Moto Guzzi's and the WABDR, or how we rode the desert southwest

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Mooney 78865, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. Dracula

    Dracula Moto Guzzi jockey Supporter

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    It's a heavy beast for sure... and I reckon you mean when judging a decision, no gain is won by lowering further the pressure.
    #61
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  2. Bonafide Bob

    Bonafide Bob Long timer Supporter

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    I would indeed enjoy riding there, but thinking my 450 KTM would be my bike of choice.
    #62
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  3. vhntr1

    vhntr1 Been here awhile

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    Great read thanks for your efforts putting it out there for all of us to enjoy,I just put a set of ax41s on my Stelvio.
    I have only ridden about 100 miles on them mostly on stone roads what a huge difference over the ankee adventure that I had on.
    #63
  4. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    I've been busy editing video. About 80% done. In the meantime I was able to pull a couple of stills.
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    #64
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  5. Mooney 78865

    Mooney 78865 Long timer

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    See? I told you @aftCG would post the Gucci pics!
    #65
  6. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    I guess I can talk day 3 while I'm waiting for my lame video to process. As Mooney said, we broke camp on day 3 and headed through town to Arches. We grabbed breakfast at the McDonald's and on into the park. No question the rocks are beautiful and there is every reason that it's a national park. But. It's a national park. Most of my motorcycle trips have been to places like Glacier, Yellowstone, etc. Lots of slow cars, RVs and parking lots. The roads are nice and smooth and there must be at least one or two days per year when you could drag some steel - but it ain't in september.
    I'm going to quit bitching because everyone should see Arches. I'm probably going to take Carrie this winter sometime
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    #66
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  7. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    After we endured Arches we stopped at the visitor station below where some of us topped off our water, then we rode back through town headed about two hours south. We stopped at an odd "hole in the wall" place that had a convenience store, petting zoo and various odd art work. I didn't take any pictures of the jeep welded up from scrap metal but the other guys did. It was pretty creative.
    Then in was slab city through to Bluff where we stopped at the fort, as Mooney said, then we checked out three different "campgrounds". The best of them offered a small mosquito infested swamp, another a small rectangle of gravel for us (but they were open and had a bathroom with showers) and a third that looked promising because it had grass for tents. Unfortunately the woman who has recently inherited the place is not allowing any tents. The bathrooms were closed and she literally pulled up in a pickup, got out with her mask on and spoke to us from 50' like we were from a different planet. The fact that we looked like blackened Teletubbies had nothing to do with it, I'm sure.
    Skunked in Bluff, Mooney secured us camping at (as he points out, I had no idea) the low end KOA. It was servicable, and Mooney bought us dinner from the catering place. The food, when it finally showed up, was great. It was the first time we became aware that the locals don't exactly care what time it is. The Frisian and I discussed the next morning that it is quite possible that it is us that have it wrong. I've long suspected that was true.
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    Our Deluxe accomodations shown above. Looking at the map later, this campground was not even 2 miles from the Arizona border.
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    Being the picture guy I had to go stand in the highway at just the right moment.
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    And this picture was taken early the next morning. The smoke had followed us from the land where trees still stand. Shortly after this we hit the road and went to Mexican Hat for gas and food.
    #67
  8. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    I was post processing this video when Frisian sent a text telling us to watch "Red Rocks to Mountain Tops". Even a minute of watching that and it's clear I'll never be a video guy. What follows here is a compilation of all the footage, crammed into one linear track with some strange music and no discussion. Momma always told me I had a face for radio, so there's that.

    I'll hold off on the discussion about Valley of the Gods until the others have had their say.
    #68
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  9. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

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    #69
  10. Dons1911

    Dons1911 Long timer

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  11. Dons1911

    Dons1911 Long timer

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  12. Dons1911

    Dons1911 Long timer

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    Hopefully one of us got a picture of the Mexican Hat rock ... I have one but it's real crappy. . .
    #72
  13. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

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    I looked through my video's but didn't have anything on Mexican Hat.
    #73
  14. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

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    Arches NP was beautiful and I filmed most of the ride. The video doesn't really do it justice, so I won't post it here. @aftCG already posted some video and does a much better job than my crappy (non existent) editing skills.
    Here are some additional pictures:
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    #74
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  15. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

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    This is my ride report contribution of our final riding day together. We rode from our camp ground on the Navajo reservation in Monument Valley to Mexican Hat for fuel and breakfast. After that we continued north to the Valley of the Gods.

    #75
  16. aftCG

    aftCG Long timer

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    Yeah I've got nothing on Mexican Hat. It is really a cool rock worth googling for those who are curious. Amazing that rocks like those still stand. There were plenty of rocks in Arches that looked like a good cough would topple them. Mexican Hat is certainly one, but it's back off the road a ways and we blew on past it. Next time maybe.

    After our uneventful cruise through Valley of the Gods we reached pavement and it was time to go our own way. Consulting with our various GPS platforms it was decided that Mooney would take a left turn onto highway 261 and ride 850 miles home (holy shit dude). Don was headed to visit Kenny in Nevada and probably could have gone either left or right. Frisian and I were definitely headed north-ish, and a right turn was the way to go. Don came with us.

    The main part of the ride had come to an end and it was sad in a way (mostly because I knew I'd be going back to work and not spending my days riding the back country), but the riding was hardly over. Over 1100 miles still lay ahead.

    The right turn onto 261 was cool because the pavement ended and we went up another set of switchbacks. Nothing as tight as Shafer but the views were spectacular. The previous afternoon in Bluff there was a couple in a pickup that told us we should go up some road and dry camp, and promised a great view from the top of the switchbacks. The woman in the truck seemed a bit too eager to see us attempt such an ascent. Once we hit the top of that hill though, Don and I realized it was here that she was telling us about.

    Once on top there were actually tree-like things for many miles. The roads were nice and then we got some canyons to carve. We crossed the Colorado River (more of a creek at this point) and through many miles of beautiful rock formations. Don flagged me down at one point because I had left some buckles loose on my Giant Loop pannier. It wasn't about to come off or anything because it has several redundant straps, but good to get it tightened up anyway. A while later we stopped here for a quick view of the land and to work on our tans:
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    And then got back to it. My InReach trail says we pulled into Hanksville at yet another "hole in the rock" place with gas station. There is where Don went straight and Frisian and I took a right, onto a pin straight very dull highway in the high heat of the day. That highway took us north to I-70 and then we were backtracking pretty much the way Roy (UTrider1) set us up. Highway 6 was sort of nice on our way to Moab, but we had seen lots of beauty and on the return highway 6 wasn't quite so scenic.

    Then it was the SLC corridor in afternoon traffic. Somewhere north of Salt Lake Frisian took the exit so we could fuel up and suck down another bottle of Gatorade. Lots of miles still to go and some hours of daylight left to do it in. Traffic eventually eased up we made good time in the late afternoon/early evening. At that last gas stop Frisian booked a room in Twin Falls and I did the same at a lesser hotel. We both plugged the addresses into our GPS and agreed that if we got split up to just go do our own thing.
    I had my phone set up to talk to me through my Sena intercom but my phone shut down in the heat without me knowing.

    As we finally got near Twin Falls and started picking up a thick layer of protein (bugs) the sun was waning. Frisian signaled to me that he was pulling off at the first exit but since I had not heard from my phone I kept on. There were three Twin Falls exits and they're quite far apart. I finally suspected my phone had gone dead and took the second exit. No Holiday Inn Express in sight but I knew the woman at the front desk of the nearest hotel would direct me (and she did).

    I was damn glad I booked a room because there were none left when I rolled in. I got into my room and then decided to find some food while places were still open. I walked right by Frisian's bike at the hotel next to me and found a table at a nearby Applebees. Back in my room I watched TV for a while. First night sleeping in a bed in a week, and it was nice.

    The next morning I woke up and took my time getting ready. I ate the free breakfast at the hotel (worth every penny), got gas and headed up 84 like I knew the way home. My next gas stop was Ontario, OR just 3 miles into the state. I ate some Harleys on the road west to Hermiston and then north into WA. I had enough gas to make it to Prosser and when I got off the highway I saw a motorcycle shop. I had been hoping to see a convenient one the entire trip because I had lost one of my mesh gloves and wanted a new pair. This place was a BMW, KTM, Yamaha "powersports" dealer. They let me in and I quickly had a replacement set of Klim gloves.

    About that time I got a text from my loved one who always stalks my location, typically finding me when I'm in motorcycle and gun stores. She noticed I was not only at a motorcycle store, but on "Merlot drive" and that just can't end well. I did drool a bit on this KTM 790, but it wasn't the R version - so no dice.
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    The gloves were of course a fantastic investment and just in time, because as I got to Ellensburg the sky was black. I stopped at Thorp to zip up vents and continue into the thunderstorm. I made it to the Elk Heights rest area and stopped again to add my fleece neck gator, swap to my regular mostly-waterproof gloves and try again. I was comfortable and dry with the exception that my boots eventually leaked. That's a known condition and I wear Sealskins socks, which I had but didn't want to bother with. I had been running my heated jacket all morning but my controller was TU so I had to plug/un-plug - until the rain started. Then I just left it plugged in. I made the pass no problem, ate another group of Harleys who must have been super comfortable in their jeans and leather vests, and on over Tiger Mountain on highway 18.

    It was POURING rain when I got to the airport where my hangar is. I was very tired and grabbed the bare minimum of stuff off my bike, got in my car with soaking wet gear on and drove home. My girlfriend loves the hell out of me and had a ribeye thawed out.
    #76
  17. Dons1911

    Dons1911 Long timer

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    As Alex stated, I left him and the Frisian at Hanksville, Utah mid-day Thursday. I rode on east past Panguitch then south into Parowan to my buddy Ken's. It's a beautiful ride across there!
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    We had a pizza and some beers, and caught up. He fiddled with his brand spankin' new Seth Lamm saddle for his Wee Strom. Man that Seth guy builds a nice saddle! The next morning we had a great breakfast at the Parowan Cafe and then saddled up for a ride in the burned out forest around Brianhead, then rode over to Panguitch Lake for a soda and a candy bar.
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    Then back to his place to wait for his wife Lisa to arrive, then we were off to a really great local Mexican restaurant. After a great dinner we visited some more, then had beers at his neighbors, another great guy. Then I was off to bed since I was leaving in the morning. After coffee and a bit more visiting I hit the road, with a target of a really cool campground along the Payette River near Cascade, Idaho, about 660 miles. I frequent this campground as it's convenient on my trips south, very quiet as I usually have the place to myself, there are only six sites here.
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    After dinner and a great nights sleep, I was breaking camp in temps in the low 30's. It became pretty foggy as I got about 40 miles north, but I still managed to make good time. I was wishing I'd have brought my heated gear, but I like to try to travel light, so it all got left behind. Stopped in New Meadows for fuel and a cup of coffee to hold on to, firmly. After thawing my hands and having a nice chat with the station owner, I was off again. One more fuel stop in Lewiston (assurance), then I had to talk myself out of taking the Spiral Highway and stick the Lewiston Grade. Got home around noon-thirty and had time to mow the yard!

    Overall an outstanding trip with some of the best guys to ride and camp with on the planet! Looking forward to our next trip!
    #77
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  18. Dracula

    Dracula Moto Guzzi jockey Supporter

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    Thanks for sharing it. There were some very nice sections of the video scenery where I really enjoyed the views. Kind of skipped forward for the rest. What road/name is that?
    #78
  19. Flying Frisian

    Flying Frisian Born to Ride Supporter

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    Yeah, didn't cut much out. Like you said. You can just skip through it.
    The dirt road is the Valley of the Gods road.
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    #79
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  20. Dracula

    Dracula Moto Guzzi jockey Supporter

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    Thanks! Yes. It's also relatively easy to do generic (not fancy) video editing using youtube's built in tools. I admit to having only dabbed at it. But found several examples how to do it https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-edit-youtube-videos and might even be fun playing with that if you have enough time!
    #80