A ride report 19+ years in the making. A Father and Son's Tenere Adventure.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by lacofdfireman, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Long timer Supporter

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    As many of you I have loved motorcycles for as long as I can remember. I came from a family that didn't own any motorcycles and to this day still doesn't. That didn't stop me as a child always wanting to pull my Dad into a motorcycle shop to look around. I also remember riding my bicycle many miles to local motorcycle dealers just to sit on them. As I got older my Dad traded something and got a Suzuki FA 50 scooter. I was probably around 11 at the time but remember my Dad taking me out into the fields and me rallying that scooter around the dirt and trying to launch it off any jump I could find. I also remember taking it around our neighborhood as fast as it would go around the corners trying to drag my knee on the ground like I was Eddie Lawson. For my 16th birthday my oldest Sister who lived out of state gave me a Honda XL 250 that I rode everywhere. I've never been one to show much emotion but my parents claim it was the happiest day of my life when I got that bike. Thanks Michelle. About 8 or so months after having that bike it had some sort of mechanical issue that I couldn't afford to fix so I ended up selling it to my uncle and used the money to by my first legit mountain bike. After I graduated I built some picnic tables for a California youth prison and made enough money to buy my first Road bike. It was a Black and Red 87 Honda Hurricane. I absolutely loved that motorcycle and had many fun rides on that sport bike.


    Since my early years I've owned more motorcycles than I probably should have. I loved Sport bikes when I was younger but eventually fell in love with Adventure bikes and have owned many different ones over the years. When I got married I had a GSXR 600 but ended up selling it and it was quite a few years before I owned another motorcycle. I always told my wife from even before we were married that I wanted to ride motorcycles with my kids. When my first child was born we had him off training wheels on his bicycle before his 3rd birthday and on his first Motorcycle a CRF 50 by the time he was 4. I have 3 kids, 2 boys and a girl and each one of them have rode Motorcycles. We grew up going to the desert and mountains to ride and it has been a great family activity. A family that Plays together Stays together. That's our family Motto.

    Fast forward now and my Oldest son is 19. He spent the summer working for the BLM and saved up enough money to buy a 2015 Yamaha Super Tenere. He is also an inmate on here and goes by Guymon33. This is his first Street bike that he has ever owned. Not bad for a 19 year old. He has a little experience riding some of my different bikes over the years on the street so wasn't completely new to riding on the street. His Mom wasn't super excited about him riding on the street but he is responsible and a good rider. She also knows of our passion for riding and motorcycles in general and while being hesitant is still supportive. Best wife, mother ever. I have dreamed about me and my boys doing motorcycle trips like this forever. My 13 year old also likes to ride. He is currently riding a Kawasaki 140L and is getting quite comfortable on it. He's a little more cautious than my oldest son but that's ok. We all learn at different levels.

    Oldest Son showing his sister how to ride

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    She picked it up pretty fast

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    Here is a pic of my youngest (13) riding his Kawi

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    So since my Oldest son had the Labor Day weekend off from the Fire Academy he is going through he really wanted to go on a 5 day ride somewhere. You can imagine my excitement that a dream I've had for the past 19 years was about to come true. We started planning the ride about 3 weeks out. I was between bikes and had owned a 2013 Super Tenere before and knew that's what I wanted to buy again. I found a great 2015 ES model for sell in Montana from a fellow Fireman and drove up there one day after work in Los Angeles and bought it. Did around 1600 miles in just under 36hrs total to pick it up but it was well worth it. The bike was everything I wanted in a bike especially the electronic cruise control. Here is the bike in the back of my truck on the way home from Montana.

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    With only 5 days to plan the trip we settled on a trip from our home in St. George, UT over through Colorado and back home. Being our first multi day ride together I didn't want to be to aggressive on the miles as I wasn't sure how my boys would handle it. I was going to be riding 2up with my 13 year old. We planned to do a mix of tent camping and Motel camping along the way. I tried making a few reservations but being a Holiday weekend everything was booked and to be honest I wasn't sure how far we would be able to ride and I didn't want to be stuck at a destination if it wasn't going to be obtainable or if we got somewhere and wanted to go further. We decided just to wing it and stop when we were tired and we'd try and find accommodations at that point wether it be camping or motels. So route was plan gear was bought and this trip was going to happen so let's get on with the report.

    Day 1 St. George, UT to Blanding, UT

    We packed up the bikes the day before with hopes for an early 7-8am start since most of this trip was going to see temps in the mid 90's to 105 degrees. When my son got home the night before leaving from the Fire Academy he told me that before we left he needed to run over to the college and get signed up for EMT and that it didn't open until 9am so we knew we were going to have a delayed start and the temps were already going to be getting hot. We also needed to stop by and see my wife at work before we left and tell her goodbye. Here is a pic of us all geared up and at my wife's work on our way out of town.

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    Now we are officially on the road. Today being the first day I really wanted to make it to Blanding. But on the way I also wanted to hit a few places off the route we were going to be taking. It was a Hot day but still very pretty out. Here we are making our way out of Hurricane headed towards Kanab.

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    As you drive from Hurricane over to Kanab you go through a small portion of Arizona. Here is a photo of Tyler coming up to the Welcome to Utah sign right before Kanab, UT.

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    Once you hit Kanab we turn East and head towards Lake Powell and Page Arizona where we plan to eat lunch.

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    The Glen Canyon Dam is always cool. And the water in Lake Powell is higher than it's been in along time which is a good thing.

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    Arriving in page we stopped at a local Burger King to grab a quick bite to eat. We were kinda in a hurry since we got a late start and I still wanted to make it to Blanding before dark to find a place to camp and eat and also had a detour to take on the way in Monument Valley. So we just took a quick break and ate then fueled up the bikes and hit the road.

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    The day was hot and as you can see in the above pics we have 2 MotoJug Hydration systems hanging off the Panniers on the back of my bike. 1 for me and another for my son riding Pillion. My other son riding his own bike had his on his passenger foot peg. I know we are the owners of this system but I cannot for the life of me think of why anyone would want to carry a camelback on their back for a long trip. We each had 1 gallon of water, Gatorade or whatever you want to put in it. We would fill it full of ice and drink it all day in 100 plus degree heat and never run out of ice. For us personally I can't imagine riding any long distance without it. It just works.

    We made our way past Page AZ, and fueled up again in Kayenta before we headed north towards Monument Valley.

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    Of course you always need to get that Forest Gump shot while in Monument Valley.

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    After we got finished with this shot we caught up with a slow moving group of Harley riders. We ended up following them into Mexican Hat where we got lucky and they all pulled over to take pics and so we were able to get around them.

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    As you cross the Bridge in Mexican hat you cross over the San Juan river. My parents are from the Blanding, Monticello area and told me many stories of floating the San Juan from Bluff to Mexican hat and getting sunburns so bad they would blister. Ouch.


    Just about 4-5 miles past Mexican Hat we took a road that would take us over to the Mokie Dugway. My dad when he was young use to haul Ore off the Elk Mountain and down the Dugway. It's a pretty impressive road. He told us stories of him and his friends coming off of these mountain passes hauling ore and putting there trucks in 1st gear and opening the doors and standing out on the running boards and throwing rocks at each other. Haha. Good times.

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    I really wanted to take my kids to the goosenecks before we hit Blanding but it was getting late and we decided to get to Blanding so we could eat and find a place to camp before nightfall. We ended up eating here at Homestead Steak House in Blanding. Not a ton of choices but this place is owned by a family relative of ours and provided a good homestyle meal for us.

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    We all ordered Country Fried Steak that was great and got us nice and full.

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    As we ate dinner I knew we had a few choices of where to camp. Either Devils Canyon campground which would be on the way to Monticello where we were heading or we could head up towards the Blue Mountain and camp at the Nazoni campground. I've camped here many times for deer hunting etc and it's an excellent campground. The bathrooms are immaculate. No showers their but that's ok we've only been going for a day so we should be fine for another day...

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    We saw lots of deer on the way up the road from Blanding to the campground. The road is gravel and dirt but well maintained for about 6-7 miles. No big deal at all. Just watch for deer. We also had a lot of deer passing through and grazing around camp but didn't get any photos because we were busy trying to get camp setup before dark which we basically did just in time.

    Lots of great childhood memories for me camping and hunting deer with my Dad on the Blue Mountain. Love this area.

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    That's pretty much it for Day 1. Today would be our longest day of the trip. My son Tyler did great riding his own bike and my son Logan did great riding Pillion. I was super happy Logan wasn't to bored on the back but with our Cardo Scala PackTalks we were able to communicate and listen to music which helped pass the time for them. I highly recommend the PackTalks. I've had the Sena 20S in the past and will never go back. The Cardo blows it out of the water. Such a great comm System.


    Next up day 2.





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  2. DaveWave

    DaveWave It is what it is.

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    Small world...I was looking at that red Tenere when it was listed for sale in Montana...nice bike!
    #2
  3. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Long timer Supporter

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    Ya it’s a great bike.


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  4. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Long timer

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    This is what I hoped to do when my son was old enough to ride.
    Then he bought a bike that is nearly impossible to fit any sort of luggage to, has the fuel range of a top fuel car and he lets it sit unridden for months at a time :(

    Looks like a great trip you guys had.
    #4
  5. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    Man, you guys ate at Burger King when you could have eaten at RD's? Shame on you. RD's has been in Page forever and has great burgers and such.

    By the way, cool trip.
    #5
  6. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Long timer Supporter

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    Bummer. Ive been through page probably 50 times over the last 46 years and never even heard of RD's. Guess I better plan another trip and find that place...
    #6
  7. Kidder

    Kidder Poser

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    Subscribed!
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  8. smalls78

    smalls78 Been here awhile

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    Is there a day 2? Lol.

    Yes I was looking at a Tenere when I think you were selling your sons? Could be wrong. Anyways, great right up and read. I love Utah, being there for the first time last September.
    #8
  9. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Nice trip with the Boys.
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  10. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Long timer Supporter

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    Haha. Yes their is a day 2 and a 3 and 4. I just need to find the time to do it. This may be the worst ride report in ADV History. Haha. Sorry. I’ll get on it.


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  11. Tlaloc

    Tlaloc Un Tigre del Norte

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    MotoJug’s website appears to no longer function. Still in business?

    Very nice report. I had a 2012 Tenere. Though I love my Tiger 800, I sometimes miss the Yamaha.
    #11
  12. unie01

    unie01 Adventurer

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    Nice trip with the Boys.[​IMG]
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  13. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Long timer Supporter

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    Day 2- Nazoni Campground to somewhere in Colorado

    The plan was to ride from The Nazoni Campground towards Durango, Co and then up towards Ouray and get a place to stay somewhere along this route. We also wanted to hit up Mesa Verde and see the ancient Indian ruins. I’d never been there before so really didn’t know what to expect. Remember this is a holiday weekend so we kinda figured it could be busy.

    We started the day by packing up camp and jumping on the 5 mile or so dirt road from Nazoni Campground back towards Blanding. Figured we’d get fuel and eat once we hit Monticello which would be less than an hour away. The dirt road is well graded and nice and saw lots of Mule Deer on the way out. We are still about 2 weeks before the opening day of deer hunt but saw lots of trucks and people out in the trees scouting for deer.

    Once we hit Monticello we figured we would find a hole in the wall cafe and sit down and eat but the temps were creeping up and we decided to just get fuel and get a quick breakfast sandwich to eat at Subway and get pointed towards Mesa Verde before it got to hot.

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    I’ll probably mention the MotoJug Hydration System a few times through this thread but I can’t even express how great this system works. Fill-ups are a breeze and being able to drink while you ride with ease is priceless. I had 2 systems mounted to my bike. I mounted them to the back of my Panniers and it just made it so easy and convenient for my son and I.

    Bikes are full we’ve ate and now it time to head for Colorado and Mesa Verde. The country out here is absolutely beautiful. Roads are excellent and traffic was pretty light which made for a good scenic drive. After awhile we come to the Colorado state line and pull over for a quick pic.

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    Next stop Mesa Verde. We already have a National Parks pass from Yellowstone this summer so we pull up to the gate and show the pass and get right through. The road to the ruins is epic. Lots of twists and turns and tunnels. The only issue is the lack of passing lanes and cars driving at or below the posted speed limit. I also didn’t realize that once you pass the gate it’s like 30-40 miles or something to get back to the actual ruins. Once we got to the parking lot it was jam packed. Good thing we are on motorcycles and we can create our own parking spots. With temps starting to creep into the mid to high 90’s our plan was to just walk to the lookout and take a look for a few minutes and a photo and hop back on and head towards Durango. The ruins are truly a sight to see. Amazing the skills these people had to build this amazing place amongst the cliffs. Truly a work of art. To actually go down to the ruins you’d have had to buy a pass and go with a tour guide which we didn’t find out until we got here but we hadn’t planned on it anyways.

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    From Mesa Verde it was on to Durango where we would once again stop,for fuel and eat some lunch. Never been to Durango but this is a city I could live in minus the tourists. Super nice old nostalgic looking buildings surrounded by mountains that I could only guess hold some great Mule Deer and Elk which is what I love to hunt.

    Every place we looked was busy. We ended up at a Denny’s which isn’t really my first choice but looking at the weather and it calling for rain and snow in the higher elevations we needed to get moving.

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    After lunch we took a look around town a little bit. My oldest son races mountain bikes and works in a bike shop so he wanted to stop in a bike shop and have a look around. Fine with me. I love bikes also.

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    Time to get moving. Weather calling for rain and snow at the higher elevations between Silverton, Ouray areas. To say the ride over the mountain passes of Silverton and Ouray are beautiful is an understatement. It’s hard to describe but Wow they are majestic. That is just some Amazing country. I really wish we could have spent more time in the higher elevations looking around but the rain had moved in and the temps had dropped quickly into the high 30’s and we didn’t want to be at this elevation if and when things turned from rain to ice so we made a beeline for lower country.

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    A few spots of road construction where they were fixing land slide areas and my son checking his phone for a weather report.

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    Once we got out of the rain we found a great pullout with an Amazing view of we’re we had just ridden.

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    From here we are now in search of a place to spend the night. Since we were riding and this was a holiday weekend we knew availability would be low for finding a room. I called my wife and let her know which way we were heading and had her start calling ahead on motels for availability. Most places were booked solid because of the holiday but she was able to find us a room in Montrose, Co. It would end up being a welcome sight for a warm meal, hot shower and even a late night swim in the pool which was a little colder than I’d have liked but a warm shower after was nice. BTW I think we got the last room in this town. There was some outdoor festivals and rodeos going on in surrounding towns and the availability was about zero for rooms.

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    Had dinner at a great little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant called El Jimador.

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    #13
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  14. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Long timer Supporter

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    Yes MotoJug is alive and well. You can order through our website at www.motojug.com
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  15. Tlaloc

    Tlaloc Un Tigre del Norte

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    I just ordered one. It should be great for the cross-continental trip in April. Will cross your beautiful state with a stop in Torrey.
    #15
  16. Moosenart

    Moosenart Adventurer

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    Great report so far! I have felt like the Tenere is more of an “old guy” bike, I say that but I am 22 and ride a 2013!

    Great roads down in the part of Colorado!
    #16
  17. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Long timer Supporter

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    The Tenere is and incredible bike. I’ve owned probably close to 30 bikes or more and the Tenere is my favorite. It’s an all around bike. It’s not a speed demon but can get up and go if needed. It’s as reliable as you’ll ever find. I’d say it’s KLR Reliable or even better. The 2013 is an excellent bike. And now having owned a bike with electronic cruise I can never go back to a bike without.


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  18. Moosenart

    Moosenart Adventurer

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    My first bike was a 09 Versys 650 (which I took to Alaska). I love the Tenere! You don't need a 150+ hp adv bike to ride fast. I am pretty tall and the Tenere fits me quite well, the first year I had the bike I put 11,000+ miles on it in 6 months with no issues at all. I love the reliability and the torquey character of the engine. Go team Yamaha!
    #18
  19. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Long timer Supporter

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    Time to get on with day 3. Sorry this has taken me so long to write this report but life has just gotten in the way.

    Day 3 Montrose, Co to Moab, UT

    Day 3 we woke up and had a choice. Beeline it for Moab and shoot straight up the highway to Grand Junction and then hop on I-70 and get to Moab early or add on an extra 100 or so miles of backroads and take the Scenic route. Well the choice is always obvious. Take the scenic route. We got on our bikes around 9am after a little breakfast next to our motel we were staying at and headed towards Delta, Co where we would head east on Highway 92 then onto highway 65 and into the Grand Mesa National Forest. Can’t even tell you how great this road is. Smooth twisty pavement, with amazing views everywhere. We must have gained about 3-4K feet in elevation also at least by the time we got to the top. There was Wildlife to be seen, moose, deer, elk etc. I’m wishing I’d have taken pics of all the different animals we saw. Colorado is an amazing state.

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    Sun shining down on the Tenere

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    There were some beautiful small reservoirs all around this area in Grand Mesa National Monument.

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    Once we got off the mountain riding highway 65 it took us right onto highway 70 east of Grand junction a ways.

    Nothing exciting to see along the freeway along the I-70 between the Grand Junction, Co and the junction along I-70 where we would turn south to head into Moab. We stopped for a quick bite to eat at Wendy’s in Grand Junction in Colorado before heading towards Moab. Plan was to get fuel after we ate and got back on I- 70. Well I don’t see a gas station before we hit I-70 so I figured we’d just pull off at a town somewhere along the way. Problem was we never came to anything. Not going to lie I was a little nervous we were going to have fuel issues along the way before we hit the junction. My fuel light came on about 30 miles out from the next fuel stop and my sons came on shortly after that. I figured if for some reason I didn’t make it maybe he would. I’ve never really pushed my bike until empty so not sure exactly how far I’d get once the fuel light came on but we made it. And I think I still even had a half gallon to a gallon or so left. So I think they give you a fair warning before your going to be completely out of fuel and starting the walk or hitchhike of shame in search of fuel.

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    From Grand Junction to the Moab Junction on I-70 where we would turn south and head to Moab it would be all freeway slab. Super boring but we needed to get moving. Temps were in the mid 90’s and we hadn’t secured a camp spot in Moab yet. My plans were to camp at an RV Park (Archview RV Park) we had been to a few times in our Motorhome. I highly recommend it. Since I’ve been there before a few times I knew it was a great campground with nice showers, laundry and shade to pitch our tent under. There was also cabins but figured being a holiday weekend it would be sold out. Was hoping we could get at least a tent spot somewhere there. I also knew if it was sold out we could just do remote camping for free. But no showers, laundry etc. Only downside to this park is it’s about 15 miles north of Moab on highway 191 but that wouldn’t be a big deal.

    Once we arrived at Archview RV Park I went inside and talked with the people and reserved a spot. But in the back of my mind I still wanted something closer to Moab. We needed to go to town to eat anyways. We hadn’t packed any camping stuff for making our own food so we were eating out for all our meals for the most part. So if we could find a campground closer to town I could still cancel my spot here at Archview get dinner and setup camp and relax a bit. Well we checked a few campgrounds in Moab and they were either booked or ghetto so we decided to just grab a quick bite to eat and then head back to Archview to setup camp.

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    Moab is always good for some interesting looking vehicles.

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    So after dinner we headed back to Archview to setup camp. Had a great spot close to showers, bathrooms and pool.

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    Once the sun set and cooled down a bit sleep came easy tonight.

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  20. lacofdfireman

    lacofdfireman Long timer Supporter

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    Day 4- Moab, UT to Panguitch, UT

    Today we had rain in the forecast for later in the day so time to get moving. We hopped back on I-70 for a bit and after Green River we headed towards Torrey and planned on riding over the Boulder mountains, down through Escalante and over towards Panguitch where plans were to get another motel for our last nights sleep. The section of I-70 we rode today was quite a bit more scenic but it’s always nice to get on a two lane backcountry road. We took highway 24 past Goblin Valley but no time to stop due to projected rain storms and turned west at Hanksville towards Torrey. Very scenic through this area. This is an area know by dirt bikers around the world as Cainville. There is some crazy riding out this way if your into extreme riding, jumps, hill climbs, riding razor back ridges etc.

    Not sure why I can’t find my pics I took driving through Cainville area but it’s looks like this. Not much room for error on most of this terrain but an extreme riders paradise. There is a section called swingarm city that gets visitors from all over for riding.

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    Once we hit Torrey we started to get rain. Unfortunately didn’t take much pics around this area or over the Boulder Mountains. But once again it’s a beautiful area and great motorcycling roads. On the south side of the Boulders we had a little break from the rain and some more excellent Motorcycling roads with scenic views.

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    Some beautiful country out here in Utah

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    My youngest son got a kick out of dabbing while riding. And my other son sometimes made him laugh doing it also from his bike.

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    When we arrived in Panguitch we were just drying out from the rain but had more rain and heavy wind projected in the forecast. We went over to a local greasy spoon for dinner to talk about our plans and which motel to stay in.

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    As I brought up looking for a Motel for the night my youngest son wasn’t having any of it. He said we can stay in motel any night and that we were on a motorcycle trip and he planned on camping. Me and my oldest son were all excited for a nice hot shower and a soft bed but my youngest put up a good argument. So we ended up with a compromise. We stayed at the KOA campground in a little cabin. After the nights sleep I think I’d have rather slept on the floor. The beds were horrible. But listening to the rain and wind I think it was the better choice. Our tent would have probably broke in the wind storm we had. It also got in the 30’s that night and we weren’t prepared for that with our sleeping bags so the cabin was a good idea. The KOA had good showers though so we were happy to end the day with a nice hot shower before bed. This is also a super nice campground for pitching a tent and just right on the edge of town.

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