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Old 11-03-2013, 10:52 AM   #1
palada OP
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: May 2012
Location: SoCal
Oddometer: 337
Longtime Lurker, First-time Poster...

So, this is my first ride report, and it may be more appropriate in a sport-touring forum, but since I did it on an F800GS, I'm considering it an adventure ride.

Step one was resigning from my job. I hated it absolutely. I had never been so miserable at any job in my life. My wife knew this, of course, and was on-board when I suggested I quit before having a new position lined up. Aside from motorcycles & farkles, we generally live cheap, so a couple months with no paycheck is doable. The day I submitted my resignation, my wife told me I instantly converted from an insufferable prick to a normal person again. A couple of my direct reports noticed the change too. Guess I was a PITA.

Step two was asking for some suggestions on a local forum (BARF). My thanks to many for offering recommendations/ideas in that thread. A couple of experienced ADV riders even took time out of their afternoon/evening to give me a couple maps, and several personalized recommendations! They had never met me before that day. It's awesome that so many riders are so willing to share experience and help fellow riders

As suggested, I left around 5am on 7/29. No pictures because 5am.

The route:

Took I80, then veered onto 50. As expected, not a very interesting road.
Many, many miles of this.

Going with a recommendation, I camped at a hotspring somewhere off of Highway 50. Very nice, and I expected, quiet.

I expected quiet, but actually got a donkey braying about 30 yards from my tent at 1am. I thought donkeys were a bit dopey, but cute, and made a funny "hee-haw" sound. They do make that sound, but first they make a terrifying roar - at least it's terrifying when you're alone in the desert at 1am. If I was armed, I would have killed the bastard donkey near my tent. I wasn't about to assault a donkey with my Leatherman though.

The next day I originally was headed to the Bonneville Salt Flats, but my NV map said highway 93 South was "scenic" and I took the bait. I was hopeful for the first 30 miles or so, that it would eventually become scenic. It didn't. I was rather angry with the map-maker by mile 80. I refused to take pictures out of spite, but believe me - it is NOT a scenic route.

The good news about highway 93 is that it lead me towards southern Utah.

This image is probably normal to folks in Western states, but there are no cattle guards in Michigan (where I'm originally from), and certainly not marking the border with Ohio, so I'm very amused that there's a cattle guard at the state border.

I was in awe most of my ride through Utah. I had never really looked into it, so didn't know what to expect beyond red dirt.

I took a few dirt roads/trails, but I was all alone with a 500lb bike and I knew that help would be many, many miles away, so I didn't get very adventurous with my routes. I have a SPOT, but I don't really want to use it.

Bryce Canyon was cool and I got there around 8am on a weekday, so had most of it to myself :-) Kodachrome Basin was pretty empty too.

After Grand Staircase-Escalante, I headed north and camped in some no-name area, not worth pictures (and it was dark by the time I got there).

The next day I rode to Jackson, WY. Again, no pics. I was not exactly impressed with the route I took. Jackson itself is OK, but was a little more touristy than I like. I think its the kind of place my wife would like, but its not for me.

After Jackson though,

GTNP was nice, but I think Utah elevated my expectations a little too much. It was "just" nice.

On the way to Yellowstone, I saw a lone wolf, but didn't get his pic. He and I were on a bit of an intercept course and there was traffic behind me, so I picked up the pace a bit to leave him plenty of room.

Yellowstone was cool, but I was already spoiled by Utah, both the scenery and lack of traffic. Unfortunately, since I didn't really plan my route, I got there on a Saturday. I knew it would be that way, but I was holding on to some hope that I'd somehow be alone.

Some of these stunk like hell! I swear it wasn't me, its the cauldron!

More stinky cauldrons.

After leaving Yellowstone, I took a fire road, just to check it out.

Picked up this unwelcome hitchhiker.

No big deal, right? I've changed a tire before. K60 scout sidewalls are a pain in the a$$, but doable. Turns out there was a 5-inch rip in the tube, and I only carried a front tube with me, assuming I'd just repair the rear

I was in the boonies, so I put the front in to ride it out. That got me about 15-20 miles before failing miserably.

Now I know non-HD riders love to hate HDs, but I had really warm feelings about the HD dealer I found.

I replaced the tube in a parking lot, and was on my way again.

Back on the road to Idaho

...where I was pleasantly surprised with the roads. The road along the Salmon river is awesome!

I rode past the Arrowrock dam to a secluded (and free!) camp spot with only one other tent around.

On the way to Oregon, I stumbled on this:

It wasn't terribly interesting, but overhearing some stories from the old timers in attendance with their family members was a combination of interesting, sad, & humbling.

On my way out of Idaho, I found this road. Included here for no reason :-)

I only had one goal in Oregon

Crater Lake was cool. The weather sucked, but was what I expected.

After Crater Lake, I made my way to Red Bluff to check out Hwy 36, when I saw

Oh, only 4 blocks are closed, and there's a detour? OK. :-)
Not too many pics came out from Hwy 36. I didn't see the sign, apparently it was behind the construction.
Afterward, Avenue of the Giants, and some slab/boring roads back to Oakland to make time - the wife made plans, so 11 days was the limit this time.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:20 PM   #2
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Joined: Sep 2011
Location: The Dandenong Ranges, Vic
Oddometer: 449
Looks like a fun ride.


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Old 11-03-2013, 01:48 PM   #3
Dirt wolf
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Joined: Feb 2013
Location: Central Arizona
Oddometer: 125
Cool trip thanks for sharing and I agree Utah has some pretty amazing country.
Zion and the North Rim of the GCNP just south of the Utah border are some of my favorites places.
"One thing I won't abide is a surly bartender." Aint much of a crime, whackin a surly bartender ...

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Old 11-03-2013, 04:19 PM   #4
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Joined: Jul 2012
Location: Clarence N.Y.
Oddometer: 530
Good picture's, thank's for sharing. Been to GTNP before, and I thought it great, and you say it was nice compared to Utah. Man, I gotta go to Utah for sure.

Dam donkey's, it's a wonder they call them Jack Asses.
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