I set my alarm for 7:30 every day; but I really never seem to do any better than 9:00 when it comes to actually getting on the road. I don’t think I care anymore if I’m being honest. I really only plan on doing around 200 miles a day anymore and I don’t like getting into town at 2:00 in the afternoon; 4:30 – 6:00 are nice times to show up. Some people feel the need to be off by 7:00 in the morning; for me, if I’m on the road by 9:00 or 10:00 I feel like I’m in good shape.
I’ve gotten into the swing of things, I need routine less and less; at this point I’m just rolling with it. Wake up, pack, ride, relax; let the day unfold as it so chooses. I guess it’s a routine still; just of a different color. The first week I wondered how anyone could do this sort of thing long term; after 2 weeks I could go on indefinitely if I wanted. I think trips like this are how people get sucked into multi-year around the world tours.
That being said of course, I packed up late again. It was an easy day to pack too, the bike was parked right outside the door.
I dropped the room key off at the office and got on the road. Sure enough, no more that 100 yards down the road, a short downpour of rain dumped on me. It was heavy, it was quick and naturally included hail. The next pull off was a Conoco gas station barely 1/4 mile up the road but before I got there the rain was gone. Wet again… a perfect start to the day.
I dried quickly though. The most problematic area when it comes to rain is unfortunately between the legs (yes, that area). All of the water from the tank bag and my jacket just drains there. What’s really unfortunate is that that’s the most uncomfortable place to be wet; to dry yourself you have to ride with your knees sticking out looking like an idiot.
The first 15 miles of today’s section were either sort of paved or light gravel roads. Easy riding, perfect for the knee out idiot technique.
The road then turned into a really fun desert type track that followed a set of power lines across the open range.
While I wasn’t in flood basin, I still found myself underneath a set of clouds that just seemed to follow me; dumping spurts of hail on me every 15 mins or so. Just when I thought I was clear of it another burst of hail would clobber me.
The trail connected up with a very wide dirt road. I pulled out onto this road and just gave The Doctor a handful of throttle. The road was dead straight and I was cruising at about 60 mph.
The road turned out to be a pretty main road even though it was unpaved. I passed 6 tractor trailers coming the other direction.
The road intersected a paved main road, the GPS track made a right but I’d noticed a scenic overlook just off to the left and decided to go check it out. Well worth the time; this should have been a waypoint on the GPS tracks, but GPSKevin’s waypoints are reserved only for Subway (Eat Fresh!), closed fueling stations and overpriced accommodations. There’s no time for sightseeing!
I took my photos and was on my way. I was headed for Moab!
I hung a left into and rode through some of the most amazing scenery I’ve ever been through:
I came down off the mesa and pulled out onto the main road into Moab. The place was packed, I almost got hit 3 times while at the gas station. It looked like a really cool place to visit though; I will return!
I left the main drag out of downtown and passed a vintage car rally. I wanted to stop in but there was nowhere to park, which is really saying something considering I’m on a motorcycle… I did manage to get a snap of one of the cars from the rally in Telluride, CO the next day:
I followed the track out to of town toward Dove Creek, CO and the track lead me into Sand Flats Recreation area. There was no charge to ride straight through on the main road but $2.00 for motorcycles to go off the main road.
After a few minutes of back and forth with the guy running the kiosk he finally accepted my $2.00. He insisted that my “rig” wasn’t going very far off the main track. I told him that may be true but the clown who authored the tracks I’m following probably sees it differently; he has in every other area I’ve been through. For $2.00, better safe than sorry. My admission pass was a map…
The road was pretty interesting and the wind was intense. There was a lot of trucks on the road. One was watering the road, a bunch passed me coming the other direction and there were also a number areas where they were doing road work. Busy busy…
I had to make a decision on whether or not to go over Geyser Pass. It was a 10,000 foot pass and the weather didn’t look great. I didn’t really want to take scenic routes today; this was Moab and surrounding areas, this was it man! No skipping! Out came the rain pants and over the pass we went.
I was happy I’d made the pass but it was an easy dirt road with no scenery or even a cool sign at the top. It was just cold.
I came down off the pass and carried on out of the forest then back into the desert.
The roads straighten and the track met up with tarmac for about 15 miles. It hung a left onto a dirt track and crossed into western Colorado where the roads became grids.
The next stop on the tracks was an out of the way fuel stop in Monticello, UT. I didn’t need gas; the leg down from Moab was only 137 miles and I’d only used less than 1/2 tank. I was on the last 30 miles of the leg so I decided to skip it.
I’d reserved a room at the Country Inn in Dove Creek, CO earlier that morning. The office was locked when I arrived so I rang the doorbell. Then rang it again… then a third time. Finally, I decided to called the number I’d called that morning. The owner answered and told me to hold tight, he’d be there in 5 minutes. Ok, fine; I’ve got nowhere else to be. I was the only person in the parking lot kind of just standing there in the sun wearing rain pants.
The owner showed up a little while later. He was a cool guy who liked to talk; judging by his accent I think he was of Eastern European descent. He told me all about how he’d won a Trip Advisor award the previous year. He even had the award on the counter. They’d told him it would be a big boost to business but business was down 40% this year so far. He laughed it off and said at least he didn’t have payments on the motel anymore but if Trip Advisor calls this year he’s hitting ignore.
I got settled into the room and noticed that my tank bag was ripped. Fantastic. Now I needed to find a place for all of this stuff that was in it.
At least standing while riding would be easier; that thing got in the way.