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Old 12-18-2011, 02:25 PM   #31
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Great report! Keep it coming!

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Old 12-18-2011, 02:28 PM   #32
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Awesome ride so far. I've been to CO and even did some 4x4 driving around Telluride, but the photos still make me go WOW. Keep up the good work.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:30 PM   #33
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Couple of videos

Small section of historic stage coach trail

Final run up to Cinnamon Pass
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:59 PM   #34
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Great report. Thanks. I live in Salida and plan to do the TAT through Colorado this summer on my 690. FYI, the restaurant on the Arkansas River is called the Boathouse Cantina. Yep, good place to eat. I just plotted the TAT thru CO for next summer's trip. No off-road riding this week due to snow on the ground. Did someone send you Map 12 or did you find it. PM me if you need a PDF. I think that is OK. I know you have others because of your pictures.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:11 PM   #35
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Thank BobDan, yes I lost it. I got all the other maps. Dropped it on the trail somewhere. I will PM you.

Friday Day 8 Sept 9

Time to move on, we want to get to Moab. Our plan is to take a day off from the TAT and R&R. Which means we are going to do the White Rim Trail... So much for the R&R. But that is tomorrow!

Holy smokes, did I say we were in UTAH! This was the part of the TAT ride I was most looking forward to... but leaving Monticello was relatively uneventful, bumping along the so-called Colorado Plateau on gravel roads, but the cool part is seeing the Las Sal Mountains looming in the distance, and we are going in that direction.

But to get there, first we have to get past this wire fence... that is where the map said to go.

But someone had slapped on one of these...

Common sense prevailed, the work around was not that much lost, just a few kms. Wonder what will happen to those that past before us, will they be sterile?

Not long we were entering the Manti-La Sal National Forest and the payoff was grand. An Ode to Aspens


All day and night, save winter, every weather,
Above the inn, the smithy and the shop,
The aspens at the cross-roads talk together
Of rain, until their last leaves fall from the top.

Out of the blacksmith's cavern comes the ringing
Of hammer, shoe and anvil; out of the inn
The clink, the hum, the roar, the random singing -
The sounds that for these fifty years have been.

The whisper of the aspens is not drowned,
And over lightless pane and footless road,
Empty as sky, with every other sound
No ceasing, calls their ghosts from their abode,

A silent smithy, a silent inn, nor fails
In the bare moonlight or the thick-furred gloom,
In the tempest or the night of nightingales,
To turn the cross-roads to a ghostly room.

And it would be the same were no house near.
Over all sorts of weather, men, and times,
Aspens must shake their leaves and men may hear
But need not listen, more than to my rhymes.

Whatever wind blows, while they and I have leaves
We cannot other than an aspen be
That ceaselessly, unreasonably grieves,
Or so men think who like a different tree.

Edward Thomas

Then Vito had to wreck the reverie...

I stopped the way it should be done. I think at this point Vito was leading in the drop the bike count. However, that was soon to change and I would take the crown for good.

coming out of the forest, on the way to the red dirt and Moab. I remember as I drove by some guy, just a teenager, came out of the woods in full camo with a crossbow. Glad I wasn't in his cross hairs...

Vito ahead in the distance

We go down through the Sand Flats Recreation Area to Moab

Hey there, sailor!

We end up camping just outside of Moab next to the Colorado River

Yes we are in Moab! White Rim trail tomorrow. And I got my skid plate, the baking pan did its job, time to retire it and put the real deal on. Turns out I would need it later.

monticello to Moab

cathulu screwed with this post 12-21-2011 at 08:18 PM
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:35 PM   #36
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Great report! Can't wait for more!
2008 Versys (Maimed in the 2013 IBR) - 2012 Tiger Explorer (Mauled by Deer in the 2013 IBR, Repaired and now headed to the 2015 IBR) - 2006 K1200R (Yahooooo!)
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:05 PM   #37
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Cathulu, please check your PMs.

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Old 12-19-2011, 12:49 PM   #38
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Awesome ride report! Man, I cant believe Vito rides on a stock KLR seat...Thats extreme!!!
Keep your $0.02 if it ain't going towards the bill
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:27 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Dubl-A View Post
Awesome ride report! Man, I cant believe Vito rides on a stock KLR seat...Thats extreme!!!
That Vito guy has been known to be a hardass

Seriously, what works for me is to move around and not sit in one position all the time. On the highway, I have four different location for the feet, rider and passenger pegs, highway pegs with feet on and also hanging my legs on them. Every time you move your feet, the pressure points in the butt shift over to some other place (in your butt).
With the throttle lock, it's also possible to lean back, sit sideways and alternate cheecks etc.
When the speed is slower (like passing through a town) I stand up.
On gravel and dirt, I stand up half the time anyway. So it's a non issue.
It's still a better seat than the F800GS's...
"Airwhateverbirdofprey Pad" would be kind of iffy for me, since I can't flatfoot the KLR. And I am a KLR rider after all, so too frugal to spend the money on a high dollar seat!!!
See, nothing extreme at all.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:23 PM   #40
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Hey Vito, glad you jumped in! Yes, you are right, the KLR seat, as hard and uncomfortable as it looks and probably is, is still a Lazy Boy compared to the F800GS seat which has to be the worst in the business full stop!
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:41 PM   #41
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Saturday Day 9 Sept 10

It was a beautiful day in Moab and I was glad to be back. I had come earlier in February of this year on a road trip with my son to do some mountain biking and hiking. It was also the dying wish of my 1998 Dodge Carvan that I had Macgyvered to keep it running without putting any money into it. I basically bypassed the failed body control module to enable with hand operated switches the critical functions like head lights, wipers, etc. But it was in misery, and I put the bullet into it just recently, got $150 trade in for it cause it had no speedo, odo, interior lights, etc - they weren't critical enough to me.

Our campsite in February...

But I digress again, back to the moto trip. The point is that I was looking forward to the desert and exploring the area some more. And I got a picture of my son in the report.

So I had been going on and on with anyone that would listen before and during the whole trip about a spa hotel day, man going to live it up in Moab! You know, sit by the pool side sipping bar drinks, soaking-up the sun, lazing about all day. Touristy stuff.

But we end up camping by the river in the sand and going on another moto ride on the R&R day. And I loved it!

So first we got to get some breakfast and end up at Dennys cause it was convenient. There we meet a little friend.

After breakfast we get organized and ride along Potash Road. It snakes along the Colorado River following it downstream to the west. West. Where we are going. The mantra is always to go west young man, still is but maybe less so. Who goes east if they really have a choice? And if they do, it is only temporary. Even if I go east, I would try and get there from the west.

Potash Road eventually pulls away from the river, turns into a dirt road, and climbs up past the potash ponds and into Canyonlands National Park.

The road rises above the gash in the landscape cut by the Colorado River. The views are incredible.

We ride past this sign and are now in Canyonlands.

Then you hit White Rim Road, a jeep road. Because of a washout this year, we could not do the entire circumnavigation. As a result, we decide to ride to White Crack which is at the bottom of the map below where you can see a road dart off the map. The road doesn't go much further off the map then shown before you have to park and huff it. It was sandy road to the parking spot and I almost lost it a couple of times. From there, a ~10 minute walk takes you to the edge of the canyon at White Crack. I think you can hike a lot further from the edge of the Canyon, but we didn't.

So it was a return trip.

I stole this map from another website, which is a jpg of a map you can get at the info counter, so I guess it is public domain.

This road is real fun and fast. Alternately hard pack, soft sand, sandstone, hard rock, double track, gravel. It skirts the perimeter of the canyon cut by the Coloraro and Green Rivers. We passed a couple of jeeps like they were standing still. Man I could never drive in a jeep in this terrain, indeed anywhere, it is so slow and you get beat up pretty good. It just does not look any fun to me. Motos have a clear advantage.

There are some spectacular view points, and if you want to ride off the road to a certain death it is no problem. But we want to live!

The pictures speak for themselves!

I am standing at White Crack overlooking the canyon.

Another shot of the canyon from White Crack.

We walk back to where we parked our bikes and left our gear. Nothing was missing which was a tiny worry, but almost nobody was around anyways. Man it was hot that day - they say something about mad dogs and English men - well we are sun starved crazy Canadians. I love the heat - so no complaint here.

And my bike did not stall. At least not until I got back on Potash Road and the Asphalt. Then it started stalling again big time. DAMN IT! There is a common thread to these stalls, getting low on fuel and high temperatures. Oh and did I mention I almost crashed rather than just dropped my bike? I rode down the dirt part of Potash Road too fast and didn't make the corner at the bottom of the hill. Vito had a good view of it and a laugh. I dropped my bike trying to get it on the road again. I had a couple of events like that, inadvertent runs off the road at body breaking speeds and lucky nothing got broke bad, my bike or my body. Vito, he had his moments also. I got a picture of one of them to come later...

After all that, we treated ourselves to a real nice mexican dinner at Miguel's Baja Grill in Moab. The best mexican restaurant in town, maybe just about anywhere... highly recommended.

Tomorrow we get back on the TAT and continue our journey North and West. My bike's reliability remains a question.

cathulu screwed with this post 12-19-2011 at 09:29 PM
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:09 PM   #42
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So correct me if I'm misunderstanding here...

The KLR is runnin' like a Rolex
while the Bimmer is problematic ?
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Old 12-20-2011, 08:11 PM   #43
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I am enjoying the heck out of this RR! Thanks for taking the time to put it together.
So many reports seem so flawless. My trips have their "interesting" aspects also.

I will remember the skid plate story also, because that is exactly what I would do..

Thanks again.. More!

IBA#32778 2008 R1200GSA 2007 G650XChallenge
No man is as good as he ought to be, and few men are as bad as they seem.. (from a early 1900s post card found in Perry, Missouri..)
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:19 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Outwardbound View Post
So correct me if I'm misunderstanding here...

The KLR is runnin' like a Rolex
while the Bimmer is problematic ?
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:29 PM   #45
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Sunday Day 10 Sept 11

Sunday, and today we are leaving Moab. We are into the second half of our trip. I am excited but I also know that the days will seemingly pass by quicker as I count them off, our ride will soon be over. We discuss the fact we likely won't make the Oregon Coast, but our plan is to go as far as we can. I would like to at least make the Oregon border.

Today was to start with another stop at Dennys. Then we would ride through some amazing landscape including Black Dragon Wash, it would prove to be glorious, but much later the day would end on a low note and turn into a real slog: where we questioned abandoning the KLR and some of our gear for the night and retreating until the next day - with a tow truck. At least I questioned it, I think Vito would have nothing of it... but like a mustard seed I am sure this little idea was growing in the back of his mind as the hours passed by slogging it.

Funny enough I always thought we would consider abandoning my bike on the trail for a tow truck - I am sure that had also crossed Vito's mind a few times. But today my bike was mechanically trouble free.

So we leave Moab on the red dirt, and one of the first things to happen is that we get lost. Even with the GPS the navigation was difficult for Vito, all of the trails and dead ends. You are seemingly on the GPS track but quickly find you are going in the wrong direction, and going back doesn't help because none of the other options are much better. So Vito chose the best one and we go with it, it seems to parallel the GPS track.

Our problems with direction all started around here, with all the mountain bike trails. Some of the trail was sandy, and fun to roll around on, and a bit challenging.

We eventually get back on the GPS track and then follow it onto some gravel roads. The colours off the road were brilliant.

basically the next while was all fast gravel roads... with power lines leading off into infinity.

Eventually you get on an old Highway, left to nature and the sand blowing across it, that takes you to Green River. Seemingly untravelled except for us on that day, though we saw some picnickers on the road side as we got closer to Green River. A bit of internet research says that this is a remainder of the old U.S. Highway 6 alignment that was mostly paved over by Interstate 70.

Just outside of Green River you get back on the gravel for a run to Black Dragon Wash.

And we are there!

Interestingly enough, there is no big bike bypass mentioned for the Wash, it may have been easier in past years. It wasn't bad once we got the hang of things - which was to walk a bit ahead when things looked like they were going to get tricky to plan out a route. But it wasn't easy. I am very glad Vito was around.

Going in!

This will need some serious concentration

Early on in the Canyon

Looks easy

Not! Me thinks a pebble got in my way. Not sure what it was that took me down here...

Pure folly, I need a better approach... sorry if these videos are long and boring, I don't have time to edit, but they give a good feel of the wash. Fast Forward can be a good thing!

Need a breather after the silliness.

Now we are using our noggins. Fools rush in as they say. We are returning from a brief reconnaissance.

Getting Better, more comfortable now. Fast Forward is your friend...

Hey little buddy, hope you don't mind us trespassing.

We slowly make our way out of the canyon.

Nice riding...

I got more photos of me than Vito, trying to maintain a balance but sometimes I don't have enough shots.

It is largely over... but the day is not, it has really only just begun.

The staircase

The sign going in from the back door...

More to follow later, it was a long day..... and when we thought it was over, it got even longer. Reminds me of Neil Young singing Cortez the Killer live, when he said "it's a long song, and you know, if it's out of tune from the first note, its gonna be even longer if you know what I mean... But If it's in tune it might be even longer still*."

*Neil forgot to add the "still" part... haha.

cathulu screwed with this post 12-21-2011 at 10:30 PM
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