Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Pacific Northwet
Well - as I had originally said waaaaay back in post number 99 (hard to believe there are 340 posts in this thread!), I will go back along with Vinnie and try to flesh out the trip and add some more pictures.
One thing we found out was that working from the road, there is not always a good internet connection, and after a days ride, pounding the keys in a hotel room is not that much fun!
Is this thing ever going to upload?
Well - to make a long story, even longer, a tad bit of background.
Originally, I and Mark were to leave SW Washington with 4 bikes in tow (2 - DT400's, 1 - DT360 and a DRZ400) Our plan was to rendevous with Dman in Pocatello, then take all 5 bikes to Monticello. Mark's twin 15 year old sons were going to drive our vehicle back home, then Dman's understanding wife was going to drive us down and bring that vehicle back home, leaving us and our gear and bikes in Monticello to do the ride. I mention this, because if you do a ride like this, there are logistics that you gotta figure out. Getting all your crap to the kickoff point, then getting it all home, with this many folks coming from different areas, makes it kind of like planning an invasion. That explains why we invited the Enduro Doctor due to his ex-military background.
As some of you already know, Mark had an unfortunate accident a day before we were to depart, smacking his foot into a tree on a short trail ride and tearing up his ligaments. When I got that call, I was, of course, concerned about Mark's foot, but hey - let's be serious here - how the heck was I going to get to Pocatello?!?
As all good friends do, Mark decided that since he was already scheduled off work, and his kids already were excused from school for a few days, he would still take me and all my assorted TAT equipment to Pocatello, then take the twins and their dirt bikes to Moab for a few days riding! Talk about taking one for the team!
We left at '0-Dark thirty from Longview, WA headed east along the Columbia Gorge.
(disclaimer - photo taken along the same route on last year's ride, but it gives you an idea!)
Arriving in The Dalles, OR, we stopped at the local mom and pop cycle shop and picked up Oregon ORV tags for the boys back east. There is some controversy whether we needed them, but at $10 for two years, it is cheap insurance against a $200 ticket! Oregon was the only state that needed special tags for the out of state bikes.
The drive to Pocatello is not really too exciting, but it was sunny, and we were propelled by adrenaline . . .
Mark at the Helm:
Makotosun (Gary) riding shotgun:
Apparently the Twins' Power drinks wore off after the stop at Subway:
In order to keep Mark company, I kept a steady flow of caffein in my system at all times:
We were in off and on again contact with Dman in Pocatello who was chomping at the bit (SEE THIS POST) but was really still getting his stuff ready. I think the moniker of "screaming turtles" would be good for our Gruppe T Shirt! Nick. Anthony, Joe Vance and Robert were heading west with the chase truck and a rental car (see - all this logistical stuff adds up!) at about the same time we were heading east. We were able to check on our progress and compare notes as we went.
Dave decided to meet us at the Junction of Highway 84 and Highway 86 in Idaho, which would save Mark and his boys about an hour detour via Pocatello.
We hooked up a some nameless mini mart and moved my bikes to Dave's truck, and offloaded all of my parts, cloths, electronics, etc. I also got an overpriced 110 inverter so I could use my laptop in the truck on the way to Moab, since my 12 volt adapter had died somewhere near Pendleton, Or. Dave and I decided to get some grub at the Carls Jr., and true to his normal experience they screwed up his burger - only discovered after getting back on the freeway! NO obligatory meal photos, as there was nothing of note.
Mark and the boys headed off towards Moab while Dave and I headed to Pocatello to load all of his stuff and extra bikes. Since Mark had dropped out, I was taking my main TAT bike, and a backup TAT prepped DT400:
Dave took his TAT DT400 and his big Honda 650 as his backup:
We got all loaded except for a few loose items that needed to sit in the back of the truck, then hit the sack around 9:30 with a planned early start the next morning.
We arose to somewhat overcast skies in Pocatello, and only slightly chilly. Of course there is the obligatory pre-departure photos:
This actually proved to be a good learning experience, as I had never used the self timer on this camera before. It took a couple of misfires before we got this one.
My shirt logo is chosen just for this trip:
Then, after a short stop at the local store to stock up on chips, peanuts and caffeinated sodas, we hit to freeway towards Salt Lake with a goal that day of Monticello, Ut.
We made it to Price, UT before needing gas and raised the eyebrows of the locals with the truckload of vintage iron in tow.
Next it is on down the 191 towards the I-70 junction near Green River. Dave had scoured the TAT GPS tracks so figured we would be crossing the TAT trail just before the junction. It was obvious when we did.
You cross it just under the lower of the two "highway 6" logos on the map. At the left end of the red "trail" you will later see some photos of our "railroad crossing"! That brief sighting was not a good indication of what we were getting ourselves into!
Past Green River going east on I-70, you cross the trail again. We had to get off on the overpass to take a closer look. This sign was pretty accurate:
This gal did not like our presence very well:
You will see this photo angle taken again a few days from now:
Along I-70 in this area, the scenery is pretty much like this:
Finally we find a sign that we are moving closer to our goal:
I think there was a spontaneous round of applause that broke out int he truck, but I can't be sure. It is not clear in this photo, but the Lasalle Mountains in the distance still had a lot of snow - not a good omen for an 8:30 departure tomorrow morning!
We had talked Mark into having one of his kids drive our truck and trailer back to Pocatello on his way home from Moab, saving Dman's wife from doing it, and giving Dman a prayer of a chance of . . . Better leave that thought unprinted . That means we needed to find where he was staying in Moab, drop a couple of bikes, then head down to Monticello (about an hour away) drop everything else there, then drive the truck and trailer back to Moab, then ride our previously dropped bikes back to Monticello. Have I confused you yet? Can we say L O G I S T I C S ? This trip is getting complicated, but we are almost to Monticello.
We head up the Colorodo River valley from Moab towards the location of the hotel that Mark had given me directions to. We drive up the valley for a long time. MP5, MP7, MP9 - we decide that Mark is messed up and turn around to Moab to get better directions. The place we were looking for is the Red Cliffs Lodge and we can't figure out how anyone could get the OK to build anything up this pristine valley.
Back to Moab, get a map, and find out we were just not quite far enough. It is at MP14! Crap. Back up the valley to find this:
Crap - how much is Mark spending on this fiasco? We find out and decide that he is spoiling his kids a bit too much. The folks at the lodge are very helpful, and allow us to park a couple of dirt bikes WAAAAAAAAy out at the edge of the gravel lot, past all the Hummers and BMWs. No - they weren't GS's.
So off we go back down to Moab again, then off to Monticello for a predusk arrival!
What happened to the trailer? you ask - we decided it would be simpler to just toss it into the back of the truck so Mark's kid would not have to deal with a trailer. Worked pretty well. Probably saved some gas. Who knows.
We then hit the road back to Moab and the Red Cliff's Lodge and our bikes. Suit up and head back down the road to Monticello.
I had decided that this would be a good road test of my not completely broken in TAT bike, so I was riding it out front of Dave on his big Honda in case I had issues.
Not a fair fight, but I was able to keep up pretty well. I figured I'd rather have it break on the highway, than in the backcountry if it was going to burn up. Thankfully, no issues except an obvious need for a rejetting at the hotel. (I was still running very rich "break in" jetting.)
Back at the hotel, we all were doing last minute tweaking of the bikes, prepping misc, and loading everything else in the chase truck. This went on into the evening just a bit.
Dr. Enduro had already put his steed to bed early . . .
I never heard if Joe made him pay for 2/3 or the room or not
We all charged up our batteries, and made last minute arrangements, then hit the sack. Tomorrow would hopefully bring great adventure!
The next post should actually get to some TAT riding!