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Old 06-13-2011, 08:38 PM   #46
rodr OP
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Day 13: The Final Reconnection

This day's travels take me from Atoka, OK to Lubbock, TX via this route. It's another hot and sticky day in the saddle.


Anticipating the heat, I get another early start.


Munching miles in Oklahoma.




This place had a full parking lot, so figured it was a good time for breakfast.


My waitress.



I was feeling tired and took several rest stops. It's so important to get enough sleep before a day of riding, and I was very annoyed with myself for not doing that.






Texas at last!


I stopped at this historical marker, so you get to read it.


Another rest stop and time for reflection.


Typical Texas roadside litter.


Getting closer to Lubbock.


Finally, my reason for stopping in Lubbock. Looking up the grave markers for my mother and grandfather, who both died while living there in the 70's.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:43 PM   #47
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Day 14: Lubbock to Santa Fe

Continuing my whirlwind tour, the next leg brings me to Santa Fe, NM.


Escaping my fleabag motel in Lubbock, I am on the road and stop for a quick bite at a MacD's somewhere. The owner of this trike pulls in shortly afterwards and I see him looking wistfully at my two-wheeled transportation. Turns out he's 73 and has had some surgeries that affected his sense of balance. My hat's off to him for getting out there in spite of it!


It's not so hot today, and the sky will be a prominent feature in many of these photos.


Cool, there's a Santa Rosa in NM also.


Probably the main reason today's ride is cooler is the elevation is increasing.


Yeah, 20,000 miles! I sure hope all this seat time is making me a better rider.


Up into the hills I go.


About an hour out of Santa Fe, I run into a couple of guys on BMWs. This one with the helmet hair says he's from Baltimore!


Almost to Santa Fe now. I really like the sky in this pic.

I elect to stay at the downtown Motel 6, which gives me the opportunity to walk around the area for a while:




As I'm done with riding for the day, I have a tasty margarita with my dinner at the Blue Corn Cafe.




























Bike in front of the room.

There was one picture I didn't include here. A very sobering scene of the aftermath of a motorcycle-car collision in a busy intersection. The rider had already been taken away, and it looked like both vehicles were totaled.

I sure hope he'll recover. There seem to be many riders without helmets around here.

I was gonna go back out tonight to listen to some live music at a local pub, but instead fell asleep on the bed in my clothes and didn't wake up until almost midnight. Oh well.
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:11 AM   #48
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Day 15

Today's route takes me from Santa Fe over the Continental Divide to Monument Valley, Glen Canyon and beyond. The original plan was to spend the night at Monument Valley, but that didn't work and I would up with a long day, riding over 500 miles of amazing roads.

I started the day by getting lost. Engrossed in the scenery, I missed the split off of 84 from 285 and soon discovered I was headed for Taos, not part of the plan.


Oops.


However I couldn't have found a prettier wrong road to be on, even having to ride it twice!

The stretch along NM-96 was just incredible. This goes by Abiquiu Reservoir and continues with almost 50 miles of beautiful scenery and twisty roads.











Maximum elevation was 7300 feet at the Continental Divide. It was chilly for quite a while around the 7000 foot level, and I stopped to put the liner into my jacket. That was quite a change from the last few days of hot and sticky weather.




Stopping for a late lunch. It was a long stretch of no civilization before I finally found a restaurant.






Stopping for a break at an Apache "trading post". Here I chatted with the owner of this Gold Wing while enjoying an ice cream bar.

Approaching Monument Valley, things start looking like monuments.





Entering the park, I pay the $5 fee to look around and go to the area behind the visitor center and hotel which is a great spot to snap some pictures.







I was going to camp here, but that was not at all what I expected. Very primitive, and you had to travel a mile of unpaved road consisting of big rocks and deep sand-filled potholes to get to the camp site, and if you want to go to the bathroom you have to take that same road again to the lone port-a-potty at the entrance gate. And back.

Obviously they'd rather sell their $200 hotel rooms. Amazingly, those were sold out. On a Tuesday. Go figure.

So, I dug out the map for what would have been the next day's ride, and continued on my way.





This took me to highway 163 which turned out to be another incredible stretch of road, partly unpaved and very twisty with rapidly increasing elevation.









The afternoon sun wanes, and the lack of cell phone coverage also means that camping here would be without any Internet access. So I push on in search of civilization.







The moon rises behind me:



Finally in Hanksville, UT I find a motel and settle in for the night. It's too late for dinner, but no big deal, I need to lose a few more pounds anyway.
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:37 PM   #49
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Intermission

So... anybody besides my wife still reading this?

If you have any "constructive" comments, things you'd like to see more of less of, or anything not suitable for posting here, please PM me!

I'm posting from my camp site in Bryce Canyon, UT tonight. I'm gonna hold off a day or two on uploading more pics, in the interests of preserving my laptop battery. But as for today's ride, I will say this:

WOW.

Have you ever had an incredibly awesome and beautiful view in front of you, camera raised with finger on the shutter button, and then not take the picture because you already have a dozen others like it? It was that kind of day. Virtually every mile was incredible.

Stay tuned.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:23 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodr View Post
So... anybody besides my wife still reading this?

If you have any "constructive" comments, things you'd like to see more of less of, or anything not suitable for posting here, please PM me!

I'm posting from my camp site in Bryce Canyon, UT tonight. I'm gonna hold off a day or two on uploading more pics, in the interests of preserving my laptop battery. But as for today's ride, I will say this:

WOW.

Have you ever had an incredibly awesome and beautiful view in front of you, camera raised with finger on the shutter button, and then not take the picture because you already have a dozen others like it? It was that kind of day. Virtually every mile was incredible.

Stay tuned.

Yup-
Great stuff.
Moki dugway (the switchbacks) are stunning, and bizzare , actually on hwy 261 (forks North off 163). Hanksville was a long ride.

I trust Bryce was excellent.
It is hard choosing what to photograph when traveling through Southern UT

Edit: if you're still in Bryce, I'd recommend the Bryce Canyon Pines hotel/diner (on HWY 12, west of the park about 2 miles- ). Good fair priced food at the diner, much less tourist like than RUbys giant inn. Good pie
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:24 PM   #51
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I have been following your thread, good job! be safe.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:05 AM   #52
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Laugh

Are you sure about the wife ?

Having traveled that area last year you are right one incredible picture after another! I am enjoying this report immensely.
Please don’t change anything.

Thanks for taking the time
Have fun
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:47 AM   #53
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Yep! Still with ya! Looks like an incredible ride so far.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:02 AM   #54
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Thanks all! I'm taking a break right now at a McD's in Beaver, UT. WIll probably camp somewhere in NV tonight and then get home late tomorrow, so will finish up the RR this weekend.

Thanks for coming along!
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:15 AM   #55
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Salute to you for getting out there and riding!!!
Great photos. Great narative. While waiting for more I read
your other ride reports. Thanks.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:57 PM   #56
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You put up some good mileage days on that Weestrom for such an old fart!

How did the beads on the seat work out for you? I'm about to take off on Saturday for a trip of similar length and duration on my old dependable Suzuki Bandit. The bike always does great but after about 300 miles my 50 year old body doth begin to protest!

Congrats on the ride and thanks for the excellent ride report. You'll never be sorry for the memories you made.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:10 PM   #57
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I don't camp anymore but just simply love Utah. Just never get enough. Keep it coming.
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:43 PM   #58
rodr OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perp View Post
Salute to you for getting out there and riding!!!
Great photos. Great narative. While waiting for more I read
your other ride reports. Thanks.
Thanks for the positive feedback!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lookatdirt View Post
You put up some good mileage days on that Weestrom for such an old fart!

How did the beads on the seat work out for you? I'm about to take off on Saturday for a trip of similar length and duration on my old dependable Suzuki Bandit. The bike always does great but after about 300 miles my 50 year old body doth begin to protest!

Congrats on the ride and thanks for the excellent ride report. You'll never be sorry for the memories you made.
Yep, trying to get the riding in while I can. I highly recommend the beads, especially in warm weather.

Quote:
Originally Posted by achesley View Post
I don't camp anymore but just simply love Utah. Just never get enough. Keep it coming.
I did less camping on this trip than I expected. There's a lot of appeal to electricity and hot showers.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:06 PM   #59
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Day 16: To Bryce Canyon National Park

Well I ended up in a nice comfy hotel tonight, so this is a good time to post yesterday's adventures after all.

I started the day with breakfast at the restaurant across the street from my hotel in Hanksville:



Here's the terrain version of the route, to help you understand why I say "virtually every mile was incredible." I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking:




















I liked watching this couple at a scenic overlook enjoying each other and taking in the pleasures of their vacation.




All set up at my camping spot, now a good time for a little hike!


The Rim Trail is a short walk from the campground.


A 15 minute hike gets you to Sunrise Point.


This overlooks one of the "amphitheaters" of the canyon.






This tells a bit about how the structures were formed.

Next: More Utah, and new stuff in Nevada.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:50 AM   #60
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Too cool. I haven't seen Bryce Canyon yet, actually it looks similar to Cedar Breaks national monument.
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