Since the ride to Mexico last spring, and the Oregon Backroads Discovery Trail last fall I have discovered that I am very interested in the "Adventure " aspect of motorcycling. Spring Torrey has been on the horizon since, well, last fall and I could think of no better place to which riding a dual-sport would be appropriate. Sure, there's lots of pavement there, but the unpaved stuff is far, far more abundant. Not to mention less frequented by the obviously larger number of tourists this year.
The basics for this trip:
A Benchmark Atlas for both Nevada and Utah.
A Garmin GPS. 276C loaded with Topo USA and City Navigator.
A KTM 640 Adventure. Serviced and ready to ride, if not a bit low on oil.
Lets get rolling shall we?
Day 1 is Sunday.
The original plan was to dual-sport it all the 800+ miles, but alas, there is no possible direct dirt route from the SF Bay Area to Torrey Utah. Too much private property, pavement, and snow. Yes, the Sierra's even in their "way below normal" state still have too much snow at the high altitudes. The Rangers hadn't even opened the gates to some of the lower elevation roads that were considered, so we blasted over 50 then down Monitor Pass onto Highway 395. I was a bit dissappionted that we were gonig to miss the Sierras, but they are in esscence our back yard, and it does leave us someplace to go this fall.
Monitor Pass looking East.
Having filled the tanks in Placerville, we went straight for the dirt when we arrived in the town of Topaz. Headed east for an unknown campsite that appears on the paper maps, we passed through some seriously burnt out hills that worried me, since the campsite was supposed to be close. I wondered if we'd be sleeping among the soot and burned out sticks that stood where trees once were.
The road dropped down along the edge of a hill, and looking back over my shoulder I could see a road and some clear spaces just down the little valley. We doubled back at the junction, and did a bit of searching to find a little oasis in the desert. Running water. Enough of it that the sound would block out any chanced that we'd hear something go bump in the night.
Only two stream crossings (and two dabs) to get there. To think that this wasn't even the "official" site that appears on the map. National Forests are great that way- lots of good camping wherever you decide to find it. We rounded off the day with some freeze-dried food- Pad Thai (thumbs down), and Pasta Primavera (only okay) chased with either Jameson or Crown Royal. Or maybe both.