ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-12-2010, 04:56 PM   #31
thomas.tc.young
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: NYC
Oddometer: 844
crater lake

do they let you camp out there around crater lake? I agree with you, it looks like a great spot to spend a few days camping.
__________________
1969 CL350 permanent project
2000 Ninja 250 Freeby
the klr/versys project: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=810279
thomas.tc.young is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 05:01 PM   #32
shaweetz OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
shaweetz's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Ottawa, CDN
Oddometer: 204
Yes, there is the tiny (16 tent sites) lost creek campsite where we were, and the mazama village site. Neither are within view of the lake, but both are within a short ride. I think they're both non-reservation.
shaweetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2010, 08:58 AM   #33
propforward
Nice Chap
 
propforward's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Central Minnesota
Oddometer: 11,666
This is brilliant - thoroughly inspirational. I love this report.
__________________
I apologise for the inconvenience.
propforward is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2010, 02:23 PM   #34
shaweetz OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
shaweetz's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Ottawa, CDN
Oddometer: 204
At the Stuck In Reno

From Weed we wander over to the Tahoe region. My back tire is going to be toast somewhere between here and Denver, and that rear sprocket has got me concerned. So I called up the Triumph dealer in Reno and got us a short-notice slot for tomorrow morning.

Up near the Lassen Volcanic monument, forest fires and lava rock make for a stark landscape.





Monster pinecones are the best!



Maybe my route wasn't the best, but I rode us out past Susanville and promptly got handed a scorching desert. Once again my preconceptions of what northern California is like have been thoroughly trashed. And we're pounding in the water, but the 2.5L we're carrying on the bike just doesn't go that far with two people.

There is some nice ranch country.



The missus plays "tron" as we wrap up for the night, in Truckee:



I want to be close to, but not in, Reno so we can be there first thing in the morning.



Our plans to see Tahoe proper are scuttled; once again the day took longer than we thought.

In the AM, we get up with the sun and roll to Reno.



Now. There are two sides to all stories. Triumph Reno were all very nice folks and very accommodating on such short notice.

At 9am, we rolled in.



At 6:45 PM... we rolled out with our new tire, chain and sprockets.

Well, we got up early in Truckee, CA so we could be at the Reno dealer for opening time. I’d called ahead, spoken to the amicable owner, and our hope was to get the tire changed off and we’d be on our merry way before noon, fingers crossed.

No.

The tire was on the UPS truck still. And the sprocket assessment: finished. We would have to wait for parts. The dealer kindly let us use a Bonnie demo, which we used to go get a coffee and hop up to an REI to get some freeze-dried grub:



Rowr!

We got back a bit after lunch, figuring out our route, and also figuring that we could still make our destination if we left soon. In Nevada, the problem is there is nothing in between here and there.

2pm.
3pm. Hm. Maybe we’ll head back to Tahoe for the night.



4pm peak heat and the bike is still not done.



5pm. I guess we’re staying in Reno.



5:30pm closing time, and I finally walk into the garage to find out the real story. (sort of, since I’d been hounding them all day). It seems I mistold them that the front sprocket was a 19 tooth, when in fact I’d installed an 18. Stock had been 17. My bad.



The only working mechanic today, harried and splitting his time between various bikes, had just cut the new chain to match the old, assuming the replacement sprockets were the same. The new chain was now too short (actually, it had already been too short, which I’d mentioned). So both the new and the old chain lay useless on the shop floor. Someone had to run across town to get another chain from a Honda dealer.

The most frustrating thing was not really being told the problem, and meanwhile the bike is apart on the lift, the mechanic is working on another bike, and I have almost all the tools at hand to change the tire and sprockets. And we don't know if we should try to arrange a way to salvage this day, go win our trip in a Casino, see the sights, or what. So we wait.

So far I am 0 for 2 on having other people work on my chain. So I am buying a chain tool.

Over dinner I figure it’s karma for skipping out on paying outrageous state park fees for the last two nights... it still feels wrong when you can stay at a Motel 6 for $45 vs sleeping on the ground next to the interstate for $35... I know, I know. It's not our usual policy.

To their credit, Triumph Reno squeezed us in to their busy schedule, hustled to get the required parts, and stayed late to see it through. The owner also offered us a place to stay. We had our gear stashed inside all day, despite the photos.



A nice fellow with a sidearm hops out of his shiny pickup with his one-eyed dog, stays and talks Harley at the parts counter for perhaps an hour. We hang with the dog, Jake, while eating noodle bowls on the shady sidewalk.



I'm a canuck. Seeing firearms out in the open does take some getting used to.

Not too interested in sightseeing, it's all about food and sleep now.





Motel 6 gets what's left of our money for today.

The suck factor has been very low on this trip so far, so I guess we had some in the bank. Tomorrow is a new day.

shaweetz screwed with this post 10-15-2010 at 03:21 PM
shaweetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2010, 11:01 PM   #35
shaweetz OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
shaweetz's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Ottawa, CDN
Oddometer: 204
In the eye of my mind, I’d been anticipating the ride across my preconceptions of Nevada for some time.

After a restful night at the Reno Motel 6, we repack and roll out. We are becoming pros with the bungee net. This super stack of cold weather gear and wet laundry seems to be growing daily.



I didn’t get to chat with the Japanese owner of this GS, though he had an entourage of folks chatting him up the night before:



Our plan is to drive across highway 50, the so-called loneliest road in America. And so we do.

While I wouldn’t call it busy, it’s not empty by any stretch. Still, you can walk into the road for a long minute to compose your photos. Only one stretch stands out for me as being especially trying. The wife is not quite as enamored with it.

Not too far out of Reno, it’s a handsome rolling landscape that I find engaging and beautiful. The colours of the desert palette are especially nice here. It’s not what I’d been expecting at all, namely a barren moonscape.

I was really hoping to get buzzed by some military aircraft outside of Fallon, but it was not to be.

The road flattens out into a pan:



Here, the highways dept. has ploughed broad ditches alongside the road to collect the occasional rains that fall. For miles, people have used loose stones to leave messages alongside the banks of the ditches:



It’s kind of a fully natural, changing, massive-scale version of magnetic fridge poetry or organic graffiti. Cool! So, I leave one too:



The wife does not seem too interested in this game. So no "WIFE".



Even out here, where oncoming traffic can see the bike parked on the narrow shoulder for minutes, I still stand us off the road in case we become the object of some daydreaming driver's target fixation.



At the end of this pan, the mountain of sand, oddly out of place here:



(click to enlarge. The stitcher sort of choked on this one)

Sand ride! ADV cred! I didn't venture in too far That dune is 600ft tall. Scales are all messed up here.







Shortly before posing for this scene, we spot a small herd of antelope sprinting across the scrub. They're long gone before the camera is out:



The road crisscrosses and follows the Pony Express, a mail route that was in use for a short time in 1860. Mail and people used to move across this landscape by horse. Tough, tough buggers.



(do not be fooled. this would be one of the only twisty road signs all day. Climbing out of Austin is fun for a while)

About half way to Ely things *do* start to get a little mentally difficult and prairies-like in their isolation. I never get used to descending from a high ridge of hills to see the road stretching across the valley to the other side, a ride of perhaps fifteen minutes or more at full tilt. And it’s not that it’s hot, but with the low humidity and sun, we go through a lot of water on the ride.



A decision is taken to overnight in the quirky Ely. Seems everyone else traveling on this road does the same, as the numerous motels are quickly filled to capacity. It’s been a long, but memorable day.

The pizza at this joint was terrible. The decor was splendid.



Breakfast at this joint was great.








shaweetz screwed with this post 10-15-2010 at 03:19 PM
shaweetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2010, 11:56 PM   #36
shaweetz OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
shaweetz's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Ottawa, CDN
Oddometer: 204


Cheesy pose, cheesy sign. But hey. It opens a very anticipated chunk of this journey, and we're pretty stoked.

Highway 50 is the loneliest road?

I don't know. Utah 21 has my vote.



(click to enlarge)

Off in the distance there, the road:



Me: I gotta take a leak. Gonna pull over here. You good?
Her: No.
Me: Well, go to town.
Her: There's no cover!
Me: Dude, there is nobody forever. See that car? It will pass us in about 6 minutes. Just go for it.
Her: I'll wait, thanks.
Me: Suit yourself!

The section of road, and the small irrigated farm visible on the valley floor, in this picture. About 14 miles:




For a while we're arguing over the headsets about whether this means a texas gate is coming, or if it's just simply a prank. Sometimes there is no texas gate, and there are too many of them to just be a one-off prank. Still, the skateboarding cow is pretty funny, and an extra bonus, this one has a bullet hole too:



We went south on I15 for a while, but we were getting the crap kicked out of us by the wind. A decision is made to proceed directly to Bryce. Zion will have to wait for next time.

There's not much to say about Utah. The hot, windy beautiful geology is scarcely believable. Our minds are completely blown. After a while you don’t know where to look. Millions have taken photos of this place, and I ask myself, why should I bother adding a few more to the pile? Others have taken much, much better photos than I can. But it's fun to at least try.



At Bryce, the campsites are, of course, jammed.

What the hell. Let's stay overnight in a teepee instead!













(click to enlarge)



The haziness is smoke from a nearby forest fire.







It's a damned chilly night in the teepee. We have some mice visiting for a while, but we're mostly left alone with our cold noses as it dips down close to freezing.

shaweetz screwed with this post 10-15-2010 at 03:59 PM
shaweetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2010, 03:01 PM   #37
shaweetz OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
shaweetz's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Ottawa, CDN
Oddometer: 204
The ride really starts to shine as we make our way up route 12.



(click to enlarge)



(click to enlarge)



(click to enlarge)



(click to enlarge)

This one is my favorite:



(click to enlarge)

Utah, it seems, screams for 100MP+ panoramas, and I'm happy to oblige. Shooting RAW+JPG (iPad woes from another thread) each of these panos chews up between 150 to 200MB of my SD cards... Ouch!

At one point, the temperatures soar, and it's starting to look like a real desert. Heat management becomes an issue. The supply of water is more important than fuel stops for once.



(click to enlarge)

This is off the 24, actually, before Hanksville. In this heat, we don’t stop for many pictures. Moments after every stop the helmet and jackets are torn off. At a gas stop Karen is flushed and clearly overheating. After a good cooling down and hydration period, ATGATT goes out the window for the first time on this trip, and she rides in a T. An off is a minor risk out here, whereas heat stroke seems more like a guarantee. The math is pretty clear. Still, I'm not that comfortable with it. We don't ride that way for long, since the sun is starting to dip down already.

Capitol Reef is busy. We ride through.









Glen Canyon is where the ride will stop for today, and where we find the pseudo-wild camping spot near Hite which is the most beautiful place ever, at the confluence of the Colorado and Little Devil rivers.





Find the camp:









The valley is ours. Except for the occasional mosquito, and the peeping of tiny bats, the silence in the valley is deep, complete. The temperature is still over 20 degrees C (last night we nearly froze in the teepee). At midnight I get up to take some pictures in the moonlight:







...and flip back the tent fly so we can watch the rising sun.



It doesn’t get much better than this.

shaweetz screwed with this post 10-15-2010 at 03:14 PM
shaweetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2010, 07:47 PM   #38
shaweetz OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
shaweetz's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Ottawa, CDN
Oddometer: 204
After leaving this idyllic camp spot early in the morning, we rolled past Hite, then I decided this was our best opportunity for a water refill, so I did a U-turn and nearly dumped the bike.

I've done hundreds of these on this trip alone, but I guess I'm a little morning groggy. I sharpen up some quick as we both end up touching down in the process of muscling the bike back up from the ground where it is soon headed, because, as you know, that is exactly where I am looking. Being 6'3" on a Bonneville has it's advantages, but I'm fortunate to have avoided spraining anything.

After the water refill I get back on the horse and pull a double U-turn in the spot where I nearly dumped it. Rough but passable. I have a bit of pride about being the champion of slow-mo riding, but the ego is quite a bit smaller as we roll away. I satisfied myself that there was something a bit funny about the grade, the horizon... something. But mostly not.

We rolled around in Natural Bridges Monument, which really requires the time so you can hike down. The access road is nice but there is no doubt you need to do the hikes to really appreciate.

Shortly past the monument I pull off to the shoulder (for a photo stop I think), plant my foot down in a pile of marbles and just about dump us for the second time in two hours . For a few moments the radio waves are clouded with a long string of expletives. Obviously, there is a complete loser in the saddle today, and extra caution will be required. My ego gets a bit teenier.

We get up to Canyonlands, and have to make some kind of decision. Go into the Needles district, or proceed north towards Island in the Sky... we don't have the time to do both, and both seem more like places that are better suited to a different kind of bike... like the ones people ride in this forum! We stare at each other dumbly for what seems like a long time. I fish out a quarter and call heads. We go North. The guy who just pulled up on the Valkyrie agrees with our assessment, as does his goggled chihuahua .



Moab is stinking hot, and seems busy. People are driving aggressively. We hit McD's to make a plan and eat ice cream. New plan: skip Canyonlands totally. Spend more than 10 minutes in a place for once: in Arches. Off we go.

The photos say it all, and I know, everybody's been there but us. But holy crap!



(click to enlarge)





(click to enlarge)













Anybody know who these guys are? Brazilians riding GSes with another couple, both bikes plated US east coast (faces might be nice yes? But hey, they've got shirts!)?



Tulio gives me a thumbs up in the parking lot, and "perfect bike!". I get all warm and fuzzy inside. We give them a wave as they snap a pic on our way out.





As I'd feared, at the end of the day, all those people in the parks drain out and pile into town, booking up the motels left right and center. We scored perhaps the last motel room in Moab, since camping in this heat is kind of unappealing.
shaweetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2010, 08:05 PM   #39
shaweetz OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
shaweetz's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Ottawa, CDN
Oddometer: 204
We spend the morning in Arches hiking to perhaps one of the earth's most beautiful places.











(click to enlarge)

Delicate arch is as stunning as you might imagine. The sky is co-operative for my photos. My wife is with me. We rode our motorcycle here. I could not be happier in this moment.



You cannot fathom how bad these boots smell:



These quit being waterproof back in Saskatchewan, despite repeated treatments. It's no wonder, they're all cracked already. Cheap.

Utah is not finished with us. We ride out on the 128 up the Colorado river, which is by now getting smaller and smaller.



And a little thank you smooch for tolerating a minor dirt ride to get up to this beautiful vantage point.



128 suddenly pops out onto a desert. A windy, windy desert. The interstate to Colorado is punishing, and I might add, rough. But we made it:



And we know we will be coming back to this place, often.

shaweetz screwed with this post 02-12-2012 at 08:01 PM
shaweetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2010, 09:01 PM   #40
Lion BR
I'd rather be riding
 
Lion BR's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 3,357
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaweetz










Great story, great bike, great photography.
I'm in the market for a new camera, and I particularly like the low light shots your camera delivers. What camera did you use during this trip?
Thanks!
Lion
__________________
Whenever we are riding, we are an ambassador to our sport

I'd rather be riding!


Lion BR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2010, 10:45 PM   #41
KevinTheMule
n00b
 
KevinTheMule's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: SW Ohio
Oddometer: 8
Great RR.

Love your ride report. I ride a F.I. '10 T100, so I'll be trolling your TRAT thread about how you have it set up. I did about 11K KM this spring/summer on weekend trips just bungeeing stuff on. This winter I need to figure out a way to carry some more gear in a more efficient manner.
KevinTheMule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2010, 07:38 AM   #42
shaweetz OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
shaweetz's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Ottawa, CDN
Oddometer: 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lion BR
Great story, great bike, great photography.
I'm in the market for a new camera, and I particularly like the low light shots your camera delivers. What camera did you use during this trip?
Thanks!
Lion
Thanks a lot . It's a Lumix GF1 with a f1.7 20mm pancake lens. it's the only lens I brought. No zoom, no wide, nothing.


(image linked from dpreview.com)

This micro four-thirds combo just barely fits into my right pocket. In fact I had a protective UV glass in front of the lens but shipped that home (along with some other stuff) because the extra 4mm or so of thickness made it that much trickier to get in and out. The screen took a bit of abuse, but now it just looks loved. It's a tool, right?

I took a cheap Slik compact tripod along and never regretted it. It's a bit flimsy, but worthwhile. It was just not realistic to bring along my 3x heavier and 2x bigger Manfrotto when we were 2-up and camping. We already had a load.

The GF1 seems really good at capturing night city shots of up to a few seconds. Noise is pretty under control up to ISO400, and ISO800 can be tamed in Lightroom easily (the images you quoted are sub 1 second at 800), but it gets ugly beyond that. I was hoping for better noise performance from a sensor this size.

It is a little annoying (and I don't remember reading about it anywhere, so here it is) that it processes long images for the same length of time after the shutter closes to do some aggressive noise reduction. This means that for a 30 second exposure, you are waiting 60 seconds to see what you got. I turned off the NR feature, which was much faster to review the image, but the results were ghastly noisy. 60 seconds seems about tops for shutter opening without an external release, so you are waiting two minutes to see your results. (It's funny to write this statement. I remember blowing whole rolls of film to maybe get one good night shot, and I had to wait a wee bit longer to find out!). The Hite moon shots are all 30 or 60 seconds. The deficiencies of a flimsy tripod are pretty evident at these lengths, and manual focusing in the pitch dark is a tricky business. I'm not convinced the GF1 is a usable camera beyond 60 seconds.

While it was fun to do the moon shots, ultimately I'm disappointed I had to go through a lot of post-processing hoops to get the noise down; the camera is really starting to struggle here at any ISO. A DSLR is going to be, I'm sure, way better for bulb type shots.

But then, you can't stuff a DSLR in your pocket. So. I think it's a great moto-tripping camera combo unless you are hardcore and willing to pack on huge amounts of DSLR gear and related equipment. The only weaknesses are the noise performance (still way better than any compact) and stealth (a very loud shutter).
shaweetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2010, 07:55 AM   #43
shaweetz OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
shaweetz's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Ottawa, CDN
Oddometer: 204
I would be completely remiss to forget to credit Antontrax's awesome motojournalism e-books:

http://motojournalism.blogspot.com/

and his great Way Out West ride report:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=511498

in which I was schooled more than a thing or two about how to take better pictures. I always had a little voice going off... "what would Antontrax do? What is wrong with it? " It's good to have this voice telling you the shot you're about to take is going to suck, so figure out why and try to fix it.
shaweetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2010, 01:03 PM   #44
Lion BR
I'd rather be riding
 
Lion BR's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon
Oddometer: 3,357
Shaweetz,
First of all, thank you so much for explaining the work behind the nice shots you took in low light. Second, this is exactly the kind of camera I'm looking for. I'm really hesitant in taking an SLR on a bike trip, mostly for the bulk and the time it takes to get it available for a shot (I don't use tank bags). Also, I need a camera that can take some level of abuse. The one I have been studying is the recently released Canon G12. But I had read good reviews on the Lumix Micro four-thirds cameras. Now I'm looking at your photos from a more informed perspective.
Thanks again!
Lion

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaweetz
Thanks a lot . It's a Lumix GF1 with a f1.7 20mm pancake lens. it's the only lens I brought. No zoom, no wide, nothing.


(image linked from dpreview.com)

This micro four-thirds combo just barely fits into my right pocket. In fact I had a protective UV glass in front of the lens but shipped that home (along with some other stuff) because the extra 4mm or so of thickness made it that much trickier to get in and out. The screen took a bit of abuse, but now it just looks loved. It's a tool, right?

I took a cheap Slik compact tripod along and never regretted it. It's a bit flimsy, but worthwhile. It was just not realistic to bring along my 3x heavier and 2x bigger Manfrotto when we were 2-up and camping. We already had a load.

The GF1 seems really good at capturing night city shots of up to a few seconds. Noise is pretty under control up to ISO400, and ISO800 can be tamed in Lightroom easily (the images you quoted are sub 1 second at 800), but it gets ugly beyond that. I was hoping for better noise performance from a sensor this size.

It is a little annoying (and I don't remember reading about it anywhere, so here it is) that it processes long images for the same length of time after the shutter closes to do some aggressive noise reduction. This means that for a 30 second exposure, you are waiting 60 seconds to see what you got. I turned off the NR feature, which was much faster to review the image, but the results were ghastly noisy. 60 seconds seems about tops for shutter opening without an external release, so you are waiting two minutes to see your results. (It's funny to write this statement. I remember blowing whole rolls of film to maybe get one good night shot, and I had to wait a wee bit longer to find out!). The Hite moon shots are all 30 or 60 seconds. The deficiencies of a flimsy tripod are pretty evident at these lengths, and manual focusing in the pitch dark is a tricky business. I'm not convinced the GF1 is a usable camera beyond 60 seconds.

While it was fun to do the moon shots, ultimately I'm disappointed I had to go through a lot of post-processing hoops to get the noise down; the camera is really starting to struggle here at any ISO. A DSLR is going to be, I'm sure, way better for bulb type shots.

But then, you can't stuff a DSLR in your pocket. So. I think it's a great moto-tripping camera combo unless you are hardcore and willing to pack on huge amounts of DSLR gear and related equipment. The only weaknesses are the noise performance (still way better than any compact) and stealth (a very loud shutter).
__________________
Whenever we are riding, we are an ambassador to our sport

I'd rather be riding!


Lion BR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2010, 10:04 PM   #45
shaweetz OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
shaweetz's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Ottawa, CDN
Oddometer: 204
Colorado is feeling like a bit of a denoument. This second trip phase is winding down, since my wife has a flight back home out of Denver in two days. We know we will miss some of the better parts of Colorado, but there just isn't enough time.

The plans are modified a few times as we drive into Colorado on I70. In addition to the crazy wind (now a tailwind ), it is obvious we are about to drive into a evil black wall of rain and lightning. Whatever air is coming over Utah (it actually rained for 10 seconds this morning) is cooling off as it hits the mountains and giving up a lot of moisture. Worse, it seems like it's not moving all that fast. We veer southward to try and thread our way through a clear section. Interestingly, it is Highway 50. We meet again!

In a town called Delta I look up and contemplate the sky for a few moments. So far we've been good. Not for long.

"Ten minutes", says I.
"Ten minutes what?" she says.
"It's time for grocery shopping. We need to burn ten minutes to let this thing pass."

She calls bullsh1t that I think I am weathermaster and somehow my brilliant prediction will come to pass.

Fifteen minutes later we emerge from Safeway with a sack full of groceries. She looks at the sky, is impressed. I'm not so sure. We head off, and soon enough we are driving through sunny skies on a soaking wet road. Now I am happy, I am the Man . But the road veers southward, straight towards the worst looking cell yet. Lightning is crashing out of the sky. No good. In time honored tradition we pull off the road and waste a bunch of time putting on rain gear. That should ensure good weather.

But it's not to be, we're headed straight for it, it's super ugly, and the day's getting late anyway. We bail for the night at a very non-busy and unremarkable Crawford State Park (with irrigation sprinklers? This is where the fees go??)



After dinner my tired self takes a few items over to the dumpster to throw out and some camp dishes to clean. I open the dumpster, toss the stuff in, close the dumpster. Stand there a few moments. Recall that I had camp dishes in my hands a few moments ago. Shit. Open the lid, evaluate. A nearly empty dumpster. A dumpster dive is unavoidable. Karen comes out of the loo and asks why I am swearing. We go to fetch the flashlights. She steadies the dumpster (on wheels) while I climb in and grab the stuff. Mission accomplished, she asks where I am going, and I say to get the camp soap. The dish is still clean, she says. A pause.

"Then you can eat of this one tomorrow."

Oh.

Dishes washed



Utah, I'm learning, really burnt me out on photos. So I don't take nearly as many in Colorado.

Highway 92 is a great twisty mountain romp with some minor elevation changes. We catch glimpses of the awesome Black Canyon, but good photo ops are elusive.



We're above the clouds this morning:



But not for long:



Some day, maybe I'll learn how people who wear glasses drive through cloud mist. I haven't figured it out.

This is always exciting. In kilometers, mind you:



And soon we crest the Monarch Pass at 11,312 feet, so far our highest altitude on this trip.

We lunch at the Golden Burro, in Leadville CO, at an altitude of 10,200 feet.

Stopping in the town of Dillon, Karen complains of nausea. I'm not feeling so hot myself. Was it lunch? I claim it's the thin air, since I started getting this way around 8000ft and then it subsided. We chill for a while, hoping it abates, and it does a bit. I've read all about altitude sickness but I figure we're all tough and stuff and it won't bother us. Wrong-ish. But the worst butterflies pass and we push north towards the Rocky Mountain National Park to camp for the night.

Colorado just did not co-operate with my camera. Or rather, the photographer. For a few reasons, part of which being burned out from too many photos of Utah. Also, having a fresh memory of the raw beauty of the Alberta Rockies did not help. To me, the brief Colorado we saw was a second best. There was no snow on any of those majestic peaks. The aspens were yellow and it was a beautiful autumn, though.

At the Lake Granby campsite, Chris pulls in on his V-star cruiser and it turns out he recognizes us from Rte. 12, way down in Utah. Then there's the Tulio & Rosanna guys giving us the thumbs up. The Arches park ranger remembers us from the day before, from the hundreds of cars he has processed at the entrance. A guy riding a classic Ferarri hops out at a Utah rest stop (Red Rock Rally? looks cool) and says they were just discussing how much they liked our bike. Everywhere we go, people want to talk with us, about the bike, and other bikers seem to love what we are doing and what we’re doing it on. On the whole trip so far, I’ve only seen one of the “new classic” Triumphs, an orange and white Scrambler in Oregon. I don't know why, this bike has been great for us.

In the morning, there is just enough clear weather to enjoy the Trail Ridge Road which peaks at over 12,100 feet, above the treeline. Who on earth imagined to build this road — and succeeded in getting it done — well. Hats off.

It’s hella windy (like, white-knuckle, bike-leaned-over one way, then another windy) and cold up here, so I get one shot, a monster 17-image panorama composite:



As mentioned, the weather was coming, so we descend in haste, to a small village off the highway, a rambunctious little cafe with a roaring wood stove.





And thence down the totally thrilling and unexpected Boulder Canyon into town, with the rain at our heels.







A highlight was stumbling on and visiting the Into The Wind kite store, whose advertisements I remember seeing in my Dad’s Popular Science mags when I was a kid. It’s a nice shop.

On the way into Denver, it rains on us, and the riding is gross, busy fast interstate. The airport is in the middle of nowhere. The hotel mall is likewise in the middle of nowhere, like a planetary colony. All that's missing is the space bubble. We get our crap organized and ready for Karen's flight home early, early tomorrow.

Phase 2 is over.
shaweetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014