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Old 08-11-2013, 04:50 PM   #1
draco_1967 OP
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Salt Lake City
Oddometer: 95
My First Motorcycle Camping Trip: A Family Reunion Near Bryce Canyon, UT

Note: This was my first motorcycle camping adventure, and I got to cheat big time! I met my family there. My parents had 2 RVs (I DID sleep in a tent), and had all the food. My bike was loaded with extra stuff that I was bringing to my brother. Real camping would be way easier, as I would have about 1/3 of the stuff I brought…
Also, I am a ride report n00b...

Day 1 (July 30)

I left bright and early (ish) on Tuesday morning. The weather was still cool at 73*. I threw my stuff in and on the bike, strapping down the HUGE dry bag and tent to Serenity’s back seat. I knew she could handle the weight, as the bag weighed less than my wife. However, the bag was big, and hogged some of my seat too…
This is the route I took

Here is a pic of the bike, fully-loaded at a stop later in the day

After a short jaunt on the freeway to Payson, UT, I headed to the Nebo Loop.
This was a very welcome sign:

I wanted to try out some shots while in motion, so I strapped my Nikon S630 to a lanyard around my neck.

The Nebo Loop is a gorgeous, windy road, which made me happy

Unfortunately, there were a lot of cows on the road, which meant a lot of cow poo on the road. Slippery when fresh…

Had my first sacrifice to the road gods

After the Nebo Loop, I headed north a little ways to hit the Energy Loop, or UT31 over the next set of mountains to Huntington.

This was another beautiful drive, even better than Nebo, because there were no cows! There was some flood damage from a string of thunderstorms that came through the previous week. Luckily, UDOT was on the ball (very rare occurrence) and had the road clear.

Beautiful day

I gassed up after 186 miles and averaged 72.1. I took a little break under this tree in Lyman

I needed a rest, and a snack. Then I hit the road again.

I took UT-10, which was fairly strait, but provided beautiful views of Goblin Valley and Capitol Reef in the distance, as well as lots of other neat geological vistas.

From, UT-10, I took a short detour on I-70, confused by my GPS map. I have no recollection of how fast I went at times…

Eventually, I made my way to UT-72, then 24, and finally, UT-12. Highway 12 is possibly one of the most breathtaking highways in the country, especially the stretch between Boulder and Escalante.

I stopped again to gas up in Escalante (pronounced “Escalaant”). 195 miles, 67.3 mpg. I think my stint on I-70 hurt my mileage a little…
By this time, my butt was sore, my legs were tired, and I was ready to get to camp. Only a little further…

Still lots of pretty scenery between me and camp.

I finally made it!

After setting up camp and saying hello to everyone, oddly enough, I went for a short ATV ride!
My little bro

My other little bro


Some dirt

Wilson Peak

After the ride, I went to town to get my fishing license, saw some antelope, and played with my camera settings to get some star shots.

I need to get a remote trigger, so I can hold the shutter open for longer without shaking the camera on the tripod too much.
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:50 PM   #2
draco_1967 OP
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Salt Lake City
Oddometer: 95
Day 2

Despite being exhausted from the trip down , I was the first one out of bed (I was a little chilly the first night). I was up just before the sun peaked over the Barney Top/Griffin Top mesa.

Just me and my shadow…

I attempted to do an HDR on the panoramic shot, but couldn’t get it to work too well.

The bikes itching to be ridden:

My big tent

Once everyone was up and going, we went fishing on the Sevier River, near Hatch, UT.
Here is my little bro trying to find some delicious trout:

Watch out for thistle.

I only caught two little ones. We were in an area that is pretty frequently fished out. Tomorrow we will try somewhere else…

My parents bought some land near Hatch a few years back. We went to check it out. The few days before I arrived, they had picked a contractor and began working out how they wanted to develop and build there.
Here are some panoramic shots of the land.
From the front side of the hill:

And the back side:

On the way back, we saw this awesome RV in Hatch:

I tried to talk my wife into getting it, but she seemed pretty opposed to the idea…

When we got back to camp, it was afternoon, and many of the “old folks” were napping. The rest of us hit some golf balls

Then there was a little time for some catch

My Dad, little brothers and I went on another ride around the area.

Later, my little brothers and I went for a ride to Tropic Reservoir, just 6 miles from camp.

Action shot!

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Old 08-11-2013, 04:52 PM   #3
draco_1967 OP
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Salt Lake City
Oddometer: 95
Day 3

Up before the sun again

On the third day there was fishing…and lots of it. I think we were out on the river for 5-6 hours…

This was the first night that we had a campfire. The previous week brought lots of rain, and the Forest Service Ranger told us we would be OK to have a campfire one day before the ban was lifted for the incoming BSA event…
I don’t have a picture of this
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:52 PM   #4
draco_1967 OP
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Salt Lake City
Oddometer: 95
Day 4 (Friday, August 2)


This was supposed to be a day of lots of riding….I was supposed to get this trip in before my wife arrived around 2pm. We trailered the ATVs 27 miles to Pine Lake, where we could fish at the lake, and take a 24 mile round trip up to Powell Point. At the end of the trail, there is a ¾ mile hike to the tip of the mesa, from which one can see into New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada on a clear day. I have done this trip many times, so it wasn’t the end of the world when we had troubles with a couple of the ATVs. Three of us were to go first (my sister, her fiancée, and I). I got to ride the brand new (2011) Kawasaki 400. They were each on a Suzuki 450. We started out strong, then about 1.5 miles up the road, we started having issues. One of the Suzukis lost its shift lever. We found it a few hundred feet behind us, but it was unclear why it happened. The retaining screw was still in the lever…
The second Suzuki suddenly lost power and died. We started it up again, then it died 300 feet later. Then again…and again. I couldn’t see anything wrong, until I touched one of the carb boot clamps. It was missing the screw that holds it tight. This was messing with the air-fuel mixture (these aren’t MY bikes, and I don’t get to maintain them or keep the tools on them that I would if they were…). We rode back to the lake, so my dad could go pick up the “broken” Suzuki with the truck. He didn’t have tools in his truck either, so we had to cancel the ride up to the point. None of us wanted to be stranded 12 miles from base with no tools and only some water and snacks. Sadly, I don’t have pictures of this episode, because I would have been taking them further up the trail…

Here is one of the lake:

Instead of going to the Point, My brother, my soon-to-be brother-in-law, and I went to Henderson Point. It is just a short 3 miles from the lake, and from it you can see Powell Point.

Here is my bro and me

And here is Powell Point:

On the way up to Henderson, we stopped the spot where we had camped for many years before (I think we were there for 10-12 years). My grandma passed up there in 1998, and we carved in an Aspen in her memory:

Love you Nana!

Here is my mom, now called Nana by her grandkids, playing at the lake:

We ended the day with a roaring campfire again.

One of the older folks used a piece of copper pipe and an old rubber hose to add some color to the fire (I’m sure that was good for our lungs…)

My brother is an amazing musician. He plays Guitar and Piano, and can play pretty much any song by listening to it. So we shouted out some favorites and he rocked it! He also works on The Voice doing arrangements, and he even got to make an appearance on stage:
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:53 PM   #5
draco_1967 OP
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Salt Lake City
Oddometer: 95
Day 5 (Saturday, August 3)

My wife wanted to fish, so we went on bought her a one-day license.
Inside the Ruby’s Inn store, I saw this shirt:

I think that National Parks must be using the same shirt designs, because there are no moose or wolves near Bryce that I have seen in the 28 years I have been coming here…

She caught her first fish on the lake!

When we returned to camp, I saw this on the ground:

That’s my Go Cruise throttle “lock.” The trip home isn’t going to be as comfortable. It lasted over two years on 2 bikes for over 15k miles, so I think it was $20 well spent.

In the afternoon, we went to Widtsoe. It’s an old “ghost town” (only two structures still standing, and a few brand new cabins built there now).
The Widtsoe Mansion:

View from the porch:

And the Schoolhouse:

We returned to camp for dinner, sunset and more fire!

More sing-along tonight too
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Old 08-11-2013, 04:54 PM   #6
draco_1967 OP
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Salt Lake City
Oddometer: 95
Day 6 (Sunday, August 4)

Time to head back to the real world, or something. We packed up camp (all of my family), which took us until about noon. Then we stopped at The Bryce Canyon Pines. It was pretty good food! Then we went our separate ways. My wife decided she wanted to follow me on UT-89 all the way back to Salt Lake. It was a nice ride, but mostly straight the whole way.

The most interesting part was heading through Red Canyon on UT-12 before hitting 89.

Then it was a lot of straight, flat terrain. The weather was nice, and Serenity averaged 73.8mpg on the return trip!

The Manti LDS Temple

Then we hit UT-6 which took us back to I-15 for the last leg of the trip.

One thing I learned from this trip: The advantage to taking all the back roads (aside from being more fun, pretty, and twisty) is that the chances of encountering jerkoffs in cages is exponentially smaller. As soon as we hit I-15, I was amazed at how many A-holes are on the freeway…
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:41 PM   #7
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Morgantown, WVa
Oddometer: 2,084
Nice RR. Enjoyed reading it. Thanks for posting.

Is that the Honda 700? I haven't looked closely enough at the 700 vs 500 to tell the difference yet. Your 72MPG is pretty good.
Retired USAF MSgt - Bandsman & Paralegal
2007 Suzuki Burgman 650
WV Historical Markers Project
My Website - Europe, Alaska, US Bike Rides
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:25 PM   #8
draco_1967 OP
Joined: Aug 2011
Location: Salt Lake City
Oddometer: 95
Yep, it's the NC700X

Sent from a Speak & Spell wired to a record player, a saw blade, a fork, and an umbrella.
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