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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by avejoe, Aug 1, 2019.
Your wit is fantastic
Yeah, buddy! We did it last year coming home from the SX in Salt Lake. Really enjoyed it til we rode into a blizzard in Montello, NV.
In case you want some toilet reading material.
The railroad was effectively completed on May 10, 1869 with the driving of the golden spike. The CP’s engine “Jupiter” and the UP’s engine “119” framed the famous photograph. The route across the top of Salt Lake proved to be difficult due to the grades. In 1904 the Lucin Cutoff was completed directly across the Salt Lake. This isolated the original line to the north. In 1943, the rails were salvaged for the war effort. All that remained was the original railbed. The railbed was designated as National Back Country Byway.
May 10, 1869.
It was getting late in the afternoon, but I was not going to wait and I set off for 90 or so miles of the original Transcontinental Railroad byway.
I was awestruck. I love western expansion history and I have a family connection to railroad history as my grandfather worked for SP in Sacramento for over 50 years as a machinist.
I got off my bike many times to take a closer look at the cuts and fills. That big rock right there was most likely placed by a Chinese laborer in 1868 or 1869.
I made a short hike to get a better angle on the rock with a window. On my way back down I walked through a wash and spotted what I thought was an old tie. It was and it still had a spike in it.
I believe there is a solid chance that could be an original spike. I don’t think that’s a treated tie.
All was great.
Then, “whap, whap, whap, whap”.
I knew instantly what that sound was.
A nail in my tire hitting the rear mud guard.
“You’re going to get a flat tire”, she said.
That's so seriously cool @avejoe! Not that there's likely any historical relevance, but I got hooked on a Netflix show called Hell on Wheels that used the race to connect the rail systems as a foundation. It's mind boggling to consider what they went through to get those lines connected. That shot you posted of the original crews and engines - amazing.
Great update man and so cool to experience this after wanting to do so for the last 8 years
Hope you were able to plug it without too much hassle (assuming you're running tubeless tires?). I have a special relationship with flats, they seem to enjoy my company and I effin' hate theirs .
Looking forward to seeing some pics of the big girl up on something to get this sorted. Also interested in hearing what your wife's response was when you told her
I'm so jealous! What a great trip you are having. What kind of seat is that on your GS?
Stunning pics, thanks for sharing
I kept riding for hundred or so yards until I got to a flat spot and could put the bike on the center stand. Got off and kicked the rear tire. It was getting soft. I spun the wheel to find the nail or other culprit. I didn’t see anything so I looked closer and found what looked to be a hole between the blocks. Saliva liberally applied confirmed a puncture. Damn.
I had prepped my equipment for weeks before the trip. The one thing I had not done was test my compressor. The compressor I had not used for at least two years. That now seemed like a really bad choice.
I pulled the compressor out of the bottom of my left pannier. All the while repeating, “please work, please work, please work”. I connected the power cord to the compressor and then to the SAE plug on the bike. I hit the switch and the compressor worked!
I got out my plug tools and installed a plug and let the compressor do it’s thing. At about 30 psi I pulled everything apart. I painfully remembered the metal screw fitting on the compressor can get really hot and I was back riding in no time.
“You’re going to get a flat tire”. I just showed her!
I had about 20 miles of dirt left before I hit pavement at Hwy. 233. The flat spooked me a bit as I had not passed any vehicles for hours. I wanted to get to pavement as directly as possible.
I then saw something that put a perfect cap on a great day. It was the animal that I had never seen that I have been looking to see for several years on my motorcycle trips. On this trip I had seen bear (no picture because it was just a glimpse of a black bear in Yellowstone), deer, cranes, moose, antelope, eagles, elk, a snake, and bison. But this animal was Number 1 on my list.
The American Badger.
I rounded a corner and he was running down the road in front of me. Too big to be a ground squirrel and too small to be anything other than a Badger. At one point he stopped to look at me and I could clearly see the distinctive face. Finally, I saw a Badger.
Here’s a really lousy picture as he ran into the sage.
I hit 233 and pavement and looked to the southwest. It did not look like there would be any decent camping for many miles. I decided to backtrack a quarter mile to a gravel quarry and throw my tent down for the last time of this trip.
I’ve found that roadside gravel quarries are not bad places to camp. There are hiding places behind the gravel stacks, there’s flat ground, and no dirt. I hate camping in dirt. Also, I think the risk of getting hassled is pretty low.
The last sunset of the trip.
Saw a badger hiking in Yellowstone, looking around just saw it, stopped took pictures, it was a great experience. Never seen one in the wild before either. Well done!
Hmmm...don't see many faces of the people who actually BUILT the railroad...they must be in another picture, eh?
There’s actually a story behind that. The UP labor was primarily Irish and you can see laborers on the right side of the picture (UP side). The CP used primarily Chinese labor and the laborers are absent on the left side of the picture. The CP laborers were still busy working (allegedly) in May 1869 when the picture was taken.
That's cool @avejoe, great to finally see one in the wild. I remember my first trek out to SE Oregon, riding along and nearly going arse over teakettle when my front wheel found a badger hole in the trail. I didn't know what it was until one of the guys I was with who'd ridden out there before clued us newbs in, had to dodge the goofy holes for thereon out.
Not to thread jack, but one of the buggers was interested in what we were doing in his/her domain - grabbed this shot before it scampered down one of the many holes.
Glad the plug held and you didn't have to deal with the tire going flat or soft again before getting off that track and onto pavement. Every time after a flat I always think the damn tire is flopping around on me again - stupid thing gets in my head and makes me ride like a tool for a while.
Going to be bummed to see this report come to a close, been a great time following along. You hit some really cool spots that I'd like to visit someday.
Loving the RR!!
I'm looking at riding in the same area over the Labor day weekend and putting together some roads to ride. Any chance of sharing your GPX file? Your backroads look like what I'm looking for.
Shore coulda used that rear tire on the playa, Dave!
I've only seen one badger, and it was crossing the road about a mile South of Jordan Valley OR. Big sumbitch, too.
I'm enjoying this report quite a bit!