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Old 06-15-2012, 08:25 AM   #16
payner
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Excellent report writing Lee! It really captures the trip.

Thanks to the boys for being cool with my chain/sprocket replacement... something that should have been completely unnecessary had I managed to prepare better/notice the state of my chain before leaving. This was however, indicative of the group dynamics as the entire trip just seemed to flow with no real friction despite camping, eating, riding and putting up with each of our idiosyncrasies for almost 14 days. A great group of guys it was

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Old 06-15-2012, 10:04 AM   #17
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Excellent report writing Lee! It really captures the trip.

Thanks to the boys for being cool with my chain/sprocket replacement... something that should have been completely unnecessary had I managed to prepare better/notice the state of my chain before leaving. This was however, indicative of the group dynamics as the entire trip just seemed to flow with no real friction despite camping, eating, riding and putting up with each of our idiosyncrasies for almost 14 days. A great group of guys it was
That's what Adventure riding is all about. We didn't once have to fix a flat on any of the bikes the whole trip, so I think we got off lucky. I agree about the group dynamics, and Pawel (Paul) said as much yesterday at work to. He really enjoyed riding with the two of you (and myself as well, I assume ). Even the difference in the type of Riding that he prefered was no big deal as I knew ahead of time that he could not stay the whole time in Moab due to a prior engagement in Salt Lake.

I am just sorry that I didn't pay more attention in English classes in high school, thinking that "when am I going to use this stuff". It might have helped my writing and especially my grammer and punctuation skills. Thank goodness for spell-check!

I am thinking the report is going to become much more "picture heavy" now that it shifts to MOAB. Videos will take some time but hopefully I can get at least one processed on the weekend.
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:16 AM   #18
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Day 5 – Godfathers, Wash Roads and Moab!

Morning for me always seems to come a bit earlier than anyone I have ever traveled with and today was no exception. I wandered over to the shower house and had a leisurely, hot (free) shower and got suited up in the hot weather gear for a change. I suspected that today the heat would play a part. The bluffs were a little too far away to make any remarkable morning pictures so I shot a few of the campsite and made coffee with the Jet Boil. The rest of the guys were now stirring as we had planned to go into Price and search out breakfast before Chris’s 11:00 appointment to get the DR new chain and sprockets. This of course was dependant on the Brown Santa Truck from Salt Lake City being on time.



As mornings go we were all up early and packed up fairly quickly, so we set off in search of food, 15 miles north into Price. We passed under 191 and followed the GPS to the main drag in Price. After running all the way through the downtown without seeing anything promising I was a little concerned we might have to settle for a fast food outlet. Just as that was crossing my mind I spotted a promising looking Café and wheeled across the street to its lot. Paul commented that he was thinking, “not the McDonalds!” since it was right across the street. The food and scenery in the restaurant did not disappoint, plus they had Wifi. The guys proceeded to do the dysfunctional-tech-family-meal-thing, (everyone stare at their electronics while absently mindedly poking at their food). Afterward we cruised back to meet the Godfather of Price, Tony. He must have been having a new gold tooth put in, or perhaps delivering a horse head, and was no were to be seen. His stoolies (I jest) at the bike shop were very helpful and very accommodating while we hung out waiting the Brown shorts guy to arrive. The sun was quickly baking the earth and everything else outside while the hours ticked by. We took over the staff table at the back of the store and tried not to make too much of a nuisance of ourselves. Eventually the news we had all been waiting for came, and the parts arrived. The shop guys were quick to get the job done and we eagerly suited back up for the run to Moab!

One more time, we headed south on hwy 10 past our previous night’s camp spot to Castledale where I hooked up with my gps track and onto Green River cutoff road headed east. This was a fairly wide well traveled gravel road at first but I was glad to have done the track up as there were numerous places to turn off along the way. It was hot and dusty with a nearly cloudless sky. The road narrowed and began to twist through washes and up and down over bluffs. Eventually it came to a fork that said we would be continuing on Chimney Rock road, and this is what my gps had routed, so off we went. We of course took a few pictures along the way.





photo courtesy of Paul (BMW).

photo courtesy of Paul (BMW).





A really nice, narrow, twisting canyon was the highlight before hooking up with 191 again, not far north of I-70 and Green River. We were a bit behind schedule so I opted to ignore my track routing and blast east on I-70 for about 20 minutes until a small wash road that I had found on one of the maps that cut off the corner between I-70 and where 191 went south to Moab. It was blazing hot by this point and zipping along the Interstate was a relief for the bikes cooling systems. When I got to the spot where my track led onto the wash road things got interesting.
I pulled off I-70, following the track I had laid down only to find it veered left, into what looked like an old parking lot beside the main road. The road going south looked good, but the sign said the name didn’t jive with what I had intended. While the guys waited I did recon, figuring “what the hell, I’ll just follow my track exactly. Low and behold I found the faint dual tracks at the northeast corner of the lot, so I continued and they became more defined. I waved the guys over and they eventually figured out what I wanted. The “road” was nothing more than 2 tire tracks leading off into endless desert, but we discovered even this can be fun. About 5 times along the way we dropped into “washes” that were very deep cuts with steep approaches and exits and very loose at the bottom. You could not hit the bottom fast or you would bottom out and maybe flip over, but you also had to gas it to climb out. All this, with fully loaded bikes and this being a new skill, learned on the fly for all of us.

It is funny how having no choice increases the ability to quickly learn a new skill and all the guys made it through without a spill. At the east end, just before re-joining pavement on 191 we came upon a watering station surrounded by a lot of Cattle. The road widened out at this point, crossed a cattle gate and hit the highway. We were getting very close to our check in time in Moab and so I again opted to just burn pavement, south on 191 after consulting the guys.



A short stop for construction north of Moab and we rolled down into the valley just north of the river and the junction of 191 and 128 and Moab Valley RV and Campground. Our objective finally realized, we rolled into the parking lot with a sense of accomplishment, and for me at least a renewed energy. After checking in with the lovely ladies at the front desk we set up camp after getting out of the overly hot riding gear. We were starting to get into tourist mode, knowing we would not have to break camp the next morning.




Later that evening we headed into town to the “Blu Pig” to enjoy a BarBQ and blues joint that came recommended. It would not dissapoint!




Chris took this one, just so I wasn't a Ghost the whole time.

Maps from the day:







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Old 06-15-2012, 12:36 PM   #19
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So far, so good!

Care to explain why Chris' DR has a "two-tone" front fender (yellow in front, white in back)? It appears to be a hybrid of some sort as the front (yellow) portion doesn't look like o.e. Suzuki. Thanks.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:07 PM   #20
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So far, so good!

Care to explain why Chris' DR has a "two-tone" front fender (yellow in front, white in back)? It appears to be a hybrid of some sort as the front (yellow) portion doesn't look like o.e. Suzuki. Thanks.
He can field that one but, I know he told me.... Supermotard fender.. because the stock was a bit floppy at highway speeds.... if I recall correctly.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:42 PM   #21
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He can field that one but, I know he told me.... Supermotard fender.. because the stock was a bit floppy at highway speeds.... if I recall correctly.

Can you please lay out, or post up, or link or whatever to your routes and maps? I live in Utah so knowing your tracks in Utah and Idaho would be gratefully received!!
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:48 PM   #22
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Can you please lay out, or post up, or link or whatever to your routes and maps? I live in Utah so knowing your tracks in Utah and Idaho would be gratefully received!!
I have all that on my gps and have not yet downloaded them, but I will hopefully get that acomplished tomorrow morning. It was my intention all along to post the gpx files of each leg of the trip and still do. I am still new to the whole GPS thing, but I learn quick (most of the time).
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:59 PM   #23
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Day 6 – Ignorance is bliss

Before the trip I had done extensive research on Moab, on everything from Campgrounds to gpx tracks (of course) to bike shops along the way to restaurants and it all paid off.

Morning sun on the bluffs behind the campground.


looking soutwest from our campsite
The following morning we went into town for breakfast with a plan to go do Arches and have an easy day for a change. Paul the BMW pilot had to head out the following day and had a list that he wanted to see that did not really work with our list of must-dos. He and I discussed this and he planned to head out (south) after breakfast the next day. This morning however we were off to the Love Muffin, a source of endless jokes, some of which might have been work safe (but I doubt it). By happenstance (or by plan) the ladies at the Love Muffin were easy on the eyes, and we would, by weeks end become regulars. The food was great, reasonably priced and not your (Denny’s) run-of-the-mill. As a HUGE bonus the coffee was excellent (I almost felt like posing out front) and I discovered (the second time we visited), free refills, in generous sized mugs. The Edge Gallery that Brett on ADV owns is right next-door but despite my efforts I just never made it in during business hours (next time I promise). While we were sitting having breakfast another ADV rider (sorry I can’t remember your name, feel free to pipe up) pulled up beside the bikes parked across the street.


The Love Muffin and Edge Gallery


The Mystery man from the KLR group

He wasn’t hard to spot, nor shy, and came over to chat when he came in. He was with a KLR Forum group that Hondo from ADV was with over at Canyonlands Campground right in town. He pulled out the maps and we discussed a few good runs around the area. He and Paul eventually walked over to the bikes and compared notes on KLRs. It was going to be a hot day and we got going out fairly early despite our leisurely start armed with full hydration packs. Arches National park came first and we all had cameras and GoPros rolling.


Park Avenue

We trolled along with the rest of the rubbernecking tourists and pulled in to take pictures at all but one turn off (more on the later). Eventually we reached the Parking area for “Delicate Arch” and it was a little way from the parking lot. After squeezing all four bikes into the only available spot in the lot we (in full gear minus our helmets) went on a little hike. How far could it be, probably said on the sign, did you read it, no, neither did I…. After a about ten minutes of hiking and one small detour, I asked a guy in his 60s that just came back from the Arch, “Oh your about… half way”. You gotta’ be shittin’ me I thought, my reply to the senior was far more civilized. “Well guys”, I said, “I’m turning around, I can’t do this, in this heat, but you go ahead” They to, turned around. When I got back to the parking lot a woman, trailing a few young kids said, “you look like a power ranger”. I replied, “that’s a first, usually I get, Storm Trooper; these are not the droids we’re looking for, move along.” The young boys grinned. Once we were all back we drove further down the side road to where the viewpoint for the Arch was, duh! I must pay more attention to signs. I must pay more attention to signs. I must pay more attention to signs. Oh well, I probably lost a pound (or two) hiking pointlessly. After a picture we moved along.


Delicate Arch from the viewpoint

Name that Album Cover....





Fiery Furnace viewpoint



Courthouse Rock

Artsy in Arches

Balanced Rock

Paul's Godzilla impression

"I Must Crush You"



Chris and Paul (KLR) saying yes to crack in Arches National Park, courtesy of Paul (BMW)


The crack photo shoot from my perspective


We carried on until we ran out of pavement at the north end of the park, but I had spotted a white gravel road that was part of my initial track into Moab from the north, not far back. Paul (BMW) told me he had a few things that he wanted to see yet today since his time in Moab was limited so he continued on back on the pavement. Chris, Paul (KLR) and myself (still packing the side bags) hit the gravel toward Klondike Bluffs.

Washboard for miles and miles, powdery sand in white, yellow and red was the order for the next hour or so. At the Bluffs we watched a couple of lizards run around and Paul tried to get a picture of one, not sure how that worked out. Then we headed back in the roasting heat. The road would have been a lot of fun if the incessant washboard weren’t trying to shake our bikes apart and loosen fillings. Slow down, what! Then back to the tourist parade back out of the park.




Pawel Rides on...



Klondike Bluffs road


We went in to the campground and hit the pool for a while before getting cleaned up and heading to town for Dinner at the nice little Mexican joint called La Hacienda (I think) at the north end of town on the east side of the highway. Somewhere in between I think we hit a grocery store and the liquor store where Chris picked up a nice bottle of Bourbon. We also fit in a trip to Arrowhead Motorsports to get a new front tire for Paul's KLR and while we were ther met "Jettin Jim" from this site. He is quite a character. Hope the ride is going well Jim!


Jettin Jim and his KLR.


The Mighty DR




Common sight around Moab

By the time we got back Paul (BMW) had returned from his explorations. Sometime while we were gone another KLR (1st gen) rider from Nevada had joined the Campers in the spot just across the way from ours. As it got dark I could see that he was sitting at the picnic table by himself without so much as a light. Me being shy and introverted walked over and introduced myself and invited Wayne over for a drink. He told me that he had been having a drink on the sly not wanting to offend anyone. “Hell” I said, “you’ll have to work harder than that to offend us, comon’ over”. He did and seemed quickly at ease.


We sat around our LED lantern (since a campfire was verboten, unless it’s charcoal, and who wants to sit around that) and had a few drinks before calling it a day. I had not turned on my phone for two days and was blissfully unaware that my sister had died that afternoon, and that my family was trying to reach me.



much more of the story still lies ahead....
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Old 06-15-2012, 11:08 PM   #24
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Day 7- A celebration of life and beauty, a mourning of death

This would be the morning that Pawel would break camp and head south after Breakfast. It was also the morning we would try for a quick breakfast at the nearby Denny’s. That would be what decided that the Love Muffin would be or spot for the rest of the trip for breakfast. Paul slept in a bit and told us he would meet us over at Denny’s, so we headed over. After well wishes we parted company with Pawel and each headed in opposite directions.








The now, group of three turned east down highway128 with Onion Creek road as our first objective. This road had been featured in the UTBCDR video and looked great with at least a dozen creek crossings as it weaved from side to side in the narrow canyon. The road itself was easy, but amazingly picturesque in the early morning light. The stream crossings easy as well as they were all very shallow. Eventually the road climbed up out of the canyon and ended at a junction turning east onto Thompson Canyon road.









This was a bit more challenging and had some very loose hill climbs as well as short sections of very sandy trail\. The big KTM dug her self in for a moment on one loose uphill corner. Chris had to go around and Paul stopped behind me while I powered up the hill. At the top I came around the corner to see Chris running back with camera in hand. Sorry buddy no carnage this time, other than maybe some stone chips on Paul’s bike from my trenching. The sand was a bit of a challenge at times but the scenery was awesome! I stopped to check the Moab East map that I had picked up at the visitor center the day before since I had no gps track for this one. Eventually we climbed into the La Sal mountains and the views from up top were like nothing we had experienced yet and we were all in awe of the majesty of this place.











This was truly living, and it was good. The map eventually led us onto a snaking piece of pavement called the La Sal Mountain loop road and we followed it, enjoying everything but the plentiful tar snakes. In time we dropped down to Spanish Valley road that took us parallel to 191 north into Moab. It was truly blisteringly hot as we came into town. I led us to Milts drive in, but we all felt the need for air conditioning by this point and headed to the Moab Diner instead. It was not to disappoint and had a funky 50’s feel, I’d go back. Once again research paid off. The rest of the day was spent around town and back at the campground in the pool. We did a brief stop over at Canyonlands Campground in search of Hondo and the KLR crew. We found the bikes, and I left a note for Jim and they other KLR guys in the tenting area in true ADV style. That wasn't a donut, it was @, you guys know what I'm talking about, but you made me laugh a couple of nights later in the Blu Pig's lounge.




Once in a while I remember to relax, and this was when I decided to fire up the phone and check my messages. My heart sank as I read the first message from my wife and I had this weird feeling that my chest was crushing in on my lungs. I didn’t know what to do, but managed to sound (hopefully) less shocked than I felt when I called home. A sick feeling of horror (for what my parents had been, and were going through) cascaded over me. I sat on the next campsite’s table head in hands, not sure how to go forward. My wife had told me the funeral was on the following Saturday, and right there I knew I had to make it, all other considerations were secondary. It was too late to call my parents so that would have to wait, even though I knew sleep would be a scarce commodity for them. I still had no idea what to say, and in honesty I still don’t. Just keeping from breaking down on the phone would be hard. It took all that I could muster to put on a somewhat normal appearance for the guys. I know they would understand but I have always had a hard time showing what I am feeling. Letting people in is not my strong suit, so this is rarity, me baring my soul. Maybe that is Deborah’s legacy to me. We were not as close as maybe we should have been, but I miss you dearly. May your soul be soaring free.
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:23 AM   #25
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Great pics - what wide angle lens do you use?
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Old 06-16-2012, 08:23 AM   #26
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Great ride report. I am sorry for your loss.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:05 AM   #27
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Great pics - what wide angle lens do you use?
It is a Tokina, 10~17, F3.5-4.5 DX lens. The Camera is a Canon, Rebel T1i, so it doesn't get the full effect of the wide angle having a smaller sensor than a high end body would. It is still my favorite lens, as you can tell. Everything that I shot was done in RAW and with as little post processing as possible to keep true what I actually saw. The shots where the backgrounds are pulled in, like the guys up on the La Sal loop were shot with a Canon 100-300 zoom. I was using a Canon 28-105 zoom with a polarizing filter but the dust must have killed it, so it will be off to the shop for a refurb.
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Old 06-16-2012, 09:07 AM   #28
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Great ride report. I am sorry for your loss.

Thank you. Writing this helps work through it.
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Old 06-16-2012, 10:28 AM   #29
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Great ride report and pics Lee. The words you wrote about your sister were touching and I have to admit choked me up a bit. Made me call my sister. Never know how much time any of us have and makes you appreciate the relationships we have and at least makes me want to work on mine more. So thanks for that. Glad you are finding having words flow from your fingers therapeutic. Hang tough man.
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Old 06-16-2012, 12:30 PM   #30
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Great ride report and pics Lee. The words you wrote about your sister were touching and I have to admit choked me up a bit. Made me call my sister. Never know how much time any of us have and makes you appreciate the relationships we have and at least makes me want to work on mine more. So thanks for that. Glad you are finding having words flow from your fingers therapeutic. Hang tough man.
I agree with the above.

Never easy losing some one.
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