View Single Post
Old 06-20-2013, 11:26 PM   #104
Near Normal
Joined: May 2013
Location: North Georgia
Oddometer: 140
Day Fifteen

Leaving Silverton, CO

Day Fifteen
Silverton, CO to Monticello, UT
I had an ambitious agenda today, I hoped to ride from Silverton to Moab, Utah. This would include going through Ophir Pass, Lizard Head Pass, and the climb back into the mountains near the Lizard Head Wilderness Area. Once in Utah, the Toad would have to get over Geyser Pass in the La Sal Mountains before the decent into Moab.
Ophir Pass was not as steep or as difficult as Cinnamon Pass for the Toad, but the scenery was spectacular. There were only a few sharp, steep switchbacks were I had to scream the engine and fan the clutch to make it. Jeeps clogged the trail as people stopped to take pictures, so it took awhile to get through. I didn’t mind, because it gave me the opportunity to take photos as well. After the descent, I followed Highway 145 to the southeast through Lizard Head Pass. Again, this was no real problem for the Toad as this pass was not terribly steep and the traffic was light. The TAT then turns to the northwest through mountains where it eventually connects with the Willow Divide OHV trails. Although steep and rocky in places, I enjoyed these trails. I had a spectacular view of a canyon as I rode along the rim of the ridge. After dropping down off of the ridge, it gets drier, there is less vegetation and by the time I reached Dove City, I was in the desert. At Dove City, I decided to re-jet the carb for lower altitudes as well as change the gearing for the longer desert stretches that were to come. While doing this, two Honda XR650 riders from California riding the TAT pulled into the station to refuel. They seemed amused by the Toad and snapped a few pictures. Later, they would pass me in a cloud of dust as they headed west toward Moab.
The trail out of Dove City is a series of long, straight dirt roads that point downhill. I could get the Toad moving at a good clip, but decided to back off a little when I feared the impact with cattle guards and larger rocks could cause a compression flat. Coming in to Monticello, the first town in Utah on the TAT, I noticed the Honda Riders had met up with another one of their friends on a KLR in front of the Honda dealership. I still wanted to make Moab at this point, so I just waved as I rode by. I needed fuel, so I pulled into a service station just down the road from the Honda shop. When I did, I noticed that the rear tire was going down! Curses! My first flat of the trip after nearly 3,000 miles! I only had a spare 21 inch tube with me (which will work in an 18-inch tire in an emergency- you have to pack light on the Toad). I decided to limp back down to the Honda shop to buy a tube since it was just down the street. The Honda shop was closed, however, and would not open until 9am the next day. I met the Honda riders, Jim and Tom, as well as the KLR rider, Mark. Mark had just installed a new tire on his KLR and Tom had just noticed that his XR was spraying oil all over the engine and on to the rear tire when he stopped to meet up with Mark. Tom had just had his valves adjusted and hoped it was just a loose valve cover, which turned out to be the case.
There would be no chance to make Moab today after repairing the flat. (I am not nearly as quick as those ISDT riders with the tire irons.) I called Donna and arranged to have her meet me in Monticello instead of Moab, which she did. I had spare 18 inch tubes in the camper, so I waited for her to arrive before fixing the flat. We spent a pleasant evening in an RV campground, where I got the Toad ready for the next day of riding the trails in Utah.
Only 156 miles traveled today. 2.8 gallons of gas and 12 ounces of injector oil.

Going up Ophir Pass

ABee screwed with this post 06-21-2013 at 06:25 AM
ABee is offline   Reply With Quote