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Retired and Riding South West US Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by danisOTR, May 13, 2021.

  1. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    Those of you that have been following our various reports know our back story. Those that are new to danisotr Ride Reports a very quick recap.

    We retired September 2019. We've been traveling pretty much full time since. No home just us and our bikes.

    We went into MX January 2020 and got hung up in Palenque, MX mid March due to "you know what". A word or phase that I do my best to avoid using.

    We stayed at Hotel Lakyum casalakyum.com.mx. We left the bikes there in May and flew to the US. A summer trip ensued on our other two bikes covering most of the Northern US. A tips to Split Croatia also happened in the fall but no bikes.

    Jumping forward. We arranged to have the bikes shipped to Nogales, MX in January where we retrieved them and brought them to Green Valley, AZ where we had rented an Airbnb for a 11 weeks. We spend much of that time spring out the damage and deterioration the occurred while in Mexico and during the shipping process.

    That done we left Arizona to Texas where we set up residency. We were there a month leaving as soon as we had taken care of all the necessary documentation.

    We are planning and or have done parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah (currently). Heading to Northern Arizona, touching Nevada, Southern California, The Bay Area, Sacramento Area. That's the rough plan so far. We have to be in Cape Cod for the first week of September. So what lies between what I've written and then is anyones guess.

    What follows is our time since leaving Texas. I normally post day-by-day detail and will be attempting to do the same here.

    I am in catch up mode having just spent the day documenting the last couple of weeks of travel. Hold tight as I get things back in order.
    #1
  2. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    4/30/2021 Friday Bowie TX to Palo Duro Canyon State Campground

    Patti's brother and sister in law turned us onto Palo Duro Canyon. Surprisingly it is the second only to the Grand Canyon in size. We made reservations at the State Campground which is on the western most side of the canyon.

    We left Bowie reasonable early and headed west on route TX route 237. A couple of hours into our ride we needed to stop for fuel and coffee, which can also be considered fuel. As we were about to put into the gas station Patti’s bike died. She pulled in the clutch and coasted into the gas station.

    When she got off her bike I climbed on to see if I could get it to start. The bike cranked but would not start. Déjà vu all over again. We had the same issue while doing shake down rides in Arizona

    I needed some coffee before I started to diagnose what was going on with her bike. I grabbed some coffee and headed back outside. Having been through the same issue a couple of times since getting the bikes back I knew where to start. I popped off a side panel to check some wiring which had caused a similar problem before. Nope. I then checked to see if the fuel injectors were getting fuel. They were not. Narrowing in now. I pulled a spark plug to see if it was getting spark. Yes, it was. OK. I double checked to make sure that the fuel pump was running. It was. Bingo! Another failed Hall Effect Sensor (HES).

    Those of you that have been following along remember that Patti’s bike failed when we were leaving Tombstone, AZ. The long and short of the story was that the wiring on the HES had been chewed by rodents as it sat in Palenque. I had an the original one that I had replaced in Palenque while trying to run down another problem. I had replaced the chewed one with the original one in AZ. That solved the problem. I sent the failed one to be rebuilt. This is one of two parts I always have in case they fail.

    Anyway, back to the current situation. I determined it was the original HES that need to be replaced. I had already received the rebuilt one back when we were in Houston. I proceeded to take apart the bike in the gas station parking lot to do the repair. I was done an hour later and the bike fired right up. As I’ve said many times when something breaks, I learn from it.

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    With our mishap taken care of we hit the road west. We had another few hours to go. We did one more fuel stop before heading into the Canyon.

    We arrived late afternoon and were overwhelmed at the site. After spending so many days riding in flat Texas it was amazing to see this site. We descended into the Canyon negotiating a bunch of switch-back turns. Patti had reserved a spot that is normally used by camper trailers. There was a concrete pad, a covered picnic table and a nice place behind the structure to set our tent up.

    We had not camped since the end of August last year. But it was almost like riding a bike. Last summer we spent 38 days camping. We have a system down. We had the tent up, sleeping pads inflated, sleeping bags unfurled, blow up pillow blown up and or camping chairs assembled within an hour.
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    I made a quick trip to the campground store arriving at 4:55 just before they closed at 5:00. I grabbed a bag of ice so we enjoy some adult beverages.

    We sat in our Kermit Chairs, sipped our cocktails and remembered what it is we enjoyed about camping in nature.




    Mile

    295

    Avg Moving Speed

    63.5

    Max Speed

    84.3

    Max Elevation

    3604

    Moving Time

    4:38

    Total Time

    7:41

    Attached Files:

    #2
    MrMac, njmotophoto, garfey and 7 others like this.
  3. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

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    I always enjoy your reports. Thanks for taking the time.
    #3
  4. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/1/2021 Saturday Palo Duro Canyon State Campground

    We took a 2-hour hike in the morning following the well-marked trail system in the park. It was mainly flat mostly following the river bed. We walked by walls of sediment that had been compacted over millennium. It is a Mecca for bicyclist that inhabit the trails. We passed and were passed by dozens of Mount Bikers. Some who had skill and others that were panting and struggling. I admire them all. I’ll stick to a motor with two wheels.


    After our hike we relaxed at out campsite for a couple of hours before riding two-up through the rest of the campground. This is a very popular place for locals from Amarillo who come out to hike, ride mountain bikes and picnic. We did not see an empty parking spot or picnic table as we cruised through. We rode up out of the Canyon to admire some of the overlooks. The Canyon is over 100 miles long but you can only see a small portion of it.


    We rode back to our campsite. No fires were allowed due to dryness so no cooking over a fire. Not wanting to revert to canned tuna we walked over to the store/café and enjoyed some cheese burgers and fries.


    Back at the site we played a round of Hand and Foot and then heading to bed early.
    #4
  5. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

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    sunny san diego
    Glad you two back on the road, I'm IN!!
    #5
    ROAD DAMAGE likes this.
  6. Smidty

    Smidty Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    South Africa
    :lurk
    #6
  7. MusicRider

    MusicRider Adventurer

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    Aug 18, 2013
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    25
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm in on this RR. I do have a question. What bike covers are you using? I have a Africa Twin and need a cover.
    #7
  8. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    Bought from Amazon I’ll try to remember to PM the info
    #8
  9. manshoon

    manshoon Been here awhile

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    Pnw
    :lurk
    #9
  10. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA, 2016 R1200RT Supporter

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    Impressive on-the-road diagnostics and repair! And wow; I thought I traveled with a very complete tool set - but you carry a torque wrench with you?! I have to admit I was tempted to include one but drew the line there.
    #10
  11. Vrode

    Vrode Still learning.... Supporter

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    I'm in.
    Safe travels (and hopefully no more gremlins)
    #11
  12. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    With the 1100’s I always have a Spare HES and a final drive bearing. Almost everything else can be sourced locally.

    The torque wrench slides into the notch my Jesse bag beneath the muffle cut out. Almost all the “extra” bits and pieces I have I’ve used at one point or another.
    #12
  13. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Devout Atheist Supporter

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    Kitty litter USA
    In. Looking forward to seeing where the road takes you and Patti.

    If you head back my way, hit me up...lots more good lunch places!
    #13
  14. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/2/2021 Sunday Palo Duro Canyon State Campground TX to Tucumcari, NM

    We had our camp broken down, packed and loaded back on the bikes in two hours. Why it takes ½ hour to set up and 2 hours to break down is a conundrum that I will never be able to explain. I guess it is like unpacking versus packing. It’s easier to pull stuff out then it is to carefully organize as you pack. Of course, if you have less stuff!!!!

    We were on the road by 9:00 heading west into New Mexico. We stopped in Hereford, TX which claims to be the beef capital of the world. Not sure if it is a self-given title or not. But the smell may lend credence to their boast.

    Almost the entire way from Canyon, TX to Hereford, TX is flat and straight. The highway parallels train tracks. We’ve never seen so many trains. We must have seen over a dozen running in the two hours it took us to get from Canyon to Hereford. Some as long as a mile.

    From Hereford it was a short distance before we crossed into New Mexico. The road continued flat and straight for several miles. At one point there was a curve in the road that we could see at a distance. It looked like a capital “C” stretched out before us and then the road continued straight again as far as we could see. Why the curve? There was no apparent geographic need for it.

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    After another several miles we met another curve. This one was different. It was followed by another then another then suddenly laid out before us was a valley. One with character. We descended and there were buttes on either side. We were no longer riding through country with no character. We had views. But the road was still pin straight.

    After another hour we rolled into Tucumcari, NM. This was a good and only reasonably distanced destination. It was hot and dry as we pulled into town. The hotel we had booked was on the historic Route 66. More like pre-historic. The town was desolate. More shuttered businesses than still in business.

    Our motel, The Budget Inn, was just that. If you had driven down Route 66 in the 60’s it would have looked the same with almost the same furnishing. But it was clean and inexpensive (cheap).

    After showering and scrapping off two days of campground and as many days of riding we went across the street to what must be one of the only open restaurants in Tucumcari. The Pow Wow Restaurant and Lizard Lounge. We arrived just before the evening rush. We were seated quickly, waited on and orders placed before the rest of Tucumcari arrived. We were tucked away in a booth away from the action. The wait staff looked like worker bee’s flitting in and out of the kitchen. Service was fast as I am sure they were anxious to turn the tables to maximize seating’s.
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    Food consumed, beverages drank, bill paid we crossed the 4 lanes back to our “Budget” accommodations.

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    We stopped in the middle of the road to take pictures of each other. There was NO traffic coming in either direction. However, as tempted as we were we did not lay down in the road.

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    Miles

    149

    Avg Moving Speed

    52.3

    Max Speed

    70.5

    Max Elevation

    4880

    Moving Time

    2:51

    Total Time

    4:31
    #14
  15. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/3/2031 Monday Tucumcari, NM to Las Vegas, NM

    If you are in this for the pictures you might as well skip right over this one. The weather sucked so I could not take any pictures from the cockpit. Also where we stayed in Las Vegas, NM was no prize.

    Today our goal was Taos. We had booked an AirBNB for 3 nights. We stopped for fuel which was prescient as we later discovered that there were no services on Route 104 which leads from Tucumcari to Las Vegas. This is a 107 mile stretch and as our mileage has been suffering due to the winds and our loads, we have learned to be cautious.

    We headed up 104 towards Las Vegas. As with most all other roads in this part of the country it is mostly straight. However, there is some character to the landscape that surrounds the road. As with yesterday there are buttes all around. With the road being flat a straight you have time to look around. Here there is something to look at and enjoy.

    We kept blowing along Route 104. The road rose and fell even though it was straight. We finally came to the end of the flatness and found ourselves climbing up the side of a butte. I think we gained almost 1000 feet and we weaved back and forth hugging the side of the butte.

    After that the road straightened out again. But now things had changed. In the distance the sky was dark and ominous. You could actually see rain falling 20 miles away. We were still 20 or so mile from Las Vegas. Again, there is almost NOTHING between Tucumcari and Las Vegas. There are no services.

    It was at this point I decided it was time to pick up out speed. We had been going along at a leisurely 60 MPH. I whipped it up to 75 in hoped to get ahead of the weather. We were counting down the miles and had decided that as soon as we had the first raindrops on our face shields, we would stop and put our rain gloves on. Well, we had our drop around 15 miles before Las Vegas. Also, we had seen multiple lightning strikes.

    We pulled in to the break down lane and pulled out our rain gloves. As we were on the side of the road a state police vehicle passed heading in the opposite direction. I was relieved that he passed us then. We have been going 75 in a 55 just before we stopped.

    Back on the road we whipped it up again. The rain was on us as we counted down the miles. We had a few seconds of hail. We both were saying “ouch” into our headsets. We were fortunate that they were only pea size.

    We finally arrived in Las Vegas and pulled into the first gas station we saw. We parked the bikes and walked into the store. Not quite wringing wet but wet all the same. We were also coooold. We poured ourselves some coffee and Patti went to the restroom as the clerks told her there has a hand dryer there where she could warm her hands.

    I pulled up the weather channel to see what the radar showed for the remaining 90 miles to Taos. Rain and snow at the elevations we had to pass through. I looked at the New Mexico 511 report that show road conditions. Nothing reported yet. We debated, should we stay or should we go? More looking at the radar. I send a What’s App to an acquaintance that lives outside of Taos.

    The rain let up a little and I went to fuel the bikes. That done I went inside to find Patti gearing up to go. The clerk took the time to call her mother who lives between Las Vegas and Taos. Heavy rain, snow in Taos. Brakes were hit. Not going forward. Not worth the risk.

    We found another “Budget Inn” a mile from where we were. We suited up and went up the road. We found the Budget Inn. A step down but a roof over our head. I contacted our AirBNB host and she kindly refunded our fee for today.

    Now we are hunkered down until tomorrow when we will head up to Taos.

    5-3-2021.png

    Mile

    108

    Avg Moving Speed

    55

    Max Speed

    73.4

    Max Elevation

    6862

    Moving Time

    1:58

    Total Time

    3:45
    #15
  16. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/4/2021 Tuesday Las Vegas, NM to Taos, NM

    We woke up to 38 degrees this morning. We checked the weather in Taos and found it was equally cold. On the ride between the two we would be gaining a couple of thousand feet of altitude and we knew it would be even colder up there. We decided to wait a couple of hours before we headed out.

    We left at 10 and got on Route 518 which is one of the many great roads for motorcycling with the gains and drops and the required curves that make it possible. It was only 86 miles but the GPS predicted it would take over two hours.

    We would our way up and were grateful we had layered up with almost all the layers we carry with us. Lots of wool and then something windproof. We still needed to stop for Patti to put on her rain jacket over her riding jacket. We also put on our rain gloves over our regular riding gloves to cut the wind.

    As we climbed the roadway appeared wet. Also, there was snow on the side of the road from yesterday’s storm. I was concerned about coming upon ice on the roadway. I kept putting my foot down to check the surface and was pleased when each time I could feel the grit from the pavement. We did our best to keep our tires on the dry areas where we found them. We also saw what we thought was steam coming off the roadway. We hoped that it was because the road was warmer than the dampness. At one point we ran into fog so thick we put on our flashers for added visibility.

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    We proceeded at or below the posted speed limit taking care in the curves. Fortunately, we did not run into any ice or snow on the road. As we dropped down into the valley where Taos sits the road became dry and the temperature climbed.
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    We followed the main street past the center of Town. We found a nice local restaurant and went inside to warm up and have our first meal for the day. I started to communicate with our Airbnb hostess to see if we could get into the unit early.

    While we waited for a reply, I took the failed HES to the Post Office to ship it to Reto in British Columbia. As I had sent several to him in the past he offered me a 10% discount.

    We received the OK from the hostess and we rode a few minutes and found the address. We parked and unloaded our gear.

    After we relaxed for a while, we walked the twenty minutes to the Taos Plaza. It is a area a couple of blocks square. It is primarily a tourist area. Fortunately, it was not too busy. We mainly window shopped and only went into one store. Most stores closed at 5 and in fact some were closing up at 4:20. Guess there wasn’t enough foot traffic to justify staying open. IMG_3935.JPG IMG_3936.JPG IMG_3937.JPG

    After an hour we headed back to the Airbnb. As we were walking, we heard someone yelling at us from a truck on the opposite side of the road. He yelled, “I know you. You’re on ADVRider.” It was Sam Lambie who we met in Merida, Mexico in February 2020.

    He and his wife Kate Csark were on a ride to Central America. We met up one evening after I had spied their motorcycles parked on a street we were walking down. I reached out and was able to get in touch with them.

    We’ve kept in touch on What’s Ap. We knew they lived in New Mexico but not where. We let them know where we were heading and when. We found out that they live in the next town past Taos. I don’t know how Sam tracked us down. Maybe he just coincidently saw us.

    Later in the evening Sam and Kate picked us at our Airbnb. They gave us a tour of the area. We ended up having dinner at a brew pub where we swapped stories of our travels. They gave us some great tips of places to see while we were in Taos. Sam was overly gracious and picked up the tab for dinner. Then the dropped us off at the Airbnb. Thanks Sam and Kate for being such great people. Hope to see you on the road soon.

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    Mile

    78

    Avg Moving Speed

    38

    Max Speed

    67

    Max Elevation

    9459

    Moving Time

    2:00

    Total Time

    2:32
    #16
  17. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/5/2021 Wednesday Taos, NM

    We were given some tips on what things to see while we were in Taos by Kate and Sam the previous evening. We waited until things warmed up a bit before heading out.

    Our first stop was the Earthship Biostructure. This is a community of structures and homes that are dedicated to Super Sustainable Buildings. They use Thermal Dynamics and Passive Solar. They use a recyclable items such as bottles, cans, tires, etc in combination with packed earth to create homes, community buildings. They recycle their waste and water. It is a very impressive site and concept.
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    The next stop is the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. It spans the Rio Grande Gorge and river below. The bridge stands several hundreds of feet above the river and is one of America’s highest bridges.

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    Just past the bridge is a rest area. We pulled in and parked. We looked at the views from just below the rest area before approaching the bridge. As we grew closer, we saw Big Horn Sheep just across the roadway. We spent a bit of time admiring and photographing the impressive animals. At one point Patti got a little closer than one of the Ram’s wanted her to be and gave her the stink eye until she backed up.
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    We walked out on the bridge and peered over the edge. If you have a fear of heights this is not for you. We were impressed to see call boxes on either side of the bride and placed at areas along the span itself. They are placed there for those that are suffering emotional doubt.

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    We moved on from there to ride up into the mountains where the Taos Ski area is. The road twist through some funky towns and they up into the hills. There were cars parked on either side of the road with people hiking into the hills. There was one person painting the scene of heavy running stream that runs by the road.

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    We cruised through the ski area parking lot and headed back down the road. I spied a van that was covered with stickers. I noted that it had a Vermont plate on it. Makes sense.

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    We headed back to town and our Airbnb geared down and then walked back into town where we found a Mexican Restaurant where we had an early dinner. Even though it was Cinco de Mayo the place was not busy. A couple of cocktails and fair meal later we were walking back to the Airbnb where were called it an early evening as we were heading out the next day to Colorado.

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    5-5-2021.png

    Mile

    47

    Avg Moving Speed

    35

    Max Speed

    54

    Max Elevation

    9374

    Moving Time

    1:20

    Total Time

    2:17

    Attached Files:

    #17
    EMFL, NSFW, Smidty and 2 others like this.
  18. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    5/6/2021 Thursday Taos, NM to Durango, CO

    I know I’ll be writing this a lot, but each riding day seems to get better and better. The roads since leaving Texas have been nice to ride on with plenty of character with elevation gains and drops and curves.

    Today is just one of many. We left Taos heading our Route 64. Shortly past Earth Biosphere we saw a rider on the other side of the highway apparently broken down. We pulled over as far to the right as possible. There is no paved shoulder on either side and it is just a two-lane road.

    I called out to the rider to see if he needed help. His Gold Wing was partially on the road service and was up on the center-stand. He replied he had a flat and he had already plugged it and was about to reinflate the tire. We opted to stand by to warn oncoming vehicle as Jeff was lying partially in the road to attach the pump to the tire. Cars were whizzing by in both directions. I stood by the road motioning cars to slow and move over.
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    Tire filled and Jeff was packing up his panniers when his bike tipped over onto the road. We righted the bike and Jeff made sure it was stable and finished packing. I told him we were not leaving until he was safely on his way. We exchanged information. He lives in SoCal and told us to contact us when we got in the area. He headed off on his way to Ride the Lewis and Clark trail and was on his way to St. Louis to start.
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    Patti and I started back on the road. It was a few minutes later that we both realized that Jeff had been laying on the roadway where his bike fell just moments after he had gotten off the ground. We were both thankful that things turned out well. I did text him later in the day to make sure he didn’t have any more problems. Fortunately, he did not.

    We continued heading and west and soon we were climbing into the mountains on Route 64. The road proved to one of many of the great motorcycle roads we would be riding over the following several days.

    We climbed for several miles and came upon a pull off that was a spectacular place to stop, admire the view and take photos. It provided and expansive view of the valley below and hills further in the background. We could have stayed longer but it was chilly and we still had quite a way to go.

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    From this point we started our decent. The road continued to be on the motorcyclist lust over. There were a combination of hairpin and sweeping curves until we were down in the valley.

    We continued on Route 64 until we came to Chama. We fueled, had a snack and transitioned onto Route 84. This brought us into Colorado a first-time border crossing for us. We missed Colorado on last summer’s trip.
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    We continued on Route 84 until we reached Route 160 which we would be on until we reached Durango, our goal for the night. Both 84 and 160 were nice roads with some curves and elevation gains and drops. Not spectacular but nice.

    As we approached Durango traffic began to build. It was not heavy but a lot more than we had to contend with up to that point. We worked out way through the outskirts of town and then onto Route 550 that led us to our Motel for the night.

    This was our third “Budget Inn” so far on the trip. Apparently, they are not at all affiliated. They are all just that “Budget” options. The most inexpensive in their area. All have room doors facing the parking lot. This is our preference as we park our bikes directly in front of our rooms. This makes unloading and loading the next day easier and allows me to keep an eye on the bikes.

    After getting settled in I walked to a nearby market for something for dinner and a few other provisions. We had an early dinner and were in bed early.

    5-6-2021.png


    Mile

    203

    Avg Moving Speed

    42.9

    Max Speed

    70.4

    Max Elevation

    10431

    Moving Time

    4:46

    Total Time

    5:57
    #18
  19. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

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    Location:
    Traveling in the US
    5/7/2021 Durango, CO to Monticello, UT

    Today we were on our way to ride Route 550, the Million Dollar Highway. This was one of many recommendations of “Lonestar’s”. It is a road famous among motorcyclist and is on many of ours bucket list. It is listed as one of the most dangerous roads in the US. Oddly when doing some research, we found that we had already ridden or at lease been on many of the roads on the list.

    We were quicky making elevation as we rode out of Durango. This is a road that has a dramatic amount of elevation gain over a short distance. There are innumerable curves and switchbacks as you climb. We went through two passes during our climbs both exceeding 10,000 feet.

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    After a little over an hour, we arrived in Silverton. It is a funky town with many parts seemingly out of the 1800’s. We rode up and down the main street which is paved. Many of the side streets were gravel. We were going to stop but had no real need so we got back on 550 headed to Ouray.

    This was the “exciting” (read most dangerous) part. Again, we climbed weaving around curves.

    After a while we reached the most famous section of the road. It is a stretch of only one mile. But the road just clings to a vertical face. It is barely two lanes wide. The outer edge had no guard rail and the drop off is several hundred feet straight down. I noted some sections of the outside lane seemed to have slight dips.


    As this was our maiden ride down this road, we were both glad we were on the inside section of the road. We hugged the wall staying as far away from the edge as we possibly could. There were signs commanding no stopping or parking on the roadway. Who would?


    We made it to the far side where they is a pull off where we could look back and where we had just come from. What amazed us most is that tractor trailers ply this road all the time. I can’t ever see myself driving the outside edge even pulling small trailer. The thought makes me shiver.



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    There is a waterfall to the left of the pullout that cascades down several hundreds of feet crashing on the rocks below. The view is enhanced by the short steel viewing area that cantilevers over the canyon below. You can see straight down if you look through the steel grates below your feet.

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    After documenting our accomplishment, we moved on to Ouray. Again, we descended on mainly switchbacks that eventually brought us into Ouray. It, like Silverton seems to be part in the 1800’s. The main street is paved with almost all others being dirt. I would have liked to have stopped but all the parking on Main Street was sloped which makes parking on a motorcycle difficult. So, we moved on again.

    We had no definitive plan for the day. The manager of the last hotel had told me about a great motorcycling road. We decided that we would check the mileage to what, at the time was our destination for the day using two different road options.

    In Ridgeway we stopped for fuel and a bite to eat. We mapped out both route options. The recommended route would add 3 hours to our day. That was a non-starter.
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    Our goal for the following day was Moab, Utah. We wanted to camp at a Bureau of Land Management site. It was recommended to get there early to get a site. We wanted to stay in a town near enough to get to Moab by 10 the following day.


    After looking at the map we decided to head to Monticello, UT. We mapped out a route. Route 62 west was, yet again another great riding road. We then transitioned onto Route 141 and then 491 where we crossed into Utah. All of these routes were great riding. They switched back and forth from long straight and flat to hilly and curvy.


    We checking into Canyon Lands Motor inn. Another inexpensive choice, but adequate to our needs. We ate out of our cooled opting not to go out to eat. Another early evening.

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    Miles

    219

    Avg Moving Speed

    47

    Max Speed

    69.5

    Max Elevation

    10985

    Moving Time

    4:39

    Total Time

    7:04

    Attached Files:

    #19
    EMFL, 531blackbanshee, NSFW and 3 others like this.
  20. danisOTR

    danisOTR Living Life on the Road Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,119
    Location:
    Traveling in the US
    5/8/2021 Monticello, UT to Moab, UT

    It was a relatively short ride to Moab. Only 58 miles to the center of town. We stopped a few times along the way to photograph the scenery the bordered highway 191. The wind seemed to battle us all the way pushing us from side to side or just holding us back like an invisible hand.
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    We were through the center of Moab before 9:30. The BLM sites I had read about were just north of town on route 128. All the campsites were between the roadway and the Colorado river. There are several small campgrounds, each with up to a dozen campsites each.


    I had Patti wait at the intersection of Routes 191 and 128 while I went to scope things out. I headed up passing the various campgrounds. Many had signs indicating they were full. At the four-mile mark I pulled into one. I saw a couple at a site. I could not tell if they were setting up or breaking down. They had just gotten there. They indicated that there may be more sites but as I cruised through, I did not see any.


    Back on 128 I got up to just past mile 6 and saw a what I saw was a couple of open sites. I quickly realized they were too sloped for tent camping. One more campground up I spotted a vacant site. As I pulled in, I saw a guy in a pickup spying the same site. I called out and asked if he was taking it. He said that I should take it.


    I rolled in and “Phil” followed me on foot. He checked the post to see if the site was reserved and it was not. We came up and we chatted. He was a fellow BMW rider form Massachusetts. He already had a site up the road and was just investigating other options. He was in trailer and said he was well supplied and would bring us water later.


    After he pulled out, I set about putting the tent up to “claim” the spot. It was windy and the ground rocky so it was a struggle to get the tent up a secure but I managed.


    I filled out the paperwork claiming the site for three nights and placed it on the post in front of our spot. Then I headed back to get Patti and lead her back.


    We went about our normal set up routine challenged by the constant wind coming up the canyon. I forgot to say that 128 runs up a canyon carved by the Colorado over millennium. On either side the red rocks extend up several hundred of feet.


    As I was writing, the site was mostly gravel so I was having a difficult time driving in the tent stakes. I ended up having to use to use some large rocks in a couple of corners to in lieu of stakes. We had learned our lesson last summer about making sure you stake out your tent so that you didn’t have the tent caving in on you when the wind picks up.

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    As we finished setting up the attendant came by. He was verifying payment and marking our tag as paid up. He came over to chat. A retired rider due to a near fatal accident where he was run over while riding his Gold Wing. He told me of his Iron Butt accomplishments and 50 National Park challenge. He also gave some tips about sites to see in the area.


    Our site was set up before noon and we decided to go to Arches National Park which was 8 miles away. We were at the park entrance in the queue and when we reached the pay booth there was sign stating the park was full and to return in 3-5 hours. So much for that.


    I suggested we go to the Needles Overlook in Canyon Lands National Park. This required a 40 mile backtrack down Route 191. From there you get on route 211. It is another 22 miles to the overlook. I had read that Canyon Lands was not a very busy park. That is a true statement. In the 22 miles we probably passed 3 vehicles.

    The rode was fairly flat but had plenty of curves. After 30 minutes of not seeing much change, we started to notice some canyon features to our left. They were barely visible through the scrub.


    We finally arrived at the Needle Overlook parking area. There were only a couple of other cars parked. We were immediately overwhelmed with the vastness of the canyon that reached out several hundred feet below us. Not the last time I’ll use this term but the site is indescribable. Also, the photos cannot match the actual sites.

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    We walked to the several viewpoints, each impressive in the vastness of the breadth and depth of the view. The valley floor below was lined with trails and we could spot an occasional UV driving below, just barely specks to the naked eye.


    Finishing up we mounted back up and began our trek back to Moab. Back down 211, again with nary another vehicle and then back north on 191. At City Marked we bought some sandwiches, ice and other provisions before finally heading back out to camp.

    Our site us unmolested with not squatters. During the course of the late afternoon and early evening we were overwhelmed by the number of vehicles riding into our site not knowing it was occupied. It was not possible to see from the road that we were there. Finally, I flagged down a car. I invited the couple to share the site. Otherwise, they may not have been able to find anything. The gratefully accepted.

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    Andrew and Kaz along with their two dogs joined us for the evening. Andrew is a former back country firefighter and he set about making a great campfire where sat around sharing stories.



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    Mile

    209

    Avg Moving Speed

    47.5

    Max Speed

    74.4

    Max Elevation

    7032

    Moving Time

    4:24

    Total Time

    8:48
    #20