O internet how I love thee. Meh not really. Ha, ha, ha.
Well I think I left off at my cousins place at NAU. Well I left there at around noon thinking I would make Page AZ before the Page Honda closed. Well my thinking was right and I got there before they closed. The ride up the 89 wasn’t all that eventful. The view coming up a pass overlooking the north rim of the Grand Canyon was awesome as you can see.
Then coming into Page I got to overtake a few trailers. That was fun. I snagged Page Honda about 30 minutes before they closed. I talked with them for awhile and got what sounded like an awesome route thru AZ from the manager. However due to time and road closures I dint get to take the entire route.
I grabbed some dinner in Page and headed off to Lake Powell. I found a rode just over the Utah border that lead down to the shore. I went riding down and passed some trailers and what looked like a KTM 950 Adventurer. I decided to turn around and take a look. Almost ate it in the turn because the rode was so gravely and it was dark. As it turns out the rider was a fellow ADV member. He couldn’t remember his SN but no bother. There was about 4 trailers there and they recommended that I set up my tent behind a big pile of rocks as it had been quite windy and the pile would block the wind. Luckily it wasn’t windy at all that night. I got up the next day, packed everything up, and the group hung out for awhile and talked. All the people in the trailers were retired and had been either pedal bike riders or motorcycle riders. Once we were all done I headed off to the beach. Man was it sandy.
I had to backtrack about 300 yards to come back to the Utah sign to take a picture. It was too dark the night before and the pics didn’t turn out very well.
I stopped by the Bureau of Land Management office to see if the trail that I got was open. Turns out the original route was closed and impassable do to rain fall. They said that the route would also take 8-9 hours to complete if it were open. So I took the shorter lower elevation route. It went from Big Water thru dirt and came out at Cannonville.
This route took me thru a nice valley and canyon.
Then I continued up the 12 thru Escalante and then to Boulder. The road from Escalante to Boulder was only like 50 miles but took 2 hours. It went up a pass into a canyon then up another pass. Totally awesome and worth the trip. This is me having an orange for breakfast at the top of the second pass overlooking the canyon.
Then up a huge cold pass.
I rolled into Richfield at about sunset. The Honda store was closed so I grabbed some dinner from the Walmart. Mmmm fried chicken and potatoes. Then headed out of town into the mountains to where I saw an off roading area on the way in. I searched for a spot out of sight of the road and set up camp. Finally for the first time I got to have a fire. That night I woke up maybe 5 times because it was so cold. Little did I know that this was only the beginning of my encounters with the cold.
The next day camp was broken and I turned my attention to the Honda dealer. They opened at 9am and I got there at 8:30am, but they were happy to entertain me early. I guess because I had a camera, but it turns out they were just real nice folks. This store was like a man’ paradise. Not only did they have bikes, and parts, but they had guns, outdoor stuff, and a bowling alley next door. It turns out that they are the oldest Honda store in all of Utah. The owner was Dennis Jorgensen. He owns the land next to the place I stayed the night before. They also have the coolest business cards I’ve ever seen. They are a flexible red transparent plastic kinda thing.
Thus began my longest day of the trip. Miles wise that is. I continued up the 89 all the way up until I hit Provo Utah. Running thru canyons and having a grand old time. Remember how I said this was the start of the cold. I had snow most of the way out of Provo.
Unfortunately I had to take highway 15 as I went thru Salt Lake City. Man do I hate taking the main highways. Partly because I’m running 14-45 gearing so I’m limited to about 70mph tops, but also because there are so many cars. I pealed of onto good old 89 as soon as I could and followed it up thru Perry and into Logan. At that point I grabbed some diner and headed up what I thought was the right way. I was trying to get to Bear Lake on the border of Utah and Wyoming to stay the night. I was told the route up the 89 thru the canyon and over the pass was just to die for. So I continued north until I hit the Idaho border. Wait??? Huh??? Idaho??? Ya I had mistakenly taken the 91 north for a good 20 miles until I realized it. Crap there is a good half hour wasted. It only took about 15 minutes to get to the border so I reasoned I had lost 30 minutes all together. The sun was getting low and I reckoned I had about an hour of sunlight left on this side of the mountains. So returned to Logan and headed into the canyon. I’m flying thru at about 70mph, it’s a 50 mph zone btw. Having a great old time listening to my Ipod. Then all of the sudden I reach some snow. “O, I must be going up the pass now” I said to myself. Nope!!! I had to go thru a very slow climbing valley before I went up the gradual grade. I had to stop 6 times to warm up my hands. My gloves are just sissy off roading gloves.
I finally reached the top of the pass after sunset. I believe the pass was at around 7200 feet.
I came down the pass and into the town of Garden City. This is where things got interesting. It was about 9pm and freezing outside. I think the temperature was about 35 degrees. I had no idea where I was going to stay so I pulled into the Texaco station on the corner to warm up and ask about hotels in the city. I park my bike and walked in after I stood with my hands on the engine for 5 minutes. I started talking with the cashier there when all of the sudden a lady walks in and before she could see me I heard her say: “Who’s the idiot on the dirt…. O, hi.” Then she saw me. Apparently she had thought I was crazy for riding on a dirt bike in such cold weather. It was the funniest think all day and we all 3 had a good laugh. So I told her about my trip and my previous trip to Yosemite in January on the other bike. She was very interested in my trip and was wondering where I was going to stay. Oddly enough she was the sister of the owner of the hotel across the street. So she called them up and got a price… $70 eeeek!!! She was quite worried about where I was going to stay for the night so she called a few places in the next town as well. I didn’t really want to pay for a room when I could of camped and was also only 144 miles from Jackson WY. So we talked for some more time and finally she had to go, and made the cashier promise to try to talk me out of camping for the night. So I kinda just hung around for the next 10 minutes wondering what to do when a truck pulled up and a guy named Marty started bringing in merchandise. I asked if he wanted any help. He said he was ok but if I wanted to I could. He noticed that I was wearing my gear and asked what my story was. So as I helped him unload I told him about my trip. Then I asked him if he was the guy who gets supplies for the shop. Turns out he owned the place. They closed at 10pm and around 9:45 he asked where I was staying for the night. I told him I didn’t yet know. He looked at me like I was an idiot and said: “Come stay at my place. Its just going to be me and my dog so if you don’t mind that then you are quite welcome to stay.” So I let my Dad know what I was doing for the night as he closed up the place with the cashier. Marty said it was about a 6 miles ride to his place. So we took off into the night. We went about 4 miles and headed up intro the mountains on a dirt road. Ya, I know what you are thinking. This is right out of a horror movie huh? Well as I followed him we went up the mountain and into a nice community of cabins. We kept climbing in elevation. Turns out his house is a few hundred feet below the elevation of the pass. My hands were so frozen when we hit the dirt road that I could hardly operate the clutch. I remember thinking to my self. “If I go down on this dirt I’m not even going to try to catch the bike, I’m just going to fall with it.” My hands were that cold. Well I didn’t fall and as we pulled into his driveway I didn’t even bother shifting. I just killed the engine. I tried to pull my gloves off and couldn’t feel any of my fingers. I had to pull them off with my teeth, and it felt like my hands were 3 times there size. This is where a hot engine comes in handy. I grabbed the engine for the next 5 minutes while Marty unloaded his truck. He had a beautiful cabin overlooking the lake. Once we got inside he told me the story of the place. He and his dad and brother built it themselves 3 years ago. So we watched tv for a few hours and chatted the whole time about my trip and other things. We went to bed around midnight. The guest room was quite warm and big. That was the best night sleep I have had this entire trip so far. I dint wake up cold at all. I got up about 8:30 in the morning. Which was good as he had to leave at around 9 or so. So I packed up and took a few pictures outside. He had an awesome cabin as you can see.
I followed him down the road until he said he had to check on his brothers place up another road. I told him I needed to go by his gas station anyways so I would see him there. We parted and I headed into town. Now the speed limit for those 5 miles or so was only 40 mph. However I was so cold that I blazed thru there going a bit over 70 mph. Ya, a bit wreck less but I didn’t do anything unsafe. I just knew that the sooner I could get there the sooner I could put my hands on that engine. It was still only about 33 degrees outside. So I got grabbed some hot chocolate, gas, and most importantly some snow gloves from his place. For the next 100 miles I rode non stop thru what I could only call a winter wonderland. There was high passes with snow everywhere. There was always snow all the way up to the road and just everywhere else. I didn’t pull over too often to take pics as it was freezing. However these were some that I couldn’t pass up.
Those gloves I bought came in quite handy. Despite the freezing cold my hands were warm for the first 50 miles or so. As I went along the next 50 miles I only had to occasionally beat my hands together to get the blood flowing to stay decently warm. Finally when I hit 90 miles my feet started to become uncomfortably cold. So I decided to stop at the next town and warm up. Now this wasn’t a warm trip by any means. I was uncomfortably cold the entire way but I could still move and think so I continued on. Oddly enough when I pulled into the next town of Alpine there was a Texaco station waiting there for me. Man I tell you the Lord works in funny ways. So I went in and warmed up, grabbed some hot chocolate and chatted with the cashier lady. She was quite nice and let me know that I was only about 40 miles from my destination. After warming up I continued on towards Jackson. After about 30 minutes of riding the snow got further and further from the road. I can only assume that I was going down in elevation. It got a few degrees warmer too. Once in Jackson I called up Berg only to find out I passed his place by about 2 miles. O well I wasn’t too cold and it was a pretty ride anyways. When I got to his place in the mountains I was greeted by a nice man and a few dogs.
Well that is it for now. Berg is currently working on mocking up the racks, and I am more than happy to be enjoying this nice break from the cold. O, by the way incase you didn’t know I’m letting Wolfman Accessories use my bike to mock up some racks. So racks for the XR650L will soon be available from them.
This is a late addition to this post, but here is a map that pretty much represents my trip so far. Not every turn is in there but it is 98% accurate more or less.