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Old 12-11-2010, 07:02 PM   #1
npberry OP
Lost in the Fog
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Joined: Dec 2007
Oddometer: 32
Lincoln, NE to Lake Tahoe

A ride report from the Summer I spent working in South Lake Tahoe. This report details the journey out to Lake Tahoe.

April 29, 2008 Lincoln, Neb.

Day 1-Lincoln to Imperial, Neb. (Written from the comfortable abode of a friend in Fort Collins on Day 2)

I began in Lincoln and followed Highway 6 to Imperial in the Western end of Neb. I was going to stay at a camp ground in Enders but while eating dinner I heeded the advice of on of the locals who said there were deer all over the road. One guy in a full leg cast had been cruising down the highway when a deer jumped at and clipped the bag of his cycle. He lost control and ended up in the ditch with a broken leg and mangled ride. With that story fresh in my ear, I ended up at the only hotel in Imperial. I have averaged 76 miles per gallon so far. Tonight I sleep in Fort Collins. Tomorrow I traverse the Rockies.

(Catching up on the ride report from the Hotel in Salt Lake City, UT. It’s been a heck of a journey so far. Let’s see how I got here.)
Hello from Salt Lake City. Well, I should not be here but due to a missing bar end and weight I will be camped out at the Best Western near SLC BMW Motorrad. But that is the end of the story and here's the begging ... I came out of Fort Collins on the Cache La Poudre Park Scenic Parkway. The two lane highway snakes up through the foothills and onto the Alpine meadows. The snow blanked the high country. I kept it at about 55 mph up and down the grades. It seems like the Germans built the bike for this type of driving.

The sun shined all the way from Fort Collins to Steamboat Springs. The weather then took a turn and clouded in as a front approached from the north. I knew the front called for snow so I wanted to get behind the storm if at all possible. Didn't happen. I got caught in the rain outside of Craig, Colo. as I tried to push for Dinosaur on the border of Colorado and Utah. It was a long 90 mile ride through wind and rain.

Upon reaching Dinosaur, I saw only 1 motel and it looked like leftovers from the bomb tests. I made Vernal, Utah 40 minutes later. Many hotels in Vernal, too bad the oil business is booming. It was on the 5th try when I found a hotel without the No Vacancy sign hanging in the window.

After that, it was off to the brew pub only to find out they lost their liquor license. Then I noticed the missing bar end and weight. After a long and much need rest, as I had just spent 7 hours on bike, I called the SLC BMW shop and found out they would overnight the part for me. I didn't plan on detouring north. For good reason. On my approach to SLC I had to traverse two passes, both in near white-out conditions. The road was fine, but it was cold and windy.

I made it though! Tomorrow I will replace the part and head south then to hwy 50 West, the hwy that leads to my new home for the summer.

Thursday May 1, 2008
Vernal, Utah

I breakfast at Betty's Café. French toast, bacon and coffee. Then I will call BMW Motorrad in Salt Lake City to see if they have the part I need to fix my hand guard. BMW doesn't have the part in stock. They will order part. They will overnight the part.

The journey just completed chilled me to the bone. I came from Vernal out into a wind storm near Starvation Ridge. (I can only assume people starved here). I rode up through the wind and into the mountains of Utah full of snow and heavy, moist air. Never have I been so cold and so happy to see a city. Fruitland to Heber City. Worst part of the journey by far.

After a much needed cup of hot cocoa, I made the pass between Park City and Salt Lake City. I traversed I-80 through the pass in near white-out conditions. The road was easy and not as cold as the unknown pass from Fruitland to Heber.

Friday May 2, 2008
Salt Lake City

Overnight here in the city while the part I need overnights from the East Coast. Last night I drank barley wine and chilled out at the hotel. It was a nice relaxing day after some of the coldest riding I have ever done. Today the ride will be much easier. $36 for the part. I ride out of SLC at about 1 p.m. and into the windless valleys off Hwy. 6 in central Utah.

Saturday May 3, 2008
Border Inn.
Utah/Nevada border.

I awake cold and in need of a hot shower. I overnighted on the border at one of these one stop shops you sometimes see on the highway. The compound sits in the middle of nowhere on the border of Utah and Nevada, Mountain Time and Pacific Time. Consisting of a motel, café, casino, RV park and a junk yard, the compound suits me just fine for setting up camp. I think I saw this place in the movie Dusk till Dawn.

I find a spot tucked between two sheds out back in the junk yard. Away from the road, the "drunks" (as the proprietor so elegantly put it) use to make their way home. The evolution of a camp site intrigues me. I start with my blue tarpaulin splayed out on the ground like a sail. One end goes under the weight of the kick stand on my bike. The other end folds over like a taco shell and attaches to the mirror stem on the motorcycle. Sleeping bag down on the ground like the filling.

Well, after rummaging around a bit as I drink a cold beer, I find two steel saw horses and 4 old closet doors. BINGO! I pull over the saw horses and set them near the leaning side of the bike. I then tuck the tarpaulin under the far side of the door. Next it's the same folding taco move with the tarpaulin connecting to the mirror post. Now I can sleep on a flat surface off the ground and somewhat sheltered from the elements and the critters.

I sat up late into the night. I drank wine with pulls straight off the bottle. My couch, an abandoned broken down golf cart with a view of the south western sky. The stars blanked the earth. The wine kept me warm until it was time to crawl inside my bag and go lights-out.

I awoke in the middle of the night with the need to put on wool socks and a knit cap. Cold air on the high desert. The morning found sunshine and me in need of a hot shower.

While I dine on a breakfast burrito I meet another fellow traveler. 75 years old and still out riding his Harley. He came out of Denver two weeks ago. He made his way to California to see his brother and now he was on his way home. He is missing the four fingers on his left hand. I don’t ask how.

It was cold when I tore down camp and departed the border.

Sunday May 4, 2008
Fallon, Nevada

Built by a California company from the rear end of BMW r1200rt.

I pushed yesterday. Rode 9 am until 6 pm. Made the town of Fallon basking in about 75 degree temps. On the way to Fallon, many interesting things frame Hwy. 50. The first thing you notice sits 50 miles east of Fallon. Coming down one of the low passes, a lone tree rises out of the valley. Someone took it upon themselves to make this tree art. Shoes hang from every limb and litter the ground. Thousands of pairs. New shoes. Old shoes. Adult shoes. Baby shoes. Moon boots. Flip flops.

The second thing one may notice is Sand Mountain. Sand Mountain rests nestled up against a mountain ridge at the north end of a great dry lake-bed. Sand Mountain is just what it sounds like. A mountainous sand dune. Too bad my camera batteries had died. The highway bisects the sand flats. Along each side, people have left messages made of rocks. Names. James hearts Kim. Outlook Saloon. Good way to pass the time.

Cinco de Mayo 2008
Lake Tahoe

I rode into a rainy Tahoe after getting lost, 2 times! Rolled in at about 2 pm after a nice 2 hour ride from the motel in Fallon. Wow. Kinda sad the journey ended. I had just gotten used to sitting in the saddle for hours at a time. Riding my bike more than 1500 miles in 6 days, I had too much time to get into my own head. Solipsism (if ya dont know look it up) reigned as many miles passed without sight of nary a car, truck or animal. Surreal and unreal moments flashed before my eyes with each bend of the road.

Sitting on a comfortable couch and looking back at the adventure, I realize travel via highway is the only way. You see and meet so many more interesting people. Where the interstate holds strip malls and fast food , the highway holds small town ball parks and Betty's Café. The highway represents at by-gone time. The highway clings desperately to a culture not pop. Something refreshing. Something real.

Fuel Report:
Filled up 11 times. Spent less than $100 on gas. Averaged 82 miles per gallon.
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:24 AM   #2
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: northern Arkansas
Oddometer: 2,446
Nothing like some time alone on a bike, thanks for the story.
R1200GS Ural Patrol KLR650 DRz400 XL185
Austria '08
Back to the Alps in '11
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