Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Post Write Up

There were many, many miles of fun and lots of new people that I met on this trip. In fact, there was over 11,000 miles of fun. I will never forget this, my first epic trip. I can't thank enough all the wonderful people that helped me and sheltered me along the way. It was great seeing old friends and family that I have not seem in far to many years. The fact that I got to meet 3 nephews was awesome. Also meeting the new sisters-in-law was great too. The Dragon, The Blue Ridge Parkway, The Snake, Cherahola Skyway, The Rockies, riding along Niagara, the Grand Canyon, and so many more places that I could list. I loved riding this time of the year, where we have the cooler weather and changing leave colors. I know that I could have planned better and saved even more money but to me....I wanted to not have a schedule. It was nice having a list of things and people that I wanted to see and that was about my extent of the planning. I think it turned out great, I wished that I could have held out longer and seen more of the upper States and the bigger National Parks, but I want to spend time on each and not rush through them. That's why I didn't extend my route. I knew in order to see everything, I would have to take another month off. In the end, I wanted, and needed to go home. The bike could have left me stranded with worse electrical problems, luckily it took me home. I figure there is always next time. It was a joy planning, and the excitement of the upcoming trip was great. I'm sure the next one will bring the same excitement.

I know that this trip served a purpose to satisfy my need to do a huge trip before I die. Well it did, I can now write this off the list. Now lets see how many more I can fit in before the time is up.

Thanks again everyone...and I hope that you enjoy the blog with photos. Please click on the photos to enlarge them to fit the whole screen.

Until we meet again....Safe riding, Dano.

Day 33

When I awoke at the cabin, I hit a hot shower to wake up some more. I packed up camp, saddled up and rode towards Bryce Canyon. It was looking to be a wonderful day regarding roads and weather. I grabbed some cash at a ATM so I could pay as I entered the park. I had no idea if they accept cards there. So the nice Park Ranger at the toll booth informed me that it was a one way in and out Park. He also said that all the views would be on my left as I rode through the park. It was 17 miles in and the a turn around to come back. He suggested to ride to the end, then stop on the way back and view the attractions. Thanks buddy, but I didn't listen, when a stopping spot came up, I stopped. The park has a lot of great views, but after a while they were starting to look the same. But I did enjoy the visit and the sights. One good thing that happened was since I stopped at all the view spots on the way in.....I was free to haul ass out of the park. Everyone going in that direction was stopped looking and taking pictures. The road going out was empty, 17 miles of nice curvy roads, but I didn't overdo it to bad. As I left the Park it was time for lunch. I pulled into Subway and chowed down on a sub, I also used the time to look over the map and see the route towards home. I wasn't going to be able to visit Zion Park in the same day so I went passed it going home. I took Hwy 12 west to Hwy 89 south. From there I took Hwy 14 to I-15. The roads on the 12-89-14 are really nice to ride, again full of curves and great scenery. The wind was starting to pick up in the afternoon and it was blowing north right into my face. Highway 14 from Long Vally Junction to I-15 was a awesome ride, it really took me by surprise, I wished that I had video of the road. There was a fair amount of traffic on the road but it was moving fast. There were a group of Beemer GS riders that were working the bikes in the twisties fully loaded. They were fun to ride with 'till I passed them, for a big bike, they can move. It was a killer ride from the morning to where I entered onto I-5 south. I was rollin along on the 14 when I though I saw lava rock out of the corner of my eye. Damn if it wasn't, the whole hillside was covered in lava-flows. The road ran straight through it with Aspen trees with golden leaves and white bark. Man was that a weird and pretty area. The top of the hill took me to a overlook of Navajo Lake. What a great view that was. This whole area of southern Utah was fantastic, its definitely going to be on my "to return to" list. It was wild and remote, with the total lack of civilization. That makes for good riding. So when the road turned into I-15 at Cedar City, Utah, I just wanted to get home. I was close enough that I didn't care to stop or see any other attractions. I set the bike loose and headed through Vegas and made it home in the early evening. When I got to the 15, I just knew that my trip was over and that I wanted to be in my own bed that night. I figured that being that close to home, I can always come back on a weekend and see the things that I missed in the area. I was so glad to be home, it was an awesome ride, for the day except for the terrible wind coming from the south. On the return home drive from Vegas it was terrible and moved me all over the lane. The general total for the day was 575 miles ridden on the last day. Ahhhhh home sweet home. The bike slept wonderful in it's garage, I passed out once I touched my own bed. Heaven I tell ya.....

The pictures for the day....

Day 32

I had a good sleep and woke up hungry, there wasn't a doubt as to where to have breakfast. Time to go back to Mom's Cafe. I sat down and had some pancakes and bacon, yummy. From there I rolled out of town to the I-70 west for a few miles. I then went south on Hwy 24 at the town of Sigurd. The drive south was nice, great wide open hills, just huge vistas. At the town of Torrey I stopped and gassed up and asked some fellow riders of the direction they came. They said Hwy 12 is the road they just took, said it was Po-Po free and no cows on the road. Cool! Thanks for the heads up guys. I was delighted when I started down the 12, man is it a nice curvy, scenic road. It is a must do if you are ever in the area. The terrain goes up and down and all kinds of curves. What a fantastic ride, I saw the most amount of motorcycles on this road than I did any other, including the Dragon. There were so many BMW GS, and Suzuki Vstroms on this road. I have to admit, I do like the Beemer GS bikes and the hard luggage, that's a sweet set-up if ya ask me. The weather was awesome with a few hazy clouds overhead but mostly sunny. There are parts of the ride that reminded me of the Grand Canyon on a small scale. This road has all types of terrain, from the twisties next to rock walls, high mountains with colorful trees and big views. It is an eclectic mix of rides. There was one part that snaked across the top of a good size hill, several hundred feet high. Each side of the road dropped off to the bottom with no guardrails it was maybe a quarter mile long, like that. It was funny riding on a 2 lane road and not even having a shoulder on the side of the road. Just imagine road, curves and cliffs on either side. It was cool. Riding through the area makes me want to go back and visit Moab, as there were tons of rock outcropping that remind me of all the pictures that I have seen over the years. I knew that Bryce Canyon Park was going to be my next stop, and so I needed to find a place to stay for the night. I came across a KOA campground in Cannonville. So I rented a cabin for the night as the temperatures at night were getting extremely cold. I made a fire, roasted some dogs, heated some beans and kicked back and watched the sun go down. Man what a way to end a fantastic day of riding. I uploaded the photos of the day to the computer, but thats all I could do, as there wasn't a cell signal to go online with. Starting the fire was fun, I did it with the little magnesium starter, where you scrape shavings off and use a striker to make sparks to ignite the magnesium. The shavings were in a bundle of dried grasses and twigs that I picked up around the cabin site. I got my survival practice kick in for the trip. The Dragonfly camping burner is awesome too, wow what a powerful little, compact burner that is. It has the ability to burn all types of fuels, so it is very versatile. The KOA campgrounds at this site are super clean and nice. The cabin was great, it had a set of bunk-beds and a queen size bed too. It had the basic electricity and chair and wall table. On the covered porch there was a swing bench, and it also had the picnic table, grill, and fire pit. For 40 bucks it was so worth it. You had to walk across the grounds to take a shower or use the restroom but hey, its part of the deal. If I was on the road with a bunch of people, fellow riders, I would recommend this as a great way to save money. It could easily sleep 4 people in the small cabin, split 4 ways, thats cheap. With the proper camping supplies it would be lots of fun, a nice fire an few brews with a grilled burger.....fun stuff. So I crashed out after the fire burnt down, and slept comfy in my bag on the queen bed. Oh yeah, these cabins had portable heaters in them so it stayed toasty as I slept. The nice thing about this campground was that it is located about 12-15 miles from the entrance to the Park so its not expensive like the other places near the entrance. I think I'll do more of this type of lodging and camping on other trips. The day saw me ride about a total of 200 miles as I did some side roads.

Here is the great road pictures from the day...

Some of the KOA campground and cabin


These were interesting clouds at dusk

Other shots..