again.
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    Tina…you fat lard!
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    Just before Mexican Hat I reach Valley of the Gods road. I’ve been looking forward to this since reading Big Dog’s RR just before leaving on my trip.
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    After an early photo op I get going.
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    At this point, the road is smooth and I get the V-Strom going faster than I should. All that plastic rattles on the rough road.
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    Over the next several miles I bottom out a couple times as I descend into low areas where the road is much rougher. One time the road makes a sharp bend and I nearly don’t make the turn. I slow down and enjoy the rest of the trip. I see a few other cars, but no bikes.

    When I reach blacktop again, I ride to Goosenecks State Park to check out the camping situation. It’s my planned destination for the night, and I’m pleased to find there are no designated camp sites (just camp where you want). I should have no problem finding a spot when I return.

    Back on the road, I head for Monument Valley to watch the sunset. First I ride through Mexican Hat.
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    I see a restaurant called the Swingin’ Steak (sounds interesting) and consider eating there on my way back. The ride and scenery are nice, with very few people on the road.
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    Well, few people until I reach Monument Valley. I get in line to enter the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, and pay my entrance fee. Although the parking lot seems full, once I reach the viewing area it doesn’t feel crowded.
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    I take in the views…
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    …and then one of me.
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    On the road again, I head back to Mexican hat.
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    While gassing up I notice 5 bikes parked at the Swingin’ Steak and decide I’m definitely eating dinner there tonight.
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    I park beside 4 BMWs and go find a table. Since I’m alone, I take a seat at the bar.
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    I don’t notice the BMW riders, but soon 4 guys walk over and check out the V-Strom. I’m sure one of them wants to trade, so I head over to negotiate. They’re from California and we chat a little.

    This place is unique. The restaurant has some covered seating, but most is open to the night sky. The steaks are cooked on a grill that swings back-and-forth over a wood fire.
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    All steaks are served with a large portion of beans, salad, and toast. It wasn’t the greatest steak I’ve ever had, but it was certainly good. I should have taken a picture of the entirely empty plate.
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    I ride the few miles to Goosenecks SP to camp. It’s really dark on the road, and for the first time on this trip kind of eerie. At Goosenecks I circle the parking lot a couple times looking for a good spot, and feel bad for one couple seated at a picnic table. I’m sure my bright headlights have blinded them a couple times.

    I find a good spot and set up my tent. The stars are coming out as I drift off to sleep.
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    #17
  18. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    Elizabethtown, KY
    Today is a mix of emotions. Amazing highs, and frustrating lows.

    I had a great night’s sleep. My tent was pitched on a flat, soft spot just outside of the parking area protected by large boulders. I awoke early to watch the sunrise and soon realize I got up too early. No problem. I walk about taking in the view. There’s plenty of light to see, but the sun isn’t high enough yet to reach the goosenecks.
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    I look around the State Park and count 20 groups of campers: 16 RV’s, 3 tents, and 1 couple with their sleeping bags on the ground about 10 feet from the edge. Wow…I guess they don’t roll around much in their sleep.

    The sun gradually rises revealing the colorful geology.
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    Finally a little light down in the goosenecks.
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    My tent neighbor snaps a shot of me before heading out.
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    Just up the road I see where Valley of the Gods runs into 261. That’s where I came out yesterday.
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    Next comes the Moki Dugway. I am stoked.
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    I start to climb but stop to watch this RV.
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    Near the top I stop to take it all in. The amount of elevation change, colors, actual road, and range of view blows me away. The picture just doesn’t do it justice.
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    At the top I consider checking out Muley Point to see if BigDog and the gang have left anything behind. As I glance to my left and down the Muley Point road, I see an RV in my face wanting to turn onto 261. I look ahead and gun it.
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    I turn onto 95 and head towards Glen Canyon. I pass Jacobs Chair (no picture) and come to this. The sign looked like “Cheese Butt” when I first glanced…had to take a picture.
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    The scenery is nice as I near and finally come through Glen Canyon.
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    The main road goes right through the middle, so the government can't close it. But, every side road or pull-off has cones and police tape to prevent their use. When I come to this area, I'm surprised it isn't blocked off. I decide to stop, shed a layer of clothes, and take a leak where I'm not supposed to.
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    Opposite the facilities is a pretty good view too.
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    More fun roads.
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    Tom Cruise wants his sunglasses back.
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    I’m heading to Hanksville for gas and lunch. It’s pretty desolate out here. At this point I look around and all I can think of is Vegas Vacation and how Clark Griswold’s cousin Eddie was given a bunch of land like this by the government.
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    I kid you not, seconds later I see this Winnebago and assume it’s cousin Eddie's from Christmas Vacation.
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    I reach Hanksville, gas up, and have lunch at Stan’s Burger Shak.
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    Next stop…Capital Reef National Park.
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    Once again, all the pull-offs and side roads are closed. The main road goes right through the middle, so again I enjoy the scenery and curvy roads.
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    I finally reach a pull-off that’s not closed so I stop. There is a wooden walk-way with a few folks pointing at the rock face and taking pictures. I just see a large rock wall…
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    …then realize there are pictographs.
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    I glance back at the bike…
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    …before continuing down the walk-way looking for other pictographs. It’s a nice break and I stay for several minutes.
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    More blending of colors between the rock and vegetation. I’m having an awesome day!
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    I turn onto Highway 12 and start to climb. Trees appear again as does the color.
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    I stop at another pull-off and take in the view. The variations of color and terrain is again stunning. Pictures don’t capture it.
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    As I turn back to the bike, I notice the colorful hillside behind me...
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    …and take it in as I leave.
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    The road is great and I enjoy the color. I also notice several mule deer just inside the woods.
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    I reach this joint near Boulder and stop for gas and a snack. They have a room for rent, and I consider it, but it’s still early. I want to reach Calf Creek to do a little hiking before the day is done.
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    The ride and scenery continues to amaze. I’m still on that high from earlier this morning.
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    Then the frustration sets in. There will be no more pictures today (ok, one more).

    I reach Calf Creek and it’s closed. Of course...it’s part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument...why wouldn't it be closed. A gate blocks the entrance and at least 20 cars are parked in and around it. I don’t feel I can safely park and probably wouldn’t enjoy the crowd if I did (I’m not a people person). Frustrated I head down the road. I’m really getting pissed at our government as I head toward Bryce Canyon, my destination for the night. I know it’s closed so I start looking for State Parks to camp in. I find Escalante Petrified Forest SP, but their campground is full. I continue down the road to Kodachrome Basin SP hoping to camp. As it’s closer to Bryce, I’m convinced it will be full as well. Frustrated, I come to a hotel with the “Vacancy” sign lit. I surrender. I’ll just stay in a motel for the night.

    I go in and just behind me comes a guy that I can tell is already a guest. I let him go before me, and he takes the next 10 minutes working out some issues with the front desk. When it’s finally my turn, I ask for a room. The desk clerk says she just sold the last room 30 minutes ago. When I mention the “Vacancy” light, she realizes she hasn’t changed it to “No Vacancy” yet and apologizes. She was upset with herself and suggests I drive 4 miles down the road to Tropic, UT. So off I go.

    It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I stayed at a motel with a room on the ground floor (close to the bike), used the laundry room literally around the corner to wash everything, and ate dinner at the restaurant next door (below).
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    Later I watched The Walking Dead on tv and wondered whether or not I should be watching this since I’ve got a few more nights ahead of me in the tent. The break from camping does me good.
    #18
  19. Keithert

    Keithert Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,214
    Location:
    NW suburbs of Chicago, IL
    How has the Wee done on this trip? I just bought an 05.
    #19
  20. N-Id-Jim

    N-Id-Jim Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    993
    Location:
    where elephants roam
    Thanks for a great trip report, I am going to mark it. I hope to travel much of that route next May.

    You hit the mother lode on Hwy 141, that is one my all time favorites.:clap Note the V-Strom!

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    Cheers!
    #20