Denver to Portland on dirt

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jhax, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    For those who doubt whether I have a bike. There it is. Park City was nice. Some good live music. i was pretty happy to stay in a decent hotel. A nice ride up over Cottonwood and down the canyon. Always a classic. For some reason I took no pictures. Riding was good and I wanted to be out of Salt Lake and on my dirt route by the end of the day. Better pictures to follow. Promise.

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    #41
  2. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    A few options on how to get across Utah. Transcontinental Railway route and the Pony Express Trail. Transcontinental route runs north of the Great Salt Lake. I read some ride reports on it and there were reports of old railway spikes sticking up from the old railway bed. Somehow the thought of changing a flat in 100+ degree weather did not sound too fun. I was also thinking a railroad spike will shred a tire. Pony Express route seemed the better option so I headed south out of Salt Lake to Tooele. From Tooele you can see signs for the PER. Wonderful riding. I'll stop writing and post pictures.

    Last note: I had an extra 1.4 gallons of gas, 6 quarts of water, and about 12 power bars. Plus food and fuel for cooking.

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    #42
  3. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    Incredible Riding.

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    #43
  4. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    The Route was well marked and had good historical signage to boot.

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    #44
  5. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    Kept you out of the sun at least.

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    #45
  6. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    At some point the route goes SW and I needed to head north. Still beautiful riding.

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    #46
  7. monkeytrick

    monkeytrick good ride good times

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    great pics...beautiful country. looks fun! :D
    #47
  8. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    Every 60 miles or so I would climb a thousand feet and have these views.

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    #48
  9. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    Somewhere south of Dugway. I saw one person this day.

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    #49
  10. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    I think I rode about 12 hours at this point. Ready for bed. I managed to find an old irrigation well that still had cool water in it. Made my beer just cold enough.:beer
    So good. Had a great camp site. Nice sunset.

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    #50
  11. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    Maybe this looks the same to some folks. I never got tired of it.

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    #51
  12. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    And the bike again. Coffee:clap
    A very good morning.

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    #52
  13. eddyturn

    eddyturn Eternal Wannabe Supporter

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    JHAX... you sure look like Maggie's boy - John. That chew?

    Bob
    #53
  14. jazzer

    jazzer Lost again... Yeah! Supporter

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    Wow, I'm loving your report! Those are some lonesome roads to be riding solo especially though the desert. You have some big ones!:clap
    #54
  15. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    Just read the message on image attachments so I figure I should I should finish my threads.
    In to the heart of my ride now. For all the times I have flown from Denver to San Francisco this was the country I had really wanted to ride. Could not find an open air tour bus for this section so I had my bike trucked to Wendover.:D

    Rounded the SW side of the Great Salt Lake desert and headed north. I was beginning to realize that I really needed to decrease the circumference of the earth and see some increase in latitude. Nothing like Rand McNally for route planning. Also needed to get to Wendover for gas. One disadvantage of my GS 650 is that it did not have a fuel gauge. I had put over 250 miles on my tank and used my spare 1.4 gallons. I was estimating 70 mpg but was always thinking of fuel. Estimated I had 150 miles to Wendover but was not keen on testing my estimates for distance and mpg. My basic route took me up the western edge of the desert. I was somewhat angling towards 93 but hoped to not hit it until I was as close to Wendover as possible. I put Ibapah peak in the mirror and headed north. One constraint on my route was the Air Force bombing range to my east. I figured if I really got lost I could ride out on to the bombing range. The fighter jockeys would probably just think I was a really life like target and drop bombs on me.:kumbaya

    I assumed, based on watching them while I was in the Marines, :devildog, that they would miss, then decide to send out S&R for me.

    Fortunately none of this was required and I made Wendover without difficulty. Interesting ride! The road went from the normal 10' gravel to 8' dirt, to 4 ' track over grown with desert grass in the middle. Just when things looked really interesting, and I was contemplating leaving my dirt track, I came across the old 93. Six feet wide, overgrown with grass, occasionally asphalt, and completely washed out for large sections, it seemed like a super highway! After 400 miles of gravel and dirt I cruised at 45 for about 2 miles before I suddenly came upon the first washout. Occasionally I would have to scout the route at the wash outs to find a route in and out. After about 5 hours I cruised in to Wendover. the last 15 miles on 93. I blame the Air Force for this. The bombing range boundary was right beside 93.

    Wendover was so depressing. Truck stops, hot as hell, old casinos, bad food. But gas. Stock up on water. Enjoy the pics.

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    #55
  16. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    No beer.:cry

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    #56
  17. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    I was cruising here. Maybe 50.

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    #57
  18. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    :D
    Still loads of fun though. Actually found the hard pack easier riding than all the loose gravel. I hate loose, deep gravel.

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    #58
  19. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    the funny part with these signs is they put them every 20 yards for about 50 miles. Good thing because if there had been a gap of 50 yards I swear I was going to assume the bombing range was ended and make an immediate right out into the middle of the Salt Lake desert.

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    #59
  20. jhax

    jhax "No matter where you go, there you are" BB

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    I won't wax philosophic, but this is what life is about. Alone, no human encroachment on my mind. Enough criticizing of people who need solitude. One can empathize with the guy who chewed his arm off in Utah. I'm short, bald, and like being solo! Back off! I'm not asking anybody to come rescue me if I don't show up in Portland.
    Off my soap box.:D
    One interesting thing about trying to ride east to west across the western US is that geology conspires against you. The mountain ranges run north south and all the easy passes are occupied by Eisenhower and his highways.
    I zigged, then zagged, out of Wendover and worked my way west. Camped by Rockland NV that night after ~ 325 miles of riding. Pretty fried mentally.
    Next morning headed west towards the Humbolts, beautiful and still had a good amount of snow. Got lost somewhere.:doh
    Not sure where I went off track but ended up following a 6 ft. rocky track for about an hour. Ended up with a really nice vista and a dead end. Back down. Am I the only person who finds downhill in loose rock so much worse than uphill? Picked up the "real" 93, the Great Basin Hwy., about 20 miles south of I-80. North to 80, HIGHWAYS SUCK, and over to Deeth, NV. Tank up, water, food, my wits. All but the last in good order.
    For those that have never been to northern Nevada, you gotta go!:clap
    Just beautiful. A little tricky on the route but I'm sure my GPS buddies would have no problem. No people, cows, and interesting country. The mountains of Nevada are just really nice. Roads were good. If I'm from Europe this is a dream ride of the western US. Long ride, several hundred miles, up to Jarbridge NV.
    Enjoy the pics. First pic is of my vista from the dead end road. NIce view, not sure it was worth it.

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    #60