Took a little ride...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Rogue 1, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. bavarian

    bavarian bavarian

    Joined:
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    Simply the best report I've read sofar! Make it your profession, you definitely know how to entertain your readers!!
    #61
  2. Rogue 1

    Rogue 1 Walking Nike Ad

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    659
    Location:
    New York City
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    Monday October 14<sup>th</sup>

    Happy anniversary, one month on the road as of today! (6000 miles)I awake at <st1:time minute="0" hour="8">8am</st1:time> and step out onto the terrace to take in the view of Vail. Invigorating in the morning sun, the air is sharp, 37 degrees, 25 with the wind chill. The projected high is 62.


    GS Tire wear at 6K
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    I've become aware of the science of the road. The fewer miles I end up with at the end of the day, the more interesting the day has been. A 600 mile day is spent blasting along interstates that look pretty much the same everywhere (with few exceptions) the 150-250 mile day is spent taking in new and interesting sights and experiences. More, shall we say, Stopping to smell the roses!

    <o:p></o:p>I call my Mom and let her know I'm safe and healthy. Mike to let him know I'm close and all is good. I call Stan Sparks, GM at Raccoon Lodge and he assures me I still have a "home" and a job when I return (thank God because I am going to need it).

    Stan tells me that some folks have asked when I'm coming back and that his pat answer is "When he's ready." Stan, that line has been with me since and I can't thank you enough for it. You guys have made that one part of this trip a non-event. Thank you!



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    I leave Vail at 11:42am, the sun is shining, the skies are clear and the temperature is a balmy 52 degrees. The road twists along the <st1:place>Colorado River</st1:place> through canyons cut by millennia of erosion. Snow covers the peaks and at this high elevation, the time for fall foliage has passed and leaves are already gone.


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    I see the ruins of a cabin and behind it, set in the rock wall of a mountain, the remnants of a mine shaft. Silver obliges as I guide her off the paved surface of the road and into the soft, dusty terra that leads to my target. I dismount and as I remove my helmet I am overcome by the spicy scent of sagebrush and bleached earth.

    Puffs of dust gather around my well worn boots as I walk through the sagebrush, sidestepping tumble weeds towards the dilapidated miners quarters. Mindful of the possible presence of local residents (read rattle snakes)

    I experience a little bit of history. I walk right up to the shanty, a shaft next to it, ruined timbers collapsing upon themselves, dry rotting from exposure to the elements. I am unable to approach the mines entrance as a simple, low, wire fence blocks the way and I am unwilling to cross the line without knowing why it's there. I take a few photos and work my way back to the interstate.


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    <o:p>My very first tumble weed... :D </o:p>
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    I enter "<st1:place><st1:placename>White River</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>National Forest</st1:placetype></st1:place>" and a spectacular canyon that blows my mind. I70 at this point is double tiered so there is no oncoming traffic. West bound is the upper tier and I am once again on scenic overload. Cars with <st1:state><st1:place>Colorado</st1:place></st1:state> plates whiz by me (jaded to the beauty that surrounds them) and the out of state plates pass me at a more relaxed pace. I am doing 60 in a 65 zone, unwilling to rush through this area, literally drinking the landscape like water to a man who has been lost in the desert for days.

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    Sidebar: Speaking of water... I find I am always thirsty here. I have begun carrying water bottles with me. I don't know if it is the altitude or the air is just dry, but when I stop at mini marts and gas stations, the diet cokes that I used to be addicted to hold no attraction for me and I choose in their stead, plain water.
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    I pass through Steamboat Springs Co and exit I70 to grab some lunch in <st1:city><st1:place>Aspen</st1:place></st1:city>. The town is "quaint" and obviously set up for tourists, art galleries and boutiques.

    I pass a huge public pool by the highway, fed by natural <st1:city><st1:place>hot springs</st1:place></st1:city> and am amazed to see it is packed with children and their parents. Wasn't I freezing this morning?



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    I choose a restaurant called "Doc Holidays" and order a bowl of the "soup du jour", Chili Mac, a macaroni and chili mix.

    While I wait for my lunch, I read some letters of Doc Holiday's that are hung next to his photo on one of the walls. They were written in the hospital where he died of TB and give an account of his manhunt with Wyatt Earp, chasing one of the McLaury's. (I think I have that info correct, but don't hold me to it).

    I am reminded of my previously forgotten interest to see <st1:place><st1:city>Tombstone</st1:city> <st1:state>AZ</st1:state></st1:place> and make a mental note to visit that town if I am able.

    <o:p></o:p>The Mac Chili leaves something to be desired but I am satisfied that I have fueled the fire that keeps my engine running. I exit the restaurant and head back out onto I70 west. I make the temperature at 70 degrees.

    <o:p></o:p>A note about I70: this is to date the most beautiful stretch of interstate I have ever seen. It completely overshadows my love of I40's pass across the <st1:place>Blue Ridge</st1:place> and <st1:place><st1:placename>Smokey</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Mountains</st1:placetype></st1:place> and explains without a doubt why I87 North out of <st1:place><st1:city>Albany</st1:city> <st1:state>NY</st1:state></st1:place> through the <st1:place>Adirondack Mountains</st1:place> hasn't been voted "<st1:street><st1:address>Most Scenic Highway</st1:address></st1:street>" since 1967.


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    The canyons loom high above me, 70 in the sun, 50 in the shadows, and the transition from one temperature to the other is instantaneous. I pass through Grand Junction Co and the cliffs are "otherworldly."

    I note that through this entire passage, one geological fact remains constant... on my left, the north face slopes are green, lush and highly populated with pine and brush... to my right, the south face slopes are barren, eroding and vegetation is sparse.

    Is this a larger example of my old boy scout lesson "moss always grows on the north side of the trees?"

    Why is that?



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    Okay...

    Zen/Buddhist biker bullshit moment time... staring at one particular mountain, marveling at the obvious erosion that has shaped it over time, wondering "How long has this been going on and what did you look like when you were young, 2 million years ago?"

    I begin to feel small and insignificant. Continuing on this train of thought, I realize these aren't mountains at all, I'm riding on the actual mountains and these are only the peaks, themselves, insignificant to the living rock they crown.

    To quote an old Steve Martin routine, "Now I'm really small!"

    What does a fruit fly deem tiny and insignificant? That's what I am to the mountain. (

    Anyone starting to think maybe I've been spending too much time alone with my self is probably right [​IMG])


    Humbled
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    Elevation is 4700 ft as I exit the <st1:place><st1:placename>Rockie</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Mountain</st1:placetype></st1:place> range and enter the <st1:state><st1:place>Colorado</st1:place></st1:state> plains that lead to <st1:state><st1:place>Utah</st1:place></st1:state>. I pass a billboard that reads "<st1:country-region><st1:place>Moab</st1:place></st1:country-region>, Fun for All" and wonder why that name sounds familiar to me. At the Colorado/Utah State Line I check the map and see that <st1:country-region><st1:place>Moab</st1:place></st1:country-region> is at least 50 miles south of I70 as the crow flies and without a doubt way out of my way.

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    Near the CO/UT border I stop for fuel at a rest stop called "Gay Johnsons"! This of course amuses me to no end! [​IMG] I imagine the stereotypical homophobic Brooklyn or New Jersey Teamster trucker stopping here for a bathroom break... (I kill myself, I really do...)

    Check out the sign... then check out the view... and this place even has showers...:rofl
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    Whatever the name, this Gay guy (chuckle) has one of the most amazing office window views I've ever seen...

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    More and more I begin to just stop the bike any old time and walk off into the scenery. The little things are becoming just as facinating as the scenic vistas. The feel of the earth beneath my boots and in my hands... the smell of it. I begin talking photos not only of the big picture but of the small stuff as well...

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    Oh man I am going to miss Colorado...
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    Hello UTAH!
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    (Man that biatch in ST Louis did a helluva butcher job on my hair! :rofl )

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    Just over the state line I see a snow capped range to the south west, the <st1:place>Sierra Nevada</st1:place>s? (I know, can't be) The landscape here is jagged, raw, barren, flat and untamed.

    I pass a new road sign and grin wildly as I read "Eagles on Road next 4 miles." That is just too cool! :D


    [​IMG]

    I continue along I70. Mile after mile and that mountain range to my south and west keeps getting closer and looking more and more inviting. I can't help wanting to go check it out. It feels like it's calling me. I planned on making SLC tonight. Should I or shouldnt I?... Mile after mile the range calls my name...

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    <o:p></o:p>
    35 miles into <st1:state><st1:place>Utah</st1:place></st1:state> I hit an exit (as foretold by Gypsy Rose) titled UT 128 South to <st1:country-region><st1:place>Moab</st1:place></st1:country-region> and Cisco.

    It looks like 128 heads straight for that mountain range! I call my bud Mike in SLC and I tell him I was thinking about detouring to check out Moab. Mike says Moab rocks and that it is a must see. He tells me not to worry about getting there and he'll see me whenever. He tells me 190 is a great road and I shouldnt miss it.. I tell him I'm planning on taking 128 in and looping back north on 190. Mike says he's never heard of it and to let him know what it's like.


    Gotta go! It's adventure time! The road signs are ominous, but acceptable for Silver.

    "Twisty Roads Ahead", "Broken Pavement next 18 miles", "Open Range" and "Off Road Travel Limited to Existing Trails from This Point."


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    <o:p>OK... thats it for now... thank you all for the complimernts on the thread. You inspire me to continue posting [​IMG] !</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p><o:p>More to come!... Tune in next time when I find Monument Valley by sheer accident (or fate)...</o:p>
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    <o:p>:D </o:p>
    #62
  3. eman13@mac.com

    eman13@mac.com n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
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    Hey Rogue1, keep up the good work. I can't wait to read (see, smell) the next installment. Awesome pics!
    -e
    #63
  4. Steve Glenn

    Steve Glenn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2002
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    Location:
    Modesto, Ca
    :freaky
    #64
  5. Peachmaan

    Peachmaan Boneless chicken

    Joined:
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    Encinitas, CA
    Say, nice bike you've got there..... (Terminator quote[nice opener])

    But the main question is.... after reading your report(s) anxciously....
    are you still on the road or did you return to civilisation/job again..
    ( I think I read somewhere a date .....Oct. s/th. at the beginning )

    Just wondering. Laterz and take care!
    #65
  6. Rogue 1

    Rogue 1 Walking Nike Ad

    Joined:
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    New York City
    There is no one on this road!

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    Except for me... :D

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    Apparently I am in "Off Road Country." There are very few other vehicles around here and the occasional one that I do see is heading in the opposite direction. Every one of them carries at least one mountain bike... hmmm...

    <o:p> [​IMG]</o:p>
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    Gratuitous hero shot :D
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    The road twists and undulates over hills and through blind curves. My line of sight runs to the horizon (where by this time, the sun sits low) but in the immediate vicinity, I am left wondering if a car hides beyond the next wave in the pavement. As I near the range the road bends into the canyons. I pass a ranch for sale at an area called "Big Foot Bend" and as I round a corner things get really interesting.

    I reach the range
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    Ranch for sale, nice location... interested?
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    This run, UT128S off I70, is amazing. At one point, 30 miles to Moab/15 miles off I70, I stop for what seems like the 25<sup>th</sup> time to snap some photos. This really cool tree against the canyon backdrop.

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    I say to myself "That's it God! I have got to get through here before the sun sets! No more pics unless I see something totally amazing!!!"

    Word to the wise; don't challenge God when you are on a quest for spiritual enlightenment.

    <o:p></o:p>300 feet later, just around the bend, I enter "<st1:place><st1:placetype>Monument</st1:placetype> <st1:placetype>Valley</st1:placetype></st1:place>."

    Oh my dear sweet blessed Jesus! I thought places like this only existed in 4X4 commercials! (In fact, I'm pretty sure that this must be where they film them all) A view like a matte painting from a Spielberg film, I am brought to my proverbial knees.


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    <o:p>Can you believe I found this road by accident? Kick my ass in Macys window 'cause I sure can't!</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG] </o:p>

    A mountain to my immediate left, in front the valley opens before me... a colossal canyon wall front left, topped by that big half moon. To my immediate right, the <st1:place>Colorado River</st1:place> and beyond that two towers (buttes) silhouetted by the sun setting behind them. One lone tower directly in front of me, across the valley, red in the magic hour, it sits adjacent to the canyon wall and behind it in the distance a solitary mountain peak covered with snow.


    <o:p></o:p>That's the best I can describe it and it doesn't come close. Ok God, you win.

    <o:p></o:p>
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    My reverie is interrupted by Nick on a rented Harley, visiting from <st1:country-region><st1:place>New Zealand</st1:place></st1:country-region> for a big mountain bike competition in <st1:country-region><st1:place>Moab</st1:place></st1:country-region>. That's why Moab sounded so familiar, they made a Visa commercial about how you can rent a mountain bike and ride the best trails in the world, but ya better bring your Visa 'cause they don't take American Express.
    <o:p></o:p>

    Nick tells me the scenery gets even better and we join up for the ride into <st1:country-region><st1:place>Moab</st1:place></st1:country-region>. The road takes us right past the two towers and enters another canyon. The <st1:state><st1:place>Colorado</st1:place></st1:state> has cut quite a canyon here as the elevation drops. The road twists above and along the edge, tight, with no guard rail. Below the white water of the <st1:state><st1:place>Colorado</st1:place></st1:state> froths at speed through rapids and rocks, just an easy mistake away from being swum in.

    <o:p> [​IMG]</o:p>


    [​IMG]

    We reach 191 at the entrance to <st1:country-region><st1:place>Moab</st1:place></st1:country-region> and part ways. Get to "<st1:place><st1:placetype>Monument</st1:placetype> <st1:placetype>Valley"</st1:placetype></st1:place> no matter what. Fly, ride, drive, hike, crawl if you have too, but don't die without seeing this place.

    In a supermarket parking lot, a woman in a <st1:city><st1:place>Toyota</st1:place></st1:city> 4X4 pick up, distracted by the child in the rear seat, makes the right turn a little early and drives right over the curb marking the entrance.

    This would not be terrible thing in and of itself, but between the two sides of the curb is a rock garden and she has dragged a nice size boulder out with her, her Toyota is now perched on top of it in the lot, the boulder firmly wedged between the asphalt and her bash plate. Everyone turns to look upon hearing the wrenching sound of rock scraping under metal and over pavement.

    No one moves to help.

    <o:p></o:p>The woman has exited her vehicle and is looking pretty distraught as I approach. She's on her hands and knees, pulling at the rock... uh huh, yeah, that'll help.

    I take a look and she asks me what should she do?...

    "Dynamite," I reply, chuckle.

    She laughs, "Really?"

    "As I see it, you have 2 choices, forward and reverse."

    "What would you do?" she asks and I say "Reverse, HARD!"
    
    It works and I get to be someone elses savior.
    :D


    I find one (okay, two... ok ok... actually three) of the best bowls of chili I have ever eayen at a place called the Outlaw Saloon.

    Honestly? Not too many "outlaws" inside. The bartender is a sweetheart of a woman that makes the chili herself from a family recipe and the customers all look like they are only here because bingo got cancelled (chuckle). The Coronas are cold and the chili is hot... if thats the way you like it, say hello if you're in the hood!
    :1drink
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    I get a room at the Redstone Inn on <st1:street><st1:address>Main St</st1:address></st1:street> and pass out while journaling at <st1:time hour="23" minute="0">11pm</st1:time>. I wake at <st1:time hour="0" minute="0">midnight</st1:time> to find myself drooling, lying on my stomach fully dressed, on top of the covers. Goodnight Gracie. 260 miles of the best stuff to date and I am aware that I am not quite the same person I was a month ago.

    ... and neither are my boots...
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    <o:p></o:p>
    #66
  7. bavarian

    bavarian bavarian

    Joined:
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    you got me hooked!
    #67
  8. bmwblake

    bmwblake upside down parker

    Joined:
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    rogue1,

    great report. a friend and i stumbled across 128 in utah a few years back. i had the same experience you were talking about on that road. its a great moto road, but its too hard to stop taking pictures and actually ride it. i must have taken 2 rolls of films on that section of road.
    thanks for the reminder. now i gotta get back out there again.

    keep it coming.
    #68
  9. tribeless

    tribeless _________________________

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    :thumb great read!
    #69
  10. bwilder10h

    bwilder10h Du Whut?

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
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    Location:
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Again, great reading here... just can't say enough...:thumb
    #70
  11. Komet

    Komet The Voice of Reason

    Joined:
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    Most excellent! :thumb
    #71
  12. d0gWateR

    d0gWateR Goat Stuntaz DSMC

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Chilliwack, BC CANADA
    Brilliant writing style, great pix and nice route. Living in the west, I take special joy in witnessing an Easterner's discovery of the mountains and canyons of the West. Thanks for sharing this inspirational material.
    #72
  13. Buckaroo

    Buckaroo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Wonderful trip report, Rogue. Brings back memories of the coast-to-coast I did in 2000 on my 1983 R100RS AirHead. Spent May heading east along the southern USA, came back along the northern route in October. I loved the pictures of the Longhorn Saloon. Scenic, SD, what a treat.

    Not trying to hijack your thread, I'd like to extend and invitation to you and anyone else to check out some cliks of my westbound leg at:

    http://homepage.mac.com/wanderscribe/PhotoAlbum19.html

    Did you check out the Crazy Horse Memorial when you were in the Black Hills of South Dakota?
    #73
  14. Peachmaan

    Peachmaan Boneless chicken

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Encinitas, CA
    Thanx for keeping the suspense in there...(for the others)!!

    Just writing to complement on the right ammount of picts combined with the right choice words.... Keep it up. :thumb

    Laterz.
    #74
  15. Buckaroo

    Buckaroo Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    San Francisco Bay Area
    Looks like Rogue's exceeded the monthly storage limit. 4Gigs of images in one month! :eek1 Way to go, man!! :freaky

    Great pics, great narrative!!! :thumb

    This could be the start of a new career. Some of these photos, like the one in Chicago somebody's already using as wallpaper, belong in a magazine.
    #75
  16. Rogue 1

    Rogue 1 Walking Nike Ad

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    New York City
    Thanks for the compliments Buckaroo... and thanks for sharing those pics:thumb
    Was that last on the Judge?
    #76
  17. Rogue 1

    Rogue 1 Walking Nike Ad

    Joined:
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    New York City
    JEEEEZ! I can't believe I exceeded the 4gig limit... ok... upgraded so the pics are back up...

    I had approached White Horse Press with this but they politley declined :cry

    Anyway... if anyone actually would pay me to do this I take the job in a second... (who among us wouldn't, eh?)

    More to come...
    #77
  18. Mr Head

    Mr Head PowerPoint ADV

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    Orange County, CA
    What!?!

    This is classic material if I ever saw it, and I've read a lot of classics...

    Back in the day, I was spurred to ride by Mister Bloom, of Rider magazine...
    Today, in this stinking little cloth-covered cube, it is you! Rider being a shadow of it's former self.


    A little editing by professionals and this is "P" prize material. I'm sure. Better than some drivel about socail injustice...

    Bed time for me now, as I have some sort of stupidity to attend to come the morning...
    #78
  19. wandrob

    wandrob Adventurer

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    Manassas, VA
    Yep, great story. Makes me want to ride. In fact, I rode into work today almost certain it's going to rain, which is something I normally wouldn't do, probably not anyway.
    #79
  20. Rogue 1

    Rogue 1 Walking Nike Ad

    Joined:
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    659
    Location:
    New York City
    [​IMG]

    Downtown Moab... gonna be a great day

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    Five minutes outside downtown Moab... some guys have all the luck.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tuesday October 15<sup>th</sup>

    The sun is shining at <st1:time minute="30" hour="7">7:30am</st1:time> and the sky is completely clear, the wind chill is 30 degrees. Once again I wait for it to warm up a bit and Silver and I take off at <st1:time minute="0" hour="10">10 am</st1:time>.

    The sun causes the red canyon walls that surround <st1:country-region><st1:place>Moab</st1:place></st1:country-region> to glow like embers from a fire. I see a sign outside one of the many bike/camp stores in town that reads "Free Filtered Water."

    I'm constantly thirsty now. All the pamphlets in town stress the need to consume massive amounts of water. I have noticed that there is no dew on Silver in the crisp morning air, man its dry here.

    I enter the shop and am pleasantly surprised to hear Pink Floyd. Everywhere I've been since <st1:city><st1:place>Chicago</st1:place></st1:city> has played country music (save that one bar in <st1:city><st1:place>Cheyenne</st1:place></st1:city> where I danced to a swing band, yup, that's right, swinging in <st1:city><st1:place>Cheyenne</st1:place></st1:city>).

    I fill my empty bottles and hit the road.


    Today's plan; check out The Arches NHM then North on 191 to <st1:place><st1:placename>Salt</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Lake</st1:placetype></st1:place>.

    I'm at the entrance to <st1:place><st1:placename>Arches</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>National Park</st1:placetype></st1:place> and find myself 40 cars away from the entrance, 5 minutes and one car length closer to the ranger station; I decide that I don't need to see the Arches that badly; they are easily viewable on very license plate in the state.

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>North on 191, the road is open, hilly and the scenery is similar to what I saw coming in. I cross I70 and continue on to Helper/Price Utah.

    I stop in West Price for gas and lunch and check out a Western Outfitter shop in search of a replacement for my black deerskin gloves, now not much more than a memory.

    <o:p></o:p>The young ladies are flirtatious and helpful (in that order) and I find a pair of deerskin gloves in tan (perhaps this color will be better in the rain) for only 12 bucks. The 2 girls hint that I should hang out in Price for a while.

    The exact quote was "The girls in this town are very friendly."

    Am I in <st1:place><st1:placename>Mormon</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Land</st1:placetype></st1:place>? Yes they say, but when Brigham Young came to <st1:place><st1:placename>Salt</st1:placename> <st1:placetype>Lake</st1:placetype></st1:place>, Price is where the naughty people moved too. Well I'll be damned, and according to B.Y., so will they... wink.

    <o:p></o:p>As I am leaving the shop, they ask me if I am taking 191 over "The Pass." When I respond yes, they warn me to be careful. 'I've lost 4 friends on that road in the last 2 years. Oh, and it might be snowing."

    Goody.


    <o:p></o:p>"The Pass" is treacherously twisty and I can see why some call it dangerous but Silver and I get through with out any difficulty whatsoever (and not a hint of snow).

    191 leads me to 6 and onto I15 North and this highway really moves. 6 lanes plus an HOV (7 total) and I'm cruising at 80/85 in the 5<sup>th</sup> lane from the right. I notice that I am the ONLY vehicle in this lane and decide that this must be the "Go Directly to <st1:street><st1:address>Jail Lane</st1:address></st1:street>." (I find out from Mike later that I'm right)


    <o:p></o:p>I meet Mike at his place of business, a rock climbing facility and the reunion is sweet and long overdue.

    <o:p></o:p>Okay, let's call this a wrap... More adventures to come and I once again wish you all the best of health and happiness!

    <o:p></o:p>
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    #80