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Jedi5150 07-13-2011 04:09 PM

Out West: California to Utah and back
I thought I'd share some pictures and do a mini ride report for my 5 day trip to Utah and back. My brother lives in Tooele, a short hop west of Salt Lake City, off I-80. I try to make a motorcycle ride at least once a year to visit he and his family. This week happened to work for both of us. I set out at about 6PM on Monday from my home at Ft. Ord, California. Midway through July, and we are finally getting some decent summer weather.

As a brief warning, I recently got a new digital camera and tripod, so some of these shots will be a little artsy, as I'm still trying to get used to the settings (besides which I'm a complete novice at photography:D).

Rolling hills near the San Luis Reservoir, between Hollister and the San Joaquin Valley:

My bike is a 2011 BMW R1200R. I love it! :clap

I took the 5 north to Sacramento, and then headed east on I-80. As is common for the evening hours, the trip north on I-5 had super strong crosswinds. Two things I'll definitely be adding to my bike are a throttle lock and a slightly taller windshield. I rode as far as Lovelock, Nevada, the first evening, and got there at about 2AM. Distance for the evening ride was 407 miles.

In Lovelock I couldn't find an actual campground so I pulled into a large, empty gravel lot on the north side of town and pitched my tent next to a tree at the back of the lot. I woke up at shortly before 6AM because the sky was getting brighter and the trucks were passing. I was on the road by 6:30. My camp in Lovelock:

Between Lovelock and Winnemucca I saw a big dust cloud on the side of the highway. As I got closer I realized it was a herd of cattle. I saw a real life cowboy working the herd, but by the time I could pull over and grab the camera he was riding away:

Eastbound near Mill City, Nevada:

The same spot, looking west:

Filling up on the state line in Wendover, NV/ UT:

No matter how many times I ride on I-80 to Utah I just can't help but stop at Bonneville:

I arrived in Tooele at about 2 in the afternoon. The Great Salt Lake right outside Tooele:

Pictures from Day 3 are coming...

Jedi5150 07-13-2011 05:57 PM

Day 3

Today my brother and I went on a short day ride up to Huntsville, which is east of Ogden. We took the 15 north, a short jaunt east on Hwy 84, and then rode north on Trappers Loop Rd. Near the summit of Trappers Loop Rd. we pulled off onto Snow Basin Road, towards the ski resort. Even in the middle of July, with 90* weather in Salt Lake City, there was still some snow on the mountains behind Ogden. Snow Basin Rd.:

Our bikes on Snow Basin Rd.:

Huntsville is a small town that sits on a peninsula of the Pineview Reservoir. In Huntsville we met up with my brother's brother-in-law (on the KLR). We ate lunch at Hunstville Barbecue Company:

I ate the beef brisket with sides of loaded mashed potatoes and pasta salad. They have about 6 different house barbecue sauces you can put on your food. Yum! :wink::

That's it for Day 3. Tomorrow we have another ride planned and then an evening shooting trip. More pics to come...

Signal 07-13-2011 08:47 PM

Huntsville/trappers/pineview are beautiful right now :nod

Mechanoligist 07-14-2011 04:32 AM

Great pictures! headed out there (central Ca.) in September to visit and ride with my son. Hope to stop in Utah along the way

Thanks :thumb

Motojournalism 07-15-2011 06:53 AM

Man, there is just something about those dry grassy hills down there. love that late-afternoon light :thumb

dmitrizouev 07-15-2011 08:57 AM

luggage set up
Hi Jedi5150 ,it's Dmitri,nice luggage set up.Did you get it from dealership?What size NRS duffel bags they are.Do you need a side frame at all?

Jedi5150 07-15-2011 01:16 PM


Originally Posted by dmitrizouev (Post 16401412)
Hi Jedi5150 ,it's Dmitri,nice luggage set up.Did you get it from dealership?What size NRS duffel bags they are.Do you need a side frame at all?

Hi Dmitri, I bought the luggage aftermarket. The NRS dry duffelbag is a medium I believe, and holds 61 liters. Here is a link:

The side bags are Ortlieb, and are the smallest of the three side-cases Ortlieb makes for motorcycles. They do not require any hard luggage racks to fit on most styles of bikes. I've really come to like the soft-bag style luggage. It is totally waterproof, lightweight, and can expand or compact depending on the size load you're carrying.

Jedi5150 07-15-2011 01:19 PM

Thanks for the compliments Mechanoligist and Motojournalism! Glad you guys like the photos.

Signal, you're right that the Huntsville/ Trappers Loop area is beautiful. I've been there twice now on day rides but I'd love more time to explore that area.

More pictures are coming once I upload them for day 3 and 4...

Jedi5150 07-15-2011 04:04 PM

Day 4 started with a trip to Stansbury Island, on the Great Salt Lake, for target shooting and clay pigeons.

My brother with his short barreled AR-15:

In this shot I'm blasting away at some clay pigeons (it had been a long time since I'd shot a shotgun and until I got back into the swing of it many clay pigeons flew away unharmed :lol3):

I'd never shot a Smith and Wesson M&P pistol before so I'm trying out my brother's:

Stansbury Island is accessed via a dirt road (causeway) from the south. On both sides of the causeway there are fields for harvesting salt:

A salt plant on I-80:

After lunch I started the long ride home. Instead of cruising I-80 yet again, I decided to only take it as far as Wendover. In Wendover I got on Hwy 93 south, to Ely, NV. At Ely I turned west on I-50, which I followed all the way to Fallon.

Southbound on Hwy 93 outside of Wendover:

Interstate 50; The Loneliest Road in America:

Sand Mountain, just east of Fallon, NV:

I got into Reno at about 9 PM Pacific time. My plan was to camp around Stampede Reservoir, near Truckee. Unfortunately when I got there all the campsites had "reserved" signs posted on them. I was also shocked that the National Forest camping fee was $24 dollars a night (steep compared to what I remembered). The temperature had also dropped as I climbed into the Sierras so a motel was pretty tempting. I decided to stay at an Inn in Donner Pass.

The morning of day 5, on I-80 in Donner Pass:

The ride home was uneventful. Nice weather (although windy as usual) and sunny. I stopped briefly in Roseville at the BMW dealership to see if the tall windshield brackets were in yet for the 2011 R1200R's. No luck, they won't even be at stores in Germany until the 18th of this month. Oh well.

All in all it was a fun trip. :clap

Jedi5150 07-16-2011 10:09 AM


Originally Posted by iDave (Post 16408641)
I'm not a huge boxer fan, but that is one beautiful bike :thumb. Your photos are top notch as well. Great job on capturing the essence of your ride. Thanks for taking time to share your report.


Thanks for the kind words Dave! I love the bike. I always thought it was the best looking BMW and even back when I was buying GS's I always had a soft spot for the R12R's in the back of my mind.:evil Now that I have one it's everything I hoped for.

I'm glad you liked the photos. Thinking of ways to make them more interesting or looking for great subject matter while riding is a fun way to pass the time during those long miles.

bigtodd 07-16-2011 06:03 PM

Utah Ride
Nice! I am heading to SLC from So Cal the first week of Aug. Gonna be HHHHOOOOTTTTT!

PacificPT 07-17-2011 09:58 PM

Thanks for taking the time to post up the report. Nice pictures, I often camp in the same sorts of spots you did. I can;t stand paying a bunch of money in an organized campground just to listen to the people around me sqabble!

Jedi5150 07-17-2011 11:15 PM


Originally Posted by PacificPT (Post 16419367)
Thanks for taking the time to post up the report. Nice pictures, I often camp in the same sorts of spots you did. I can;t stand paying a bunch of money in an organized campground just to listen to the people around me sqabble!

Thanks for the compliment on the photos PacificPT. I know what you mean about organized campgrounds. They are often noisier and always more expensive. :lol3

We ought to meet up for a ride sometime. I see you're in Monterey, and I'm on Ft. Ord.

ScottG 07-18-2011 10:02 AM

Nice report. The wife and I rode up to Huntsville a couple weeks ago with some friends. Wish I had known about that BBQ place you ate at, settled for a mediocure burger. Guess I have an excuse to ride up there again, BBQ Brisket!! Love that stuff.

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