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Old 10-21-2008, 09:26 PM   #1
Kodanja OP
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Southern Utah - 2UP - A photographic Journey

After a few weeks of planning this trip and with the help of a few knowledgeable inmates we were ready to go. www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=386102 I had researched all the locations I wanted to shoot through the internet and also took Hakatan’s great advise and purchased “Photographing the Southwest” by Laurent Martres. The temperatures were varied and the sky’s were clear and blue (unfortunately no photographic clouds.) We packed for cold and warm temps, hiking trails and fording rivers. We stayed in motels, partly due to cold nights, but mostly for ease of getting up early for the shot.

I left Monday, Oct. 13 from Boise to Salt Lake City where I met my wife at the airport. We stayed the night and started our journey south the next morning to Bryce Canyon Nat. Park. After sunset and sunrise shots we left the next day to Boulder, a short ride of only 82 miles, but I had planned a couple of hikes to get the photos I wanted (the hikes that day totaled 8 1/2 miles and took 6 hours.)

The Burr Trail was beautiful in the morning light as we rode down to Monument Valley for a sunset photo. The ferry crossing at Bullfrog was relaxing as we had over an hour to wait. We stayed in Kayenta, AZ and rode back to MV the next morning before sunrise to catch the first light of the Mittens. Then onward to Capitol Reef National Park for sunset photos at Panoramic Point with a side trip to Natural Bridges National Monument for another hike and various stops along the way.

We stayed in Torrey and returned to Capitol Reef for morning shots before heading back to Salt Lake City via the routes suggested by Ut Rider. The Nebo loop was great and although the aspen leaves had fallen at the Alpine altitude, I did come away with some very colorful photos on the back side toward the bottom.

My wife flew out the next morning as I rode back to Boise with a side trip to Golden Spike Nat. Monument and the back way into Idaho. We had a great time but little time for relaxation...we were up before sunrise and dinned after sunset then slept.

Here is a starter photo....I’ll post more tomorrow.

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Old 10-21-2008, 09:41 PM   #2
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Oooooooooooo...

I can't wait to see some more! S. Utah is about my favorite place on earth (so far!). Beautiful.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:26 AM   #3
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Hey Kodanja:

Glad the book was useful to you. I can't believe we didn't see each other. We must have crossed paths several times last week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodanja
Here is a starter photo....I’ll post more tomorrow.

Wow.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:31 AM   #4
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:06 AM   #5
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:33 AM   #6
Kodanja OP
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DAY 1 - Boise to Salt Lake City

The morning was a brisk 38 degrees yet sunny so it didn’t feel too cold. I wore an REI undershirt, long sleeve pullover shirt, BMW RP2 suit with liner and long underwear. The bike was loaded with my wife’s riding gear and helmet (she took the sidecase inner bag with her.) I slabbed it to Hammett and took old highway 30 all the way to Declo, then 77 to Malta and 81 into Snowville, UT. Slab again to Salt Lake City.



Along the Snake River outside Hammett


It was cold enough to freeze the water as it sprinkled the pasture land. I made it just in time before it completed a full circle. Icicles were actually forming upright off the grass.


Another pasture being watered in the cool morning air along the Snake River close to Hagerman.


The snow covered hills outside Albion were nice as I gained altitude. I really like taking the back roads and I try to avoid the interstate whenever I can, even though it can take me miles out of my way.






The snow was starting to disappear as I approached Malta and the temps were coming up around 46 degrees.



I pulled over at the Utah border to make sure my wife got checked in ok at the Boise Airport. About 30 minutes later along the I-15 I felt my cell phone buzzing in my pocket and I thought maybe something was wrong, so I pulled over as far to the right on the interstate as I could without dropping off the shoulder. I stopped the engine, took off my gloves and placed my helmet over the left mirror.



I called back (no problems) and as I leaned a bit to the left to put my phone back in my pocket, a semi flew by and the tailwind forced the bike to lean to the right. By the time I could grab the bars, the bike was too far over and I just couldn't hold it and down we went. My helmet catapulted off the mirror and rolled down the embankment as I lay there on my side thinking, "don't you ever pull off the side of an interstate to make a phone call again!" I hate riding the slab!

I got up and retrieved my helmet (thankfully, no scratches on the shield) and noticed the part connecting the shield to the helmet was missing. After a couple minutes I found it and reattached the part and started to take some of the gear off the bike so I could upright the beast. It wasn't the first time I lifted a partially loaded bike so it was really no problem other than balancing the bike as I walked around to the left side to lower it on the stand. All the while, no one stopped to see if I was ok, just cars and trucks blasting by. I re-loaded, took a deep breath hoping this wasn't an omen, and continued on down I-15 to SLC.

Made it to the airport to pick up my wife. We stayed at a local airport hotel and prepared to start the real photo adventure tomorrow. Stayed tuned. Southern Utah is fantastic!

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Old 10-22-2008, 07:43 AM   #7
T O Double D
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I'm planning a trip to this area in mid Nov. Very interested in how cold it's gonna get.

Cheers!
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:13 PM   #8
Signal
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Rode Ogden/Snowville/Malad/Odgen today........
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:48 PM   #9
Kodanja OP
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Day 2 - Salt Lake City to Bryce Canyon (Ruby's Inn)

We left Salt Lake City after sunup around 8:45 and headed down I-15 to Spanish Fork to connect up with Hwy 89 via Hwy 6. The temp was about 41 degrees. We were excited to be together and we were eager to see Southern Utah. We passed through Mount Pleasant, Ephraim, and Manti. As we approached Manti from a distance we could see this large structure but we couldn’t quite make it out. As we got closer we kept guessing what it was...a granary, a factory? Then when we finally got close enough it was obvious it was a Mormon Temple and a very impressive one at that. It looked like a European French building. It was finished in 1888 and is constructed of white limestone quarried from the site it sits on.



Perched atop a rising knoll, known as "Temple Hill," the magnificent Manti Utah Temple dominates the Sanpete Valley of central Utah. Located just off Highway 89, approaching travelers can glimpse the distinctive towers from miles and miles away.


We continued south through Salina and made the decision to take Hwy 62 and connect up with Hwy 22 through Antimony to come in directly to Ruby’s Inn. The country roads were great and the scenery was supposed to be better than Hwy 89. There was no traffic this route. We stopped at the Antimony Mercantile to get a bite to eat since we knew we wouldn’t eat dinner until after sunset.



We sat a the counter and the waitress recommended their homemade chili sprinkled with onions and cheese. We watched her prepare a couple of 1/2 burgers for a couple of guys in the dining area. She was the mercantile clerk, cook, dishwasher, server and cashier, as a matter of fact, she was the only worker there. We settled up and headed down the country road.



There were plenty of cows along the highway and this one just crossed as we came around the corner. I don’t take any chances, so I slow way down to 10-15 mph. I’ve read too many reports on motorcyclists going by thinking a cow or donkey will just stay put, but they can instantly jump in front of you.



We came upon this old granary nestled in the fall colored trees.



We arrived at the Best Western at Ruby’s Inn, checked into our room, changed and headed out to the canyon. We still had a couple hours of light left. We stopped at Sunset Point to take in the vista and hiked down switch-backs of the Navajo Trail. The light was pounding of the canyon walls as we descended through the narrow slit.



We followed the trail along the bottom of the canyon and came back up another set of switch-backs to Sunset Point. Then we walked a 1/2 mile over to Sunrise Point for more sunset shots. Both Points are great for sunrise and sunset shots.





The light was diminishing and we decided to wrap things up and head back to the hotel. We still had about 15 minutes before sunset so it was nice to get back at dusk. We changed and enjoyed a nice dinner at the Best Western. We were tired, so we went to bed....we had to get up before sunrise for photos of “Thor’s Hammer.”

"Last Light"



More coming......
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T O Double D


I'm planning a trip to this area in mid Nov. Very interested in how cold it's gonna get.

Cheers!
Mid November? um...as I mentioned a few posts back, I just returned from that area. I saw temps anywhere from 22 up to almost 80. Each morning was cool enough for the electric vest and heated grips. Bryce Canyon had an overnight low one evening of 14 degrees. Bring some thermal underwear.

This part of Utah is among the the most beautiful in which I've ever ridden...but the mornings this time of year are a bit brisk.
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Hakatan screwed with this post 10-22-2008 at 06:02 PM
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Old 10-23-2008, 09:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T O Double D


I'm planning a trip to this area in mid Nov. Very interested in how cold it's gonna get.

Cheers!
Bryce was 8 deg F last night........ It's 8K feet high, but should be dry, just dress warm
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Old 10-23-2008, 03:17 PM   #12
Kodanja OP
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Day 4 - Boulder to Monument Valley

Today we got to sleep in until sunrise. The air warmed up quickly and by the time we left the Pole’s Place the temp was around 52 degrees. We decided to have quick breakfast back at the Boulder Mesa Cafe; country oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins. Then we started down the Burr Trail.






7-mile canyon was incredible and the red-rock walls were magnificant. The canyon was shaded heavily on the east side making for difficult shots because of the high contrast in light and shadow, but I managed to get a few.



The pavement ended and we headed for the famous switchbacks down into the Capitol Reef Waterpocket Fold. Unfortunately, I forgot to get a shot from Strike Valley overlook, but it just gives me a good reason to go back. There was a good view from the switch-backs however all the way to the valley floor. My wife got a little nervous when I maneuvered the bike toward the edge of the road to get a pic from the bike. We did just fine on the dirt and even got up to 50mph on the flats.











We started our way towards Bullfrog and eventually the dirt turned into broken up pavement until we got to the main highway. Although the Waterpocket Fold is not as wonderful as 7-mile canyon, the scenery was still nice. We arrived at Glen Canyon Recreation Area, paid our 7 dollar fee and entered the park. We had over an hour wait for the ferry, so we bought some snacks and a drink and relaxed at the well designed picnic area.

Along the Waterpocket fold on Burr Trail


Coming down into Glen Canyon at Lake Powell


There were a 100’s of boats on Lake Powell, mostly parked under the floating covered berths. The water was blue and rocks were red which made for a striking contrast. The ferry approached and headed over to the landing and boarded. There were only a few cars and it took about 25 minutes to cross. Highway 276 was great with long broad sweepers so we really took off and held our speed about 73mph.












Our goal was to make Monument Valley before sunset to get the shot, but we had a couple of things to see first. After heading down Hwy261 we ventured out to Muley Point Overlook. The road was full of washboards and uneven terrain but no problem for the GS. Since we were there around 4:00pm the distant view was hazy but I took a photo anyway. There was a professional photographer there who was going to wait it out until the sun set. That should make a good shot.





We headed back to the highway and started down the dirt switch-backs of the Moki Dugway. The road is well manicured and the cliffs are very impressive. From below you can’t even tell there is a road going up the mountain; the rocks blend in so well.





We passed up Gooseneck Park because the photographer at Muley Point said he was just there and the light is pretty harsh. It would be good to see however, but we needed to get to Monument Valley. I had planned on staying in Mexican Hat, but my wife thought it looked a bit sketchy (probably because it was deserted this time of year). So we decided to stay in Kayenta, AZ. Since we were coming back to Monument Valley for morning shots the distance was the same.



By the time we pulled into Monument Valley there was only about 45 minutes of daylight left, so we parked the bike and set up a spot to shoot the famous Mittens. There were a couple dozen people there all ready with their cameras and a few amateur photographers like me pondering the best shot. Almost anywhere along the visitor center makes a good shot, but this time of the month the sun was setting directly in front of the Mittens which created too flat of light with no cast shadows. I was a bit disappointed and only kept a couple of photos. I knew we were coming out for the sunrise the next morning so I still had my hopes up for a good shot. Here is the next morning's panoramic. I'll post the rest on Day 5.



We headed out and stayed at the Holiday inn at Kayenta; much better accommodations then Mexican Hat. We relaxed in the room and of course went to bed early as we had to get back to Monument Valley at least 20 minutes before sunrise and we’d have 22 miles to cover from Kayenta. I was looking forward to it.
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:29 PM   #13
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Old 10-22-2008, 06:30 PM   #14
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:03 PM   #15
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Very nice!

Ride report bump! Great photos
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