Behind Bars with my kid… Adventure in the Rockies!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Motopumps, May 29, 2019.

  1. woodzrider

    woodzrider Long timer

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    Damn! That's the largest motorcycle store I believe I've ever seen. Great report so far . Keep it coming.
    #21
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  2. Motopumps

    Motopumps Long timer Super Supporter

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    We got to the mountain and the excellent forecast from an hour and a half before looked a bit different from the bottom. At the ranger station, the ranger said we might not want to do this on bikes as significant icing was forecast. Asked if we had a choice, and she said of course, so being hubris filled easterners, we went.

    Lots of construction at the top. Looks like they are preparing for another building or massively leveling and expansing the parking lot. It was a mess.

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    Cog railway is being refurbished. Two year project, one year in from what they said.
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    Started to snow. We went inside the gift shop to relax for a bit and check things out. Wishing I had on another layer. Spent too long in there and came out to a snow storm. Holy crap.

    Long, slow ride down with snow, sleet, hail, thunder and lightning all around. Pretty insane. Had to put my shield up as I could not keep it clear from fog or snow accumulation. Ended up with about 3" of snow on the tank, my lap, the windshield, etc. The road was covered and we were trying to ride in wheel tracks of the car in front of us. At one point there was a small avalanche of snow off my top box and pillion seat bag that wedged itself under my ass. Great. Brushed most of that away without crashing. The wind, snow, hail all abated a bit by mile 13 and temps were in the mid 30s again. Hard rain started, which was ok with me compared with the snow and hail.

    I have a set of Pirelli Angel GT 2s on the SA and they did very well. Dave was on the Tracer with stock Dunlops and didn't have much trouble either. The hairpins were tense, but drag a little rear brake and keep the bike as upright as possible.

    As we got down to around 7k feet the temps were in the 50s and the sun came out. We got down into Old Colorado Springs and warmed up then headed to Rudy's BBQ for some food.
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    The Brisket was great, the ribs quite good as well. The sides delicious and the staff were warm and welcoming. Great Texas BBQ worth checking out if you are headed by.

    We found a room in Colorado Springs and de-geared for a walk downtown.

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    The streets in Colorado Springs are all quite wide and open compared to many towns. Gives it a unique feel.

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    Couple of T-Shirts for co-workers.
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    Interesting local car culture
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    Pikes Peak in the background over our hotel.
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    Ok, off to sleep. Onward to Ouray tomorrow.
    #22
  3. tmark1301cc

    tmark1301cc Been here awhile

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    Love it!
    #23
  4. KuhlKLR

    KuhlKLR ColoDuc

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    Wish I'd known you were in my hood. Would love to show you a nice ride outta here in the morning (Wednesday, right?). Leaving early, I'm assuming? I'm up early and have the day to myself (Wednesday). I assume you are in the Springs tonight. I'll check this early and see if you've seen it and interested.
    #24
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  5. scfrank

    scfrank Old farts riding club. Supporter

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    Nice report. Love the van.

    Just got back from Silverton, Ouray. Lots of snow.
    #25
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  6. KuhlKLR

    KuhlKLR ColoDuc

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    Well, turns out THIS is Wednesday. :imaposer I know the roads 'round here better than what day it is. :-) If you want the best route outta here, let me know. Happy to show you guys.
    #26
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  7. Motopumps

    Motopumps Long timer Super Supporter

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    We are moving fast and updates have been slim. More to come shortly.
    #27
  8. Motopumps

    Motopumps Long timer Super Supporter

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    We headed out of Colorado Springs in absolutely beautiful weather. Out 24 past Pikes Peak and kept climbing and climbing. Beautiful, remote, little traffic as we headed for Buena Vista. As we came into Buena Vista, we started getting wet, so we pulled under cover at a converted gas station there that is now a coffee shop, Station 24 Cafe. We waited for the rain to ease and had a coffee and visited with another rider taking cover.
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    After a bit, we resumed and turned left before hitting the mountains, on 285 South. We were in a pretty good hail/sleet storm for about 20 minutes then things cleared nicely for a bit.

    A few hours later we stopped in Gunnison for fuel and a bite to eat and sat out a bit more rain. For the next bit we had blue skies ahead and black ones behind us. A nice change.

    We stopped for a $0.50 frosty in Montrose.
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    Needed a bit of energy to motivate for the rest of the day's miles. More blue sky ahead and dark behind until we completely outran the weather at Ridgeway.

    From there it was a beautiful ride into Ouray.

    We checked into the Quality Inn. Very nice hotel that is bigger than it looks.
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    We were around back with a great view of the Box Canyon and were surrounded by hummingbirds that the owners put out feeders for. They are fun to watch and listen to. There is a stream that runs right by the hotel, so lots of good sounds.
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    We walked a couple of blocks down town for dinner at the Ouray Brewery. Decent food, good beer, lovely evening eating upstairs, outside. After dinner, we walked around and took pictures of the snow capped peaks with the last of the days sun glinting off.
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    Some pretty cool hardware!


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    Speaking of cool hardware, there was a sport touring crowd in town, an FJR, H2, newest gen Versys 1000 and Gen 8 VFR. The VFR had a set of MotoPumps bar risers on it! Very cool to see them in the wild.
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    Most of the streets in Ouray are dirt. Gives it a frontier town feel.
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    After dinner, we had dessert at Mouse's Chocolate and Coffee. Mmmmmmm!

    Off to sleep. Supposed to be about 40 in the morning...
    #28
  9. Motopumps

    Motopumps Long timer Super Supporter

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    Dave hiked up to the box canyon in the morning. Pretty amazing view.

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    We had a nice hotel supplied breakfast and got on our way. Million Dollar Highway!

    This is the view heading out of Ouray, looking back.
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    550 was SPECTACULAR! Great ride with little traffic. We were having so much fun riding that we didn't stop for many pix, just kept saying WOW in my helmet.

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    We came down out of the mountains a bit chilly and needed a warmup.

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    Durango to the rescue!

    Next stop Cortez. Time to put more food and fuel in us and the bikes.

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    La Casita De Cortez. Very enjoyable Mexican food. Great staff!

    Our bellies full, next stop Four Corners Monument.

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    This is the single spot in the US where you can be in 4 states at once.

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    This is how youngsters do it.

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    Onward!

    Stayed at the Monument Valley Inn. Not a bad spot.
    Unloading the Tracer GT
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    Taking a load off...
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    Lovely way to relax before dinner.


    We cleaned up and walked over to the restaurant at the Hampton Inn across the street. Reubin Heflin. Worth a stop!

    We had some Navajo Fry Bread as an appetizer. Good stuff.

    Black Bean Soup to start. It was so good, I stopped taking photos for the rest of the evening.
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    Did a little chain maintenance after dinner and got to bed early so we could get to the Grand Canyon before the forecast 97 degrees set in.
    #29
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  10. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv. Supporter

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    Great RR and pics! My son and I did a ride around Ecuador last year and this brings back fond memories.

    Cheers,

    .
    #30
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  11. Motopumps

    Motopumps Long timer Super Supporter

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    We got up early to beat the heat, had a cliff bar each and mounted up.


    Lovely morning! Nice cool ride for a couple of hours. Still air and beautiful scenery as we pulled away from Monument Valley.

    As we neared the Grand Canyon with a 9am arrival, on a long climb on a desolate road, Dave said the Tracer was overheating. We pulled over and the right side of the bike was covered with coolant.
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    Pulled out the KTM tool kit to pull the side panel to check the coolant level and have a closer look at the radiator, etc. The side panel has 3 dzus fasteners and a grommet and is easy to remove. Coolant way low and I can see a fresh ding in the radiator. Right in one of the cross channels. :muutt
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    Added all the drinking water we had with us and let things cool down a bit before continuing up the slope to the Grand Canyon National Park entrance. It was anther 6 tense miles or so, with a fairly active leak. At the entrance, we asked the Ranger where we could get more water. There is a camp ground and gas station just inside the park.

    We pulled into the gas station and checked out the leak. Not good.

    Called a Yamaha dealer in Flagstaff and they said they could overnight a radiator and have it for us on Friday, mid-day. $150 to overnight, plus whatever for the radiator. We had an hour to decide to make the FedEx and order window.

    Lets apply some ingenuity before we apply cash.

    No radiator stop leak at the gas station. Just as well, I don't like that stuff.

    Cleaned up the wound on the radiator and pulled out the JB Weld Water Weld putty I had with me. Kneaded a small ball of it until it got hot and slowly, in 3 layers pressed small amounts of putty into the wound. Full cure time is an hour so we walked down to the Watch Tower to look into the Abyss.
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    Pano view from the observation deck of the watch tower. We went to the top, but the windows limit pix.
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    We went back to the gas station (short walk) and checked on the bike. The putty was firm, but not hard. Filled it up with water and started it up. No leaks, no bubbles. Yeah!

    Dave went for a short test ride to see what would happen at full temp. The bike came back with no leaks, dry exterior on the radiator and behind. Looking good. Flagstaff is in the wrong direction anyway.

    Went to the cafe by the watch tower to get some food while we waited for the final cure of the putty.
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    You can see in relation to the panel mounting dzus fastener, the putty patch is not that large.

    After eating, it was rock hard and we decided to continue on to Kanab UT, a few hours away. We bought a gallon of water and filled our other water bottles in case this didn't work out. Fingers crossed, lets go.
    #31
  12. tmark1301cc

    tmark1301cc Been here awhile

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    May the ADV higher powers look after you.
    #32
  13. Motopumps

    Motopumps Long timer Super Supporter

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    The 3.5 hour ride to Kanab, UT was a bit tense, but good. We did visual checks of the radiator while riding and Dave kept his eye on the coolant temps. They did vary a bit due to altitude and air temp. It was 98.5 air temp at the hottest and coolant temps mostly held steady. The Tracer often runs at an indicated 155-165 at speed, and goes up to 220 in traffic on a hot day. All those fluctuations get the mind racing in this situation.

    The Route was 89 to 89A into Kanab. 89A is a great road with lots of curves, views and altitude changes. We got heat, wind, rain and finally cooler temps in Utah. Arrived at the Quality Inn in Kanab and took a close look at the radiator. Not a drop to be seen front side or back. Pulled the side panel and the level was just where we left it. Wooohoo! So far so good.

    We got our room and went for a walk to get some beverages. It is hard to stay hydrated in the heat and low humidity. Despite some rain each day, the weather has been great.

    We checked out the pool. Lots of rules!
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    View behind the hotel.
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    After walking, then cleaning up a bit, we asked the front desk guy where he recommended for dinner. He said we couldn't go wrong with Houston's Trails End. We decided to walk and headed off at high speed. A bit too fast, perhaps.

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    Slight delay, then onward after the paperwork.

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    Not a bad local brew. The front desk guy and our server both said the Chicken Fried Steak was the house specialty, so we had no choice.
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    Quite good!

    We waddled back to the hotel and saw this on the way:
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    Just people...


    Some other local color
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    We were both a bit hot, tired, fried and ready for some sleep. Long day!

    Off to Zion in the morning.
    #33
  14. Motopumps

    Motopumps Long timer Super Supporter

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    My trusty steed was waiting for us. Another beautiful morning with clear blue skies, low humidity and bright sunshine. Forecast was for upper 80s in the park with high winds.

    It was about an hour ride to the park. Beautiful roads.
    Stopped just inside the park to take a few pix.
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    Hard to capture the scale of these places. Otherworldly.
    A bit of traffic at the tunnel. They have to hold up both lanes where there is an XL vehicle that needs to be in the center of the tunnel to clear. $15 permit and escort fee.
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    Killed the motor and sat for a few minutes, relaxing in an amazing setting. The 1.1 mile long tunnel is fun. Unlit except for our headlights and a few portal windows carved in the side of the mountain.

    Fun road to the visitors center with huge elevation changes and lots of switchbacks. A bit of traffic, but not awful.

    View from the motorcycle parking area at the visitors center
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    Amazing in every direction.

    We de-geared for hiking and hopped on the shuttle to head for an area near The Lodge to hike Angel's Landing.

    Shuttles run every 10 minutes, no charge, and are there to ease congestion in parts of the park where there isn't sufficient parking for the crowds.

    Luckily, Dave didn't tell me anything other than he wanted to hike Angel's Landing. I had no idea what I was in for. I am not a fan of heights.
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    Notice, the number is left open so they can update it as needed. I think they are at 7 right now.

    That sign was part way up, too late to turn back. The entire hike was 5.8 miles, I believe.

    It started out innocently enough with pretty flowers
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    I heard they are well fertilized with former tourists...
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    Dave says yeah, on top of that rock:
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    See all the little tourists up there?
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    Look harder at that diagonal cut in the rock...
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    Looking down from that spot when we got there:
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    Standing in the shade to get some relief from the heat. Starting to get windy up there...

    Slot canyon on the way up
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    Switchbacks to make it accessible for mere mortals.
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    Looking back down. Don't look down, don't look down...
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    Feeling pretty good that we had made it to the top.
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    Don't look down...
    Wait, this is just Scout's Lookout. F*ck me. Dave, WTF have you signed me up for?
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    Trying my best to be a good sport. No rail, 1000 feet to the canyon floor.

    Oh, so not at the top, need to climb that thing behind me. Looks tall and narrow. Great.
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    Not amused. Legs rubber. Air thin, me, not so much.
    Cleared that ridge, then the next one appears. Even less amused now...

    Well, there were tourists coming back alive, that was a good sign
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    Ok, stop whining and do it. Don't look down. Don't look down.

    Narrow sections with a chain to hang on to...
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    Yes, it is that flipping steep.

    Narrow sections with no chain to hang on to.
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    View further up.
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    No, I am not getting any closer to the edge, Mom.

    View the other way
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    JFC. I am going to wet myself. Don't look down.


    Just a bit further
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    View from the top!
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    Made it!
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    Ok, time to head down. Lungs burning, legs rubber, don't look down.
    Wait, I have to look down. F*ck.
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    Yes, it is that steep and narrow and 1400 feet down on each side. Geez.

    Then you get a break
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    Walter's Wiggles switchbacks from the top
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    Holy crap, we made it.
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    The 126 floors only counts up, not down. I am going to have a word with Apple about that. Down in this case was strenuous!

    I took no additional photos at Zion that afternoon. Nothing could top what we did.

    Headed for the hotel outside Panguitch.
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    We had dinner in town at Cowboy's Smokehouse Cafe. About a 40 minute wait, but worth it. Had smoked ribs, Dave had smoked chicken. Waitress was a hoot. Good time. Back to the hotel for rest and unwinding. Amazing day! Bryce Canyon tomorrow. Forecast is good, 40s over night and upper 60s during the day. Sunshine!
    #34
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  15. Motopumps

    Motopumps Long timer Super Supporter

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    About a half an hour ride to Bryce Canyon National Park. Dave bought a National Parks annual pass for us, both sign it and two bikes get in to all the parks at no additional charge. The pass cost $80 for the year. Entrance would otherwise be $30-$35 each at each park, so we are about $100 in the clear at this point. Nice!

    Before heading to Bryce, we rode back into Panguitch for breakfast at Kenny Ray's Cafe.

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    Good stuff!

    Bryce is beautiful and very different looking from Zion, just an hour away.
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    Natural Bridge.

    We rode up to Rainbow Point, parked and walked around for a bit.
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    The elevation doesn't affect me as much at this point. Figuring I will feel like Superman at sea level for a day or three.

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    There was a controlled burn going on outside the park, so things were a bit smoky and had a great campfire smell.

    We headed down to Bryce Point looking for a hike.

    View from the Rim Trail at Bryce Point.
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    Lots of tourists, but a wider trail. Lets go.
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    Not too hot, but certainly enough to work up a sweat in the sun.

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    The terrain changed constantly
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    Ok, time to climb back up the hill. Not a technical trail, but a long and steep one. Huffing and puffing, I wanted to do it without stopping. Made it!

    Re-hydrated and rested in the shade before hopping on the bikes and heading for Escalante for the evening.
    #35
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  16. Oldschoolrocker

    Oldschoolrocker a.k.a. EZE Supporter

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    Wow great stuff! I’m glad I found your report and will follow. Cheers!!
    #36
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  17. Motopumps

    Motopumps Long timer Super Supporter

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    About an hour ride up Rt 12 East to Escalante, Utah. Staying at the Circle D Motel. The ride over was lovely, twisty two lane with lots of elevation changes and sweeping corners.

    Pulled into Escalante and rode to the end of town to see what was what before heading back to the Circle D Motel.
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    The room was great, newly renovated, reasonable price and great attention to detail.

    We got settled, cleaned up and read some local restaurant reviews. Small town, but still a number of choices. We decided to eat at the Circle D Cafe right on site. Nice menu, choice of local brews, local meats, local desserts.

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    Dave had a burger with local beef.

    I had brisket and ribs.
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    Look mom, green beans!

    Yes, we saved room for dessert. Local lemon meringue tart.
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    Very tart, lovely crust, wispy meringue.

    Only 30 stories climbed today on the hike, but still a good workout.
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    We met some hotel room neighbors while cleaning and lubing the chains. Seems we are on the same circuit as two separate groups of folks that we keep meeting up with from the night before the Grand Canyon in Kayenta (Monument Valley) onward. Kind of funny to keep running into them.

    Ok, time to relax and get ready to ride to Arches/Moab tomorrow.
    #37
  18. Motopumps

    Motopumps Long timer Super Supporter

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    We woke up around 6:30, but didn't have much motivation to move until about 7:30 when the restaurant opened. Another beautiful morning, crisp, clear, sunny. About 45 degrees and warm in the sun.
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    Breakfast was good.

    We went for a walk so I could loosen up my back a bit, organized ourselves, packed up and hit the road.

    EXCELLENT ride over to Moab. Think of it as thre parts. The first part was Rt 12 to Torrey. One of the best rides of the trip. Fast sweeping turns, amazing views, smooth pavement and nearly no traffic. Most of it at about 9,000 feet of altitude. I should have put on another layer! Part two was the first part of Rt 24 out of Torrey to Hanksville. More amazing scenery and sweeping turns, but not as intense. Part three was straight roads to the horizon, but still amazing desert southwest scenery. Great ride. Highly recommended.

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    We got into Moab and checked into the hotel. Decided to not head up to Arches today, but instead get something to eat, relax at the pool and rest a bit. This is a vacation, after all!

    Red sandstone everywhere. Moab is cool. The hotel is nice.
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    Going to find some BBQ for dinner, I think. Looks like a highly rated place is down the street, about a block beyond the Pizza Hut sign. Spitfire Smokehouse. Film at 11.
    #38
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  19. Motopumps

    Motopumps Long timer Super Supporter

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    Well, the Spitfire Smokehouse had closed for the day when we got there. Might have sold out. :(

    Passed the Vanderhall dealer in town. Very cool 3 wheeled car. Check it out on Jay Leno's Garage for an in-depth review.
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    Basically a modern Morgan 3 wheeler.

    We decided to grab a bite at the Chinese restaurant just past. Clearly the staff were training each other as we got there. Made me chuckle a bit. Menu was decent, but a bit pricy, even compared to Ithaca NY. We ordered. Half of our order arrived, thought they were just staging as things came out. We were pretty hungry so we shared that and finished. They brought the bill. Of course, it had both entrees on it. Sorry! We will bring that right out for you. Nope, we are done. Appestat has shut down and we have formed plan B. They adjusted the bill and we were on our way back to the hotel for a sunset ride in the park. Lets catch some end of the day light on the rocks.

    Nice ride up to the park. Only a couple of miles outside of Moab. Rangers had all gone home for the night and the sign said to pay at the visitor center. The Visitor center was closed as well. Proceed!

    Just inside the park after the climb and switchbacks. Light is looking nice.
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    Snow capped mountains in one direction, red monuments in the other. Very cool.
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    Everywhere you look, just jaw dropping.
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    Onward toward Delicate Arch
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    It has been wet here this spring and there is a lot of green.
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    Arrived at the arch viewpoint. Can't walk there from here. We may hike up from another point tomorrow.
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    With the sun setting, we decided to go to the Windows section where we could see Double Arch. This on the way.
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    Apparently this sign was needed...
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    Starting to get the Windows thing. Light is good.
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    Headed for Double Arches.
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    Turn around and look at the light behind us!
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    Changing by the second.

    Looks like a monster...
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    Nearing double arch.
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    Lets play with the exposure to get this a bit brighter.
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    Climbed in the arch and looked back at the parking area.
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    View through the arch to the west.
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    Looking up
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    Sunset getting more intense
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    Good night, Sir! Thanks for sharing with us.
    [​IMG]

    Rode back to the hotel, warm, dark, amazing experience...
    #39
    karter18, wee-twin, Mark_O and 6 others like this.
  20. dano619

    dano619 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Oddometer:
    899
    Location:
    sunny san diego
    Stunning pictures, thanks!!
    #40
    TM1(SS) and Motopumps like this.