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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by victay, Jun 29, 2018.
I think it’s only good for the park you buy it at
Just caught up. Thanks for sharing! Burt Munro would be proud.
I found this RR a couple days ago, have very much enjoyed reading all 32 pages of this journey (so far). I love your optimism and "why not!" attitude, especially when things go sideways. Your video and drone shots are such a great addition, I know it takes some time to do these and they are much appreciated. Can't wait for the adventure to continue!! Thanks for all the work that has gone into doing this report live every day.
Hey leevil, we will definately want to catch up with you again when we get to LA.
DAY 32 - Saturday 1 September
364 km (226 miles) - Green River UT to Gunnison UT
A nice cruisy day on the TAT. Temperatures were quite low most of the day so it was pleasant riding. At one point the scrubland turns to dunes for a short ways which made for some great drone shots.
Pic - Dunes
Pic - Dunno why this little bug was locked up in the middle of nowhere. It looked lonely
The most enjoyable part of today was riding through the Sids Mountain Wilderness Study Area. Big rock cliffs on both sides as you ride through the canyon on the way to Castle Dale.
Pic - Sim checking out the petroglyphs
Most of this mornings ride was done at relatively slow speeds with no wind, which translated to huge fuel economy. When we filled up in Castle Dale we worked it out that the groms had done 131 miles per gallon. Not too bad.
There was not a lot of traffic on the road until we hit Manti La Sal National forest, and then it was atv after atv after atv. They are definately more popular than motorbikes by far.
Up and over to Ephraim we hit over 3000m again. Back on with the jackets and heated grips. We were not expecting that. After riding theough Moab and White Rim, you get this image of what Utah should look like, so when you ride through forest and elevation, it just seems weird.
We stopped for dinner at Gunnison with the intention to camp at Yuba state park, but after scoffing down our pizza we were feeling too fat to continue. We really want to camp more, but with every bump we are getting softer and lazier.
We had a squiz at my bike this evening. I kept knocking it into neutral when I wanted 2nd and couldn't get it into neutral when I wanted it in neutral. I must have bashed something when I binned it at slick rock.Simon spotted that the gear lever was hitting the engine case and managed to remedy it.
Simon is feeling quite dusty. He reckons today was the dustiest so far. I didn't notice it so much, but then I'm usually riding in front and not eating dust.
Just ran through all 32 pages...wow. Absolutely amazing adventure, one which I am wholeheartedly smitten with! Great job thus far, and safe travels! Following for sure.
Loving the report! The next stretches are going to be epic desert. Bring plenty of extra water! And watch for washboard on the gravel roads.
Loving following the journey.....so cool!!
Hoping to do next summer with some buds.
I'm just waiting to see a photo of the Groms out on the salt flats at Bonneville - hell, we need some drone footage of your own personal speed runs!
ps. It's definitely worth dropping by the visitor centre at Golden Spike (Promontory Summit) to see the engines - and who doesn't like steam engines, right?! - note. If you're there around 3.45-4pm, you'll see them steam up and be driven back to their shed too!
Giant Loop Gas Bag. you won't have that problem. And they pack down to a pretty small size unlike any hard bottle or container.
And not far from the Golden Spike is the site where they make and test rocket boosters for launching stuff into space. I forget the name of the company. The day we went to the golden spike they fired off booster.
Were you able to feel the earth shake when they fired off the booster? I believe the company is Raytheon but correct me if I'm wrong......" now back to Grom'in......
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DAY 33 - Sunday 2 September
404 km (251 miles) - Gunnison UT to CCC campground on Weis Highway UT
Not the most interesting riding today. After being spoilt the last few days, the straight fast gravel this morning was downright boring. We didn't take a lot of photos today. We did see quite a few pronghorn throughout the day, but didn't manage to get any pictures of them either apparently they are a type of goat not an antelope or so we have been told.
Typical straight roads we rode all day
It got more interesting once we hit Death Canyon Road. The surrounding terrain got a little more hilly and we encountered some mini sandy salt flats. They definately tasted salty (Simon checked).
First glimse of some salt flats
Checking out the salty stuff
As usual our timing was impecable, when lunch time rolled round, there was not a tree to be found. When we stopped to eat our sandwich, we had to hide in the shade of our own bikes. Groms don't cast much of a shadow so we made it a quick one.
Sim squeezed in between the bikes
We ticked off another state today, well briefly. We stopped at border in Nevada, which of course had a room full of slot machines attached but a rubbish selection of ice creams. Sim found an innocent hose pipe, shoved it down his jacket and turned it on. He still dried out within a half hour on the bike.
The last 100km to our campsite was some squirelly gravel sand stuff which made for a challenging afternoon. It was so dusty Sim had to drop way behind me beyond our intercom ranges. I had to keep checking my mirrors to make sure he was still there. This is unusual for us.
We have camped at a free basic campsite on the side of the road that has no facilities, but is still quote nice. Dinner tonight was a tasty pasta and sauce..well for me anyway. Sim had to have nut bars and beef jerky for sups as the pot lid he was using as a plate spontaneously malfunctioned and dropped all his food in his lap and on the floor. I would have snapped a pic, but he looked grumpy and I was busy stuffing food in my mouth :)
Campsite for the evening. Waiting for it to cool down before we put the tent up
We are looking forward to the Bonneville Salt Flats tomorrow.
DAY 34 - Monday 3 September
438 km (272 miles) - CCC campground on Weis Highway UT to Tremonton UT
Moab and White Rim look like they will be hard to beat. This part of Utah seems to look more like what we imagine Nevada to look like. Lots of straight flat roads today. Funnily enough, coming in to Tredmonton, the landscape changed again and all of a sudden there are fields and the air smells like straw instead of dust. It looks like how we imagine Idaho to look like.
So peaceful in the morning
The highlight of our day today was of course our pilgrimage to the Boneville Salt Flats. We have been looking forward to this for some time. We were gonna have a go at a top speed run, but we didn't want to put the two GSes out there to shame :) We mucked around on the flats for ages and zipped up and down the international speedway, and yes of course Sim got the drone up.
Not a lot of camping options for us and it was still early so we figured we would aim for a motel in Tredmonton. Man that road after the flats was hell. Those corrugations rattled us and the bikes to bits. My rear splash guard gave up towards the end of the day. Fortunately, due to recent experience with the one on Sims bike, it was relatively quick to remove the remaining bits.
We found some actual shade for lunch
Roadside repairs again
When we were planning our trip, I scoured through the Roadside America site and pinned a lot of POIs. I however neglected to copy the descriptions in, so we have points that pop up that we can't remember what they are about. The golden spike was one of these so we opted for rocket garden which was self explanatory.
Taking a tour through Northrop Grumman's fall catalogue
Today was a long day for us. The corrugations and the straight roads took their toll. We figured we had better give the bikes a rinse as they are covered in dust, but we think we have found the busiest car wash in the USA. Both times we went there, there was a queue.
Gunnison to Tremonton... hmm, wondering why in the world the trail would take all those hot, flat, straight, "desert" roads when there were plenty of higher elevation forest roads, like Skyline Drive, etc through all the national forests just to the east. Sounds boring enough on a full-size bike.
FWIW, I've found that a lightweight, collapsible umbrella is quite useful on long motorcycle rides. First started carrying one when hiking to protect my camera when taking photographs in the rain. Then discovered its attributes as a sun shelter.
We actually said to each other somewhere on the trail "an umbrella would be a really good idea". Wiahed we had thought of it earlier.
On dusty roads there is a way to prevent the following rider from eating dust all day. If the following rider keeps his front wheel even with the lead riders footpegs , then all the dust rises behind both riders.
It feels a little sketchy at times , but , it's doable .
I'm guessing its because the old TAT originally went through Nevada before going up into Oregon. When Sam changed the route maybe it made sense to him at the time to just find a route up through the salt flats. In our planning stages we did consider coming off the TAT and linking in with the Utah BDR which comes up the east side, but we really wanted that photo at the Bonneville Salt Flats.