2021 ride towards the pacific

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Carrots FTW, Aug 18, 2021.

  1. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    Falling a bit behind here, difficult to upload with no service at night


    2021 Day 14 190 miles: Seattle WA to Gifford Pinchot national forest WA. Goodbye’s are bittersweet, this morning Sarah and I parted ways as she starts flying towards home tomorrow. It was nice to be rid of the extra weight and complication of another person and their luggage but I would have happily brought her along for the conversation and companionship. I think it’ll take a day or two to adjust back to my usual cadence. I wasn’t really enthusiastic to leave this morning so we slept in before I started packing. We got some Pho from Uber eats to serve as a brunch and I hit the road at about noon. I don’t think it was easy for either of us to say goodbye but a plans a plan and we all have to go back to work at some time. Getting out of Seattle kind of sucked, no real good way to pass through the city without sitting in traffic. But it was all redeemed by this afternoon’s ride through a few national forests and an Indian reservation. I really think I like the Pacific Northwest, I can see why people live here. I am still astounded by the fir trees interspersed with the rest of the forest and the stumps and logs of them that are scattered about the area. The number of thousand plus year old trees out here is amazing. The tail end of today’s ride was through the Gifford Pinchot national forest, really great route, sort of circled mt st hellens north and east till I ended up just south of the mountain. All afternoon the roads were twisty and interesting and speckled with viewpoints and turn offs, I’d love to come back here sometime and explore all of the dirt roads that go everywhere. I got to camp around 5 and was setup by 20 past. Then I headed into the town of cougar for a burger, the cougar bar and grill as the name implies was sort of a one horse saloon type establishment, but it didn’t have a tap set. Which may speak to the volume of business they do . None the less the food and the bottled beer were both excellent. It’s about 7:30 and I am sitting back at camp typing, there’s no reception for miles and really no one here at camp to talk to. I am getting pretty sick of the no fires rules with all the wildfires going on. I’m not saying I disagree with the rules, just that it takes an element out of the experience. Not to mention having to eat dehydrated foods or buying all my meals out is much more expensive. I didn’t realize how much I took fire for granted on these multi day trips until there’s weeks on end of restrictions. I think it’s going to be an early night tonight. ✌️ 87270AA4-0A46-4E83-91FC-BB6C890F301D.jpeg 1B6E20E9-7E44-41F0-AD5A-63E57DB814BE.jpeg 1EBF3D14-6E3E-46A4-89F5-9BCB1BC5A6A2.jpeg 18350538-ED93-41C8-8CCD-76EA2365D86F.jpeg 0D74E2FE-B776-43B4-9611-1AA01A92A970.jpeg B0E8241C-9CF6-4CEC-8D6F-7E35F6714EC8.jpeg 87C3C809-180A-4D23-82F0-9FAB208EED32.jpeg
    #21
  2. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 Day 15 462 miles: Gifford Pinchot national forest WA to Orick CA. Slept in a bit this morning, not on purpose just was darker than I expected I think. I broke one of my rules of thumb last night and didn’t bother setting up my rain fly despite having no way to get a reliable forecast. I woke up around midnight and thought I felt water on my face so I hopped out of bed and threw the fly up. When I woke up this morning it was dry as a bone, Woops, better safe than sorry I guess. Drove about an hour south to get out of the national forests and make a plan for the day. Turns out the campground I was going to stay in was closed for a nearby fire. So I started looking south. The next one open was first come first served and I won’t be there till evening, so we will see. Decided to hop on I-5 for a couple hours to make some time. South of Eugene I cut over the coast and rode the scenic highway. I hope this is a taste of what I’m in for on the PCH because it’s beautiful! I love the way the mountains just seem to fall into the ocean, no transition to speak of. And the Oregon coast road is beautiful. After a few hours of that I crossed into redwood country, man these things are huge. About a half hour into that, there was a large line of traffic stopped in the breakdown lane. Turns out the road is closed due to a landslide. Won’t be open again for another hour, that’s where I sit now. One road through one road closed. Pretty wild to think about. Wonder what time I will get to camp now? Or if there will even be any spots left by then. Time will tell.


    Made it to camp about a half hour after sunset, luckily there was one spot left, I passed a few people on the way in headed out in the other direction, I think they passed on the site because there was a reservation tag hanging from it. I happened to notice it was two days old so I just pulled in and set up. Interesting hang tonight, since I ended up on the beach I had to get a bit creative. Even the bike couldn’t get enough footing to be a good anchor point so I ended up using my portable anchor on one end and the California state park bench on the other. Not sure if they have issues with people stealing them or bears or weather or something but this table is about a ton of precast concrete so it wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
    064A6284-8CBA-4F40-A968-A081B9C578BE.jpeg B3E04349-EB6F-41B9-AD5D-51397C39F3E1.jpeg C5D0A480-ADCC-4960-A345-ADA6FED203B6.jpeg 104A661F-3F58-4D7F-AF73-30CFE0A9923B.jpeg 81DF6880-184D-4684-AF3A-27CC5CB02859.jpeg ADD3180E-F38E-4E60-8805-916C43E42E74.jpeg 83C1E7BE-ABF5-4FE7-A518-6F378D5C674C.jpeg AE29E665-084E-4278-B35B-DAADC454C8E3.jpeg AF15DC75-E388-4B4C-9E8D-B916B660DFA5.jpeg 5C42BC59-F3FC-40E2-8252-191834E77336.png
    #22
  3. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 day 16 223 miles Orick CA to somewhere outside Petrolia CA on the lost coast. I talked to a ranger this morning at the state park, he detailed some roads I should consider if I wanted to head into kalamath and avoid the closures for the fire. I’m pretty sure the one he suggested circumnavigated the road blocks by using one lane logging roads. I’m pretty glad I he did though, because despite breathing a bit of smoke they were beautiful roads that did not disappoint, it took me about two hours to go the 40 miles up into the hills to the “town” of Weitchpec which as far as I could tell was just a gas station and a community center which was “not open to the public” according to the sign sort of funny for a community center. Anyhow it was there I stopped for gas for the first time, and it was there I realized I didn’t have my hat. I left it hanging on the back of the shower stall back in Orick. So since I had a pretty short day on the books I turned around and went back to camp to get it. Upon arrival I found it missing and no one had turned it into the ranger, that’s the second one of those hats I’ve had stolen after leaving it behind somewhere for a few hours accidentally. Pretty bummed. I left my contact info with the ranger but very low hopes on having it returned. Anyhow after that I just headed down 101 towards camp. 101 was a nice road, heads down the coast Darting in and out of the mountains. I stopped in eureka for lunch at this little taco joint off the main drag, really good and I left stuffed for 12 bucks. After eureka I headed down the mattole road to the lost coast. Man was that an interesting ride. A little taste of Rhode Island road maintenance in the hills of California! I think some of the logging roads I took earlier in the day were nicer. But it was a cool little road barely one lane wide at times doing switchbacks up and down the hills through the pastures of cattle grazing on the ragged hillside. I passed through Petrolia which was another “town” might stop and take a shot of the post office in the morning pretty much in the middle of nowhere. When I arrived to camp I found a nice place to set up the hammock between a piece of drift wood and a few rocks. Met a nice couple from New England who moved out here for work and chit chatted with them for a few hours before bed. No cell reception again so this will have to wait for a while but maybe I’ll get it up during lunch tomorrow I have to find enough signal to book a hotel in San Fran anyhow so what’s a few extra minutes. It’s really windy here tonight. Clear as ever but windy. The dune blocks some of it but even where I am laying here I have a steady 15 mph wind blowing on me, the temps are in the 60’s but I think with the windchill it’s going to feel a lot colder than that. We will see.✌️ 648A605E-32E2-44AA-8541-39CF3AFF564D.jpeg F41C3127-73C9-46D6-93FB-427C1B7B97BE.jpeg A6BFE988-AFA3-436F-AD24-839E794CF39B.jpeg 23CF635A-E7C5-4A20-8DE6-E1B516BC9290.jpeg 7D772EB4-F5E1-4F49-88C8-96ED586D31B8.jpeg 828F38A9-F146-430B-83E8-4A1609E85D6B.jpeg 53A3D3DB-45F3-4899-9CBA-0D1ECCED6829.jpeg D2B0B67D-1882-4923-8FF9-A8000911ABB2.jpeg FB73337E-8602-4610-AB02-F7F881A9A07A.jpeg
    #23
  4. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 day 17 264 miles: Petrolia CA to San Francisco CA. This mornings ride was great. I mapped a route through the king mountain range that was all twisty switchbacks and dirt roads with sheer cliffs one one side. Really really fun riding. At some point though I guess I crossed onto private roads which had no indication that there would be a gate till there was a gate. Resulting in about a 9 mile truck back down the hill I just came up. It’s all good though, fun riding. For the afternoon I started riding CA1 south, looking forward to spending the next few days cruising the coast. When I got back to the paved road I stopped in a little town for lunch, grabbed a plate of enchiladas and ate off the bike in the shade. There was a group of homeless people nearby also enjoying the shade. As I was just finishing up lunch two of their dogs got into a fight which was an interesting spectacle, but once it turned into a brawl between like five or 6 of the homeless people I figured it I had better hit the road and avoid getting tangled up in all that. Made for an interesting lunch though. I got a cheap room in San Francisco for the night and I think I even parked the bike for free right by the entrance. They gave me a valet sticker and a key tag but then never took my keys. After I cleaned up a bit I headed to a spot in Haight Jim recommend. Called Toronado. Killer tap set at a cash only dive bar, love it! Went to the sausage shop next door and got a monster bratwurst with everything imaginable on it, pretty cheap too. Ended up talking to the guy working the door for a while and met some really cool folks at the bar, San Francisco is a pretty welcoming city. After the bars closed I went with a couple locals and grabbed some pizza before stumbling back to my room. Had a great night! Thank you San Francisco! E76D9BE0-9FA8-4C5D-8685-75265C409809.jpeg 97529E7C-F5BE-496D-9185-5D484D542BCF.jpeg 3D6B1259-932B-42C5-9EA9-EA8A2BAAD74C.jpeg 875FA4F9-C1AD-4478-B4A7-AE99B0644A55.jpeg 7E4A0BF7-702A-4F26-8EE7-C5545BF802C6.jpeg 5CC14BAD-9F7D-4CD5-BCC9-173D496F6639.jpeg E3094F92-D39C-407E-9AE3-1151F4161E21.jpeg B26C0477-4FC2-45C8-AEF1-9FDF74D4D4E4.jpeg 5AB91133-B4D2-460A-9610-749EA684BCC2.jpeg 79DE6E97-1E2C-470E-A099-D783FC5C3352.jpeg
    #24
  5. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    More day 17 9048D047-F54B-446E-B247-9E32F2B1B9DE.jpeg D00F1973-1DB2-4885-A26A-380A4F2A98DF.jpeg D226A73E-3073-433B-8BCC-F9485EFBC23A.jpeg 0884C442-2A05-4F53-ABAA-CAB37857B5DB.jpeg 57313371-69DD-4DB0-B55B-2AC900C9B821.jpeg E9F026A8-4BB6-47A7-8389-8C6DB5E5AE60.jpeg E2E64B48-93D1-48A6-B1C3-189F1196359C.jpeg CA1E2990-550D-42A1-AE05-3EF74BE8C206.jpeg ECE06B4A-EFAF-4D53-8A7E-9DEAE8BBA888.jpeg 31BF9713-4EE1-4844-B1DF-3F3F535F83DE.jpeg
    #25
  6. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 day 18 234 miles San Francisco CA to Adler creek camping area Big Sur near Gorda CA. Woke up with a bit of a headache this morning, wonder why?!? I didn’t feel like spending the $40 on the breakfast buffet at the hotel so I just hit the road, stopped for lunch at another little taco shop, this time right along CA-1. I really love the abundance of Mexican food here. Only one or two places I can go near home to get good Mexican but they’re everywhere out here. Had a couple fish tacos and a shrimp taco, both top notch. After that was pretty much just endless views of the pacific along the bluffs. There was a low lying fog bank about 200 ft above the road so the views were a bit diminished but I’ll take it because the temps were in the high 60’s and the sun never really came out for long. Perfection riding. After a nice day of riding the coast I headed inland up the mountains into Big Sur. As soon as I climbed above that fog bank I mentioned the temp shot up to about 90 and the sun was ripping. The road coming in is like a 10 mile jeep trail. It was in pretty good shape overall a few deep sandy spots but other than that not too bad. Beautiful switchbacks up the side of the mountain, climbed to about 3000’ before descending back into the valley. It was all going pretty well until about a mile before camp I came around a bend I noticed the road had washed out pretty bad, but as I couldn’t really see a way to turn around on the grade I just kept creeping down. Then I hit some sand and the front tire washed out into the rut and I was down. No injuries not really impressive even just about a 5mph tip over. I attempted to right the old girl as she sat but I didn’t have the strength or the footing. So I stripped some of the luggage and hiked it to the bottom of the hill before setting her upright again. The last mile or so was fine so we will see in the morning if I am able to make the climb. If not I guess I live here now I have to say I am pretty impressed with the TKC 70 I picked up on Seattle, not nearly as aggressive as my k60 but seemed to do just fine getting here. I guess the plus side to having all that weight in the back is the added traction you get off-road. I set up camp under a fallen tree seems to be working pretty well. This would be an absolutely perfect spot if it weren’t for these damn little biting flys! They just swarm you by the hundreds, the bug repellent seems to stop them landing and biting but they are still flying everywhere, up your nose in your ear etc… almost as annoying as the black fly’s in Maine. Maybe they will go away around sunset. Otherwise I’ll set up my bug net. I will try to remember the GoPro on the way out in the morning, didn’t feel like digging through my luggage on the way in to put it on. 14904227-A2FD-4DEA-B916-0D1E2A1279EB.jpeg AA10E3B3-7C13-4EBF-B9AD-CE8FDD4F2307.jpeg 3C03B488-5126-4CA3-BEAB-A957696D01CE.jpeg 3A6DE41B-0DD8-4540-9E5B-46BFEDA34161.jpeg 9AAE106E-4A81-4F4F-BFE4-07EDC812E38C.jpeg 3EFE7C72-20F8-4419-AF41-47A5A4BB1A8E.jpeg 55B73020-703C-46E2-8CAA-88322C36058C.jpeg 323F0BB9-9EA7-43CB-BFDE-C367BCA80C4C.jpeg 9E8A29A2-4C15-47DD-8A8E-2A1D69E79F0C.jpeg 95DDDDB0-1460-4C60-AE36-35ABE7B1DBDF.jpeg
    #26
  7. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 day 19 330 miles: Big Sur CA to San Pedro CA.


    Had a pretty cool run in with an owl after dinner last night, he flew right down and was sitting in the tree my hammock was hanging from, not sure if I somehow upset the local rodent population, or if something I was doing sounded like a mouse but he was pretty intent on checking me out. He was close enough I could light him up with my headlamp as take a photo with my iPhone. In the video I took I scuffed my foot a bit to catch his ear, he spun right around and screeched at me. Great to fall asleep to, the stars out here are awesome feels like being in remote Maine or New Hampshire, not sure where the nearest city is but it isn’t close enough for the light pollution to ruin the view.


    Made it out of the woods with no drama, moved the tank bag to the back seat to facilitate standing up easier, did my best to keep a steady throttle and rolled right out nice and slow. It’s beautiful in there, I wish I had days to just drive around exploring the keep trails there is miles and miles. Back to the PCH though and down to San Pedro. It’s definitely getting hotter now as I move south, if you stick to the coast it’s fine but as you move inland it gets hot quick. Coming into San Pedro there was a pretty long backup on “the 405” and I got my first go at proper CA lane splitting, and I have to say it beats the heck out of being a sitting duck in a traffic jam. And everyone seems pretty aware of it so most folks have you room to filter through. It would take some getting used to but it would be nice if the practice worked it’s way east. Megan and Wally are housed on base so security is kind of funny, I was not allowed to ride onto the base unless someone with a military ID was in the vehicle with me, so Megan had to go home and walk back with a helmet. Then sit on the back of the bike while I drive through the gate, after that it didn’t matter. But they wouldn’t let me in while she was still in her car, whatever we figured it out. Went to a Thai place up the road from them for dinner, it was pretty good. E5EAC21C-1414-49D5-868C-2C6C599AF839.jpeg BA295B1C-1EE4-415D-B676-BBE461A35A4C.jpeg 20C92C74-0850-4E17-A3A3-B99287B82753.jpeg BF18140A-C58B-4B84-9DAC-0368942E0AE3.jpeg 1E69B53E-D394-4C3D-9C91-5B5932FFFE5F.jpeg
    #27
  8. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 Day 20 265 miles: San Pedro CA to Joshua tree national park CA. Had some maintenance to do on the bike today so I got a bit of a late start. Big thanks to Megan and Wally for hosting me last night! I realized when I started digging into my maintenance that I was missing my 10mm Allen key from my tool kit. Since I needed one to pull the drain plug I had to have Megan drive me up the road to pick one up at a parts store since I couldn’t get back on base without an escort… after an oil change and a chain adjustment and a few other odds and ends I hit the road. Wally suggested a great strip of road that follows the crest of the Angeles mountains out of the city. It was an awesome detour right up until they closed the road down in front of me. It was open when I left in the morning and got closed while I was on my way there. Resulting in back tracking about 30 miles down out of the mountains and sitting in those same 30 miles of rush hour traffic on I-210 into San Bernardino. That added some time onto my day so as I was approaching the desert it was getting dark. I drove through some sort of small sandstorm as I entered the desert. It pulled over and installed the chin curtain on my helmet (usually reserved for cold weather) to try to keep the sand out of my eyes and nose. It worked ok but luckily the wind calmed a bit after a few miles. It was really cloudy and the forecast says there’s a 20 percent chance of rain, and considering all of the signs about flash flooding I hope it doesn’t. Hung the hammock from a rock and my tensa anchor and tied the pole off to the picnic table again. I’m pretty glad California uses these immovable concrete tables they have served me well on this trip. I will have to wait till morning to take a shot of camp as it is dark now. 5C00EAC9-7600-4AFA-95B1-397F0A12C3E0.jpeg 01E3A00B-AF2E-4091-8BFB-E7A0A3719E1F.jpeg 10610DF6-F486-4609-A94C-8C05A9A40A03.jpeg 3A2F8F3D-2AB4-4ABC-A756-A915B8FD26F1.jpeg 8CEDD16A-7F19-4F6F-80BE-D453898CFD60.jpeg 3D680158-6D96-4486-97FA-8D5184BCBE62.jpeg
    #28
    snglfin likes this.
  9. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 day 21 263 miles: Joshua tree CA to Las Vegas NM. The desert is a pretty cool place, I wish I had time to explore more of New Mexico and Arizona on this trip, maybe next time. Woke up this morning and packed up camp, I shared my coffee with a couple of pretty interested honey bees and hit the road towards Vegas. I opted for a 2 lane route since I wasn’t going far and I didn’t have a need to catch the interstate. The road less traveled right? So I Mande sure to plan my gas stops ahead of time because I knew relying on there being a town nearby to fuel up seemed pretty ignorant. Beautiful ride though, crossing Joshua tree and heading out into the Mojave. The rock formations and the plant life are just amazing. Saw some proper tumble weeds and even had a rather Wiley coyote cross the road ahead of me. Real scabby looking thing, can’t be much to eat out here. Got to Vegas late afternoon, took me a bit to figure out where the parking garage was and how to get up to my room but I got there. This place is unlike anywhere else. I got a last minute ticket to a cirque du soleil and I actually ended up being front row stage right. It was a water based show with all sorts of synchronized swimming and acrobatics. I was close enough to the stage to get splashed from time to time as the swimmers moved about. It was a very technically impressive show, I think I spent about twenty percent of the show looking at the rigging and the lighting. I suppose that’s the downside to front row for me I could see right up into the catwalk. Anyhow after the show I hit the strip, just spent the rest of the night walking around with a beer taking it all in. All of the cliche’s you hear about Vegas are bang on. The streets smell a little less than New Orleans (probably on account of the lack of humidity) but the party carnage is just as bad maybe worse, everyone has a drink or a blunt and you can see the street performers sizing everyone up and getting in the face of the people most likely to give them a tip. Most draft beers were were between 10 and 18 bucks. I found a little window that had 24 oz draft for 5 and it happened to be right next to my hotel so I stoped by there more than once. The casinos are wild, each one with its own style trying to one up the last. And you can tell which are affiliated with each other because it’s very easy to navigate between them, but to get to the other casinos unaffiliated you have to actively seek them out. Maybe it’s because I’m here midweek but there’s not nearly as many exotics or old muscle cars cruising the strip as I expected. I figured it would be closer to south beach Miami where every third car is a Lambo or a Ferrari. Anyhow off to bed don’t want to have a headache tomorrow. 44C34B30-10A1-41CB-81E6-EE3B7F5753F8.jpeg 2E1BB5E6-89EF-45D1-8584-1F63FD581159.jpeg C6A86CD5-4BC9-4BF3-BF12-FC4624130D84.jpeg 8012CC17-6C01-4E43-B122-DDAE16DA00A0.jpeg DA550B08-BCAF-438B-B529-006D8257BB52.jpeg DC89604A-4031-40FB-BC5B-67532A1E151E.jpeg 8580236A-E343-43B6-B411-CEF677197A92.jpeg 2A6382A9-FD90-469B-A551-B89277798F59.jpeg 7935A7B1-19B4-4CF1-9681-B48BF4A1C586.jpeg EFACFFD0-1ADF-45B6-9825-49FE202EA5B4.jpeg
    #29
  10. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 Day 22 86 miles: Las Vegas NV. Decided to spend the day hitting some of the big tourist spots. Left Vegas and grabbed breakfast in bolder city, little diner called the coffee cup cafe, turns out it had been on diners drive ins and dives, so I got the omelet with the food network logo next to it and it did not disappoint. Next destination was Hoover dam but since I knew I’d be walking around for a while I figured i’d need a hat. So I stopped by a CVS and picked up the only one they had that was even remotely wearable and would keep the sun off my chrome dome. So after spending $40 on a hat I didn’t want and stocking up on water and gatorade I hit the road. I walked to the door bridge first and took a few shots from that vantage point then went down to the dam. The tours were closed and the signage was confusing so it took me a while to find the visitor center. But I’m glad I did because it was cool to see the dam and walk around, but it was even better to see how it was built. I wish the power plant tours were open I would have liked to see that. Lake mead was super low, they didn’t make any mention of it being exceptional so maybe it’s just the time of year. After that I headed over to the gold and silver pawn shop where apparently they park bikes directly below the sign which was a cool shot. Walked around inside for a bit then moved on the the welcome to Vegas sign, very reminiscent of the buoy in Key West, huge line of tourist trying to get pictures with it and hundred degree heat. Since I didn’t have anyone to take a photo with I used the same technique as I did in key west. Stand about a hundred feet back zoom in and take a shot with some random tourists in front because who cares. After that I went back to the room to relax a bit, you work up quite a sweat walking around the desert all day in riding pants and motorcross boots. I hit the strip again after that went into a few casinos and bought $1 chips as souvenirs. Thursday must be the beginning of the weekend because the barkers are even more aggressive and the adds for prostitutes were everywhere. Went back up my cheep beer stand to start the night off and the lady working the window recognized me and was pouring my beer before I even was at the front of the line of order, mustn’t be a busy spot, or maybe I just look that out of place here. Yeah it’s probably that. Anyhow it’s a good time and I’d come back. Off to Utah tomorrow. 7F76E0C2-515B-448C-A593-DC97D70B2D4C.jpeg 9260E31B-71FD-4D01-A061-B532D3B11A30.jpeg C96C6BCD-F06D-4209-98E5-2D23FDAC8C3F.jpeg ED026F7F-2103-4527-AC28-ECA572EA1ED8.jpeg 63CB31AD-4E25-4286-8EE1-6EF7C13E574A.jpeg 4C2C301B-3E26-4302-A303-16CF97152F03.jpeg A6667D98-029E-4832-B839-AB2BFC26DA53.jpeg 8BC5D65E-5517-4A27-B17C-DA38B0AC3387.jpeg 4C5F1AB3-BA92-44AF-A69E-057DEA452615.jpeg 0DC8AE83-3925-4042-8575-35B4073101B2.jpeg
    #30
  11. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 day 23 506 miles: Las Vegas NV to Green River UT. Pretty wild swings in scenery today, I left Vegas mid morning and hopped on 15 for a couple hours just to put down some mileage. 104 today in the desert, still doesn’t top the temps Sarah and I saw in Wyoming but still damn hot. As I was crossing through the canyons on 15 through Arizona I saw two bikes pulled over and waving, so I stopped. They looked like typical biker dudes, cut off Jean jackets covered in patches, lots of oversized rings greased back hair, and two blacked out Harleys with ape hangers, so I was a bit hesitant but I am glad I stopped. One of their motor mounts had shaken a bolt loose and was rattling around in the frame causing the intake to come loose. I didn’t have the Allen key I needed to help them with the air filter but we used a couple of monster sip ties to secure the dampener till he could get to the next town and pick up a nut for it. Turns out they were part of a Christian Motorcycle club. So we had a nice little prayer blessing me on my journey before I moved on down the road. Goes to show you can’t judge a book by its cover and there’s more good people in the world than not. After I left the freeway I hopped into the secondary’s through a place called Dixie national forest. Gas stops were a bit more sparse today so I had to plan ahead a bit. As I rode the twisty road up the mountain I didn’t even realize I was climbing in a significant way till I crested a rise and realized how far I could see, I looked down at the Garmin and found myself to be over 7000 ft up. Then I dipped down the other side into Capitol reef national park, gorgeous mesa’s towering above the road on both sides the whole way, didn’t take photos because I was looking at the rivers on the sides of the road that actually had water in them, i was also watching a cloud in the distance fall onto the unsuspecting desert below, I have a feeling I’ll be in for some rain one of these days. At one of the gas stops I had planned the station was flooded out and the whole place was covered with about 6 inches of red silt. Luckily the crews had the road cleared and there was a station up the road that was high and dry. After the last gas stop I watched a beautiful sunset on my way into green river. I was unable to find camping in this area that was reliably hammockable so I opted for a hotel. Got in just after dark, forgot I was going to loose an hour today to the time zone. 56A4B309-81A1-4C9D-A39A-4A9AAE10EA9C.jpeg 6B08695F-9CA8-4F04-A558-BCF3E71C87DB.jpeg D468DE60-5509-40C9-91B4-766477F9D55D.jpeg 032C8A5D-C5A8-44F7-B29B-8817D5AF7FDE.jpeg D971FC56-67E9-45A2-84E5-0BBA6D2AE2BB.jpeg 2240F667-4335-4CDA-9077-2AAABB83E60D.jpeg 062A6BAD-2FD5-479E-ACD2-DD39E83120B7.jpeg 47DE986D-B675-4B71-BB82-CC40BEF49775.jpeg
    #31
    snglfin and xcsks like this.
  12. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    Day 24 247 miles: Green river Utah to Montezuma Creek Utah Vai Moab. Had a nice breakfast at the hotel this morning then hit the road to see some red rocks and boy did I ever. The morning started out with about 20 miles of “paved” road which was worse than most of Warwick. But in the setting of the middle of a flood plain in the desert it seems more acceptable, then the pavement transitioned to about 10 miles of dirt. This was a bit unnerving because I haven’t ever ridden desert mud so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Most of the way was high and dry but every half mile or so the road would dip down into a gully where the road had clearly been washed out recently. Luckily I was not the first one through it since the rain so I was able to pick a tire track and sort of wobble my way through. A little wheel spin but no drama, mud is good for the fender. First stop was canyon-lands national park where I visited dead horse state park. It did not disappoint, my routing on this trip probably won’t take me by the Grand Canyon so I think this will have to do, they are big ass canyons, and that is the Colorado river flowing through the bottom. ‍♂️ it was pretty awesome but I couldn’t help but notice a 4x4 down at the bottom of the canyon amongst all of the dirt roads and think they might have the right idea, maybe next time. After that I went over to arches national park. It was closed when I arrived, which was weird but I guess it’s so popular now that they have to open and close the gates every few hours to keep the crowds down. There isn’t even a place to sit and wait till the gates open, just a sign that says come back in three to five hours. I lucked out however and pulled off to the side into a lot with a gap in the fence big enough for a motorcycle. And as I was sitting there trying to figure out what the consequences were for just ignoring the sign and going in I was approached by a ranger. He told me where I was sitting was off limits and that he was here to open the gate to the park, 2 birds one stone. I left the “restricted area” and entered the park. It was beautiful everything it’s worked up to be. After that I headed into Moab, cool town, I was going to stop for lunch but it was a bit too built up for me, I wasn’t looking for a sit down meal just a quick grinder to get me back on the road. Everything looked pretty upscale and touristy so I opted to hit the next town south. Stopped at a little run down pizza place, they had 1 other customer. I bought a sandwich for lunch and one for dinner and I was in and out with a full belly and dinner in the cooler for under 20 bucks. Tonight’s camp is at hovenweep national park, another gorgeous desert sunset on the books. 9984C378-3F4E-4B39-92BE-5CD99E45D1EF.jpeg E9916D3B-DB48-416E-8F83-52E91A369C3F.jpeg 73D0FD5F-2CD4-467E-A7EC-DD5C3D3A3F75.jpeg 33059052-C683-45F6-B9A8-07144BB3DB6C.jpeg 3065AF9C-11AA-40D0-B567-5D7EFB1A2DEC.jpeg C083C312-6DF2-466F-A988-59E6A57BF164.jpeg B022A1D6-5F75-45AA-BAE9-02C1CF7A957E.jpeg
    #32
    ScotsFire and snglfin like this.
  13. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 Day 25 558 miles: Montezuma Creek Utah to Dolores CO, Via Flagstaff AZ. I was laying in my hammock last night staring at the stars in astonishment (I thought northern Maine had beautiful stars, no contest with the middle of the desert in southern Utah) and I realized I would probably be kicking myself a few months from now if I came this close to the Grand Canyon without at least putting eyes on it. Since I had made more ground than I expected the last few days and was almost a days ride ahead of where I expected to be, I decided to make the 500 mile round trip detour through the desert to check out the Grand Canyon. Was it worth it, ‍♂️ but I’m glad I did it. It’s cliché but the canyon is gorgeous and the photos don’t do it justice. The whole morning was beautiful, I stopped at the four corners monument and was disappointed to find that the little stalls surrounding the monument, which presumably are usually all vendors of wares from the various indigenous nations of the area, were all empty. After that I made my way down to the canyon, gas didn’t seem to be a big issue today as there wasn’t many options for roads across the desert, and running a gas station seemed to be the only meaningful source of employment for the locals. The canyon was great, as expected now I can rest east having checked that off my list. When I come back I think I’d take one of those donkeys tours down into the canyon or spend the day hiking the area. The second time back tracking through the desert to get back to the foothills of the Rocky’s was less interesting, I think this is why I don’t do many out and back days. Couldn’t find a campsite with any vacancy but I did snag a room at a little motel in Dolores, when I got back after dinner there was two Harley’s and a victory parked at the three rooms flanking mine. I get the impression maybe they’re fourth buddy had to cancel leaving my room open, maybe I will get to talk to them in the morning. For dinner I had an absolute knockout of a bacon blue burger, cooked to perfection, bacon was crispy, bun was good, and toasted, but the kicker was the house made blue cheese dressing. I might actually leave them a review online, it was that good. Not sure what tomorrow will bring, I still have to research places to stay don’t have super high hopes for finding a campsite. Camping out here seems much more popular than it is back home. Maybe it’s all of the open space or something, or maybe people are just more outdoorsy in the west. There are boatloads more RV’s which is expected with the lax rules about where you can stay for the night if your self contained, but there’s also a lot more tents. And not all out of state plates, I have seen 2 Maine plates one masshole and a single CT plate. (I talked to them they work remote and we’re currently living in salt lake) but not a lot of plates from east of the Mississippi, a few New Yorkers as well. Everyone must fly out and rent cars or something. I guess I am sort of a long way from home, we will see what tomorrow brings. 7B844BA3-E02F-4012-9F73-D39FD9AE6F74.jpeg D7CA7603-1351-4A04-B33A-3E9CDD3BE8A4.jpeg F0E904F9-EF70-4A14-89EC-9748CDBA1002.jpeg 2E78FA8D-7219-4332-BEAA-0CB09F6570CE.jpeg ADBEDE36-5FF7-435D-A402-DE3938DD33BA.jpeg 6AF63DD7-56EE-4A6F-B246-A824731FE6A3.jpeg E4AFEEAA-2F8B-4923-BC4E-5C44AA97DEBC.jpeg F86CB4E7-3218-451D-8A64-5E2B3F01D6A3.jpeg 1F4C9EE4-345C-46F6-8F5B-0B18B4426EDE.jpeg
    #33
    snglfin and xcsks like this.
  14. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    More day 25 44E0A02F-C549-43CB-93EA-64702C4ED696.jpeg 90760513-8D5E-49E6-9D26-E1F9D6AD79BE.jpeg A5A58910-BF28-4E4E-A321-555E8A79A5D0.jpeg 2B1C0100-342A-4DC7-87F6-B8BAAE5B425F.jpeg CC947AA7-7EC6-4A5F-99AB-1AE9CD1EFD6C.jpeg ADEC0908-B99D-4A38-ADB5-164E78B1DB51.jpeg
    #34
  15. snglfin

    snglfin this statement is untrue

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,111
    Location:
    berkshire county
    enjoying your photos and writing, thanks for sharing your trip. safe travels!
    #35
    Carrots FTW likes this.
  16. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 Day 26 109 miles: Dolores, CO to Alta lakes telluride, CO far and away my shortest mileage day, and even a rather short riding day but one I will remember forever. I set out from my motel in Dolores around 7:30, caught a nice breakfast at a coffee shop in town and headed to the gas station. While I was there I saw a group who were clearly headed to do the same trail I was, but as they we’re just leaving I didn’t get to talk to them. I grabbed the provisions I needed for the day and hit the road. It wasn’t but a couple of miles up the trail I caught up to the group from the gas station. So I just hung around behind them for a while, when they pulled over to let me by I asked if I might follow them along the trail section just in case I crashed out or broke down or something since I was riding solo. The trail was great, and in hindsight I would have been fine to go it alone. The riding I did in Big Sur was far more technical than this first section. But as I had the option to be adjacent to another group I figured it was the safest bet. And boy am I glad I stayed, they ended up being an awesome group, and after a couple of water stops we were fast friends. Mike on his tiger 800, Deana on her strom 650 (which she called stromy Daniel’s ), and Travis on his F750GS. They ended up inviting me to lunch with them and eventually camping at Alta lakes at a little over 11,000 ft. If it weren’t for these guys I would have been done the off road section by noon and back on the pavement getting a boring motel room somewhere in the mountains. I think the spirit of the BDR routes is as much about the camaraderie and overcoming the trail as a team as it is about the terrain and the vistas. I wish I had time to do the rest of the route. I have to get a group together to do the NE BDR when I get back home, maybe in the spring. Anyhow had a great day and a great time camping, if you guys ever make it out east don’t hesitate to look me up! 40C3D541-DEE0-482F-851D-77C5D1583B42.jpeg C88C35A0-0B67-437F-9F17-7E23C522F562.jpeg 28A16BBF-9DFF-457D-977C-EFBA8053D05C.jpeg 35049EF6-CDC5-42D8-9C2A-52AFF830A4BB.jpeg 23988E0D-89B7-4B42-86A8-079745E5459F.jpeg CB54C536-23DA-4D05-B36A-9EF711B7C1A3.jpeg 92FA5AAE-C370-4D40-84FD-4858E5D5C8C0.jpeg 86F54E2A-6771-47E9-AEB2-0E868A936D19.jpeg 2DBD5E7A-6CBA-4D1C-B502-54A49DC245E1.jpeg ACC044B8-822A-405C-855E-4D1E9229525E.jpeg
    #36
    snglfin and ScotsFire like this.
  17. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 day 27 470 miles: Alta lakes CO to castle rock CO. Packed up this morning and bid my new friends adieu and hit the road. More beautiful Colorado roads, this whole place is like a postcard. Rode a few hours of never ending Mountain View’s till I came up on a sign that said road closed ahead. Similar situation to California some sort of landslide or something was blocking the road and the only way around was 25 miles back taking a nice little mountain road. So I figured rather than stay there baking in the sun for an hour and a half I would try my luck on the detour. I’m not convinced it was any quicker than waiting but it was a lot more fun. Then I noticed that on my way to beths I was driving right past the entrance to pikes peak, so how could I not go up. The road was beautiful and since I was there like an hour before close I only encountered three cars on the way up. They all pulled over so I was up to the top walked around a bit and back down in about 2 hours. It’s funny the air is noticeably thinner up there, I hadn’t really been effected at any of the other altitudes on this trip but this was noticeable. The whole summit was under construction and the smoke from the California fires limited visibility but it was still worth the visit. When I got to Beth and Craig’s we went out for a nice dinner and had a quiet evening hanging around the house catching up. Stopping in castle rock officially completes my 2121 tour of the potter kids lol. Wisconsin, Washington and Colorado. All great layovers on this trip! Unfortunately this is the part of the trip where I have to stack on a few big days to get back to work Monday, not looking forward to the interstates… 4AC3AB6C-0D9F-4D6A-9222-F96E0940969F.jpeg E57D6B48-2AE4-4DA2-8144-74F317C3861F.jpeg 814E1A6E-4B6C-464B-B25E-8390873541C3.jpeg 86FDFB18-A1DD-490E-B229-E5473EE2E001.jpeg 8B2E460D-FBBF-4BB1-BAFE-743836C5264E.jpeg 1B6FA62A-FFA2-4C82-9365-1F77B8F3C9C1.jpeg D53632B7-85E3-43F5-84C7-6090F9483036.jpeg 93BC5918-9B8F-4568-8686-518632BD7C10.jpeg E9B43D65-268B-4E5D-9183-3C97CEA6C7D1.jpeg DE225162-B6BB-4609-8FFE-F5AB889A2145.jpeg
    #37
    ScotsFire likes this.
  18. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 days 28-29 1,235 miles: castle rock CO to Louisville KY Via Haigler NE. Left Beth and Craig’s mid morning, knowing I had to check Kansas and Nebraska off my list I decided to have lunch in Nebraska and spend the rest of the day riding across Kansas. I stopped for lunch in this little nothing border town called Haigler, the sign on the road into town noted 158 residents at the time of the last census, and it looked like that was pretty accurate a few houses and a closed diner were pretty much all that made up the town. With the exception of the place I ate for lunch, if your ever passing through I would recommend a stop at Jake’s place, for the novelty of nothing else. This place made hellens place in foster look like the ritz. I was the only one of the half a dozen or so people in there who was not on a first name basis with the barkeep. I got a whole history on the place and the town, which was named after Jake Haigler who established the town. Turns out Jake didn’t hang around to see how it was going to play out and left for another town in Arizona with more going on. It was really cool talking to the type of people who called me out for describing driving distances in minutes instead of miles, and were freaked out by the fact that some rivers don’t run west to east. (Folks who have literally never left the western half of the Mississippi River watershed, even though the divide is like 200 miles west of them) after lunch I drove through never ending hours of fields more flat than Illinois and Indiana. Northeast Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas are all fully undistinguishable in my mind. The only hint I was getting closer to the Mississippi was that I lost about a thousand feet of altitude in the 600 miles I drove through cornfields. Spent the first night at a hotel in Kansas City after a few winks I pushed on to Louisville, lost 2 hours to the time zones along the way. At least I’m back on eastern time now… BFA6D1CE-C36E-4FA1-9371-B4C348C5B4B6.jpeg 8E02CC0D-360D-4B58-AB8A-CD52103F752E.jpeg C8C7D32B-91F9-49D4-9DB0-9767D079DCBA.jpeg D60AEF5B-0A6D-4C0A-A6E2-40A2E3D1B060.jpeg 5D487E4F-9AC5-4C8B-BAB7-5ECF1A40D060.jpeg CFA83BE3-E7A3-49A8-829B-A70A712BF41D.jpeg DC44A130-9AC5-42FF-810C-37F692FC1A96.jpeg F3AE2BB4-AC79-49C2-AF8B-02E0D52625B6.jpeg
    #38
  19. Carrots FTW

    Carrots FTW NATE

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Sterling, CT
    2021 days 29-30 1,004 miles Louisville KY to Home Via Summit Point WV. Two more boring days on the interstate, a small price to pay for lingering out west though I suppose. Left my hotel room in KY and pretty much rode 70-75 mph highway still I hit WV. The last 150 miles or so to Colin’s made up for the mornings slog. West Virginia has some of the best roads in the area behind the area surrounding the Tennessee North Carolina border. Drove through some mining country as well as a pretty extensive wind farm. When I got to Colin’s Dom had a nice dinner prepared and waiting, once the chores were finished on the farm we hung around chit chatting for a while and put the kids to bed. One of Colin’s buddy’s was racing a horse a few minutes away so we took a ride over to the track to watch the race, unfortunately his friends horse did rather poorly and did not place. Still fun to go watch though, after we watched a few races we decided to walk around the casino for a few. I have spent more time in casinos on this trip than I think I have in the rest of my life . I thought I would buy a one dollar poker chip as a souvenir like I did for all the casinos I visited in Vegas but after tha cashier told us we had to buy them from an empty table, and the only empty table we found was closed waiting for a shift change. We decided it was too much effort. In the morning I said goodbye and hit the road, but not without first stopping at the Jordan springs market for a brisket egg and cheese sandwich. Ever since Colin turned me onto this sandwich I think I have gotten one every morning I have left his house, so good! The rest of the day was boring as. I took the Tappan Zee down to the Merritt in order to avoid the GW through New York Shitty. Traffic was pretty tame and I made good time, home safe and sound now. Pretty successful trip overall I would say. 1FB27756-FFFB-4CFC-B69E-21C175EB5118.jpeg C654CE4B-ABE9-4B76-9175-47C583E5FA9E.jpeg EE0F84E3-856D-49F8-BE21-EDE623F352EE.jpeg
    #39
    ScotsFire likes this.
  20. ScotsFire

    ScotsFire And then a drifter rode into town... Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,682
    Location:
    Here and there... but more there than here
    Thanks for sharing your adventures! Nice to see some places I’ve been and lots I haven’t. There’s so much to see in our nation. Getting up towards your neck of the woods is on my list.
    #40
    Carrots FTW likes this.