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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by hitchiker_forever, Aug 15, 2011.
I normally hate RR with few pictures, but I couldn't stop reading. Glad you made it. Cheers.
Jim was odd.
Normal anywhere else in the world, but in Utah he was weird.
Middle aged father with a son. Divorced. Lived in a gated community. Catholic. Moved from New Jersey.
The average Utainian (?):
Large family. Married. Farmer. Mormon. Lived here for generations.
So you send me the one Catholic person in Utah? Thanks God. Glad I'm Catholic.
Jim let me push my cub into his gated community then I hopped into his BMW M3 and drove 10 miles to look for my gas cap. We checked the gas station but no luck, we went looking for it on the way back.
"Do you know what road you took to get there?"
"No, but it was farm land, I saw a bunch of cows and donkeys"
"Yeah, thats pretty much all of Utah"
Needle in a hay stack, it would have been a miracle if we found it, and to make matters worse I stripped a petcock screw rebuilding the carb, now it spewed out gas whenever I turned the gas on. We stopped at Walmart to get some oil and try to find a new screw. They sell fireworks at Walmart here, cool.
Got some 10w-40, no luck on the screw.
Eventually we gave up as the sun set then switched cars so his son could drive the beemer home. We took an old 200,000 mile Mitsubishi jeep he called Pepe and started back up into the canyon.
"And you just leave your cars with the keys in them?"
"Theres virtually no crime around here, I have never locked my doors"
"So does everybody know each other around here?"
"Yeah, the first week I moved in they all introduced themselves"
Pepe started to shake.
"Ooo no, not here, not now" he said.
But it was inevitable, Pepe had died and we were stuck on highway 6, which I had been informed was one of the most deadly roads in America. Stranded again.
We found the problem. The radiator didn't have anything in it and whenever we tried to put water into it a geyser of steam would rise up putting the whole car in a cloud of steam.
"Well thats not good" I said.
"We're lucky the engine block didn't crack"
As we poured more water into the radiator more steam poured out but it didn't make a difference. Pepe was leaking more than the BP oil spill, and all the water we put in just came right out. Then a SUV pulled in behind us and a tall well trimmed man got out.
"Is finally Pepe dead?" he said.
"Yeah Dave, it looks like it, I was just helping this kid who broke down on a moped" Jim said.
"No good deed goes unpunished"
First thought that came to mind.
"This is Rafael, Dave. Dave, Rafael"
"Nice to meet you"
I said the same and the too men planned to tow the dying jeep back to the neighborhood.
"I was just telling Rafael how everybody know each other here"
"I guess thats a good thing sometimes" I said.
We got towed back and I got out at the gate to push the cub up the hill while they drove up. I could only open up the throttle a little bit or it would bog down. So at a steady 1mph I climbed the steep hill up to the house. Eventually they came back to pick me up, I left the cub by their snow plow shed and headed up to the house.
It seemed like a good neighborhood and I didn't feel like I was going to get stabbed or sodomized so I went with it.
"If you haven't figured it out by now you're staying here" Jim said.
"This would never happen in LA" I said.
awesome read. subscribed!
That pretty much sums how I made all my decisions at 18!
Terrific writing! It wouldn't suprised me if you ended up being a published novelist one day. Keep it up Dude!!
That's sig line material there!
I ate half of his lasagna and had some diet coke and whiskey for dinner, then we talked about my plans.
"I'm going to New York on that moped"
"Thats a little ambitious"
"Yeah, well thanks for having me"
"You don't get too many serial killers on mopeds around here"
I laughed and said, "Thanks again"
"Its just karma"
He went on to tell me a story about his trip from New York to Fort Lauderdale, Florida when he was 19. Breaking down in the most redneck part of the county side, a beat up white pickup pulled up next to him. He thought about all the things that could go wrong in that instant, the mugging, the stabbing, the murdering...
Turned out, that the driver was kind of the king of the rednecks in that part of town and he got him fixed up and gave him a place to sleep. He was just paying back his dues, as I would too one day.
But seeing how my cub wouldn't make it up the hill to his house, he suggested that I take a route other than Colorado and the Eisenhower Pass. Eventually I decided upon the old Mormon trail and I-80 as my base plan, as it passed through the Great Divide with minimal hills.
"Damn those mormons were crazy to make it all the way over here" I said.
"They must have really wanted to get away from where they were because they went over mountains pushing wheel barrows of their stuff"
"A lot of them died, they're actually having a reenactment of it in Spanish Fork this week"
To show me more of Mormon Utah Jim took me to his basement. It was a giant coal room with a huge furnace just in case the power went out in the winter, and next to it was a food canning room.
"The Mormons are really sell sufficient, once a whole neighborhood got cut off but a flooded river, but they survived and one of the guys who lived there built a rope bridge to the other side. And you see this? Just bags of oats and flour? In a normal Mormon home this would be full of canned food, enough to last a year, to survive armageddon. I've never used the furnace though, I'm pretty sure I would burn the house down."
"Have they ever tried to convert you?"
"Yeah, but why should I go from being a bad Catholic to an even worse Mormon?"
After a quick tour of the house and gaining a significant amount of respect for the Mormon people I headed off to the upstairs den where I was given all the comforts of home.
Bad luck, good luck
God always knew how to take it all away, then give it back again.
You're a a great writer and the ride report is fascinating.
Having said that, there's a difference in my mind between adventurous and foolish. That trip, on that bike, is foolish.
A lesson I learned the hard way and one of the main reasons I sold the bike and am getting the larger off road version of it for longer trips. Have you heard of the honda ct90?
The next day we fashioned a gas cap out of a pancake mix cap and duck taped it down, and it seemed to work alright. But it was only temporary as I headed out to pick up one I found on the internet the night before.
I fixed the leaky carb with some Seal All glue, great stuff.
I waved goodbye to Jim and thanked him a thousand times.
I rode down some beautiful Utah roads until I stopped at a Sonics in Provo.
"Whats the cheapest thing you have on the menu?"
"Well, we can give you some ranch sauce for 10 cents"
I bought a chicken sandwich instead. Afterwards, I picked up the gas cap (FOR $20!!!!!) and stopped at a gas station about 35 miles away. I went to take my camera out of the basket but it wasn't there. I could have sworn it was there when I walked into the gas station. Did someone steal it? No, it probably just fell out like my nuts before. Damn I'm out of nuts too.
So I spent the next 6 hours looking for that camera,going back and forth at 20mph on the same roads. My eyes got tired and I started to get discouraged, it was just like the gas cap the day before. As the sun started to set I realized I wasn't going to find it. It got me in a bad mood. I saw a sign that said campground and looked for a place to spend the night. I had moved a only 5 miles away from Jim's house.
But God kept on surprising me.
As I pulled into the campground I saw a really familiar face. Remember Brad and Jessica, the teenagers at the gas station? Turns out they were camping with their family here.
"Can I camp out with you guys?" I asked.
"Lemme ask the family" said Bradley.
He came back on his little BMX bike a couple minutes later and said it was alright.
"How do you like Sloppy Joes?"
Shitty picture but its between their family RVs
Not sure if anyone told you this but.... "your crazy"
...but lots of the locals refer to themselves as "Utards".
He's NOT crazy......just hasn't been told by upteen million people what can't be done yet.
As a Catholic living in Utah I can relate....Classic!!!!!
The road gives and the road takes....
fantastic story....adventure spirit
I am sure that after this you ll never gonna stop.....I will expect your future trips and reports
This is great.
and the story continues...
P.S. You're CRAZY!!!
Excellent! Way to go, you gotta do things like this when you have the chance.
Anyone else read this a couple of years ago: Wan and his scooter ride across North America?
I hope this trip turns out as well!