The Adventures of LoneStar & The Iron Butterfly...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LoneStar, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. FL.Flatlander

    FL.Flatlander Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2016
    Oddometer:
    65
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    I cannot how much I'm enjoying this report! The pictures are amazing and the narrative draws you in. Stay safe and keep posting!
    LoneStar likes this.
  2. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    It was nice waking up not dead, the awkward clerk having reminded us slightly of Anthony Perkins in “Psycho”. The fact we were the only guests at the motel didn’t help. We nabbed a banana and a couple of muffins from the free breakfast our host provided, said “Thank you!” and peeled south towards southern Utah, one of my favorite places on earth.

    There were threatening storms to the southeast as we headed towards Cedar City and they appeared to be parked over the Zion National Park area. My cell picked up enough signal to verify that indeed the forecast was rain ahead. The plan was to hit Zion and work our way east towards Colorado, seeing as much of the orange sandstone state as possible before heading back for Texas.

    The rain stayed just ahead of us as we made Cedar City. The map showed a scenic backway to the Zion/La Verkin area, and though it sounded good we had some concerns since the clouds were black over the area. I told The Butterfly that we may have some fun since it had been raining and it wasn’t clear whether the road was paved or not.

    As we made our slowly up in elevation, the road was wet, but the aspens were a brilliant yellow. The rain started and continued, as the initial blacktop section dropped away and the graded, crushed gravel sections began.

    [​IMG]








    The temperature fell to the lower 40’s as we climbed higher, leaving the yellow tunnel of leaves and entering a higher and flatter area where the gravel sections turned to dirt and the road got slick. My bike wandered immediately and I heard Kim shout in the headset as she got a bit sideways but kept it upright. It was tense as the rain continued and I wondered how many miles of mud lay ahead. My rear Heidenau was sporting 13,000 miles and had less than 1/8” tread so it was not working well. Even worse, Kim’s bike was wearing the somewhat new TKC-70’s from the dealership, which are glorified street tires. My experience with the TKC-70’s that came on my bike at purchase were not good, so I knew Kim had a handful on the slick stuff - not to mention a new and bigger bike notorious for ill handling in sand and mud.





    Eventually the muddy open area began to transition into aspens and a more solid road with crushed gravel. With the transition came some blue skies and sunshine and we began to relax a bit. It was to be short-lived.





    Again we came into an open area with threatening skies and started uphill on a slick dirt section. Almost immediately, Kim’s bike went sideways about 20 feet ahead of me and did a slow 270º spin, throwing her down hard. My bike almost went down as I stopped. Kim was not obviously hurt, however an old neck injury got fired up with the impact.

    The mud was only about 2-3 inches deep, but it was as slick as grease. We could barely stand, having to take baby steps to keep from falling. Lifting the bike was impossible at first, our feet sliding out from under us and when we got traction the bike simply slid away from us. I was able to spin the bike on its case and head fairly easily until the rear tire got into a slight rut, giving us enough of an edge to catch and we finally got it upright.



    I took a couple of minutes and aired her tires way down in the vain hope it would help the TKC’s in the slick stuff. She got going again and in less than 30 feet had to bail. We had no idea how far it was to better road condition, but we were about halfway and made the decision to go forward. For the next few miles, I had to dog paddle her bike through the mud, then walk back to my bike and do the same. A couple of vehicles passed us, both turning sideways in the mud coming downhill, only to straighten thankfully as they crawled past. In my rearview I watched them turn and slide to the ditches. It was exhausting and I wanted to give up. Thankfully it wasn’t raining but if it got worse ahead we might be stuck for some time.

    Check out my mirror


    A pickup came along and the driver said it got worse just ahead, but that blacktop was only a couple of miles away. Kim was exhausted from walking in the mud and I doubly so. It seemed to take hours to finally get into better sections, followed again by stretches of slick stuff but eventually the road got better and we made for La Verkin.

    It was exciting to see the back side of the peaks in Zion to our left as we rode. The skies cleared a bit but the weather wasn’t stable. We stopped for gas and a snack at the nearest gas station, then after a short rest headed on Highway 9 for Zion. To say we were tired after the mudfest would be an understatement. As we neared the park, we stopped to look for coffee but the hordes of tourists drove us away. As we got closer, to the park, I was shocked to see how many busloads of people there were. My last trip through southern Utah, including the parks, was almost solo for the duration as there were almost no people anywhere - it was late spring then and I assumed mid-October would be the same. Wrong!

    There were so many people and it was now late in the day so we decided to skip the park and go ahead, our crusty brown 1200’s faithfully purring away. We continued on through the otherworldly terrain on 9 until reaching Mt Carmel Junction and turning north. It was getting dark when we hit Hatch to check for a motel. None were available, but Kim found a good priced one further ahead in Panguitch.

    It was completely dark when we arrived, waiting in the lobby for a long time before the owner finally returned. He had been helping his daughter at her Indian restaurant down the street as her only waitress had called in sick. Indian food sounded good, but we were beat and muddy. Kim washed her rain jacket and pants in the shower while I relaxed on the bed. Eventually we mustered our strength and wandered down to the “Tandoori Taqueria”, where we had a good meal of spicy chicken wrapped in nan, taco style.
    dondesmo, drbuzzard, juno and 9 others like this.
  3. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way...

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,659
    Location:
    San Diego
    wow. After getting up every morning and reading this thread through my 2 cups of coffee and bagel ..... I'm horrified to find myself all caught up!
    I've been reading great threads since ..... well, whenever it is I joined this forum. But don't think I've ever felt my heart sink as much as it did when I just went to click on the next page and find there isn't one (yet). Ha!

    Lonestar - you two are inspiring and a real pleasure to read. For most of us mortals, writing a story worth reading is a helluva lot of work and takes time. Thanks for sharing your journey and pics with us.

    God Bless your travels.
    MaxV10, Grynch and LoneStar like this.
  4. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Hey thanks everyone! - Zubb included :D

    We're having fun but have been pushing hard. Hope to get a couple more updates done soon...
  5. spokester

    spokester Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,658
    Location:
    SE USA


    Epic beyond belief!:clap
    LoneStar likes this.
  6. freewaystreak

    freewaystreak Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    119
    Location:
    El Paso, Texas
    Weather and conditions in Utah have almost killed me a couple of times! Be careful!

    Sent from my SM-N910P using Tapatalk
    WacoDirtryder and LoneStar like this.
  7. Harder1

    Harder1 braaaap!

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Oddometer:
    483
    Location:
    Tacoma, Wa
    Just got caught up. Your photos and words are a beautiful take on this world we share. Thanks for all your efforts to take us along. Safe and blessed travels. :beer
    LoneStar likes this.
  8. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,953
    Location:
    Steamboat Springs, COLORADO
    Where's all the pictures of Kim's adorable sassy looking daughter? :dunno :scratch :hmmmmm :augie

    I may be married, but I'm not dead ..............

    C'mon Joseph, get with the program! :dirtdog

    RD
    LoneStar and Dirt Road Cowboy like this.
  9. kojack06

    kojack06 Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,256
    Location:
    Temple, TX
    Lonestar's trip reports have always been great!
    LoneStar likes this.
  10. steved57

    steved57 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    846
    Location:
    East Texas
    Damn what an awesome ride report with spectacular pictures ( which I expected as I've followed Lonestar's reports before) but this one is even more interesting since he's got his Sweetie with him. And what a fantastic job she has done on these big bikes in difficult conditions ! Thank you both for this very entertaining ride report and pic's. My wife and I live in East Texas but also have a home near Enchanted Rock so what part of Hill Country are you all from ?
    LoneStar likes this.
  11. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    It was time to head back south a bit. Just a little bit. Kim had wanted to see Antelope Canyon and we were so close it had to happen. The morning air had become a bit more brisk, even though we were in sunny Utah, as we rode south on 89. Highway 12 for Bryce Canyon slid past to our left as we headed for Kanab and ultimately Page. In Hatch we stopped for breakfast at a Harley themed motel and grill. It was definitely homemade and definitely good.

    [​IMG]



    The heavy rains we’d seen in Zion had apparently moved on east and doused the region, but there was little sign of it on the roads or landscape. We broke into Arizona and as the sun settled lower, decided to find a camp site early, both to get back out in creation and to help a little on our battered budget from so many recent motel stays. Past Fredonia Highway 89A led into National Forest land and we figured we could scrounge up a dispersed campsite pretty easily.


    Riding up into the forest, the temps dropped as did the setting sun. Finally a forest service road appeared that looked promising, but after riding a couple of miles in, the only spots that seemed doable had deep mud patches and standing water. In addition, there were hunters camped randomly off the road. Turning back towards the highway, we idled back up the road, a lone hunter walking slowly ahead in the fading light as we rolled past with a wave.

    Th only accessible spot was near the highway, but we got the bikes into the woods and Kim began setting up the tent and hammocks between a stand of large pines. The ground was spongy from rain and as I scrounged under piles of limbs stacked up by park services to burn in the controlled fires we’d seen on the way, I was pretty disheartened. Even deep under the piles the wood was soaked. I searched and searched around the area but everything was soaked and found nothing for tinder. The twigs I did find wouldn’t ignite for anything, no matter how much scrap paper I tried. The air was so full of humidity I began to wonder just how much rain had fallen. I tried all the tricks I knew for starting a fire - even chopping deep into old wood to the dry heart. Shavings wouldn’t ignite, in short nothing worked. It was getting dark and I’d given up more than once. I even tried cursing a blue streak but that didn’t help.

    As we sat in our chairs in the last of the light, the tiny fire ring mocked us until I gave it one more try and got some shavings going. It took a very long time but eventually a mouse sized bonfire got going and we enjoyed the sight and sound of a fire, wimpy as it was.

    We’d strung up a couple of hammocks and the Noah’s Tarp, but I was suspicious of a heavy rain and crawled into the tent. Kim decided to enjoy the hammock until the rains came but luckily they never materialized.



    The next morning’s pack up took a while, as the rain soaked ground and humidity had made the tent base and ground cloth muddy and generally too disgusting to pack up wet. The offending camp gear was stretched out over bushes in the sun and eventually dried enough to knock off the muddy clumps.

    From the camp site we rolled onto the blacktop and eastward for Page.











    [​IMG]






    KimCam:







    [​IMG]


    At the Navajo Bridge crossing over the Colorado River, we stopped for a look and a break to make brunch. As we sat at a picnic table under the covered area where the Indian women hawked their jewelry, I heard a car pull in behind me. A couple of moments passed and suddenly I heard someone exclaim followed by a loud thud. Kim was facing the vehicle and jumped up yelling to me to help. I finally untangled my legs from the tiny table and turned to see an elderly man lying on his back next to the car. Kim and I both knelt by him as his wife came around from the other side telling us not to pick him up. I knew better than to suddenly try to lift him, as he was very frail and we didn’t know if he’d broken anything. Despite hitting his head on the ground he seemed okay save for a bleeding scrape on his arm. We gently lifted him up and told him to lean on the car for a while.

    It was obvious he’d been suffering for years and was very frail despite his height. His wife had gotten him out of the car, along with his walker, and had left him leaning against the car while she went back to the driver side. There was a slight slope to the parking lot and it was enough that he was unable keep himself upright and had fallen hard, hitting his head hard. Kim had seen him start to go over and was unable to get to him in time, disturbing her greatly.

    He was very embarrassed at his inability to take care of himself, and knowing he’d been a big strong guy earlier in his life I’m sure probably made it doubly hard for him, but we joked about it to loosen the atmosphere. After making sure he was true okay, we got him on level ground and into his walker. Kim and I watched as the couple slowly made their way towards the bridge overlook and went back to our Ramen noodles.

    We finally saddled up and rode back across the bridge to the other side just to see it. As we circled through the lot I saw the couple who’d made it all the way across and were standing with their backs to us. Instinctively I started to honk and wave goodbye, but stopped as I was afraid if he looked back he might lose his balance again. On the road I told Kim and she had made the same decision as well.













    KimCam







    Page eventually slid into view and we needed coffee and wifi. Again, McDonald’s was the convenient answer though we ate next door at Taco Bell. I must say my palate has been slaughtered and bludgeoned on this trip by fast food places. Normally I dine on foie gras, caviar, quail lips and such, having been suckled on Dom Pérignon 1959 since birth, however McDonald’s sausage biscuits have made a place in my heart. My French wet nurse and au pair is likely rolling in her grave...

    That said, after waiting in line for coffee and a sausage bikkit, Kim and I plopped down on a couch by the window and I noticed a safety yellow motorcycle jacket on the adjacent couch, followed shortly by a woman named Sandy arriving with her coffee. We had the best conversation in a long time concerning freedom, life changes and adventurous spirits. Sandy was returning from Phoenix to Wyoming on her Honda Silver Wing after a fast trip there.

    [​IMG]

    Sandy shared how she’d reached a point of discontent in her life in her 50’s, realizing she was unhappy despite a good job and had been considering early retirement so that she could change her life. She wrestled with doing it, finally deciding to work another few years since it was the “safe” thing to do. One morning as she drove to work in heavy snow, she stopped at a light and looked to her right. There, sitting in the snow, was a young man with his dog. He looked directly at her and smiled with a big smile. She said it hit her very hard, an epiphany of sorts, and as she drove away with his smile following her she realized that though the boy would be considered homeless, in fact she saw how happy he was with nothing but his pack and dog. It was a moment that changed her life and the fear went away. When she got to work she walked in and told them she was taking retirement.

    She shared that she moved to Wyoming from the east coast, knowing from her first visit there it was where she needed to be. One of the next things she did was to take a riding class, face her fear and get a motorcycle license and begin to ride, joining the local Harley club on her newly acquired Silver Wing. From there she branched out and now traveled solo wherever she felt to go.

    Our conversation lasted a long time, but was one we all really enjoyed. It inspires the hell out of me to meet women who step out and face fears, especially traveling by motorcycle against the norm. We exchanged info and parted ways, watching her head north for Wyoming as we saddled up to find a nearby campground.

    Wahweap campground was the answer, sort of lying on Lake Powell, but by the time we arrived the office was closed and a list of available camp spots was taped on the door. We grabbed one in the tree-less crowded campground and I began to set up the tent while Kim did other things. There were an abundance of spiders on the tent as I unrolled it, realizing that the wet camping area we’d stayed in must have been loaded with them. I flicked a few off before the Iron Butterfly returned, luckily.

    Always a good sign...
    [​IMG]

    The sun was dropping as were the temps, but we had no wood for a fire so the evening was spent wrapped in blankets in our chairs, listening to the sounds of drunk teens playing beer pong a few sites away and the endless chatter of our neighboring three French girls.

    The only excitement was a burst of winds which grabbed the Kelty Tarp, tossing the ground stakes high into the air out of the sandy soil and flapping like crazy in the dark.

    The next morning was quite cold, and as I lay in my bag felt a tickle in my ear. As I reached to rub the ear canal, the tickle worsened and I felt movement down in the canal. Suddenly a spider came out of my ear and as it ran across my cheek I grabbed it and crushed it between my fingers. Obviously, the tent was still featuring spiders from the night before and he’d happily made his sleeping area in my ear as I slept. Next came the fear wave of wondering if somehow he’d bitten me in the night unnoticed and the poison would be going straight to my huge brain which lay just centimeters away? Or maybe my ear would rot off and ruin my modeling career? Whatever.

    This was my second “spider event” of the trip, the first occurring in Durango, Colorado... Shall I tell you? Okay...

    So, Kim and I’s last evening at the campground in Durango was spent sitting in our Helinox chairs and staring at the stars through the pines, enjoying a fire and a few sips of vodka until we both fell asleep in the chairs... very late. The next morning as we groggily packed up, the collar tag on my t-shirt kept bugging me and I kept messing with it. The day was a long, hard one and by the time we got into a motel we both just fell on the bed in our clothes and passed out. The next morning I awoke and sat up in bed, the damn collar tag of my t-shirt again bugging me. I reached back to move it, only this time it moved on it’s own. Hmmm. I felt the tag move further towards my shoulder. Brain highly awake now. I reached back and felt the tag turn into a lump on my shoulder, which I instinctively mashed with my finger. Upon removing the tag, I discovered it was, in fact, a very large spider who was now dead and sticky and not a tag at all. A shriek would scare The Butterfly who was still asleep, so I manned it down and placed the spider on the side table for analysis. Apparently, my now dead friend had crawled into my shirt the previous evening as we sat in the woods by the fire, had slept comfortably against my neck, eaten breakfast with us and then ridden a few hundred miles on my neck, avoiding my fingers trying to readjust him through the day. Dinner went well for him, as did another good night's sleep on my neck, being killed before a good breakfast. Best I can figure he was in my collar at least 24 hours and maybe 36.

    When Kim awoke, there was appropriate shrieking from her end as well as general horror. When things settled down, I scooped him into a little plastic baggie to keep in case I died, so that my killer could identified and also stuffed by a taxidermist for display in a menacing pose.

    When Kim finally was awake, I told her my spider story and to her horror realized there had been at least one spider in the tent with her. No stone was left unturned and no square inch of the tent, tarp, sleeping bags, air pillows or any other gear went unsearched.

    After things settled down, the plan was made to head for Antelope Canyon. There was such lack of information online about the actual canyons and features, including a complete lack of signage in the area for such a well-known world wonder that we weren’t really sure what to expect. In fact, we weren’t positive we were even on the right road and finally stopped at a gas station where the attendant pointed and said it was about another mile or two ahead.

    With some fear and trepidation at the prospect of waiting for hours to get into the canyon as we’d been told, we made the call to visit Upper Antelope based entirely on the lack of vehicles in the parking area versus the rows of buses in the parking lot of the lower canyon to our left. We paid our toll and the lady in the ticket booth suggested parking near the toilets for the bikes. We did so and by the time we’d gotten our gear off, an Asian armada of buses had pulled in and the people were pouring out like a broken bag of rice.

    I hotfooted it to the waiting shack where about 12 pickup trucks with seats in the back sat waiting and a horde of tourists were clumped around a couple of tables. I squeezed in and waited, eventually making the card table where I paid for the tour and got a receipt. Of the couple hundred people there, I can honestly say Kim and I were the only non-Euro or non-Asian folks. It was tempting to set up an impromptu ESL class to make some cash and help our budget.

    It wasn’t too long before our names were called and we were sent to a waiting pickup truck for the journey to the canyon. They squeezed 14 in each truck and like a herd of lumbering somethings the trucks all surged forward into the huge sand wash leading to Antelope. In short order we were all engulfed in fine blowing sand made worse as each of the trucks vied for position. I eyed the suffering tourists in back with us, all trying to bear with the grit and exhaust. Sand was pooled on shoulders and hats as I looked around squinty-eyed and observed the two cameras in my lap.

    It was a long bumpy ride made more fun by being tossed into the air a few times by the driver hitting bumps and ruts at fairly high speed but at least it took your mind off the sand and grit in your hair and teeth. We finally stopped at the parking area, where there were at least another 15 - 20 pickup trucks already there. Our guide gave orders to stay with her and told us not to pee or poop in the canyon as it happened frequently and there was now a $20,000 fine for doing so. I was disappointed as doing so had been high on my list.

    As we walked up to the entrance to the narrow slot, the line of people within were almost single file and we knew that the entire canyon was full from end to end with people. Walking in was no less than stunning despite the jostling people. Wandering slowly through was really a breathtaking experience and well worth the BS involved to see it. Our guide stopped here and there to offer photo tips and such. My cameras were now sporting fine sand in all the wrong places and I could barely get the On/Off switches to move but ended up shooting so many pics the batteries went down.


    [​IMG]

    Despite the crowds and low grade lunacy of the whole shebang, Antelope Canyon was certainly worth seeing and Kim crosse sit off her bucket list. I can only imagine what it must have been like to wander through it alone, before its popularity soared. Worth the hassle for sure!


    [​IMG]







    [​IMG]


    From Antelope the next quest was the North Rim of the Grand Canyon which lay back west. The afternoon was winding down and we made time for the junction at Jacob Lake and the turn south to the Grand Canyon. It was tempting to take some of the forest service roads south to connect with the road but the sun was getting very low and I realized it would take us much longer. I didn't want to be caught out in the dark if possible.

    Highway 67 S. for the park was a nice ride but the temperatures were dropping it was beginning to get quite chilly. When we showed the park pass at the gate, the Ranger told us that all the campgrounds were full but we could camp in the national forest outside the park. That was the plan as we continued on for the north rim, passing many mule deer and a large herd of bison on the way, arriving to a full parking lot very late in the day at the lodge.



    [​IMG]

    We wandered out to Bright Angel point as the sun was setting. The winds were very high but the views were stunning, especially in the golden light of the setting sun. What a beautiful place to watch the sunset.











    [​IMG]






    [​IMG]









    [​IMG]








    [​IMG]



    It had gotten very cold, and darkness had come so I told Kim we should try our luck at the lodge. I figured we had no option to stay there and neither of us looked forward to the cold ride back, much less setting up camp in the national forest somewhere.


    [​IMG]








    [​IMG]



    As it turns out our timing was perfect, and the girl working at check-in told us they had just had one cancellation for a cabin and the price wasn’t bad. It felt like we had won the lottery! The girl told us that the ride back that evening would have been difficult, as the bison herd tended to gather on the blacktop road for the remaining warmth stored in it. She said we most likely would have been caught there and unable to pass by the herd anyway. We were doubly thankful for that blessing!

    That evening it was nice to just be a tourist, having an all-u-can-eat brisket dinner in the lodge and then retiring to an old log cabin to listen to the winds howling in the pines above.



    [​IMG]
  12. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Hey Steve :D - I lived off Hwy 16 between Kerrville and Medina near where the Kerrville Folk Festival is held. No longer there but still own some property in the area for da future... What part of E Texas? The Iron Butterfly is from the Dallas area originally but spent most of her life on Lon-guyland before returning to the Texas heat...
    Grynch likes this.
  13. steved57

    steved57 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    846
    Location:
    East Texas
    We are between Longview and Kilgore - the good old East Texas oilfield

    looking forward to more reports and pics - ride safe and again Thanks
  14. Dirt Road Cowboy

    Dirt Road Cowboy I aim to misbehave.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    907
    Location:
    Tyler, Texas
    I'm familiar with those, too! :D

    oil tank 1.jpg

    pump 1.jpg
    LoneStar and steved57 like this.
  15. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    The winds the previous evening were very loud and lasted until the morning, the sound of things hitting the roof so much during the night I fully expected the bikes to blown over based on the sound alone. Indeed the parking area was littered with small branches and pine needles but nature's bark was worse than the bite, thankfully, and there was nothing damaged from falling limbs or such.

    [​IMG]

    Getting a quick breakfast burrito took a while in the coffee shop as the park had sent the majority of staff home for the year and closing was imminent. The burritos were worth the wait and homemade, a good start for the day.


    [​IMG]


    We geared up and headed back north, swinging out to Cape Royal and the overlooks there. There were a couple of other bikes in the lot as we parked, wandering down the trail to a lookout point of the side. It was nice to sit and watch the air blow by with the canyons as a background.


    [​IMG]


    Eventually we wandered on out to the point, where we saw a couple of riders in their gear shooting pics. I struck up a conversation with Darrell and Jay, both from the Houston area and doing a loop out to Vegas and back for a convention or something (IIRC). We had a good time and wished each other safe travels and such before Kim and I retreated for the bikes.


    [​IMG]





    [​IMG]



    Upon the return to the lot, there were a couple of Katooms parked nearby and both riders came up as we milled around the bikes. One of them, a big, suspicious looking guy came over and introduced himself - what was cool was it was @dave6253 from Advrider. He’d posted a great rider report a couple years back about the border roads in South Arizona and inspired me to go ride them. Was very cool to meet finally and one of those odd coincidences. Dave told me there’d been a raven sitting on my bike when they pulled in and he got a shot of it before it flew away. As cool as that was I hoped it wasn’t a portent…

    Thanks Dave ;D
    [​IMG]


    Dave and his buddy (whose name I can’t remember :0) were doing a loop through the dirt roads in the Grand Canyon and took off in earnest.

    [​IMG]

    Kim and I mosey'd out to the road again and despite the sunshine froze our tushes off in short order. It was just damb cold and especially when the cloud cover came in. A stop for gas at the North Rim Country Store gave us a chance to get the electric liners out and on, the clerk telling us it was in the low 30’s not including wind chill. We were lucky as the store closed the next day for the winter and we’d timed it just right.

    From there we rode on to Jacob Lake, heads pulled down into our collars like a turtle to keep the cold wind out. As we got back to lower elevations the sun returned as did warmth and by Fredonia we decided to get a motel so I could get caught up on the report a bit as well as wash some clothes and gear.

    The Grand Canyon Motel looked promising with its rustic cabins and $40 a night sign. It took a while in the cat urine laced lobby for someone to show, and by the time the owner walked me out to see a cabin I was blue from holding my breath. Man it was stanky and disgusting. The owner was a cool old guy who’d had a stroke and took care of the place to a degree. The cabin was very old and run down, definitely one of the funkiest we’d stayed in and I mean that in the worst way - it was a place where you just wanted to stay in all your motorcycle gear, including helmet and boots, while you slept. Anyway, after holding my breath and going back into the lobby, getting the owner’s wife to eventually reset the modem before I died of asphyxiation, internet was back in our lives. The owner’s wife had had a stroke as well and wasn’t functioning at 100% either. I felt sorry for both of them, as I’m sure the motel was overwhelming to handle but there appeared signs of progress on the exterior so hopefully they get some help updating the place.

    The next morning Kim got medieval with the car wash for her bike and the laundromat for our riding gear while I frantically wrote and edited pics, staying past the checkout time by a couple hours while the room cleaning dude sat outside under a tree. I finally hit send and got on the bike, heading for the laundromat for the Butterfly and clothes folding. I dreaded putting the knee armor back into our BMW pants, which can take longer than the entire wash process.

    Freed from Fredonia, we motored back towards Hurricane and La Verkin, our goal for the day to hit Zion National Park finally. The park was absolutely slammed with people getting last minute vacationing done, but we found a decent place dot park and caught the bus for the interior.


    [​IMG]

    I left the cameras on the bike, just wanting to enjoy the park without feeling I needed to document it. A place as grand as Zion can't really be captured, much less from a tour bus late in the day, so I just punted... The day was getting late so we went straight for The Narrows, a wise choice as there were fewer folks there.

    Wading into the frigid water was fun, having to use the discarded limbs left by others as walking sticks in the rock filled river beds under the water. Blue lips were smiling as we went back as far as we felt we could before losing the light. The nice thing is that your feet go numb quickly and the walk back on the path is the only miserable experience as the feeling returns.

    [​IMG]

    We caught the last bus ride back to the parking area and ate a couple of granola bars for supper. By the time we finished and got going the lot was empty and it was almost full on dark. With some trepidation (trepedaciousness? trepidaciosity? trepidancing? trepidarting? trepidancing?) we rode east through the park and tunnels towards Mt. Carmel Junction.













    Even in the low light the landscape was fantastic and bizarre, and as Kim said, it would have been nice to be a passenger with a swiveling head to take it all in. But instead we concentrated in the fading light, trying to get as far east as possible before pitch darkness.











    Riding after dark is a cardinal sin in my book and especially with the level of deer in the region, but we had no choice. The usual routine is to ride slow until a car passes then stay on their tail to let them take out any deer that race across. It’s a pathetic plan but sounds good in theory but it’s all I gotz. In this case, it worked well as a passenger van got in front of us, and slammed on its brakes multiple times for deer.

    It was a long ride as tense as we were but we finally made Mt Carmel and found a motel with a room. Kim’s nerves were shot and the solution seemed to be a good glass or three of wine. The hotel manager suggested the gas station across the street for a bottle or a 30 mile ride to Fredonia. Not. The station had just closed when I got there, but the attendant was walking to his truck and laughed when I asked where we could get a bottle of wine. “Dude, this is Utah man! There's no alcohol around here. You can go to Fredonia about 30 miles away.” Not.
    MizzouRider, juno, MaNDan and 3 others like this.
  16. Merfman

    Merfman Cape truster... Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,019
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    New Summerfield boy here.. (Between Jacksonville and Henderson)

    Thanks for the take on Antelope Canyon. I blasted by there last spring after hearing stories like yours and not wanting to suffer the crowds. At least I know it might be worth it next time...
    steved57 and LoneStar like this.
  17. Zapgarou

    Zapgarou Ripper Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Abbeville
    Glad to see y'all made it to the Grand Canyon and are still on your adventure. Ours was cut short back in October when my buddy who was riding behind me was hit by guy in a pickup truck who fell asleep at the wheel just outside Post Texas.

    Luckily my Buddy wasn't hurt or killed. He ended up crashing into the grassy median. He was bruised up but nothing broken. Riding gear and helmet payed off. Bike wasn't too damaged, right side saddle bag and blinker torn off and forks twisted. He was riding a KLR650.

    So our grand western adventure was cut short just 3 days into the ride, had to load the bikes up into a U-haul van and head back to Louisiana. It could have ended far worse with my buddy severely injured or killed.

    Be careful out there and ride safe.
    LoneStar likes this.
  18. LoneStar

    LoneStar WhoopDeDoofus Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,241
    Location:
    Texas, Zip Code EIEIO
    Holy crap Zap - what a scary deal and I'm seriously glad he wasn't killed!

    The closest call I had was between Prince George and Smithers, BC. We were riding staggered, me behind her about 75-100 feet or so and doing about 75. Suddenly a guy on a GS Adventure pulled out into our lane and passed right by Kim in the half lane to her left. I was in the left half and had just glanced down at the map only to look up and see the dick coming straight at me. I popped the bars and barely missed him by a couple of feet.

    Kim got the beginning of it on video (thanks to the tagging feature on the 10C)



    I guess he made the assumption I saw him and thankfully I did just in time. It was just mind boggling he'd try to pass with me directly in front of him and if I'd looked at the map a couple milliseconds longer we'd have hit.

    Would have been an ironic way to die for damn sure - killed by a guy on a 1200 Adventure in a head on. I still get pissed when I think about it.

    From Kim's helmet cam - he was just moving over into the half lane I was in - if anyone recognizes this jerk...
    [​IMG]
    twflybum and MaNDan like this.
  19. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    24,677
    Location:
    Über Alles,California

    "This here bike will do 150 mph."

    :evil
    LoneStar, Tejas99, MrKiwi and 2 others like this.
  20. Zapgarou

    Zapgarou Ripper Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Abbeville
    Dam LoneStar that was a close one, what the hell was that guy thinking riding like that.
    You just never know, besides people texting and doing other things you got to be alert all the time. The guy that hit my buddy hit him from behind, thank God he just kind of side swiped him.

    Get this though, he never stopped after he hit my buddy. After the EMT's got there and the Deputy's we were discussing what had happened and my friend said he had watched me go around the curve and then bam, something hit him. Next thing he knew he was under the bike sliding in the grass.

    Nick3.JPG

    We figured it was a hit an run. A little while later while the EMT's were checking him out a truck come out of town and pulls over. He came over to the Deputy and me and said I though I hit
    something but wasn't sure, I fell asleep at the wheel. Go figure, I think he had second thoughts and came back to the wreck site.

    Be safe my friend...........................
    LoneStar likes this.