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Old 02-02-2014, 12:36 PM   #46
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LA's hot on my tail.

The lens cover on my camera seems to be sticking a little. Sorry.









Just beautiful. I don't mind the heat, and the (now comfortable -- thanks LA) Recon pants and Airglide III jacket help tremendously. Glad LA got the knee problem solved. The formations all have names and there's a map available if you are so inclined. Looking at them is plenty enough for a simpleton like me.







Valley of the Gods road spits you out on SH 261, conveniently just south Moki Dugway. You can't pass that up, right?





Looking back towards Valley of the Gods



LA and the shadow of the black cloud that follows me around. If you squint you can see a couple of the Gods





We got up top and stopped for this mandatory pic. LA says, "That was the Moki Dugway?" Priceless. I'd only been droning on about it for the last 5 months. She seemed to listen every time I told her.....



Picnic planned for Muley Point.



What a view.



Devil wind, and a large one at that.



It was hot and LA was tired so she left me here and headed back to Mancos. I drank as much water as I could and ate some beef jerky and trail mix, becoming intoxicated on the view. That trail down there looks inviting and may need investigating at some future date.



Odd to think that's the same San Juan River we rode alonside a few days ago.



The road back out to SH 261. We'll head north for a much closer look at Bears Ears -- seen on the distant horizon to the left.



Bears Ears dead ahead.



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Old 02-02-2014, 01:33 PM   #47
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Nothing but COLD rain in the DFW area. Thanks for adding to the ride report. Keeping with it everyday.
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:39 PM   #48
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I was there in May of last year. Valley of the Gods, Moki Dugway. A couple of months before you did. The weather was perfect then, Definitly NOT as hot as when you were there. :-) Keep it coming! :-)
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:46 PM   #49
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Nothing but COLD rain in the DFW area. Thanks for adding to the ride report. Keeping with it everyday.
Thanks for looking in on us, back2.
It's finally stopped snowing here.
LA made me walk to the store with her a little while ago.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:03 PM   #50
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Getting closer.

SH 261 T's into SH 95 and to get to Bears Ears you have to go west a couple miles and then turn north like you were going to Natural Bridges National Monument then northeast and follow Elk Mountain Road.





As I approached the saddle between the ears, a family in a Suburban pulled aside so I could pass and not have to eat their dust. It was a nice gesture, and they waved when they passed me while I was making like Ansel Adams between the bears ears.









That's where I'd come from, SH 261.



Looking back south as I started the home stretch.



As I "piddled" around taking a water break, intake and output, "You've got a Friend" ~ James Taylor came through my ear buds. Hope that doesn't creep anybody out.





Something spectacular caught my right side peripheral vision and I had to stop and peek through the trees.





And then about 2 tenths of a mile on down the road.



I came over a rise and found that Suburban that was nice to me earlier. It was a vacationing French family in a rental with a flat tire. I asked if they needed help and the dad said, "no," but his eyes said, "yes please." I started to move along and then stopped, killed Red and walked back and changed the tire for them. They were having a real hard time with the English instructions, and to be honest so was I so I winged it. Once I had the spare secured with one lug, I handed the tire tool to the dad so he could finish the job for his family. A handshake, a wave to his wife sitting over in the shade, and poof, The Gray Man rides off in a cloud of dust. Ever read Robert B. Parker's Spencer Novels? I think of The Gray Man every time I put all my adventure gear on cause' it's mostly gray.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:18 PM   #51
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Man was this an epic ride today or what?





It just kept getting better. Sleeping Ute in the far distance. I still have a long way to go.







As Elk Mountain Road approaches Blanding, UT, it turns south and you keep heading east on Bushy Basin Road which is a blast.







Heading east into Blanding. Sleeping Ute in the (very far) distance.

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Old 02-02-2014, 02:43 PM   #52
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WOW, it just keeps getting better and better!
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:48 PM   #53
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WOW, it just keeps getting better and better!
Thanks for the encouraging words, gstanfield. I need all the help I can get!
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:10 PM   #54
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My intended route

would have taken me through town and on due east on more backroads, but my shadow was growing long and I still had a long way to travel to get back to Mancos State Park. Plan B had me checking my Road Atlas and taking US 191 south out of Blanding after gassing up. About 10 miles south of Blanding, SH 262 heads southeast to connect with SH 162 just east of Montezuma Creek where LA and I had shared a snack earlier in the day. The decision did not disappoint.







At Montezuma Creek I went southeast on SH 162 about 7 miles to Aneth, UT where I turned northeast on Ismay Trading Post Road which becomes County Road G as it crosses into Colorado and follows McElmo Creek all the way to Cortez.



Still toasty.



And adventure friendly.



Framed in the wrist strap (totally by accident).



Lots of small farms along the way. Some had cut alfalfa laying on the ground awaiting the baler and smelling heavenly.



There's Mesa Verde up ahead. My shadow is lengthening rapidly.



Heading up the road to our campsite, nearing dusk. I had drained every drop out of that day.



This will fit nicely into the top 10 days of my life, and will be difficult to knock out of the rankings.

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Old 02-02-2014, 03:40 PM   #55
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And now....

it's time to take a break and watch the Super Bowl.

We'll be pulling for Peyton and the Broncos since Colorado is our home away from home, and our Cowboys are -- well -- consistent?
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:38 PM   #56
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It's not quite over

but you can clearly see why we don't gamble.

I should have spent the last 3 hours dedicating my energies to Day 6.

There's always tomorrow, right?
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:17 AM   #57
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Hang in there mate - we go through the same pain every year cheering for our favorite hockey teams.
"Maybe next year!" is our war cry.

Besides - 20 minutes in the saddle and it all seems so much less important, wouldn't you say?

Thanks again for the great pics and RR - I am definitely adjusting all vacation plans to be able to ride in Utah/Colorado/Nevada/Arizona!

The Honda CRF250L is looking like my next big purchase, and I'm sure my gf will love riding the same roads on our CT110.
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:51 AM   #58
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Hang in there mate - we go through the same pain every year cheering for our favorite hockey teams.
"Maybe next year!" is our war cry.

Besides - 20 minutes in the saddle and it all seems so much less important, wouldn't you say?

Thanks again for the great pics and RR - I am definitely adjusting all vacation plans to be able to ride in Utah/Colorado/Nevada/Arizona!

The Honda CRF250L is looking like my next big purchase, and I'm sure my gf will love riding the same roads on our CT110.
Thanks, Viking. You won't regret the adjustment. Gotta say one of those CRF's caught my eye in the dealership not long ago and I even went as far as to sit on the lean steed (We won't share that little infidelity with Red, though).
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:21 AM   #59
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Day 6, August 15, 2013, Mancos State Park to Flagstaff, AZ

398 miles, ~10.5 hours

I started off by giving Red's chain some attention and adding a little over half a quart of oil, leaving me with about a half a quart. I saw a Honda shop on the outskirts of Cortez yesterday and LA volunteered to get me a few more quarts on her way out. All they had was a gallon, and she went ahead and purchased it since it was the right kind. It will get used eventually.

The plan: LA will take the straightest route to Flagstaff and find us a hotel with a hot tub, Red and I will meander. We debated the hotel at length last night, there was a campground right by Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument that looked cool to me....

A peek inside the big orange tent. That's only half of it really, all our junk is strewn over to the right.



This is what happens on US 160 south when you're excited to get to see Shiprock up close. More building of virtue. I've been obsessed with the big, 30 million year old volcanic remnant since seeing it on several ADVrider reports back in my lurking days.





I drop down into New Mexico on US 491





Crossing the San Juan at Shiprock, NM. This river is almost 400 miles long and snakes all around the Four Corners area. It's inadvertently become a close and welcome friend over these last several days.



I continued south on US 491 and thought this would be as close as I would come to the fascinating mythical rock.



So I spent a lot of time here taking a lot of poor pictures. Looks like the sign isn't taunting enough.



It finally got hot enough to make me vacate, posthaste.



But when I turned west on Red Rock Highway, it became apparent I had wasted too much time in the litter strewn pull off on US 491, and things were going to improve. I failed to get a picture, but there was a man walking along here with a gas can.





And improve things did.



There is something very spiritual in the air here and I felt intrusive so I stopped at this distance.



And I'm off, continuing on Red Rock Highway





After passing through Red Rock, AZ, the road turns south and begins gaining elevation and gets really fun. Oddly enough, I passed that same guy with the gas can again.





My camera batteries died about 2 minutes from here.



So I stopped for lunch and some fresh batteries. Sliced sausage and cheese roll up times 2, hot water.





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Old 02-03-2014, 01:54 PM   #60
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A great find.

I collected a little litter as I ate standing up, resting my fanny. Coming down the pass was the stuff you dream of. I passed the gas can guy yet again in our bizarre game of leapfrog. This would be our last encounter, but I pondered his progress versus mine for the remainder of the day.







And then you come out in an entirely different and red world.





I couldn't keep my eyes off the rearviews. I had to keep stopping.





Using randmcnally.com it looks like I wound my way along Bia-13 to Lukachukai then Bia-12 south to Tsaile then southwest on Bia-N64 along the north border of Canyon De Chelly National Monument. Good place to ride with caution.





I only had time for a brief exploration, so I chose Mummy Cave. It's an overlook on some ruins, similar to those at Mesa Verde, and the canyon floor.





It will require further examination at a later date as I had a date with Window Rock. I departed and found Bia-7 and followed it southeast to turn south on Bia-12 into Window Rock, AZ, the seat of government and capital of the Navajo Nation.
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