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Old 07-27-2013, 08:24 PM   #1
1200gsceej OP
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There and Back Again – Again. An Inmate’s Ride from SFO to DEN - 2013

I did my first solo long distance ride from the Bay Area to Boulder, CO in 2011. You can see my ride report here. I had a chance to do it again this year and thought long about what I did and did not want to repeat and where I could take new routes within the time limits that I had.

The biggest problem for me was Nevada. Now I don’t want to bad mount Nevada (well, not all of it), but there are limited ways to get across with a lot of nothing in between. And this was the middle of July after all. I did not want to ride I-80 in the north nor I-15 in the south – both done boringly and painfully before. That essentially left US-50 and US-6/NV 375 as my basic choices, exactly what I’d done last time. So I decided to reverse my route, going east on US 6 and returning via US 50. My wife had pointed out many times that I should not count riding a route in the opposite direction as doing it again, both from the point of view of scenery as well as the ride of the road (and she was right). So I planned a counter-clockwise route that took me down roads I wanted to revisit and to several places I’d not been before.

You can see my overall route below.


My tracks are too large for Layin' Down Tracks. Any suggestions?

I took a million photos (well, a little over a thousand, actually) trying to capture the grandeur of the land that I passed through (and, I realize now, the emotions that I felt at the time). Some of them come close. Most of them at least rekindle the impressions and the emotions that I felt when I actually took them. Though imperfect, I’ll try to pass on what I can as best I can. I’m also going to try to be more personal and a little less dry and descriptive than other ride reports. We’ll see how that works out! But in any case, it will be me. And I do think there are good things forthcoming to share. If you have comments, chime in; if you have questions, ask away.
-ceej

PS
My photo production is slow to be able to show on advrider. But don't worry, I'm not going to post all of them!
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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:12 PM   #2
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Day 1 – to Tonopah through Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows

I have ridden to Yosemite scores of times – in cars and motorcycles – during my time in California. I’m fortunate to have been so close and have taken the opportunities I had to go there. If you have been, I need not say more. If you have not, then you have a destination.

From Manteca, CA 120 takes you across the Sacramento Valley, a true food basket for the country. Farmland that is not being devoured by urban sprawl gives way to fruit and nut orchards which give way to dairy pastureland which eventually butts up against the foothills. There you find CA 49 which runs southeast to northwest, connecting the Gold Rush Towns of the 1850s. A lot of history there that my buddy Ol’Badger and I have covered. Oaks give way to evergreens as you climb the gentler western slope of the Sierras, unlike the precipices of the eastern side.

Orchards


Irrigation Canals


Approaching the foothills


Most reservoirs are very low


Yours truly


Once in the park I take a rest/lunch stop at White Wolf – a small camping area just off the main road. Ol’Badger found it years ago on our first trip over to Mammoth Mountain, and it’s been a regular stop ever since.





Then comes Olmstead Point, which never fails to impress me. It is so easy to just sit on the granite wall and look south past Clouds Rest to Half Dome, overseeing Mirror Lake and the Valley below it. I always spend more time than I’ve allocated; it is just too beautiful to pass up.



Half Dome




Just beyond is Tenaya Lake where the road hugs solid rock on the left while skirting the lake on the right.



Up the grade through the forest and I enter Tuolumne Meadows. The naked granite of Lembert Dome sticks up from the flat meadow and meandering streams. Steep on one end, it can be walked up from the other end. How come in all the trips I’ve made there I’ve never done it?

After Tioga Lake and Ellery Lake, CA 120 plunges from the 9900’ summit down the east escarpment to Lee Vining and Mono Lake at 6300’. As I cross the summit I can practically see the line that divides the Sierras from the desert. The right slope is green with evergreen trees, bushes and grass. There is even a patch of snow high up under a north-east facing overhang. On the left the slope is barren and dry, a mass of broken dark red, orange, and grey rock. I descend into the July heat.



Looking back at the pass


The road down to the valley
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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 07-28-2013 at 05:18 PM
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:35 PM   #3
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On to Tonopah

Mono Lake with US-395 in the foreground


CA 120 continues from east of Yosemite all the way to US-6 just before the Nevada border. I have ridden this portion of CA 120 three or four times now, but always from east to west. This is my first trip in this direction. To my right are volcanic cinder cones, remnants of mountain building past.





I get a better perspective of how big Mono Lake was in the past as I ride *up* the ancient shoreline and into the ponderosa forest. Only there must have been a fire since I was here last, since there are large open spaces on the north/left and a definite thinness on the south/right side. Without the narrow corridor of trees hugging the road as in the past, its rolling sweeping nature is not as evident.

Once out of the trees the landscape turns to brush, all the way to Benton Hot Springs. There is a long straight stretch where the road roller-coasters across a succession of deep washes – enough to get a slight light-headedness going across top after top.



I spy a motorcycle pulled off to the side and as I ride by I get what appears to be a wave from the rider. But as I pass, I wonder if all is really well. So a short ways down I turn around, ride back, and stop to talk. He is, indeed, OK. Just sitting on his folding stool, having a snack in the middle of this otherwise empty and quiet valley, enjoying the view of the mountains. I feel better having stopped to double-check, and leave him to his solitude.

When I reach Benton I turn left on US-6. Ahead of me are the eastern mountains at the north end of the Owens Valley. [Aside: sixty miles south of here, and at 11,000+ feet at the top of these mountains grow the ancient Bristlecone Pines – some of the oldest living things on earth at over 4000 years.] From Benton, US-6 gradually turns east, climbing slowly until it crosses the flattened summits and enters pretty barren desert all the way to Tonopah. I remember this stretch well from two years ago. Hot and empty – not another vehicle for an hour sometimes. And I was preoccupied with a front tire that should have been replaced before taking that trek. So I saw nothing but bleak, uninviting landscape.





This trip was somewhat different. Still hot and empty, but without the worries. And the sun was at my back, not in my eyes. So I could appreciate some of the stark beauty that escaped me before. Nevertheless, I would still have to say that my two trips through this stretch of Nevada are probably enough.

Tonopah is small and you come upon it suddenly. There may be other nice places to stay, but I was happy with the Jim Butler and am glad to be there again.


But after a shower to clean off the sweat salt I find that there are even fewer places here where I want to eat than there were last time. The Mexican place is closed Monday. And I am not in the mood for sitting at a white tablecloth meal at the Mizpa Hotel (which is owned by the Jacuzzi Family and was gutted for renovation two years ago but now seemingly doing OK). So I buy a pre-packaged deli sandwich, bag of chips, and a large soda at the gasoline/convenience store and head back to my room to feast and watch TV. 402 miles today. A lot more hot desert awaits tomorrow.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 07-28-2013 at 02:41 PM
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:17 PM   #4
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Day 2 – Desert Aliens and New HooDoo’s

I’m up shortly after 5 and have breakfast at the Kozy Korner Deli and Coffee Bar. Seems to have once been a real bar, with seating (or pool tables) in the front. Now an open-at-4am coffee place for construction workers and travelers to get started early to try to beat the heat. A breakfast burrito was not going to sit well, so I had coffee and some very good home-made banana nut bread. It should hold me over until I put some miles behind me.





The sun in my eyes is fierce, but there is no one else on the road east until I reach US-93.


Although basically straight and fairly flat, I do go through some basin and range, and the basins are 10 degrees colder! Below 60 degrees. The opposite of what I expected. Evidently all the nighttime cold air flows down and settles in the basins. The tops of ranges warm up first in the early morning sun, but once past 8:30 a.m. the basin floor temps exceed 90 degrees.

I pass some old friends along the way. First, the Tonopah (missile) Test Range. I encountered a number of roads in Nevada, both going and coming, that had signs (most way smaller than this one) indicating some military/test area – all of which lurked beyond seeing.




Next I hit NV 395 – the Extraterrestrial Highway. US-6 heads northeast to Ely, so if you want to get to southern Utah, you follow the Aliens.






No dots on the map for this stretch, and rightly so. Not a lot here, though I do pass through a stand of Joshua Trees as the road descends through their preferred altitude range. Soon afterwards I take a break when I hit US-93 where I sit at a table in the shade of some big trees and update my journal.



Between there and Caliente the final 40 mile stretch *does* deserve its dots – pretty mountains, nice roads, small forest, and lovely 12 mile gorge into town. It was certainly different this time and in this direction. The final friend is the railroad station at Caliente. Why the railroad station? Because it reminds me of La Posada in Winslow, AZ, where I stayed a long time ago and still romanticize.







Finally it is time for food, so I pick the Brandin’ Iron, which turns out to be a good choice. I have an ample omelet, more coffee, and lots of water. The stomach is happy, and being out of the saddle feels good, too. But after a while I face the fact that it is only going to get hotter, so I suit up and ride off, with a short stop at the station on the way.







Less than 20 miles along US-93 it is time to head east again to Cedar City, UT. The notch in the mountains is where I am headed.


Last time I came from St. George because I had gone through Zion National Park – a wonderful place. I figured that I have at least one more trip to Zion in my future, so this year’s route takes me somewhat north to Cedar City and then on some nice roads through the Dixie National Forest to see Cedar Breaks National Monument. Now, if you have been to Bryce Canyon and seen the hoo-doos you’ll either be enthusiastic, or say “Why bother?” I find them fascinating, and hope to couple a hiking trip into Bryce with a future visit to Zion. I’d love to be down inside them looking up. But the ride itself was delightful – more high mountain forests and meadows. And at 10,000’ the air was much cooler and a welcome relief.





This is the ranger station; the visitor center is the small building down the path.


And immediately on the other side of that building you see this:






The wildflowers are in beautiful bloom all over the meadows.






You can just make out the visitor center building on the very edge.




OK, that's enough. Here is the road and meadow just on the other side. The tree line marks the edge of the canyon beyond. So easy to crash right through if you did not know it was there ...


But I have to push on. These are photos of the road through the forest.




Aspens show up right around 8000 feet.




I finally roll into Panguitch and check into the Purple Sage where I stayed last time. Nice place, nice managers, motorcycle friendly.




It is a short block to the main intersection and another block to the Cowboy Smoke House Cafe where I have the biggest ½ rack of ribs I’ve ever eaten with a delicious baked sweet potato. Yum!




Ol’ Badger and I ate here my first time through; I’ve eaten here twice since. I’d have liked to have had his company this time. There are definite advantages to solo travel, not the least of which is get up and go your own route and pace, stop when/where ever you want, stay as long as you want. But it does lack companionship, as well as the safety of a buddy on those long lonely roads. And though I do not mind eating alone, I miss discussing the events of the day, the “Did you see …?” questions, and the common agreement of a good time. And the last few words with a good friend after the lights are out but before the sandman arrives.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 08-16-2013 at 01:47 PM
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:23 PM   #5
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Day 3 – Panguitch to Monticello - Utah Rocks!

I think that the lands across southern Utah are breathtakingly beautiful and the roads a delight to ride. UT-9 and UT-12 Scenic Byway from Hurricane through Zion, Bryce, Escalante, to Torrey; UT24 and 95 through Capitol Reef to Hanksville, across Lake Powell to Natural Bridges and Blanding or the Goosenecks and Mexican Hat. I know that it is the geology that pulls me – the rocks of red and orange and green and brown and grey, the rivers of blue and green and brown meandering or crashing through them. They represent enormous and mostly unfathomable passages of time. There is something religious and spiritual for me about being in their presence. Probably why I want hike down inside the hoo-doos, raft through the Grand Canyon, stand under Arches, climb Lassen or even Mt. Whitney.
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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 07-31-2013 at 02:58 PM
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:51 PM   #6
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Stage 1 – The Grand Staircase Escalante (I think I understand it now)

I started the day with coffee and a pastry at Foy’s Café. No one else there yet except a few locals at the counter. I take a seat one chair in from the end. Several more arrive and sit down, one of them on my right. Coffee all around. Talking about local politicians; how bad they were. I exchange words with the gentleman on my right; hope I’m not “sitting in someone’s seat.” He calls the assemblage their morning staff meeting. Then the sheriff arrives and takes his seat. Conversation turns to what happened last night – who was where doing what that they should not have been. I’m not explicitly included nor ignored. I’m free to listen and comment if I want. I say goodbye when I leave and get nods in return.



There is still a chill in the air as I head south before turning east on UT-12. I reach Bryce Canyon road but do not turn off. I have been there twice; my next visit will be long enough to explore. As I continue east I begin to enter the Grand Staircase. I did not really ‘get’ this in previous visits, probably because when going west and downhill the ‘steps’ are not readily visible. But not so when going east and seeing them rise in front of you as I climbed a ridge, then rode through valley, climbed another ridge, then rode through another valley … I found some great diagrams when I got home – the ones on this page are the best (not reproduced here because the authors and photographers should have credit).

Throughout the steps are magnificent formations. Some of the flat lands have water and are green with crops. Others are dry with scrub. One stretch of serpentine road follows the crest of a ridge not more than 10 feet wider than the roadway, dropping off steeply on both sides into sculptured rock. In another section the road dives down and winds around ancient frozen sand dunes.

I could not stop everywhere; I captured what I could.

Farmland not far from Panguitch


I ran into red rocks everywhere


The way in


But this is what I had not recognized in prior trips, even though it was in front of me as I was heading west.
That is the top of Bryce Canyon on the horizon looking west a few miles past the turnoff. The early sun was good to me here.


Dry countryside


Some steps ...


More ...




Diving down into sand dunes. On map here. You can go into street view.


This is what is behind you; see the windblown sand frozen in time?
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

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Old 07-31-2013, 01:03 PM   #7
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Kiva Koffee House

About 15 miles south of Boulder on UT 12 - in the midst of brilliant red rock canyons along the green of the Escanante River - lies the Kiva Koffeehouse. An oasis in the desert. A place to relax. Good coffee, pastries, cookies. And perhaps other things I have not tried. You can zoom in on it here.





__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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Stage 2 – the road not taken

The Burr Trail … Turns out that of the 65-70 mile distance from Boulder, UT to the Bullfrog ferry only 16 miles are unpaved, although those miles include the switchbacks. I wanted to ride it; had wanted since our original Colorado Plateau trip. During my planning I had decided that I would take it, even though I was alone, since I saw no likely future opportunity. But then from another inmate I found out that the ferry was closed due to low water! Dilemma solved; I could not go. So with that issue settled I planned my trip. And before I left home I called the Utah DOT hotline about the ferry and got confirmation that it was still closed. This was the photo on their web site:

When I reached the Escalante Visitor Center (in Escalante), it was a good time for a break so I stopped. While chatting (as I do) with the Rangers there, somehow the ferry came up in conversation. “Oh!” they said, “The ferry opened July 1st.” and they showed me the schedule. Oh Joy oh Rapture (read sarcasm), now what am I going to do? They suggested that I stop in at the Anasazi Museum in Boulder to get the latest road conditions.

So, when I reached Boulder I pulled in to the museum to ask. There had been no rain for quite a while, so the dirt portion was solid. But I was told that the switchbacks were steep, sharp, and narrow. I want outside and sat for 20 minutes, contemplating this and that. Finally I decided that I’d stick to my original plan. Although on the one hand I felt that I would almost certainly make it through just fine, the uncertainties of riding alone were too high (for me) and the cost too great (I had a Friday deadline in Granby, Colorado). And I was psyched up to revisit the roads in the plan I had made.

So I took a short 5 mile ride down the beginnings of the trail to ‘say hello’, then turned around and headed out.






This one is no longer true




Interestingly enough, as I was turning east on US 12, two adventure riders approached from the west and, with a wave, they both headed down the Trail. I wonder what would have happened had I been stopped and they stopped to chat. Would I have asked to tag along with them?

Here are some pictures of the road (UT-12) that I did take after leaving Boulder.
Heading toward Boulder Mountain




Aspens and other friends along the road side


Downhill to Torrey
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 11-12-2013 at 10:53 AM
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:41 PM   #9
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Stage 3 – encountering an inmate

Last time I rode through here I was skirting storms and construction work. As a consequence there were places I missed, one in particular being Capitol Reef.
So I was looking forward to stopping there again and spending some time.






As I pulled into the Visitor Center parking lot I spied a silver/black GS and rider getting ready to leave.
I pointed along the scenic drive and he gave me a thumbs up. I called out that I’d catch up later.



After spending time looking at the fascinating relief models of the park in the visitors center, I moseyed down the scenic drive to find the other rider in a camping area under a grove of shady trees. We exchanged the usual pleasantries. His name was Gene; from Baltimore; a slight Russian accent. This all tugged at my memory as we continued talking about our trips and our bikes. He commented on my lights, and I started to tell him about the LEDs on my hand guards and forks which blink out of sync with my turn signals … when all of a sudden I realized that I ‘knew’ him – genka, a fellow inmate – who was the very person who had told me how to wire my LEDs w/o a relay! I LOVE when things like this happen – making an unexpected connection, particularly ‘in the middle of nowhere’.



We had a delightful time talking about our trips – he all the way from Baltimore, eventually getting to Oregon/Washington if I recall correctly. 6-7000 miles in three weeks. As I sit here writing this I can still feel how excited and happy I was, overcome by the serendipity of such a meeting. I might have ridden the Burr Trail with those other riders. Or I might have spent 15 minutes talking with them and arrived too late to see Gene in the Capitol Reef parking lot. I might have done any of a hundred other little thing to adjust my timing so our paths would 'just miss'. There are some 7 billion of us on this planet. There must be tens if not hundreds of thousands of such events happening each day. But when it happens to an individual person, to you or to me, then it becomes particularly special. I relished the companionship, regardless of how brief or how thin the connection. Finally I had to say goodbye – I still had several hundred miles to ride that day.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 08-01-2013 at 09:29 AM
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Old 08-01-2013, 04:20 PM   #10
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Stage 4 – across the canyon lands – UT 95

It's a sort ride from Capitol Reef to Hanksville. Since it is 125 miles of nothing from there until Blanding, I pulled in to the gas station to fill up. Gassing up and getting ready to pull out are the two couples on HDs from Houston TX that I met at a road construction stop on Boulder Mountain. It’s nice to see them again, and I tell them I'll look for them down the road. They take off and I buy a tall, cold Diet Mt. Dew to be sure I have liquid before diving into the desert oven again.

It is dry, flat, big and barren as I head south from Hanksville on UT-95.



But gradually the road dips as it follows dry waterways.


The whole Colorado Plateau tilts up slightly to the north (remember the staircase?). So what water there is flows south. That is why at the Grand Canyon the biggest canyons are on the North Rim side - water on the South Rim flows away from the canyon. Same is true for the land north of the Glen Canyon Dam - it dips toward Lake Powell and the water flows that way. So there are these huge canyons that weave back and forth and merge with one another as the road follows them deeper and deeper into the plateau. (you can use Google Maps to get a great view) They are not so spectacular on the south side.






All of a sudden there is a sign for an overlook (see map) so I pull off. And there are the couples from Texas again - Eric & Becky and Dave & Karen. We have longer to talk this time. They are headed to Blanding for the night; then on across southern CO and eventually home as I recall. I'll wind up seeing them in their motel parking lot in Blanding as I pass through. Very nice people; I hope they got home safely.



The "lake" is non-existant here. The boat ramp (white strip 1/3 from the left, 1/3 from the top) ends in sand with no water in sight. Hite, the settlement up from the boat ramp is essentially shut down (hence no gas). When Ol'Badger and I came through here in 2007 there was actually water all through here, at least half-way up the ramp. There were vehicles with boat trailers in the lot and all along US-95. Empty now.



I went to Google satellite maps to look at the landscape and discovered something I think is interesting. The map frame of the overlook, immediately north of Hite, seems reasonably current - it shows more river and water than there really was, but it clearly shows how low it has gotten. But look at the map frame below it that the boat ramp is in. There is real lake there! Covering at least the bottom of the boat ramp. Clearly this is a (very?) old image. Older than the one immediately above it. No conspirisist, I. But why not a more recent image contemporary with the one above? It certainly does give a vivid picture of how much water is no longer there! If you follow the lake in this frame downstream you will eventually come to Halls Ferry at Bullfrog. Remember, the ferry here was closed because the vehicle loading ramp was completely out of water! This low water / drought is having serious effects downstream - both for electrical generation and water usage by humans and flora/fauna alike. Change of this nature and magnitude has a momentum. If our human activity is playing a significant part in this change (and I think it is), then we need to come to grips with how to change our ways before there is more momentum than we can stop.

I press on, taking copious pictures. I highly recommend this road; I suggest a time other than July!

Heading down from the overlook; you can see the bridge over the Colorado between the crack in the rocks. Off to the right is actually an airstrip (the Hite Airport!)


I caught this plane coming in for a landing


The road goes all the way around to the left then across the horizon to get to the Colorado River bridge off the picture to the right.


Looking back across to where the photo above was taken from.


The bridge over the Colorado River




The river below


__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 11-14-2013 at 10:24 PM
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:33 PM   #11
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Thanks for the great RR. I enjoyed it very much.

Plan on heading to that region next year

Cheers!!
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yyzmdo screwed with this post 08-02-2013 at 12:28 PM Reason: bad grammar
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:26 PM   #12
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Thanks! I hope you have a great trip. It's great country!
-ceej

Quote:
Originally Posted by yyzmdo View Post
Thanks for the great RR. I enjoyed very much.
Plan on heading to that region next year
Cheers!!
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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 08-01-2013 at 11:10 PM
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:34 PM   #13
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Stage 5 – the mother of all escarpments

OK, I am a geology nut, as you must have by now determined having looked at my photos. This short post is about something you find on UT-95 about 20+ miles past Natural Bridges National Monument and past the turnoff to the Mokie Dugway. Now perhaps there are other, larger examples of this geologic feature, but none so dramatic in my experience. There you are, riding along, and you crest a rise where before you a 25+ mile long red-orange wall stretches across the horizon, standing straight up from the valley floor below.

To your left you see this:


Ahead and to the right you see this:


And this is where the road goes:






Click here to see a satellite map of where the road crosses through the notch in the rock. Note that the black line running north-south through the “(95)” is the vertical face; the lighter color to the right is the top of the escarpment sloping off to the east.

I was just blown away by it.

This whole trip, and indeed a major portion of my life right now is all about the 10s and 100s of millions of years that it has taken to create the rocks and carve canyons that make up this part of the world. Imagine holding in your hand a rock that is over a billion years old. Our time is less in comparison to it as a mosquito or butterfly is to us.
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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.

1200gsceej screwed with this post 08-01-2013 at 06:58 PM
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:17 AM   #14
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Stage 6 – Deer Alley and Alcohol

Lots of early morning riding this trip, and some at dusk, too. Deer time. I’ve seen pictures. I have read accounts. Even seen carcasses by the roadside as a reminder. But I have to admit that there are large periods of riding time in which it is not preeminent in my mind. So, the stretch of road between Blanding and Monticello was a new experience. You know how construction sites often have a big signboard saying “Accident free days” and a number hanging beneath it? This stretch of road advertised how many deer strikes there had been year to date – over 200 as I recall. At the beginning and every five miles or so a *large* yellow sign proclaimed “Deer migration area. Frequent deer crossings next 20 miles.” And they were not kidding – I saw at least 3 myself and could tell from brake lights on cars in the distance ahead of me that others were being encountered, too. I was quite happy to reach my motel and stop riding for the night. Basic, but nice place.


A comment here about Utah liquor laws. I don’t know what they are; I do know that they are changing and are confusing to tourists and some Utahans themselves. In my previous solo trip and the earlier one with Ol’Badger I remember no alcohol in restaurants and no bars – just state run “ABC” stores (alcohol beverage control – an old east coast term). Now there are micro-breweries. A restaurant can serve you beer, or hard liquor, if they have a license and *if* you eat something. No just “drinking at the bar.” But I also saw in Monticello a group of men come into a restaurant which did not serve alcohol, so they ordered food while one of them went off in his car and 15 minutes later returned with a 12-pack of beer purchased, I believe, at some ABC store or equivalent. Who knows what Utah will be like in another couple of years?
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My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:13 AM   #15
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Day 4 – Monticello to Glenwood Springs

Another great canyon ride! Woke up at 6:30. Weather had changed. High clouds but no rain. Low 80s and humid. Ate a nice breakfast provided at the motel, packed, and rode out. From there to US-50 was a real treat! Great road and spectacular scenery. I could not believe the canyons I rode through. Except for one long straight stretch to Naturita on CO-90 along another long escarpment, the roads were all lovely sweeping curves.

The road swings right to parallel the mountains.


Solar panels - miles from anywhere


Naturita Town Hall


Riding north on CO 141 through Unaweep Canyon










Swinging east; where there was water there were people


After leaving CO-141 at US-50 it was a hot and boring ride to Delta where I gassed up and ate at the C&J Restaurant. A local family place on Main Street where everyone knows each other. Grandmother, two or three grown sons and wives and two grandkids eating together at a large table. Sheriff. Men in hats, coveralls, suspenders.




After lunch I headed to Carbondale on CO-133 over McClure Pass. It was evident I was approaching the western side of the Rockies.


I ran into more coal mining and transportation


I went up along one river and down along another.






Aspens appear again around 8000 feet.


Met another rider – John on an S1300 from Michigan – at a road work stoppage. Lots of that going on.


Carbondale was not what I remembered or thought. Boring and hot 4 lane road to Glenwood Springs and the frontier Lodge. Walked to The Rivers restaurant for dinner.
__________________
My bike: Yellow '05 1200GS - on the Spotwalla ADV location page as CJ3.
My solo trips: 2014 Natl Park triangle, SF-Colorado-SF 2011 and 2013, SF-LA loop, Pinnacles and Carmel Valley loop
With Ol'Badger: http://www.2guysonbikes.com
And remember: Beauty is in the behind of the holder.
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