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Old 10-08-2013, 09:21 AM   #136
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:59 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by AirDrive View Post
Everything OK?
Yes sir. Sorry man.....Writing this after the fact is definitely harder than at the end of the day or even the next day DURING the trip.
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CURRENT RIDE REPORT: Part 2: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....4,000 miles
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:05 AM   #138
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We descended down towards the town of Torrey. Time for lunch. The drive to here was great but we could see rain-clouds off in the distance all around us. Sure enough, as soon as we approached the "Cafe Diablo" (a restaurant recommended to us by a few people here) it started raining on and off. At first it was a bit of a drizzle and not at all that bad when we parked and headed in towards the restaurant only to find…...they were closed. Guess we'd have to go to the burger place we saw a few blocks back down the road.

It doesn't rain all that much where we live in the SF Bay Area. The rain we do get though is a light drizzle like what we were getting here right now. It stopped just as we were driving out of the lot but we could tell it wouldn't be for long.

Torrey is a small town, less than a mile long. Having to go to another restaurant isn't a problem (other than not getting to eat in a place that was well recommended). The burger place we pulled into a minute later was called "Slackers". It has a main indoor dining room and an outdoor patio which was now thinning out as people sought shelter from the rain that seemed just a few minutes away. We placed our burger orders at the window outside. This wasn't what we had in mind, but the place had character. While we waited for our order we struck up a conversation with 2 early-twenty-ish girls that were traveling through the area. One of them was from here from the States and the other was from France. Our order was called up and we headed inside where the air-conditioning was now no longer in-tune with sun that was blazing outside just a short time before the rain and cooler air showed up. In other words…..It was freezing in there!!! Inside the walls and ceiling were adorned with license plates from different states that were nailed to the ceiling. This place wasn't going to win any culinary awards, but the people were nice and the food what you'd expect to get. Overall, a worthy stop.


Just before the heavy rain:


Inside "Slackers":



From there we went on towards Capital Reef. Which had some beautiful scenery:








At this point we weren't sure where we're end up and contemplated staying in Capital Reef National Park. But when we drove thru the campground there we quickly nixed the idea. The campground seemed more like a city central park with all the people out and about. We usually prefer something a little more isolated if possible. That is of course, when we're not in Las Vagas ;) (insert sarcastic wink here)

So, we drove on. At one point we decided to go down an isolated BLM road to see what we can find for the night. Since it was BLM land we would be able to stay out wherever we could find a suitable spot. Unfortunately, when we got out to a place that looked nice, the weather coming in around us made me think twice about it. Probably a good thing as we would find later. These areas are prone to flash floods and I had absolutely no idea as to what the lay of the land was here. it was soft, silt-like gravel and although I have no doubt I'd get the truck out of there, I wasn't so sure pulling the trailer through mud would be possible. Onward we go.



Here, in full "get us out of here" mode…..slowly down this road:




Stephanie had come across a cool campground that would be on our route towards Moab. It was/is a spec on the map but it would later turn out to be a winner. Darkness wasn't far away and as the clouds closed in it only accelerated that process. The skies opened up and it started pouring rain. This qualifies as one of the times we were glad to NOT be on the bikes. We continued east then northeast down UT HWY 24 towards Goblin Valley State Park and got quite a show along the way:




(hard to tell here, but it's REALLY coming down)



(sun peeking in under the rainclouds)








The colors were amazing. What you see in the pictures above is what was there. These aren't photoshopped.

It cleared up here and there, allowing me to take some of these shots. But by the time we got to the park it was coming down in buckets again, The lady at the park entrance, apparently thinking she had seen the last of the arriving park guests, had parked right in front of the window and under the car-port that was directly in front of where we'd pull up to get info, pay, etc. She yelled over that she was coming over to move her car and that we could just come over and pay in the morning. I told her to stay where she was and that I would back up and drive in through the exit. This poor lady would have to swim out to move her car otherwise. She seemed genuinely grateful as she waved us goodbye.

The drive to the campground loop didn't take too long. Thanks to our headlights and what little light was left from nightfall we were able to see and make our way around to find a spot. Once we settled on one, we backed in and set up. It's a great place and even though it's prefect for RV's, it was mostly tent campers (who were not surprisingly out of sight right now due to the rain).

It was now dark and raining. Not much to do but set-up, shower, have dinner and sleep. Tomorrow, Moab…..
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RIDE REPORT: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....3,000 miles
CURRENT RIDE REPORT: Part 2: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....4,000 miles
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:38 AM   #139
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Beautiful pics as usual. Doesn't seem like you guys rode the bikes too much on this trip.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:41 AM   #140
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[QUOTE=GP1152;22512555]




Ford or Airstream should want to purchase this pic for advertisements. What a prof looking shot. I think you are just in a back lot in LA taking pic's.

This is such a wonderful RR, love living through someone else's adventure since I am unable to take my own at this time due to work and family.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:26 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by GP1152 View Post
Yes sir. Sorry man.....Writing this after the fact is definitely harder than at the end of the day or even the next day DURING the trip.
We appreciate the effort.
I lived in Utah for 40 years and never made it to Capitol Reef. Sorry I missed it, but I'll make there one day.

Great photo's and report.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:10 PM   #142
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[QUOTE=01concours4now;22513029]
Quote:
Originally Posted by GP1152 View Post


Ford or Airstream should want to purchase this pic for advertisements. What a prof looking shot. I think you are just in a back lot in LA taking pic's.

This is such a wonderful RR, love living through someone else's adventure since I am unable to take my own at this time due to work and family.
lol, fortunately I'm not in some back lot and have been able to get out there for real And of course, I'm always glad to do my part to help ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirDrive View Post
We appreciate the effort.
I lived in Utah for 40 years and never made it to Capitol Reef. Sorry I missed it, but I'll make there one day.

Great photo's and report.
Thanks. That whole area is really fantastic. one could stay there and explore for a good long time. If you get the chance, take it!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieselpwr View Post
Beautiful pics as usual. Doesn't seem like you guys rode the bikes too much on this trip.
Up to this point of the trip we really didn't. I wasn't sure what to do with the ride report because of it either. The plan obviously change from what we originally had in mind, but at the same time I figured people might still want to know about the places we traveled through, which obviously wouldn't change no matter what you were riding or driving. By all means, if anyone or everyone has any objections I can always fast-forward to the motorcycle only portion.
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Ducati Streetfighter-S 1098 | Ducati Streetfighter 848 (wife's)

RIDE REPORT: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....3,000 miles
CURRENT RIDE REPORT: Part 2: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....4,000 miles
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:33 PM   #143
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[QUOTE=GP1152;22518270]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 01concours4now View Post

Up to this point of the trip we really didn't. I wasn't sure what to, do with the ride report because of it either. The plan obviously change from what we originally had in mind, but at the same time I figured people might still want to know about the places we traveled through, which obviously wouldn't change no matter what you were riding or driving. By all means, if anyone or everyone has any objections I can always fast-forward to the motorcycle only portion.
Its still a great RR, and as you can see people are constantly waiting for updates. Sure it's nice to see pics of those Ducs but the pics you've posted of those beautiful places are great as well. Keep updating the RR as you see fit.
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:59 PM   #144
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Just out of curiosity, what's your setup for getting the bikes off/on the truck? I just bought an F150 (inspired by your RR, actually... you should get a commission check from Ford!) to support my track day habit and doing trips with my girlfriend and the bike. I have one of those curved single track ramps but the loading and unloading gets pretty sketchy when solo, what's your solution?

Great RR!
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:27 PM   #145
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Just out of curiosity, what's your setup for getting the bikes off/on the truck? I just bought an F150 (inspired by your RR, actually... you should get a commission check from Ford!) to support my track day habit and doing trips with my girlfriend and the bike. I have one of those curved single track ramps but the loading and unloading gets pretty sketchy when solo, what's your solution?

Great RR!
I'll be sure to watch the mail for the check!!

Loading the bikes was a big concern for us. I didn't want to stress about that each time we loaded the bikes on and off. We started with 2 separate 8 foot ramps in order to walk/push the bikes up into the bed (in gear with clutch and throttle). The 8 foot ramp was pretty steep for our truck since it's pretty high. So.....I wasn't crazy about that and ended up buying two 9-foot ramps instead. Our Raptor again has a pretty high bed-height so if you have a standard F150 it should be even easier for you. Of the two ramps, one is 17 inches wide and the other is 11 inches wide. I strap those to the truck as normal (to the tow rings) and bungee the 2 ramps to each other just as a precaution. Why 2 ramps. pretty simple actually. They make single ramps that are pretty wide, but that ONE ramp is HUGE and it means having that monster standing upright next to one of the bikes. No thanks. It also means that thing weighs a ton. The 2 separate ramps are easier to lay flat between the bikes on the truck-bed (floor) and most importantly, easier to carry and maneuver around.

To load the bikes I just ride them up slowly. One thing though (in case you don't already do it): make sure when you load the bikes that you put the front tire ON the ramp (slowly) first. Once that's up on the ramp, stop then make your way up. People make the mistake of getting a head start and gunning up the ramp. All this does is make the forks compress and rebound, potentially pushing you to one side or the other. This could potentially lead to you being the star of one of those "epic fail" bike ramp load videos.

Oh also, I also use a condor wheel chock for each bike. If you're loading solo this would be a really good idea since it'll hold the bike upright for you. You'll be able get off the bike without worrying about holding it upright as you do. another epic fail scenario.

To bring the bikes down, I start the bike, put it in first and roll the bike down slowly. If its starts to get away from me then I just let the clutch out a bit til it catches and slows or stops the rear wheel. I started doing this when I noticed that using the front brake sometimes didn't do the job. Since the weight is on the back tire, the front tire sometimes just skids along. Especially if it's damp out. Using the clutch (on the rear wheel) works great!!
Anyway, hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Ducati Streetfighter-S 1098 | Ducati Streetfighter 848 (wife's)

RIDE REPORT: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....3,000 miles
CURRENT RIDE REPORT: Part 2: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....4,000 miles
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:44 PM   #146
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Thanks for the response... I had the same thought on the giant ramp, aesthetically it didn't quite work out carrying a four foot wide ramp on the bed. I have a 7.5ft, 11in wide ramp and tried using a step stool to walk it up, and while it wasn't a complete disaster since I'm not currently being crushed by my bike, it wasn't confidence inspiring. I like the idea of two ramps and tying them together. Great trip so far, you're inspiring my girlfriend and I to plan something big to Big Bend with the truck and the bike (maybe a small trailer too). Thanks, looking forward to the rest of the trip!!
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:32 PM   #147
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Sleep couldn't have come easy for the people tent camping around us. It absolutely poured all night. Adding to THAT not-so-great experience was some pretty nasty lightning and thunder. At one point after a pretty good crack of lightening I looked out the window only to see several car blinkers flashing. I figured those people were either looking for a bucket to start bailing water or perhaps they were just giving in and sleeping in their cars.

Morning was another story. It wasn't very late when we went to sleep so I woke up early. Real early. Like 6:00 am early. Stephanie, not so much. When we drove in last night I didn't see much of anything that surrounded the campground so I figured I'd go outside and take a look around and get some shots of the sunrise. It was still almost dark when I went outside, but it didn't take too long before it looked like this:




I snapped away for a bit and eventually went to get Stephanie. I figured she'd seen enough of the back of her eyelids and would probably want to see this instead. She obliged and came outside. The scenery got better and better.

We walked across the street to a small mound where we could see further down into the valley around us as well as the campground itself:





(I wasn't the only one taking advantage of the lighting)






Back at the camper we started getting ready to head out. While I was outside the ranger drove by and lowered his window. He was there to make sure that we had paid. I don't have a problem with that but the guy's tone was one of accusation. I explained to him that the lady at the gate had told us to pay this morning and also told him about how we insisted the lady stay inside and leave her car where it was so she wouldn't get soaked. He didn't seem to care to much and said "I can take the payment right now if you want to give it to me". I was pretty surprised, but went ahead and had Stephanie write him a check for the night's stay. I just figured the guy was going to feel like a real shmuck later when the lady told him she had told us what I said she had. Whatever.

We drove off but before we left the park we wanted to at least take a look at the "goblins" and went to what amounts to a mine-field of these things. Like being on mars:








Time to head out...




The drive to Moab was pretty straightforward. It's about 100 miles away, along some not so exciting highway. the only break along the way was at a rest-stop where I stopped to check some email and make a few calls for work. From there it was back on the highway and ultimately…….traffic?? Seriously?? Yes sir, looks like some construction up ahead and it'll be another 15 minutes before we'll start moving again. It was a short drive today so really not a big deal. We were on our way soon enough and a short while after, driving into Moab….where we proceeded to pass the place where we were going to be camping for the next few days. I didn't feel so bad when we turned around and found the place and not a single sign announcing you had found it.

When we were driving here we had 2 options. One was stay in a State Park called "Dead Horse State Park". The other was to stay in town at an RV Park-ish campground (this one at least had trees). We opted for the one in town only because the other one was about 25 miles outside of Moab and we figured this we'd be able to get some things done here in town (Laundry, etc). There's restaurants here we wanted to have access to. Arches NP was also less than 3 miles away so it made more sense to stay close by.

Driving into the campground was yet another in a long line of gravel driveways. Never in my life have I seen so many gravel parking lots and driveways like in Utah and Idaho. This normally isn't an issue, but the tires on the Raptor seem to eat the things up and literally spit them out…..right into the rock-guards on the Airstream. That's what they're there for but I doubt they had this sort of abuse in mind when they put them on there. If they had I can assure you they would have made them out of titanium….or rubber.

We found the office and I got out to go check us in. Inside there was the usual office with a small selection of supplies and food. They're pretty serious about their no BBQ on the picnic table policy. Here's the warning sign inside. Guess they speak from experience.



We found our spot and started with our setup. When we were done we went out in search of food. When we were driving through town I noticed up ahead of me a the guy driving a oil-rig had jumped out of his truck and was frantically going back and forth from trying to do or figure out SOMETHING. When I realized the general vicinity of where he was looking I immediately looked down at the road and sure enough there it was…….all the oil he had spilling out of his tanker and which was now spread out all over the road I was driving towards him on. This was right on Main Street in downtown Moab. I caught it a lot sooner then the other people around me but even though I was now driving at a snail's pace, I still hadn't gotten it in time to not get a good amount of oil splattered all over the sides of the truck. Bad words ensued. very bad words. I spotted a self-service-car-wash down the street (normally a joyous occasion for me) and pulled in. Food would have to wait a bit longer. I tried in vain to get the oil off the truck which resulted in more bad words….maybe worse than before. As I assessed the situation I looked over to the corner and there was the culprit. The driver was on the phone and around him were 3 police officers which were now doubling as a road cleanup crew, shoveling sand from a neighboring empty lot onto the road to soak up some of the oil.

Hungry and not at all happy with all the crap that was now all over the truck, we headed to get some food at a place called "Buck's Grill House". Yelp reviews promised descent food. Pulling in I spotted this FJ Cruiser (below). We have an FJ Cruiser also and I've always wanted to do some modifications to it. I can assure you this is what it would look like if I did:




Looking around at the locals here in Moab it's pretty obvious that this is an area where active people have migrated to. Even if the locals didn't' stand out for looking like they're all climbers or something, it wouldn't be too hard to differentiate them from the tourists. Most of the tourists were either French or Italian. And that's no exaggeration. Of the 6 tables that were occupied around us maybe 2 were from the States.

Our waiter came around a bit and was a bit nicer towards the end of the meal than at the beginning. The food was pretty good and because it was a bit later when we got there the place wasn't too busy (not complaining). Overall, another descent meal.

We paid our bill and set out towards the campground. I needed to head out and figure out how to get this crap off our truck and in the meantime Stephanie was going to get some laundry done. As we got back it started raining. Too bad it wouldn't help the cause…….
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Ducati Streetfighter-S 1098 | Ducati Streetfighter 848 (wife's)

RIDE REPORT: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....3,000 miles
CURRENT RIDE REPORT: Part 2: Me, a blonde, 2 Ducati's.....4,000 miles
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:54 PM   #148
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Time for an update!
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:56 PM   #149
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:56 AM   #150
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Great ride report and your photos are awesome!! In response to your comment about building up your FJ...Expedition One manufactures the bumpers and sliders (which are on the FJ in your photo) and they are absolutely bullet proof/top shelf and not too difficult to install. Customer service is outstanding and they have a variety of styles to suit your needs.
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