The PNW Trepidation Tour 2020

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Turkeycreek, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Spanish Fork, Utah.
    MotoXperts. Nice folks. Cameron took care of us. (themotoxperts.com) The new tire is black, round and rubber just like the old one but it has tread. A good thing.

    From Spanish forks we headed Vernal, UT SE on US 6 to US 191 NE through Duchesne. We drove fast past these structures because we did not want to get windmill cancer
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    It was an enjoyable ride through mountainous terrain without much traffic. We crossed several passes over 7,000 ft. Once past Duchesne we rode through flat farmland to Vernal.

    The next morning, Sunday, we made our way to Dinosaur National Monument. I was there 20 years ago but this was Lynn's first visit. Very few people there. The rangers were doing a good job in maintaining distance between people and we waited at the visitor center for a very short time before riding the shuttle to the quarry.
    The quarry is a hillside containing over 1,500 bones from the Jurassic period. The hillside is enclosed in a building to both protect the fossils on the hill and fossils like me visiting the site

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    The photos don't do the wall of bones justice.
    The park is more than fossils. Petroglyphs from the Freemont People who inhabited the area can be found as well

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    The artist who created these images was apparently interrupted while trying to include his web site address at the lower left.


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  2. chilejack

    chilejack Viajero Viejo

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    Looking at Banamichi weather forecast, you may need an outrigger pontoon for the Rio Bacanuchi
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  3. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    The tub will likely float pretty well
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  4. chilejack

    chilejack Viajero Viejo

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    silicon seal and duct tape!
  5. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    I can't say enough about how much we enjoyed the Dinos. If you have not been, go. If you have some dino loving kids in your life take them. There are a lot of Dino sites from Denver west.

    We continued east from Vernal on Hwy 40 to the Colorado border and the town of Dinosaur. The monument spans the Utah/Colorado and it is likely the town thought it would reap the benefits of being nearby. It seems a pretty grim place now. The few motels that were failing when I visited 20 years ago are now derelicts and look abandoned. Sad to see. If there was an entrance to the monument the town may have done better. I don't know what the terrain issues would be coning in from the east and the south.
    The major non ag economic activities seem to be the liquor store and the three cannabis dispensaries. The liquor store had billboards in Vernal and it is probably popular with Utah folk who don't want to shop the Utah State liquor store. I had planned on taking photos of the cheesy dino statues at the motels but they are long gone.

    We took CO 64 to Rangley then CO 139 south over Douglas Pass at 8,205 feet (2,501 meters.) Not high by Colorado standards but very steep grades

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    Once down off the pass it is high desert punctuated by irrigated fields of alfalfa and hay. We were both beat as we have not been sleeping well. We made it short day and stayed the night in Grand Junction. We were on familiar ground now other than 13 years of population growth changes.
    We got some rest and planned our ride to the Denver Metro area. We could have taken I-70 but that's no fun. So we took Hwy 50 south to Montrose and over towards Gunnison. Just east of Montrose is Black Canyon National Park. I have visited when we ran tours and many other times going back to when my kids were young.

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    Its combination of steepness and depth along with how narrow the gorge is makes it unique.

    We continued on to Gunnison for another short day. We saw riders from Oklahoma and from Alabama at the hotel One woman was riding a Can Am Spyder. In normal times there would have more discussion and talk about 3 wheel riding but it didn't really happen in the social distancing environment we are in. We have really lost something in the ways we interact because of the pandemic. I hope we can get some of it back when this is over. I remember when I had my sidecar 13 years ago that gas stops always engendered questions and comments. Everyone wanted to know about it.
    The woman with the Spyder did say that she thought it was great that people "our age" were out riding. Of course I had to feign outrage and ask her what she meant, did she think I was old? She was pretty flustered so I let her off the hook and fessed up to actually being old.

    Highway 50 took us east again. Very comfortable, familiar territory.
  6. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Catching up on your adventures and had to quote this as it nearly had me laugh coffee out my nose, which would have been quite unpleasant...lol. That's funny as hell @Turkeycreek, great wit.

    Really like the shots from the dinosaur visit, what a cool place to see some serious history.

    Sticky side down!
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  7. bisbonian

    bisbonian Long timer

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    I paid her $20 to make that comment. Worth it.
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  8. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    You over paid. I look older than Methuselah after being on the road this long.
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  9. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Some thoughts nearing the end of this ride:

    My tone here is meant to be wistful and not at all complaining. The ride has been amazing and wonderful. Just not the best time.

    Muscle memory is a good thing. A few minutes on three wheels and I was at home again after a 13 year lay-off. A few oops but minor.

    The Pacific North West is a great place to explore and stunningly beautiful. We are hoping that we can make the ride to Alaska next year and explore the PNW a bit more.

    The pandemic did put a crimp in the enjoyment of the trip. Lots of things were closed, and as I noted above, the social interactions we would normally expect are much more restrained.

    So many inmates here had great suggestions and offered to share meals and couch space. We felt bad that we declined all of the kind offers but we did not want to bring anything along into people's homes.

    Sometimes you just like a nice meal - many of the restaurants we looked forward too were closed or otherwise had restricted service and menu options. A few good meals were enjoyed though but too much take out eaten in hotel rooms. We did figure out that fast food drive thrus are easy enough in the hack. (not sure this is a good thing)

    The western US has dedicated an amazing amount of acreage to raising food for cows. And an amazing amount of irrigation and harvesting technology.

    It is likely a good thing that we were not able to cross into Canada and head to Alaska. Neither of us were in great physical shape and there are mods to the rig I will want to make. We would have made the trip just fine but next year will be better than fine.

    We are both amazed that we have not had the desire to kill one another or even to turn off our headsets.
  10. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

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    We look forward to feeding you next year :)
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  11. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    I'm looking forward to it
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  12. chilejack

    chilejack Viajero Viejo

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    excuse me, but................
  13. chilejack

    chilejack Viajero Viejo

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    "Some thoughts nearing the end of this ride:"

    I can empathize...
  14. bisbonian

    bisbonian Long timer

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    I'm just glad someone posted that before I did.
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  15. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    I'm no longer wistful.
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  16. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    While I'm decompressing from our day and thinking how to write it up, here is a nice photo from this morning. I know I'm out of sequence but hey, it's a train.

    [​IMG]
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  17. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    We left Gunnison early for the Denver Metro area. Cold and misty and not the famous Colorado blue skies. But it didn't matter, I don't know how many times I have driven or ridden that route and it never get old. Blue Mesa Reservoir, on the Gunnison River upstream from the Black Canyon was low. The effects of the western drought. I'm not sure what low water means for the hydro electric plant at the dam. As usual it was windy on the 20 mile ride along the shore but there many many people on the road and on the water.

    [​IMG]

    We climbed Monarch Pass and it we were a bit chilled at 11,312 ft on the Divide. We stopped for coffee and warmed up. No other people in the place but a few mountain bikers waiting for the lift to open to take them up.

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    We turned onto Hwy 285 and rode past the Collegiate Peaks near the headwaters of the Arkansas River. We rode past the 14,000 footers, many names for Ivy League colleges. Always an impressive sight.

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    We turned at Johnson's Corners and hoped to stop at the Coyote Cafe. It is completely changed and wasn't open. We continued on into South Park and Fairplay. We decided to try the Brown Burro Cafe in Fairplay for lunch. We turned up the road and there were several bikes parked in front. In the parking lot I spied a blue HD trike with a Texas plate. I told Lynn it was Don's bike.
    We masked up, went in and put our names on the list then went out on the patio. Don was eyeballing me but with my bandanna pulled up he wasn't sure.
    It's been 14 years since we last saw Don.
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    After a socially distanced lunch, far more distanced than the photo, we headed to Denver.
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  18. chilejack

    chilejack Viajero Viejo

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    TC and Mrs. TC in Bernalillo, NM

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  19. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Are you sending them down 191 with that side car rig? If so Tom will have some strong arms after.:lol3
  20. chilejack

    chilejack Viajero Viejo

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    TC will soon tell all....