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View Full Version : Solo trippin' on a Buell Ulysses...WARNING, loads of pics...


zrex1100
14-09-2006, 07:57 AM
This journey started innocently enough. One day in early August I was browsing eBay after a hard day at work. In an effort to stay informed, I often conduct research about motorcycles for sale . Pretty soon I made my way over to Cycletrader. Within minutes, I was talking to Bill in Phoenix . I wasn't in the market to buy a new bike, I was conducting further research . He was selling a 2006 Buell Ulysses with 670 miles on the odometer. After a brief conversation, I impulsively offered to purchase the bike. Bill informed me there was another guy first in line coming to inspect the bike that evening. I said fine, I'll be runner up. Bill said he would call later to let me know if the bike was still available.

I now faced the opportunity to bring my wife, Julie, on board with my bright idea of buying a bike 2100 miles away and riding it back. As with the previous 53 or so bike purchases, Julie was one hundred percent supportive. Armed with her approval, I began to get excited with anticipation. I called Bill to asked if the other guy had seen the bike yet, and to let Bill know I would buy the bike, sight unseen, for his asking price if the other guy backed out. He asked if I was local, obviously screening me as a potential buyer. I said yes, I live in Virginia . He said something about big gonads .

For the next several hours, I waited for Bill to call. During that timeframe, I began to question whether I should actually follow through with this long distance purchase. I told Julie I planned to sleep on the idea and make sure I wanted the bike. She agreed that would be best. As we were getting ready for bed, my phone rang. It was Bill. I intentionally let it ring. Bill left a voice mail saying I should call him to discuss the bike. Several minutes later, I was on the phone finalizing the agreement. Julie came into the room during the conversation, and said she was proud of me for giving so much consideration to this purchase before deciding to buy .

The following day, I express mailed full payment for the bike. Several days later, I received the clear title to the bike. I then obtained a fresh, Virginia title and tag from the DMV. The bike was now officially mine, although it was 2100 miles away, and I'd never even riden a Buell .

Julie and I started planning the return trip. She booked a flight from Dulles Airport to Phoenix, on Friday September 1st, leaving at 7:30AM eastern time, and arriving in Phoenix at 9:37AM pacific time.

The initial planning was overwhelming. Looking at a map of the four corner states, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, there are so many great routes and great sites to see, it is clear I had to start narrowing down the route to a manageable size. About this time I researched some of MikeO's reports from the previous year. Mike had written something about how liberating it is to accept the fact that you simply cannot see everything, and by forgetting what you're missing, you are free to focus on what you will see. Thanks MikeO, those words certainly helped Julie and I come up with a route.

Julie insisted I book a room for the first three nights, since this was Labor Day weekend. We had no idea how busy the region would be, and it would not be fun to be in the middle of unfamiliar territory without a place to stay. Since I was flying out, I didn't have room to carry my camping gear. After much planning and research, including many great recommendations from the fine folks here on ADVRider, we finally settled on the return route.

The first day I would head north through Prescott, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon , and spend the night in Flagstaff. On day two I would continue north into Utah, then east to Bryce Canyon . Day three I would continue east through Kodachrome State Park, to Escalante . Day four I'd head east, north east, then south and stay in Moab . The next day I would continue east to the Colorado Rockies, then south through Ouray Pass, Silverton, to Durango. Day six I'd leave Durango, head south through New Mexico to Albuquerque, then east on I-40 toward home. I figured the trip would take 9 or 10 days, and total 3100 miles.

As the departure date approached, I lived and relived every step of the way. On Thursday, I programmed each of 10 separate routes into my GPS for the ten day journey. I also contacted my insurance agent and purchased insurance for the Uly. I also joined AAA so I would have free towing up to 100 miles , as well as 2 gallons of free gas delivered in the event I ran out .

I barely slept the week before the trip. Every night my mind was flooded with the details of the trip. By Thursday evening I was exhausted. Julie and I went to Dicks Sporting Goods at the local mall to buy some last minute items for the trip. I picked up some cold weather Under Armour, some protein bars, and a Camelback. Someone here on AdvRider suggested I use the Camelback through the dry climate out west. Whoever recommended it, thank you .
As we were shopping, Julie asked how I was feeling. I told her I was tired, and feeling like I lacked the energy to take this trip. I'm a diabetic. Sometimes I do things because I don't feel like doing them. I do them because one day I might not be able to do them. That's partially the reason behind this trip.

I came home and packed my Wolfman Beta and Wolfman Odyssee Duffell, as well as piece of carry on luggage. The carry on luggage contained all the expensive electronics including my laptop, two cameras, GPS, iPod, all the cables and chargers, as well as my insulin, syringes, and some food.

I said goodnight to three of my kids, my dog, and my wife. I slept like a baby all night. The alarm went of at 5:00AM. Julie took me to the airport. She snapped a photo as I was departing. I was slightly stressed at the beginning of the trip, can ya tell?

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594171-M.jpg

I kissed Julie good bye and went inside the airport. Checking in was like clockwork, until Homeland Security got a glimpse of my cary on luggage,,,,,

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 08:11 AM
We're so uptight here on the east coast. Some folks checking in at the airport are a miserable brood. I stood there and watch people bitching, much to my delight . They were bitching about stupid little things. I decided I'd give them something real to bitch about .

The line to pass through security was flowing as fast as an airport security line could be expected to flow, until my bag went through the x-ray machine. All of the sudden, everything stopped. The operator called for a security check because of the two viles of insulin (liquid) in my bag. It took about 2 minutes for the first security detail to show up. I'm standing there smiling . I'm the only one smiling . The people in line were impatient before I stopped the progress. Now, they're ready to take up stones and cast them upon me.

The security detail shows up and asks for back up . They pull me aside and for the next 15 minutes, remove everything from my bag, wiping and testing everything for bomb residue materials. They were particularly pissed to see my laptop in the carry on. It was inside a foam protective cover, which was inside a plastic protective case. One guy is checking my stuf, the other guy is checking my reaction to this event. I'm just smiling . I explained I don't fly much, and didn't know laptops had to be indvidually examined. They finally finish examining all my stuff, and ask me if I need any help putting it back in the bag. I decline their assistance.

By now, I'm one of the last people to arrive at the waiting area to board the plane. The folks on my plane don't seem too chatty . Fine, I'll just wander off into a corner and listen to my iPod. Oh yeah, I was in full riding gear, wearing my Sidi boots and Joe Rocket jacket. The other passengers weren't impressed. Oh well. I'm utterly delighted that I'm not as miserable as some of the fine folks around me.

We finally board the plane. I'm sitting next to the window. A couple, obviously in love, sit nex to me. I stand up and tell the girl next to me, "this jacket has to come off." She doesn't even acknowledge me. Didn't look at me. Didn't say anything. Nothing. I'm thinking to myself this is going to be a long flight. I look out the window. I rummage through my carry on bag at my feet to find my little Kodak. I look out the window. The girl next to me is irritated that I'm doing something. I capture the moment. The mood outside is representative of the mood sitting beside me. Well, not quite that bad

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594172-M.jpg



I find my stress has completey departed. I think it landed squarely on some of the folks around me. I'm wondering to myself if every flight is full of miserable people .Nah! The crew is extremely professional. They smile as they walk by. The guy in front of me decides to recline his seat all the way back into my lap. I act like it doesn't bother me. I feel like throwing him of the plane .

We take off. Within a few minutes, Tom Cruise is playing on the Screen in front of me. Mission Impossible III is the choice entertainment for the day. Halfway into the flight I have to pee. I don't dare get up. People all around me ar getting up to pee. I didn't want to piss anyone off, again . I decide to hold it until Phoenix. I decline the second offering of coffee. Fortunately I didn't have to pee that bad. I enjoy the rest of the movie. It's over and we're just crossing Texas. I grab my camera again. As we descend, I start shooting out the window. There's nothing else to do.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594178-M.jpg

My first glimpse of Phoenix. It doesn't look so hot out there

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594175-M.jpg

Downtown Phoenix
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594174-M.jpg

The good thing is the plane landed 37 minutes ahead of schedule. Plenty of time to pee before making my way to baggage pick up. The bad thing is, our baggage doesn't come out of the plane until sometime around 10:15. We're all waiting. We all want our luggage. Everyone is nicer now. Several people come up to me and say "Yeah, you're from Dulles, I saw you back in the airport. I'm just making sure I'm in the right luggage terminal." They're surprisingly friendly in Phoenix. People start asking questions. Why are you wearing a jacket in Phoenix? Don't you know it's 108 degrees outside? I look around. Everyone is wearing shorts. I have on heavy Joe Rocket riding jeans, riding boots, and a jacket. It turns out to be a great conversation starter. People seem geniunely interested in what I'm doing.

I talk to a lady who flew out from N. VA for her fathers 75th birthday. She tells me there is no better place on the planet than Oak Creek Canyon . That's wonderful, because I'm riding through there in a few hours.

I check my cell phone for messages. I'm getting an unclear signal. Finally, I call Bill who is picking me up. He asks where I am. I tell him I arrived early, but I'm waiting for my luggage. He says he's in the luggage area too. I turn around, and he's standing right there. Bill says, "You said you have blond hair, I was looking for a long haired hippy. You didn't say anything abolut having a crew cut."

Bill turns out to be a super nice guy. He's very interested in my plans. He's very interested in sharing about his family. He's understanding about having to wait for my luggage. It finally arrives. We head out to his Big Whit Buick SUV with 20 inch rims. I immediately notice how hot it is. In the shade.

We head towards Sun City West. On the way, Bill offers to swing by the Harley Davidson dealer so I can buy a quart of oil for the ride home. I have the chance to talk to the service manager who just performed the 1000 mile service. He assures me the bike is ready for the road trip ahead. He seems curious as to why I would want to ride the Buell across the country. In the parking lot I notice a sight I've never seen before. The bikes parked out front all have towells draped over the seats. It really does get hot in Phoenix .

We head over to Bill's house, conversing the whole way. No ackward moments. Bill is like a long time friend I haven't seen in years. I had a gut feeling when I first spoke with him on the phone that he was the geniune article. We roll through the gates to his community, past the golf course, to his house. The garage door opens, and I laid eyes upon my bike for the first time.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592308-M.jpg

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 09:19 AM
Bill was super patient with me during the next hour. I really needed to get the bike setup properly before departing the shade of his garage. The first priority was suspension setup. The limited knowledge I had gained about Buells, and the Ulysses in particular, strongly suggested I set the suspension according to my weight and luggage. It was exceedingly important as I would be riding through technical mountain passes within the hour.

After dialing in the front and rear preload, and front and rear compression and rebound damping, I mounted two ram mounts, one for a handlebar mounted camera, the other for my GPS. I really like the 12V adaptor in the dash. Just a plug and play proposition. I then mounted the tank bag. Bill is half freaking out at my tenacity. I had run through these procedures at least a dozen times before the trip began. Finally, I mounted the Wolfman luggage. The Beta bag fit perfectly on the rear seat, serving as a comfortable back rest in addition to luggage. The Wolfman Odyssee Duffel strapped perfectly to the 3 way flip up back rest thingy, and was held in place by the 2 straps on the rear of the Beta duffell. This provided me with 5 outside pockets each having easy access, perfect or storing necessities like water and orange juice.
I strapped a cargo net on top of the two bags, and placed my jacket under the net. I'm all about ATGATT, and consider my T-Shirt ATGATT in 108 degree phoenix heat. The jacket would be worn before I reached the first set of twisties.

Before leaving, Bill offered to fill my Camelback full of ice, and iced cold water . Ladies and gentlemen, meet Mr. Bill. Here's a shot of the bike he bought to replace the Uly for riding in the Phoenix desert

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592309-M.jpg


Here's a shot of the odometer just prior to my first ride:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592310-M.jpg
A final shot of Bill and MY Uly

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592313-M.jpg

My fully loaded Uly:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592311-M.jpg

And the trip has begun. Here's Bill leading the way to Route 60, the first leg of my planned route:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594180-M.jpg


Just after I shot this photo, Bill and departed ways. Here's to you Bill, for picking me up at the airport, and for delivering a better than expected Ulysses

I continued heading north on Route 60. It was hot. Make that HOT! At first, all I could get out of my Camelback was the warm water in the syphon tube. It was still better than nothing.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594181-M.jpg

This was the first time I had seen cactus growing in the wild.
I continued rolling north, tripping the shutter way too many times.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594182-M.jpg

Soon after riding through Wickenburg, AZ, I took my first GPS indicated turn onto 93N which became 89N. Within a few minutes, the road led through subtle sweepers

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594183-M.jpg


then right into some incredible roads snaking through Prescott National Forest. At this time, I was still getting comfortable with the bike. In fact, up until this moment, I really hadn't given much thought to the bike itself. All of my energy was spent planning the trip, and setting the bike up for the planned route.

As the road became more twisty, it also climbed in elevation. As it climbed in elevation, the temperature dropped. Instead of 108 degrees, it must have cooled off to 98 degrees. Still, it felt better than 108. The passage through this section of mountains was pure delight. I stopped the Uly for the first time, got off the bike, and snapped a pic:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592314-M.jpg

I now turned my attention to the bike. As I stood there, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Here I was, in the middle of a mountain pass on a new bike, with nothing but bliss laid out for the next 5 days. I took my helmet off to soak in the moment. As I did, I took another swig of water, this time lowering my head as I drank, and for the first time since leaving Phoenix, I was rewarded with a huge gulp of iced cold water .
I finally figured out how the Camelback works. I shot another photo bewildered that I was really there, amazed at the fine piece of machinery

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592315-M.jpg

I started the Uly, and headed deeper into the mountain range. Before too long I caught up with this fellow moving along at a spirited pace down the straights,

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594184-M.jpg

and I thought this is cool, we can roll through this section together. That thought lasted until we reached the next turn, where he decided to drop anchor, and I got my first real feel for how powerful the front brake is After slamming on the brakes and yawning through the next section of twisties, I politely passed on a double yellow, and rode solo through the next section. The roads weren't too shabby

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594185-M.jpg


After cresting the ridge, the roads terrain became more and more red, and the roads continued to thrill

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594190-M.jpg


leading me through a quaint little town called Jerome:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594191-M.jpg


Jerome sits right on the mountain ledge. I wish I had more time to spend exploring this place. I was a man on a mission though, so my photos were limited to what I could shoot from the saddle:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594192-M.jpg


The speed limit was 15 mph through town

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594196-M.jpg


Proud kind of place:
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594197-M.jpg


That is a geniune horse and buggy rolling through on the right:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594198-M.jpg


I left Jerome, filled the gas tank for the first time, and headed toward Prescott. My adventure was underway. I was having a blast and looking forward to Sedona.

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 10:03 AM
Route 89 N led me to the town of Prescott. I hadn't planned to stop here, but during a conversation with Bill earlier in the day, he mentioned Prescott is known as a typical place in small town USA. As I rolled through, I saw the courthouse on my right, with a parking space out front that had my name on it.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592320-M.jpg


It was now 3:30 in the afternoon. I should be rolling to Sedona. I'm interested in Prescott at the moment. Straight ahead of the parked bike was the courthouse.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592318-M.jpg

In front of the courthouse was a monument to war veterans

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592317-M.jpg

so I grabbed the Nikon and started shooting


http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592323-M.jpg


http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592324-M.jpg

Some bikers were having a picnic on the courthouse lawn. It was a beautiful day. Temps were in the low 80's with zero humidity. A picture perfect place really. A man was walking his pair of golden retreivers. I chatted with him briefly, telling him about my golden retreiver puppy back home. I countinued shooting while we chatted.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592319-M.jpg

Prescott even has its own Harley dealer

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592321-M.jpg

Before leaving Prescott I called Julie to say hello and to let her know I got off to a great start. I told her I was in Prescott, and she asked "where's that?" I told her on the way the Sedona. She said you better get moving . I agreed, said goodbye to Julie, then said goodbye to Prescott.

Back out on the road, you can pretty much see Sedona from Prescott even though it's 40 or 50 miles away. (My mileage estimates are probably way off, but I'm writing it as I remember it, accurate or not ).

The landscape was continued to impress this east coaster.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594199-M.jpg

That's Sedona up ahead.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594201-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594202-M.jpg

The closer I got, the more beautiful Sedona became:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594203-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592327-M.jpg


http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592330-M.jpg

A better perspective of the same shot

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592333-M.jpg

On the way into town I stopped at this particular spot,,,,

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592334-M.jpg

for a reason

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592335-M.jpg

I rolled into town

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594204-M.jpg

turned left down a neighborhood street

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594205-M.jpg

and regardless of where I pointed the camera

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592337-M.jpg

found an interesting perspective to shoot

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592338-M.jpg

I continued North

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594207-M.jpg


through the touristy section of town

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594208-M.jpg

and the train kept rolling.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594210-M.jpg


It was now about 5:30PM, the sun was setting fast, and I wanted to roll through Oak Creek Canyon before dark. On the north side of Sedona, I stopped one final time for parting shots, some with the bike:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592342-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592344-M.jpg

some without the bike

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592343-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592347-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592348-M.jpg


As I left prepared to leave Northern Sedona, I was putting my camera back inside the tank bag, and hear an ear piercing howl, more of a mean growl, roaring up the road. To my pleasure, I saw three Lamborghini's racing through the pass, coming out of Oak Creek Canyon . Damnit, I hate when I miss those photo ops.

I didn't realize it at the time, but Oak Creek Canyon is literally just north of Sedona. The light was fading fast, so I knew my bar mounted cam wouldn't be able to capture images without blur. I shot anyway. And deleted every single shot through the pass. I did stop a time or two to shoot with the Nikon.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592353-M.jpg

This road is 14 miles of nirvana

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592352-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592350-M.jpg

No Parking. Unless you are from out of town, riding a Uly, and need to take a photo

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592349-M.jpg

As I rolled out of Oak Creek Canyon, my immediate goal was to find the motel Julie booked for me in Flagstaff. The sun, and temperatures were setting fast

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592355-M.jpg

and the rain was moving in

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594211-M.jpg

I headed east on I-40 for 5 miles before finally locating the motel. It started raining just as I rolled in.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594214-M.jpg

I asked the attendant if there were any restaurants within walking distance, and there was an Outback Steakhouse just down the street.

After unloading my luggage, the rain passed, and I was treated to a nice sunset.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592358-M.jpg

Instead of walking to Outback for dinner, I went to the food mart and bought some slim jims and a couple Coronas.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594216-M.jpg

Here's my GPS log from Day one. Not too many miles, but every inch was fantastic.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594215-M.jpg

And here's me for the final shot of the day

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594217-M.jpg

I slept like a baby, having gained 3 hours due to the flight. Tomorrow, I head north into Utah.


BTW, as I was typing this portion, Bill called to make sure I arrived home safely. We had another nice conversation and he said he'll be reading this report. Cheers Bill, you were the highlight of the day

jo
14-09-2006, 10:38 AM
I want that bike ... it's a belt drive!!!!

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 12:59 PM
Day 2, Saturday, September 2, 2006.

I awoke to beautiful sunshine. The air was crisp, cool, and clean,
reminding me of a late October morning in Virginia. Route 89N ran right
behind my motel. I arose and fired up my jetboil to boil a cup of hot
water for a fresh cup a instant coffee. Life is good. :D

After packing the mule, I headed out. The Uly fired right up. It seemed
to idle a touch slow. In fzac t, it would barely idle. I stayed
attentive to the bike, giving a little throttle during the cold warm up.
Before long, I was in the saddle, rolling up highway 89 which ran directly
behind my hotel.

Let me backtrack a second. Late last night my blood sugar dropped. I
walked down to the concession machines to buy some orange juice. It was
3:45am. The hotel attendant was inside the room adjacent to the
concession machines, smoking a joint. I startled him. He was surprised to see a
hotel guest walking about that early. He must have put the joint out
when he heard me. And then exhaled a huge puff of dope smoke. It wreaked.
I don't smoke the stuff. I don't judge those who do. He said something
about trying to stay awake. I was trying to sleep. And get some OJ.
This was one of those freak encounters. I didn't mean to startle the poor
guy. I think he was paranoid after the encounter. I never saw him
again.

Within minutes, I saw a Jack In The Box restaraunt. I grew up eating
Bonus Jacks. The local Jack in the Box closed down 30 years ago in my
neighborhood in VA. I just had to photo this icon from my youth :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519382-M.jpg

One of the planned detours Julie and I planned was a 46 mile loop
through Sunset Crate National Park. I was snjoying the scenery when the
road, Route 545 sudenly appeared. I happened to see a sign for Wupatki
National Park at the last second, hit the brakes pretty hard, and made a
right hand turn onto 545. I had no expectation because I didn't know what
to expect. That's the best way to be blown away by what you see.

Julie gave me her National Parks Pass before I left. This particular
jaunt saved me $20.00.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519383-M.jpg

Here's the road leading into the park. It's impossible to convey the
perfect conditions while writing this. The place was basically deserted,
save for a ranger or two, and maybe 3 or four families inside the park.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519384-M.jpg

This is a field of flowers leading to Sunset Crater. The sky that
Saturday never looked so blue.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92505745-M.jpg

There was something to photograph every place I looked, even down at my
feet.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92505746-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534046-M.jpg

I stopped at the Visitor Center to get an overview of what to expect
inside the park, and some suggestions on what not to miss. I also bout
several post cards to send back home.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519385-M.jpg

As I rode deeper into the park, the terrain was rich black from the
lava flowing from the volcano.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519386-M.jpg

The road was typical of the roads I'd been riding since arriving in AZ.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519387-M.jpg

I stopped at the base of the volcano. There was a path leading to the
top, a pretty hike I didn't have time for. I imagine the view from the
top is well worth the effort to view it. A family stopped to where I was
to shoot some photos. It was the first people I'd seen inside the park.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534048-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534053-M.jpg

Black lava flows continued for what seemed like miles
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534055-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534068-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534076-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534079-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534084-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534085-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534091-M.jpg

The view leading from Sunset Crater toward Wupatki, with The Painted
desert in the distance
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534092-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534094-M.jpg

It's hard to describe the feeling you get riding solo through here
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534097-M.jpg

Cruising through
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534099-M.jpg

The road leading to Wupatki
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519390-M.jpg

The ruins at Wupatki were a disappointment, not because of the ruins,
but because a tour bus loaded with people were crawling all over the
ruins.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534106-M.jpg


Nice roads eh???
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519391-M.jpg

more photo ops inside the park
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92534112-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92575947-M.jpg

A view of Lomaki ruins
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92575946-M.jpg

and finally the road leading out of the park and back to 89N.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519394-M.jpg

Once I was riding 89N again, the road is pretty desolate. Better not
run out of gas around here.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519395-M.jpg

Way off in the distance, red faced cliffs begin to appear.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519396-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519398-M.jpg

the closer you get, the bigger they become
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519399-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92575950-M.jpg

and this goes on mile after mile
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92579698-M.jpg

until suddenly you're surrounded by rock cliffs, and all alone.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92579701-M.jpg

As I was stopped in this area, I met a guy named Bob from Maryland. He
just finished a 3 year stint with the Smithsonian Institute, and was in
the process of moving back to Washington State. He was looking forward
to going back home in Washington, and going back to work in the private
sector. He was deeply interested in my adventure. I saw him at the next
several stops, and we chatted each time. Unfortunately I didn't catch
his photo or last name, but he said he took not of ADVRider and would
look for this thread. So if you're out there Bob, drop me a line, won't
ya? Dave from VA on the Uly.:D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92579707-M.jpg

After meeting Bob, I was somewhat relieved just knowing he was behind
me somewhere in case I broke down or got caught out here in a severe
thunderstorm.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92579710-M.jpg

The landscape is pretty dramatic out here. I was hoping to see a
rattlesnake. I never did.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92579713-M.jpg

A perfectly exposed black motorcycle is a recipe for a perfectly
overexposed background :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92582913-M.jpg

This shot reminds me of the trip to Venice Beach last March, when a
fine gentleman spoke to my brother about his WeeStrom, asking him "How do
you like that Beam Dub Ya?" :D this shot looks sorta like one of those
Beam Dub Ya's :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92582919-M.jpg

Although it doesn't look like, that's about a 40 mile stretch of road
right there.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92582921-M.jpg

The road led straight to the cliffs ahead before turning left toward
the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Before doing so, the bridge ahead
crosses Glen Canyon. I didn't get off the bike, but I did shoot several
photos from the saddle:
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519407-M.jpg

Looking left from the bridge:
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92582922-M.jpg

Looking Right:
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92582925-M.jpg

and looking ahead
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92582931-M.jpg

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 01:01 PM
During this whole trip, I never felt quite so alone as I did riding
through this section of Arizona. There's absolutely nothing out there. And
on this day, there were very few cars. Off in the distance I saw one of
those monsoons building. It started freaking me out when I saw the
cloud to ground lightening, even though the storm was probably 50 miles
away. As I rode along, I wondered what I would do if that monsoon moved
overhead. I certainly wouldn't want to be caught riding a motorcycle out
in the open through a monsoon. Would I try to take up shelter in one of
those cliffs off to my right. Those suckers are at least a mile away
through sandy soil.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519411-M.jpg

I know what I'd do if I saw a monsoon approaching. I'd haul ass back to
Bob, flag him down, and hop inside his car :D .

Along this stretch of 89, I started seeing rocks, no boulders, no, HUGE
FREAKING BOULDERS BIGGER THAN MY HOUSE, laying on the canyon floor. I
had to stop and shoot one of these guys. To add perspective, I placed
the Uly in front of one. Unfortunately I photography's limitation prevent
me from showing the scale of both the boulder and the cliff behind it.
Trust me when I tell ya that cliff behind the boulder is way the heck
up there. :D Can you imagine seeing one of those boulders roll off the
cliff?
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92582932-M.jpg

I shot this scene from every angle. I was truly amazed.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92582936-M.jpg

The road began climbing in elevation. There was a scenic overlook
looking back along the road I had just ridden. This stretch must reach for
75 miles or better.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92582937-M.jpg

As I was photographing the scenery, Bob rolled up and we chatted one
last time. I told him I thought I was about to get wet, then pointed to
the monsoon off to the left. After checking my GPS, it was clear the
road was heading straight into the storm. I kinda freaked out a little,
but did a pretty good job of disguising my fear of storms.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590826-M.jpg

For some reason, I felt comfortable knowing Bob was there, even though
I had only known him for about 20 minutes of conversation on 2 previous
stops. And even though he was inside a car, and I was outside on a
motorcycle. It doesn't make sense, I know, but sometimes thing just don't
make sense.

As we started to leave, Bob asked me if I was planning to go to the
north rim of the Grand Canyon. I really wanted to, but I knew that storm
stood between me and the canyon, so I said I doubt it, making up some
story about being on a tight schedule and not having the necessary 2
hours to spare. The truth was, I didn't have the balls to head straight
into that storm. An then have to ride back out of it. Just being honest
here :D .

Bob climbed into his car and I waited for him to leave, following him
up into the mountains. At the top, Bob stopped for a bite to eat. I
stopped for gas. I never saw Bob again. I hope you find this thread Bob and
stay in touch.

After filling the tank, the road I was following turned toward the
right, away from the storm. I rode down the road about a half a mile,
pissed off that I didn't have the guts to go see the Grand Canyon, and I was
only 40 miles away. It bothered me real bad. I actually turned around
and started heading back toward Bob and the Grand Canyon. I made it as
far as the gas station, and turned around again. I simply didn't want to
take the risk. Maybe next time. I justified my decision by telling
myself I'll save my first viewing of the Grand Canyon for the opportunity
to share the experience with my wife. The truth is, if the skies had
been clear in that direction, the next photos I'd be posting would be of
the Grand Canyon.

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 01:02 PM
With the Grand Canyon now behind me, I descended slowly back down to
thicker air. I now focused on the great state of Utah. Here's the road
leading down
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519413-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519415-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519416-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519421-M.jpg

Soon, the mountains gave way to the red rocky terrain,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519419-M.jpg

and before long I was in a little town just outside of utah, Fredonia,
AZ.
I stopped in to buy gas
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519423-M.jpg

and one of these to quench my thirst and give me some pep:
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519422-M.jpg

after drinking the iced cold frap, I went right back inside and bought
another one, and it too last less than 10 seconds.

I departed for the Utah border. It was mid afternoon when I shot my
first photo in Kanab, UT.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519425-M.jpg

The scenery changed immediately after crossing into Utah. The rocks in
AZ ver red, these clifs were VERY RED, and the roads were still twisty.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519428-M.jpg

This area reminded me of Sedona
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519429-M.jpg

hmmmm, starting to look alot like rain up ahead
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92519431-M.jpg

somewhere in the town of Kanab, UT
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590830-M.jpg

Before long, I found myself photographing the strangest things, Like
Subway restaurants, just because they were in beautiful locations
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590834-M.jpg

A few miles down the road I saw this tourist trap. It was an
underground cavern that extended some 200 yards deep. I shot it from the outside,
but decided against taking the walking tour
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590838-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590847-M.jpg

I continued north, keeping an eye on the storm off to my left
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590851-M.jpg

and soon it was time to stop for rain gear
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590853-M.jpg

so I pulled off the side of the road and put my overpants and rain
jacket on
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590857-M.jpg

Back on the road, I picked up the pace trying to beat the storm, or at
least blast through it quickly. After this shot was taken, both cameras
went into hiding inside their plastic bags.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590858-M.jpg

Pretty soon, I was in front of the storm and just hauled ass to stay
ahead. I had removed the bike mounted camera, so the only photos I have
for the rest of the day were the one's shot when I stopped. The rode for
many miles, before turning off route 89 to UT-12.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590863-M.jpg

where the scenery started blowing my mind.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590866-M.jpg

I'd stop, shoot,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590868-M.jpg

shoot another,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590869-M.jpg

and another
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590871-M.jpg

ride a half a mile, and repeat.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590872-M.jpg

I was in a photographers playground.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590873-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590878-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590879-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92590884-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92690845-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92690846-M.jpg

what a boring road UT-12 is :evil
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92690855-M.jpg

looking back
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92690856-M.jpg

getting boring, isn't it
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92690859-M.jpg

From 12, I turned right on 63 into Bryce Canyon National Park. Quite an
obscure littl eplace :evil

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92690863-M.jpg

in an obscure location :evil
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92690866-M.jpg

I booked a room at the Bryce View Lodges just outside the park. I met a
couple of professional photographers, one from Orlando, one from Tampa,
who were on their way to a photo show in Las Vegas. We chatted briefly,
and I picked their brains for places and times to see the area
attractions.

Just before dark, I returned to my room and began uploading photos via
WiFi. I phoned home to let Julie know everything was fine, and I had
arrived safely in Bryce Canyon. At this time, I wasn't sure I wanted
explore Bryce Canyon the next day. Having seen the upper portion, I thought
about just leaving early the next day, and exploring other areas. In
the morning, I changed my mind, and headed deep into Bryce Canyon. It
turned out to be a good decision.

glitch
14-09-2006, 01:31 PM
Now THIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!! is a ride report...Holy Cow :shock: :shock: :shock:
That one will go straight to the trophy-shelf.
I'm stumped !!
A HUGE Thanks :D :D :D

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 01:52 PM
Day 3, Sunday, September 3, 2006

Bryce Canyon, UT to Escalante, UT

I slept hard last night. I was only averaging 5 hours per night, but it was a deep, total mind and body sleep. In the morning I would repack my luggage, load the bike, and take off for whatever lies ahead. This morning I decided to ride to the end of Bryce Canyon. The lighting conditions were better than last evening when I first rolled in. The air was crisp, the skies were blue, and the sun was shining.

Here's the motel I stayed in last night.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853188-M.jpg

and my bike parked just below my room on the 2nd floor
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853183-M.jpg

I rolled into the Bryce Visitors center to pick up some oranje juice and postcards. I filled the gas tank. The Uly was averaging 50-55 mpg. The tank is only 4.5 gallons, but I was getting 155-175 miles before hitting the .83 gallon reserve. Filling the bike with premium fuel was averaging less than $10.00.

As I walked back to the bike, there was a V-Strom with a guy and girl ready to depart. They came over, saw the Virginia plate, and wanted to know all about my trip and specifically about the Uly. I told them I only had the bike for 3 days, but the Uly is simply amazing. It gobbles up the miles on the highway, and handles the twisties with ease. The stock suspension on this bike is better than any stock suspension I've had the pleasure of riding. It's very confidence inspiring. The guy looked under my bike and said I was leaking something. It was the fuel overflow, again:D .

We went separate ways. They left the park. I went in deeper. All of the scenic overlooks in Bryce Canyon are on the left side of the road. There were quite a few bikes exploring the park this morning.

These little bastards were all over the place
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853185-M.jpg

Here's the road leading into Bryce. Portions of it vere covered in crush stone. If I recall correctly, it was 21 or 26 miles long. Just like riding in the mountains.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853187-M.jpg

My first stop this morning was Natural Bridge. I parked the bike, walked over to the edge, and just stood there drooling. My photos suck compared to the vast beauty of the place. The first thought through my mind is this is absolutely the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. I thot well over 400 photos this day. This post will be photo heavy.

Natural Bridge is huge. The photo fails to capture it. The canyon floor just falls away, with the bridge rising to amazing heights. Everyone who saw it for the first time had the same reaction. A whisper of wow.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850457-M.jpg

As I was staring at it, I met a really sweet older couple from New Hampshire. We chatted at length about their trip, my trip, and Natural Bridge. I told them Virginia has a Natural Bridge, but it doesn't compare with this place. They had already seen the one in VA and agreed. He then said to me, "Dave, if you ever find a more beautiful site, will you please let me know?" I couldn't agree more. She then offered to take my photo.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850459-M.jpg

My encounter with this older couple was so typical of my encounters during the entire trip. Everyone is stress free and in a fantastic mood. Everyone is interested in what others are doing. It's the life should be. I'm trying to maintain some of that back here in my daily life. I felt like I'd known these folks all my life. That after only 5 minutes. My biggest regret during the trip is not seizing the opportunity to photograph the people I met along the way. You learn these things as you go.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850455-M.jpg

Bryce Canyon is one of those places where it's difficult to take a bad photo.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850460-M.jpg

Take a photo, turn and look in another direction, and the perspective and lighting changes dramatically.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850456-M.jpg

Walk ten steps, repeat.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850462-M.jpg

Turn to the right, zoom in a little, and shoot.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850470-M.jpg

Take two steps, zoom out a little, check the light falling on the subject, and shoot
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850469-M.jpg

tighten up the composition, and click
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850467-M.jpg

look to the left
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850466-M.jpg

zoom in
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850473-M.jpg

zoom out
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850461-M.jpg

and it's really hard to screw up a photo in Bryce Canyon.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850481-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850479-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850476-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850474-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850478-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850464-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850465-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850468-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850472-M.jpg


After investing several hours in Bryce Canyon, I left the park and headed toward Kodachrome State Park. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the road snaked through the hills I had just photographed.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853189-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/92694965-M.jpg

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 01:56 PM
Wassup???!!! It's always nice seeing another solo adventure rider.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853190-M.jpg

Another shot of UT-12 heading toward Kodachrome State Park.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853196-M.jpg

complete with the random rock formation thrown in
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853193-M.jpg

You'll never see a sign like THAT in Virginia.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853191-M.jpg

The rocks were white in Kodachrome
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853202-M.jpg

This is just outside the park, still on UT-12
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850484-M.jpg

Getting closer to the park. The scenery everywhere rocked.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850485-M.jpg

I can see for miles,,,,,and,,,,,,miles.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850487-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850488-M.jpg

This area was so beautiful I couldn't ride more than 1/4 mile before stopping again. I really put the starting system on th Uly through hell these first 5 days.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850489-M.jpg

This was shot just inside the park. I had already seen so much, I almost didn't pay the entry fee. Then I found out the State charges bikes only $3.00. It was worth the fee. Basically, the park is a 2 miles stretch leading through more beautiful scenery, some of which is pretty famous.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853194-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850492-M.jpg

It was Hot, witha capital H out there.

[img]http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850494-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850497-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850496-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850493-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850490-M.jpg

The loop at the end of the drive at Kodachrome State Park. The cliffs were so high it was hard to get a shot behind where I was standing to tak this shot.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850491-M.jpg

Leaving the park
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853195-M.jpg

led through a detour, past this gone but not forgotten icon
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850499-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850501-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850500-M.jpg

Back on UT-12 heading east, all those clouds suddenly turned dark. I rolled past 3 Harleys sitting on the side of the road. I assumed they were putting on rain gear.

Several miles later, the wind suddenly picked up, so I puoll off the side of the road. The routine was familiar. Put both cameras away in their plastic bags, then put rain gear on. As I was digging for my rain pants, the 3 Harleys rolled past. It seemed to take forever to find my rain pants. Finally I was wearing my gear, and had the luggage zipped up, ready to roll. Within a few minutes, I started seeing the cloud to ground lightening. I was running solo. Fortunately, I was in the mountains, not out in the open. I wicked up the throttle. I knew the 3 Harleys riders were up ahead somewhere. Here's what it looked like.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853207-M.jpg

Before long, I caught up to the pack. I was doing 80-85 to catch them. When I finally caught up, I rolled back the throttle to the 45mph pace they were setting. We were heading into black skies. The rain started falling in sheets. I was content following behind the group. Soon, we were riding through hail. This lasted less than 10 minutes. Just as quickly as we enter the storm, we rode out of it. The group pulled over to the side of the road. I followed, and stopped about 30 feet back. I shot a photo.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94853209-M.jpg

They came walking over and we chatted. I realized none of them were wearing helmets. One of them said they need helmets for riding through hail. They all just laughed. They were checking out the Uly pretty good. About that time they were ready to fire up smokes. I wasn't far from Escalante, my final destination for the day. They were trying to reach Mexican Hat by the end of the day, 150 miles away. I said "happy trails" and left.

Just before entering town, I saw a sign for Escalant State Park. It's basically the home of one of the best examples of petrified forests on the planet. I've wanted to see a petrified forest ever since I was a little kid. The sight required a 2 mile hike up the mountain. I decided not to leave the bike. On the way out, I shot a few photos of the storm that was chasing me. Here's a keeper.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850502-M.jpg

A few minutes later, I found my motel in Escalante.

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 02:02 PM
At first I regretted booking a room in Escalante. The place was dead. Sunday afternoon, and almost everything was closed. I booked my room. Unloaded the bike, and went across the street. The only place that was open was a quaint little shop that sold just about everything, including a restaurant and bar. I bought the finest tasting chicken salad sandwich I've ever tasted. As I was waiting, one of the proprietors told me I was welcome to hang out there and use their WiFi service for free. He wanted to hear all about my trip. They were so friendly, I was happy I found this place.

I brought my sandwich back to the motel and devoured it. I almost went back for another. As I was unpacking my stuff, a truck rolled up and the guy introduced himself as "The Doctor." He said he runs the only bike repair shop around for 200 miles. Said he's open 24 hours, gave me his card, and told me he offers towing if needed. He then told me where his shop was located, and invited me to hang out there all afternoon if I wasn't doing anything. :thumb
He then left as fast as he rolled up. Wow. I'll keep his card forever.

I was anxious to grab a shower and go upload some photos. The wifi at Bryce View Lodge was sketchy, so I was way behind uploading photos.

My motel didn't have wifi. The town had no cell service. I couldn't talk to Julie. I wanted to email her ASAP so she would know everything's okay, even though I wouldn't be calling.

After a quick shower and shave, I went back across the street and ordered up a Corona. I asked the waitress what the police presence was like, explaining to her I wanted to have a couple beers the ride the bike back across the street. I felt obliged to have a few beers since I was hijacking their internet, it was the least I could do. :D She explained the county had one cop, and he rarely comes to Escalante. She said I'd be fine, unless I became obnoxious, at which time she'd drive me home. Then she repeated it.

For the next 3 hours, I uploaded photos, emailed folks back home, and surfed the net. I sat out on the front porch where several people were dining. It was a pleasant evening. I had 3 Coronas. Then I went back to the room and fixed up a cup of java.

Several bikers rolled in and we chatted. They were from Las Vegas, but were rolling in from a bike show in Durango. Everyone was interested when they saw the VA plate on my bike. Nice folks everywhere.

Home sweet home for Sunday night.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850453-M.jpg

"The Doctor" came from the direction of that dirt road.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850504-M.jpg

It was a quiet town.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94850503-M.jpg

The establishment with the only internet access in town. Before I left, the gentleman asked where I was coming from, and where I was heading. I told him tomorrow I'm heading east toward Moab. He said, "You haven't even seen the good stuff yet." I thought 'yeah right' but just smiled and said "great."

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896619-M.jpg

Tomorrow, my mind would be blown.

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 02:07 PM
Day 4, Monday September 4, 2006.

Escalante, Ut to Moab, UT.


Slept like a baby again last night. I woke up and turned the weather channel on. Another perfect day forecasted, with temps ranging between 70 and 88 degrees along today's planned route.

As I was preparing the bike for departure, I happened to flip the channel over to the today show. My mood was suddenly tempered by the knowledge Steve Irwin passed away in a tragic accident. I was really bummed. That guy lived more live than most of us can imagine in 10,000 lifetimes. I thought about his family. Then I thought about my youngest daughter. I knew she would be bummed, as she and I had watched Steve numerous times together. RIP Steve :cry . One thing I took away from Steve's life and death was the fact that he lived such a full life, yet died at the early age of 44. I turn 44 in 2 days. My resolve to live life to the fullest, with my limited means, was cemented that morning.

The bike was locked and loaded. It fired right up. I let it idle for several minutes. I could see my acquaintances from Las Vegas were preparing for departure too. I knew I'd never see them again. I mounted the bike, removed the lense cap from the bar mounted Kodak, and snapped a photo of them preparing to leave.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896617-M.jpg

As I rolled past them, everyone knew I was headed to Moab, then Durango, then 2100 miles back to VA. Everyone of them gave me the thumbs up with a huge smile as I rolled through their congregation. I felt their approval.

I took a right onto UT-12 heading east. The only gas station in town was open so I topped off the tank. The employee reminded me of my dad back home. When I came inside to pay, He said, "It looks like a great day for you to do what you're going to be doing. I wish I could go with you instead of being stuck in this place." I smiles and said, "Yes sir. I hope you have a nice day."

It was ironic. Part of me wanted to stay in Escalante. The place is in the middle of Paradise as far as I'm concerned. I think the folks who reside there don't know how fortunate they are to wake up in such a beautiful place each day, sheltered from the fast paced life most of us are so familiar with. Then again, they probably know.

I had no expectations about this day. My goal was Moab, Ut. What lay between me and Moab was only a guess. What I saw, simply blew my mind. I have never, and can't imagine ever, riding a better 140 mile stretch than UT-12 heading east from Escalante to UT-24 through Capital Reefe National Park. I would shoot over 500 photos this day.

Early in the morning the sun was low, and the road was desolate.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896620-M.jpg

I was riding through the northern part of the Grand Staircase, which extends from Southern Utah deep into Arizona.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896621-M.jpg

There are only a few dirt roads through the region. Grand Staircase is where new dinosaur fossils are being unearthed. It's cool just being close to the region.

Within 10 minutes, the straight road gave way to twisties, and extreme elevation changes.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896622-M.jpg

It was difficult to capture the 3 dimensional reality on a 2 dimensional photo. I kept trying :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896623-M.jpg

After navigating a few twisties, I had to stop.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892207-M.jpg

I was in a total state of euphoria looking ahead at the roads I was about to ride.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892206-M.jpg

I could see canyons and rock faces for miles, and the road was carved right through both, with curve after blissful curve.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892208-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896625-M.jpg

I didn't have the desire to rail this section. I just wanted it to last.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896626-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896627-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892210-M.jpg

Check out the road in the bottom right corner
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892212-M.jpg

The further I went, the rocks were painted a deeper red
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892221-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892209-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892213-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892214-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892216-M.jpg

I was tempted to stop in for a cup of java, but my ride had just started 15 minutes ago.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892219-M.jpg

I continued on
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892215-M.jpg

and continued having fun
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896636-M.jpg

The road climbed in elevation
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896638-M.jpg

to another overlook
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892222-M.jpg

It's hard to tell by the photos, but you wouldn't want to fall from this height
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892223-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892224-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892226-M.jpg

The roads were still twisting
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892225-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892227-M.jpg

before long, the rocks gave way to shrubs.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896639-M.jpg

the landscape was a pallette of greens and reds,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896640-M.jpg

and I had only been riding 30 minutes.

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 02:13 PM
I rode another 15 miles, maybe 30. I wasn't counting. The air got cooler. Then got cold. I was climbing again. I scanned my gps. I was at 7400 feet and climbing fast.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896643-M.jpg

I stopped to put on my rain jacket for an extra layer of warmth. These guys weren't bothered by my presence.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896641-M.jpg

This guy was bow hunting. I waved. He didn't wave back.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896644-M.jpg

Soon, I was immersed in the mountains. I was now at 8400 feet.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896646-M.jpg

I love these trees.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892228-M.jpg

I was on the mountain looking down on the canyons I'd just ridden
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892230-M.jpg

More sights to shoot
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892231-M.jpg

As I crested the ridge, I hit 9000 + feet. The highest I'd ever been on earth.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896648-M.jpg

Coming down from the heights, I pulled off the left side of the road into a little park. There was a man walking his dog. We exchanged stories. I shot more photos.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892234-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892233-M.jpg

He saw me reading this sign,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892232-M.jpg

and asked if I'd seen any. I told him no, and asked him the same. Negative, but both of us were on the lookout.

It was a beautiful morning. Coming out of the elevations, I came out of my rain jacket. We talked a bit more. His car was loaded down. I didn't catch his name. Shame on me. I didn't catch his photo. Double shame. I don't remember where he was from. I do remember where he was going. He was moving, yes, relocating, to Mexico. And taking the scenic route to get there. I think I mentioned ADVRider. I hope you find this thread, whoever you are, wherever you are. He departed. I took a piss, and departed in the same direction.

Coming out of the mountains, I could see more red ahead.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896649-M.jpg

I also saw cattle crossing signs.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896650-M.jpg

As I was rolling along, there was cattle along the road. On the wrong side of the fence. On MY side of the fence. I was laughing at the thought of hitting one. It really wouldn't be funny, but I thought about the conversation the authorities would have with my wife. "Hello ma'am, this is the Utah State Police. Sorry to inform you your husband has been involved in a motorcycle accident."

"Oh no, what happened, did someone pull out in front of him?":eek1

"No ma'am, He hit a cow." :D

This guy has it made out in Utah.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896651-M.jpg

I continued on. The scenery started to get very interesting. Again.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896652-M.jpg

As well as the roads.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896653-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896654-M.jpg

Waddup Yo?!
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896655-M.jpg

Pretty soon, I was stopping again.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892236-M.jpg

As I shot this, the guy heading to Mexico pulled over to check if everything was ok. I told him yes and gave a thumbs up. That was the last time I saw him.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892235-M.jpg

A view from the saddle
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892238-M.jpg

This was the approximate area where I turned right on UT-24 :deal
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896656-M.jpg

I entered Capitol Reef NP. I hadn't planned to visit this park. I didn't realize UT-24 goes right through the park:norton . Man I'm glad it did.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896657-M.jpg

The bike looks right at home here, don't ya think? :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892239-M.jpg

How 'bout here? :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892242-M.jpg

Better exposure without the black blike throwing the meter off
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892244-M.jpg

Another half mile down the road, and repeat.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892250-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892251-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892247-M.jpg

This was getting ridiculous! Another 1/2 mile, another mandatory stop.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892252-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892253-M.jpg

More dirt :evil
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892254-M.jpg

do de dum
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892259-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892261-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892262-M.jpg

No traffic.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892263-M.jpg

A little further, I'd find Goosenecks Point State Park. :evil

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 02:21 PM
Day Four Continued.

I forget the exact time of day at this point in the trip, my best guess is between 10:45 and 11:45 am. I had stopped the Buell so many times already to shoot photos, I started wondering if the charging system and starting system, and cooling fan, would continue working. The bike always fired right up.

The planning stage of this trip was a refreshing lesson in southwest geography for both Julie and I. During our research, I rediscovered many sites that I remember reading about long ago, but had forgotton about. This time, the names of those sites became relevant. One such place wa Goosenecks Point State Park. After a morning of great shooting and even better roads, I saw the sign for Goosnecks Point. I had made such little progress, but the thought of not visiting the park never entered my mind.

The cool thing about this diversion was the road leading to the Goosenecks main attraction was a dirt road about a mile or two long, over some rough and tumble terrain. At the entrance to the dirt road was another overlook, but it looked pretty lame. The great thing was, everyone was at the first, easily accessible lame parking area. The road leading to the real views was empty.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896659-M.jpg

There was one car in the parking area, and the occupants were nowhere in sight. I took off my jacket, gloves, and helmet, and took a nice long drink of orange juice. I grabbed my camera, and started walking up the path.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892264-M.jpg

The sky was super cooperative, and the plants provided a colorful splash of life against the otherwise barren soil.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892265-M.jpg

This was shot looking back toward the lot where my bike was parked.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892266-M.jpg

This is an overview of the view I was anticipating upon reaching the summit.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892278-M.jpg

All of the handheld photos were shot using a Nikon D50 camera body with a 17-55 f/2.8 lense. Even at the widest perspective, the composition of many sights, Goosenecks Point included, prevented me from capturing the entire scene in the viewfinder. That's okay. It just meant I would have to shoot more photos :D Here's my first view overlooking the park.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892267-M.jpg

I was standing just a few feet from the ledge when shooting some of these photos. I was completely alone. Totally tripping on the experience.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892268-M.jpg

If I ever take this trip again, I'll need a wider angle lense. A zoom in the 10-20mm range would have been perfect. Then again, I wasn't complaining when these shots were taken.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892269-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892270-M.jpg

The muddy looking path at the bottom is a river. It looked to be nearly dried up from where I was standing. It was so far away, and I really didn't want to get any closer to the river than where I was standing.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892271-M.jpg

I was standing on a narrow ledge overlooking the gorge, maybe 3 or 4 feet wide. Directly behind me were still more shots waiting to be captured.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892272-M.jpg

This is looking left from where I was standing.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892275-M.jpg

Just another view of the path I was on.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892280-M.jpg

I've never seen a rattlesnake in the wild out west. I was hoping to find one here. Instead, I found more empty brush to shoot.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892281-M.jpg

A shot of the parking lot.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892282-M.jpg

As I was heading back down, I finally saw people. I shot this,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892283-M.jpg

a girl was climbing up toward me, her soul mate following in the distance. I had seen them photographing each other during my previous stops. I gave them space, noting they were so into each other and absorbed in the scenery, I don't think they were aware of my presence. I doubt they missed the Uly in the parking lot though :D . As she go closer, I simply stated something to the effect 'it's hard to make any progress in southern Utah, isn't it?" They both laughed in agreement. I walked past them to my bike and left them alone in the park. What a fantastic place to be alone with your soul mate. I never saw them again.

Another bike mounted cam shot leaving the park, heading back to UT-24
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896660-M.jpg

where once again the sights were worth capturing
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896661-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892285-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892286-M.jpg

I continued riding through the canyons, and soon the desolate brown cliffs succumbed to lush green foliage along the road
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896662-M.jpg

and within minutes, I was off the bike again.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892290-M.jpg

The building appeared to be a historic one room school house. The front door was wide open. The heat was stifling. I wandered around, shooting,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892289-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892292-M.jpg

carved into a rock behind the building
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892293-M.jpg

and when I reappeared around the front of the building, I was half startled to see this girl walking across the road toward me
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892287-M.jpg

soon to be joined by the youngster.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892294-M.jpg

I peered inside the school room. This time I was thoroughly startled. Inside was a dear, of the two legged variety. She was a park ranger hiding from the direct sun. She was totally aware of my presence outside, I'm sure. I was totally unaware of her presence inside, I'm sure :D .

For the first time during the trip, I opened the lense up to f2.8 and shot a photo of the school room.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892291-M.jpg

I told the ranger about the deer I had just witnessed walking across the road. She said minutes before a herd of 20 or so came through. She asked where I was from which led into a discussion comparing the greenery of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia to the reds of southern Utah. It turns out she worked in the Shenandoah Valley for three years before discovering Utah. We agreed both regions possess a unique beauty. I left just as another couple were arriving.

Within just a mile or two, I was off the bike again. This time it was petroglyphs that caught my attention. They also caught the attention of a 15 or 20 other folks, so for the first time this day, I would have some real human interaction.

I parked the bike and walked halfway down this bridge at the bas of the cliffs.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892295-M.jpg

There was a family coming toward me. I was wearing my black jeans and riding jacket. The family consisted of a married couple, a son maybe 4-5 years old, and a daughter, maybe 2.5 to 3 years old, lagging behind, lost in her own little world of discovery.

I said hello as they walked past me. They seemed 'concerned' about the daughter lagging behind, with me in the area :D . I spoke to her briefly as I walked by, trying to get several yards away from the little girl to alleviate her parents fears. That totally sucked. It the way things are in this world. But it sucked none the less. All the parents saw was a 'biker.' The truth is, at that moment, I'd have given my life to save that little girl if hers was in danger. Oh well. As a parent, I understood the protection mechanisms kicking in by the concerned parents. It still sucked.

I walked over to a group of people staring straight ahead at the cliff. As I walked up, I smiled :D , and said "What are we looking at?" Everyone was super helpful explaining the carvings in the rocks. This one man took me as his personal student. He patiently pointed out the location of the herd carved into the rocks. I couldn't see it :D . I tried on several attempts to find what was so clear to everyone else, but I still couldn't see the carvings :D . He would point to a clear object which I could see, then I'd slowely follow his pointing arm over to the subject. I could follow him right to the subject, but I couldn't see the damn carvings :D . Finally I said out loud, "WHY CAN'T I SEE THIS?????" He looked at me and said. "I DON'T KNOW." :rofl I was getting frustrated and thought about faking it. I kept looking, and FINALLY, I saw the little bastard carved into the wall :lol3 .

I shot several photos. They're in there somewhere :D . I just don't remember where :freaky .
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892296-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892297-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892298-M.jpg

Everyone started clapping when I finally saw the petroglyphs. Several of them were on a bike trip from Minnesota. Retired types, sincerely interested in my adventure. I regret not getting a photo of these fine people. It was an experience I'll never forget. Happy trails to each of you, especially my tutor :thumb

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 02:27 PM
After leaving the petroglyphs, I actually rode a distance of about 3 miles before witnessing the next subject worthy of the viewfinder. As always, I continued shooting while rolling through the gorge.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896663-M.jpg

the cliff tops changed from solid red to white
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896665-M.jpg

I rolled into a turnout along the roadside, came to a stop, and started shooting, again. Here's looking left
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892300-M.jpg

looking ahead toward the direction I just came from
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892301-M.jpg

and finally, a tight shot of Navajo Dome.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892299-M.jpg

I walked over to capture the site info.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892302-M.jpg

and as happened many times during my journey, a couple, parked near by, posed the question, "Did you ride all the way from Virginia?"

I responded, "No, but I'm riding all the way back :D ," which always led into deeper discussions about what I was doing, and more importantly to me, what they were doing.

This couple was visiting from Cali. When he found out I was riding solo from Phoenix all the way to VA, the questions started flying. He looked at my bike and asked if it was a Kawasaki :lol3 . I said no, it's a Harley :D . He then walked over, and asked if my ass hurts while riding it? I told him, "so far, so good. :D " He said his firend bought a Kawasaki that looks just like my bike :lol3 , but his ass hurts after 3 hours :wink: . I said it sounds like your friend bought a KLR650. He responded with more enthusiasm than I anticipated, "THAT'S IT! IT'S A KAWASAKI 650:clap :clap :clap !! How did you know?" "Well," I said, "You said it looks just like my bike :D ."

All this took place in about 30 seconds. As he approached my bike, he say's "Well look at you, all set up with the Kodak Easyshare mounted up front and center, and the Garmin 600 right on the handlebar :D .":freaky :freaky :evil :D

I was just grinning. Inside I was laughing my ass off. Yeah, it's a Garmin 600 something or other alright :D . Just good people is all they were. I probably could have asked them to fry me a hotdog, and they would have given me a steak, right there roadside. I was having the time of my life. I was having one of the best riding days of my life.

I told them I'd love to stay and chat. Honestly, I would have loved to stay and chat. But, even out in the middle of paradise, I was on a schedule. After all, it was now approaching 12:30. We went separate ways.

This day was just getting started.

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 02:29 PM
As I headed out of Capitol Reef NP, I was slightly disappointed. Disappointed the previous stretch of road was coming to an end. The fine folks from Cali mentioned the scenery would change up ahead. It certainly did.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896667-M.jpg

I continued rolling, and for the first time all day, started making progress towards Moab. Along the way, I stopped at the post office in Hanksville, UT to drop off 3 postcards. One to my son Zach in Attu, Alaska, one to my wife and kids, and one to my youngest daughter. This photo sucks, but has personal meaning.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896669-M.jpg

I continued, stopping at the intersection of UT-24 and UT-95. UT-95 heads south to Powell Lake. UT-24 leads North to I-70. I pulled into a gas station to fill the tank. I pulled up to a pump, inserted my credit card, and in return, received a message, "please see cashier inside." Those are the last words you want to see when trying to fill up while on a bike. I walked inside, and the gal said, "You must be on pump 4. For some reason that's the only pump that won't receive the card without me resetting it from inside."

She was nice. Super friendly. The irritation evaporated. I went back outside and filled the bike. I went back inside and paid the nice girl. I overheard her talking to a friend, hanging out inside. She told her friend to hang in there. She was being supportive. Her friend was leaving and told the the teller to have a nice afternoon. The teller said her nice afternoon would begin in 40 minutes when she got off work.

I used the restroom, then found my way back to the rear right corner of the store. I found a super iced cold Starbucks strawberry laced milk drink and returned to the cashier to pay. She wanted to talk. I chatted just a bit, disclosing enough info. that others around me knew I was heading slowly towards VA.

A guy and two girls were standing there. The guy asked me how I liked the Uly. Oh man. I'm always ready, willing, and able to talk bikes. I start talking. I notice they're all 3 sporting super dark sun tans. They all look pretty nice. Two of the three look really nice :evil . I notice as my mouth continues running, they are pulling 2 watercraft behind a motorhome. I also notice that while I'm explaining my journey, the two girls are hanging on to every word. It was one of those moments where it seems like what's happening in someone elses life is more important than what's happening in your own life. In this case, they were jonesing to be doing what I was doing. Especially when I got to the part about taking 10 days for the return trip back to VA. It was just a blip of time. I was in the moment. Just as soon as it all started, it all ended. I hopped on the bike, said my usual "Happy Trails" and headed north on UT-24.

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 02:30 PM
Day Four is now half over. It continues here :deal

:D

I'm now heading north on UT-24, having just had an exhilerating conversation with suntan laden bike worshippers :rofl . All day I was cruising at 40mph, give or take 10mph. Now, I was hauling ass, cruising at 80mph. We're finally making up some lost time.

Off to my left, in the distance was the San Rafael Reef. I know, because I just looked it up on my atlas :D . Here's what it looked like from my perspective:
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896670-M.jpg

This stretch of UT-24 spans for 50 or so miles before reaching I-70. About halfway, I stopped again. Here's looking left.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892303-M.jpg

here's looking right
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892305-M.jpg

and here's looking right again :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892304-M.jpg

The lady in the bottom right hand portion of the photo came walking up as I was putting my camera away.

"Did you ride that bike all the way from Virginia?" :D

"No, but I'm heading there after Moab and Durango." :D

"Oh, make sure you visit Dead Horse State Park in Moab. Whatever you do, don't miss Dead Horse State Park."

I thanked her for the referral. She was travelling with her husband back to Denver, CO. They were pulling one of those huge party boats. She asked if I had been to Lake Powell. I lied and said yes. I don't know why I did that. I just didn't want to hear all about Lake Powell, I guess :D . We talked for at least ten minutes. Her husband never appeared. I remember her telling me, regarding southern Utah, these exact words, "You could spend a month of Sundays exploring souther Utah." I nodded in agreement, thinking I could spend the next year exploring southern Utah and still find more to discover.

The next part of my trip was uneventful. I didn't shoot any more photos. I continued on UT-24, then merged onto eastbound I-70. The scenery was better than expected on I-70. Any scenery on an interstate highway is better than nothing. I kept rolling. Forty or fifty miles later, I merged south onto 191, towards Moab.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896672-M.jpg
where I witnessed the Rocky Mountains for the first time.:deal

Tomorrow, I would head toward those mountains. I'd cross over the near ridge, and ride south through them. Tomorrow would get here soon enough. Today, I had alot of exploring to do.

About 15 miles from I-70, I saw the sign leading to Dead Horse State Park. I think the route was 313. I made the right hand turn. Within minutes, the roads began twisting again, and I started seeing world famous sites. Like the Monitor and Merrimack Rock formations, named after two famous civil war battleships.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892306-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892307-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892308-M.jpg

The landscape continued to impress
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892309-M.jpg

so I continued to shoot
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892310-M.jpg

Several miles depper, I reached Plateau Country
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892311-M.jpg

Where the majestic Rockies came into better view
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892312-M.jpg

as did other rock formations
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892313-M.jpg

It was now mid afternoon on Labor Day. The only cars on the roads were heading out of the Park. I was happy to be heading in the opposite direction.
For what seemed like 20 miles, I kept going and going. Finally I stopped at the ranger booth, paid my entrance fee (less than 5 dollars, either 3 or 4, can't remember) and rode up to Dead Horse, where I took my first jaw dropping glance over the edge.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892314-M.jpg

This place is like a mini Grand Canyon. There's nothing mini about it though.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892315-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892316-M.jpg

I'll shut up now, and just post the photos.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892317-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892318-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892319-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892320-M.jpg

When I arrived there was a Hispanic family viewing the gorge. A young girl, in mid to late teens, was sitting right at the cliff edge. It was a spectacular perspective. I noticed her family didn't take notice of her. I wanted so bad to shoot a photo of her. Even more, I wanted to explain to her family they were missing a great photo opportunity. It's saved only in my mind. She was wearing a red outfit, sitting less than two feet from the edge
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892322-M.jpg

so many different perspectives
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892324-M.jpg

what to include,,,,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892325-M.jpg

:evil
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892326-M.jpg



http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892322-M.jpg

zrex1100
14-09-2006, 02:31 PM
oops, I hit enter by mistake. I'm not done publishing photos :D

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892327-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892328-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892329-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892330-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892333-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892334-M.jpg

Taking it all in
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892335-M.jpg

Wassupp???!!!
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892336-M.jpg

This guy was in survival mode
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892341-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892342-M.jpg

I rode to the end, walked up this path
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892343-M.jpg

looked over the edge

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892344-M.jpg

and was blown away
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892345-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892347-M.jpg

see the Uly?

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892348-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892349-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892352-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892356-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892359-M.jpg

I told ya it was a photo heavy day
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892365-M.jpg

I finally had enough, and left for Moab
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896675-M.jpg

Along the way, I saw a sign for Arches National Park. First, I wanted to find a motel, unload the bike, and get a drink of cold water.

Next up: Moab and Arches National Park, Late afternoon, Day 4.

lady-rider
14-09-2006, 03:09 PM
WOW
i am absolutly rivetted to my seat waiting for More more more :D

Hytram
14-09-2006, 05:13 PM
bloody great report that :shock:

where again in Australia is that? :lol:

Marty

zrex1100
15-09-2006, 12:37 AM
Day 4 Continued

I left Dead Horse State Park and made progress towards the day's destination, Moab, UT. The entire region is dirt biker's heaven. Three out of four vehicles are transporting some sort of ATV or dirtbike. Coming from VA where off road riding places are all but extinct, Moab is a place I could easily relocate to.

I crossed over the Colorado River,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896678-M.jpg

and entered Moab. My mission was to find a place to stay. The criteria was simple: find a one level motel with parking directly in front of the room. I rode through town, to the edge of town, mad a u-turn, and rode back through. My selection was easy.

I found the perfect place, The Adventur Inn at Moab.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896676-M.jpg

The parking met the criteria.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896677-M.jpg

The blurs in the photos are bugs on the lense:D

I secure the room. Chris, the proprietor :evil , said I was welcomed to use their laundry machines. She was very kind, and told me to let her know if I needed anything. I told her I was low maintenance, and asked for a restaurant recommendation. She gave me several options.

I checked into the room, unloaded the bike, took a drink of water, and left. I was heading back out of town toward Arches National Park. It was 4:10 in the afternoon, and I wanted to see as much as possible before the sun went down. I left without bringing any water. That was a mistake.

I arrived at the Park entrance and asked the ranger what to expect inside the park. It's basically a drive in park, about 23 miles, with turn outs every so often at the major sights.

I rode into the park, bugs on the bike mounted camera lense, and all :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896682-M.jpg

this could be interesting.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896684-M.jpg

Inside the park looking back toward Moab
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892367-M.jpg

Hey look. A photo without bugs.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892368-M.jpg

The view looking North toward Dead Horse State Park.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892369-M.jpg

The view looking straight down. Notice the cars and people at the bottom. When I initially rode past, there were people climbing half way up the sand hill. They were way up there.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892370-M.jpg

The first of many photos I was about to shoot.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892371-M.jpg

Soon, I stopped at the first turn out. I removed the helmet, and walked up a hill toward this sign.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892372-M.jpg

I was reading the sign, trying to decide whether to continue hiking up to see the sight, when an older gentleman comes hobbling down the trail and tells me emphatically, "Get your ass up there young man. It's beautiful!" I smiled and said "Okay.":D

Here's looking left:
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892375-M.jpg

and looking right
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892378-M.jpg

I shot another
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892379-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892381-M.jpg

and noticed a guy walking towards me. He saw my camera, handed me his camera, and asked if I would take a photo of him. I obliged, shot a photo, then told him to go stand in front of a different rock formation, and took another.

We were pretty amazed at the sights. The conversation just flowed naturally. The guys name was Jason. I asked hime if he was from Wisconsin, based on his accent. He said no, he was from MA. Whoops:D . He had been in the area all week for the Speed Trials. I still don't know what speed trial he was there for. He had flown in, rented a convertible, accomplished everything on his agenda, and decided to come visit Arches. It was late in the afternoon, Labor Day. He commented on how nice it was to basically have the park all to ourselves. I told him my rap, hopped on the bike, and said "I'll see you at the next turn out."

I didn't have to travel far to find something to shoot.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892383-M.jpg

Those Rockies are getting closer
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896685-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94896686-M.jpg

On the way to the next turn out, and the next conversation with Jason
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892384-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892386-M.jpg

I told Jason about ADVRider. At the next stop, he said he was planning to check out the site, and look for the ride report. Jason was the kind of guy I found terribly easy to get along with. It was surreal. Here we are, a couple of east coasters, out in the middle of a Utah national park, talking and laughing, and basically being blown away by the sights.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892389-M.jpg

Petrified sand dunes leading to the Rockies :deal
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892390-M.jpg

It was nice being on the bike. I kept the Nikon in the tank bag. It was easy to pull over, grab a shot, and continue.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892393-M.jpg

At the next turn out, I shot this photo,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892397-M.jpg

and noticed Jason coming toward me as I was walking back to the bike. I finally learned my lesson of regret for not catching photos of the people I'd met along the way, so I spun around, and CLICK

ladies and gentlemen, meet Jason :D
WASSUP JASON???!!!
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892396-M.jpg

He wanted me to tell everyone he was wishing he was in one of his two BMW's back home, but the GT Convertible was the next best rental he could find to explore Utah:D .

I hope you find this thread Jason:freaky If so, send me an email at zrex1100@adelphia.net . I'd love to hear from you.

After I shot the photo, I looked down inside his car and he was drinking from a huge cup, something iced cold. I was so thirsty. I didn't have anything wet to quench my thirst. I didn't say anything. There was a tour bus parked nearby. I almost asked the driver if there was anyway I could get a bottle of water from someone on the bus. I didn't. I kept going seeper into the park.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892398-M.jpg

The ADV Salute
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892400-M.jpg

A terrible shot of a famous rormation. By this time, I was starting to get concerned about heat exhaustion, and didn't want to expend the energy necessary to get a better shot. It would have required a hike, and I didn't want my body to lose any more water.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892401-M.jpg

I walked back down the short path to find everyone checking out the wacky Uly. Practially dead from thirst, I'm always willing to talk bikes. These guys were from the NW,,,,,maybe Oregon, honestly I forget. We talked bikes, then I split. I think I saw the same bikes the next evening in Durango at the motel next to mine, not sure. One of them said he frequents ADVRider, so if you happen to read this, please post up and set me straight on my shady details :D .

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892402-M.jpg

The road kept going and going. My thirst kept growing and growing. There was one way in, one way out. I got so thirsty, I limited my shooting to easy shots.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892403-M.jpg

I finally reached the end of the park.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94892404-M.jpg

I was starting becoming seriously concerned about heat exhaustion. The week before I suffured a serious bout of heat exhaustion while working, so I knew the symptoms well. On the way into the park, I missed the two most famous sights, "Windows" and "Delicate Rock." I wanted so bad to photograph them on the way out, but both require a hike, and I didn't have the energy.

I was 26 miles from the park entrance, the sun was setting, and I knew the visitor's center would be closed before I could get back. It was an effort just trying to focus on the road. I started picking up the pace where I could. The speed limit was 35mph. I was hitting 65-70 trying to get back. Of course, the sun was casting angle light on the rock studies during this time, so I missed the best photo opportunities. I didn't care.

Finally, I reached the visitor's center. In the parking lot was an Irish gentleman preparing for departure on his BMW 1150GS. I asked if the center was open, and he said in a strong Irish accent, "sorry, they closed at half past." I asked if there was water available, and he told me there were machines by the front door. I walked over as fast as I could, fearing I wouldn't have the proper change. I had enough to buy 2 iced cold 16 oz waters. :clap

I took the first one and guzzeled it. As I was walking back to the bike, I saw an older couple in the parking lot. The man was obviously checking out the Uly. I came closer, and he asked me if that was my Buell. Having just been given a new lease on life from a simple drink of water, I was ready to talk bikes :D . I said "sure is, do you ride?" He followed me over to the Uly for a closer inspection. He was amazed the bike sported 1203cc's. We talked for at least 20 minutes.

It turns out I was standing there talking to Stan from Red Rock (I think) Iowa. Stan raced motorcycles for 23 years. Boy oh boy, I could have stayed and talked to Stan all night. He rides a Yamaha V-Max. We just had a wonderful conversation. I felt like he was a long lost friend. He was genuinely interested in hearing all about my trip. And damnit to hell, I didn't get Stan's photo. One day soon, I'm going to see if I can look Stan up, and say hello.

Before leaving, Stan told me if I ever make it to Iowa, I have a place to stay. Stan, you are the man! As we were talking, his wife just waited over near their car. I got the sense this scenerio has been played out many times throught their years together. Stan, talking bikes, and the wife content that her husband is enjoying a conversation. Good Stuff.

I headed back to Moab, riding right past the restaurant that Chris highly recommended. After the thirts episode, I didn't feel like eating a heavy meal. I rode past my motel, straight to Burger King. Ordered up a chicken sammich, a large fry, and a HUGE pink lemonade. After my gourmet meal, I went back to the motel and started uploading photos. I called Julie and told her about my epic day. She was excited I was having the trip of a life time.

Day four was coming to an end. The sum total of roads, sights, miles, photos, and most importantly people I met, made this one of the best days of my life. I want to thank everyone I met for adding to my experience.

Tomorrow, I'd leave Moab, UT and head straight for the Colorado Rockies.

Clancy
15-09-2006, 05:05 AM
Incredible pics. Thanks

glitch
15-09-2006, 07:12 AM
Dave...
...this is getting even better with each "instalment".
The pics are just.....stumpers.
Hope, there's about another 6mths worth to come :lol:

Many thanks!

zrex1100
15-09-2006, 11:12 AM
Pete, happy you and the gang across the big pond are enjoying the report. I'm having fun re living it through the writing.

When I said "we should ride together" I didn't realize you were so far away :D . I still say we should ride together.

Next installment is coming soon. Cheers, Dave

glitch
15-09-2006, 11:23 AM
Pete, happy you and the gang across the big pond are enjoying the report. I'm having fun re living it through the writing.

When I said "we should ride together" I didn't realize you were so far away :D . I still say we should ride together.

Next installment is coming soon. Cheers, Dave


I also find that's it's fun writing things up, seeing the pics (REALLY seeing them)....and it all floods back. The heat/ cold/ dust/ smells, the potholes and crooked fencing along the side of the road....
Yo, we're a fair way apart, but who knows?

This is like waiting for Xmas :lol: :lol:

tonye
15-09-2006, 12:17 PM
That sounds like a great trip. I went through some of that country in Az a few years ago and Oak Creek Canyon is a great place. I went through Prescott and Sedona and a lot of Arizona and I was wishing at the time that I was on a bike instead of the crappy hire car we had.

It was the end of winter when I went through and there were still patches ofl snow around Sunset Crater but the same sort of clear blue skies that are in your photos. Truly an amazing place and I think I took some photos from pretty close to where you were. :lol:


TonyE

zrex1100
15-09-2006, 11:20 PM
Day Five, Tuesday, September 5, 2006. Moab,UT to Durango, CO.

Another night of deep sleep. I was stirring around the motel room by 6:30am, fully rested after yesterday's boring ride:D . I looked outside to witness another clear day unfolding. With the exception of just a few storms, I couldn't have asked for drier weather this whole trip. I looked outside relieved to see the Uly. I opened the door, towell in hand, and wiped the dew off the seat. It must have been near 80 degrees already. I went back inside and continued uploading photos to Smugmug while packing the luggage.

Just before checking out of the motel, my phone rang. It was unusual to hear it ring because I only left the phone on when I was using it. Last night I left it on while recharging. It was Gary on the other end, a friend from home. He said he was following my daily updates over the the 'Beasts' section, and thought the Uly looked, in his words, 'like a badass motorcycle :deal .' I told him it IS a badass motorcycle :D .

We chatted awhile. It was nice to hear from someone back home. He told me to enjoy my day. It was pouring rain back home, dark, and he was fighting the morning rush hour traffic on the Dulles Toll Road. Ugh. The reality. After our conversation, I was acutely aware that I need to fully appreciate this day.

I left the Adventure Inn, and rode to a nearby gas station to stock up on orange juice and water. And another handful of Slim Jims. It was hot. I started to break a sweat just getting the bike situated for today's ride. I debated whether to wear the jacket or not. I knew it would get cooler soon. I just didn't know 'how' cool it would get.

I headed south on 191. Rolling out of Moab, I shot the BK where I gulped that huge pink lemonade the evening before.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355160-M.jpg

Minutes after leaving Moab, I was happy to be wearing my jacket. I rolled up on a pair of bikers heading in the same direction, snapping a photo as I passed. That handlebar position made my body sore just looking at it. I couldn't imagine racking up miles in that position. Oh my aching neck!
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355161-M.jpg

I rolled past a hole in the rock. I have no clue what it was. I think someone woke up one morning and said, "Honey, I'm going to paint a sign on the rock today. That'll bring the customers here in droves :D ."
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355162-M.jpg

Before long, I turned left on 46 heading east. The elevation started increasing, as did the temps.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355164-M.jpg

Soon, I was chilly, borderline cold. I stopped the bike on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere. While packing, I strategically placed my underarmour shirt in a location that would be easily accessible. The problem was, Murphy's law was kicking in and it took me five minutes to find it. During this time, I noticed not a single car passed by. The quiet was deafening. I took a whiz right in the middle of the road. Just because I could :D

After getting redressed :D , I got the bright idea that I'd take a self portrait with the Kodak on the handlebar. I set the self timer, walked over to the front the bike, and stood in the middle of the road holding up dual peace signs. During the 10 seconds while I was waiting the the shutter to fire, I heard a car coming up behind me :D . I stood my ground. The car had to slow down, while I stood in the middle of the road holding up peace signs. After the camera recorder the incident, I got out of the road, smiled, and flash a peace sign at the driver as he went by. They didn't seem too chatty :D .
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355165-M.jpg

The extra layer of warmth felt fantastic. For about 2 miles, anyway. I started getting cold again. I was entering another forest.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355166-M.jpg

I was still in Utah, but super close to CO. I could see the state line quickly approaching on my GPS screen. Time to put my rain jacket on. It was the sum total of cold weather gear I had. If this didn't provide enough warmth, I was out in the cold, literally. I took the obligatory shot. What an idiot :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355167-M.jpg

Here's the shot behind me
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351896-M.jpg

The rain jacket provided sufficient warmth, and man it felt nice. As I warmed up, the roads began to twist. I was 'riding' again.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355171-M.jpg

This was probably the last photo I shot in Utah. I know you folks reading this are probably happy this is the last photo I shot in Utah. Just wait till we get to Colorado :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355163-M.jpg

I had planned to capture all the "Welcome to" signs as the trip unfolded. I missed most of them. Utah was amazing, but the time had come to explore Colorado.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355172-M.jpg

There was no traffic. There was no rain.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355173-M.jpg

There were mountains, rivers, and sunshine. And cold temps.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355175-M.jpg

I came through a mountain range and dropped into a valley. It stretched for 30 or so miles. It was zx-14 heaven. The road was straight as an arrow. Towards the end of the stretch, I entered another small town and pulled in to fill up the tank.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355179-M.jpg

The gruff guy sitting behind the counter wasn't friendly. He wouldn't make eye contact. He wouldn't smile. He wouldn't answer me when I asked if a restroom was available. He laid the change on the counter instead of handing it to me. I totally understood. Afterall, I was a biker. It's obvious all bikers are up to no good. I thought it best not to get too chatty, fearing he'd pull a six shooter from under the counter and start blasting away :D The attitude was refreshing. It reminded me home home :D .

I rolled outta town and on toward the Rockies. From 46, I took CO-90 to CO-145. Along the way I couldn't help but notice how the summit point on top of the Rockies affected the weather. The skies were super clear, save for clouds on the 3 summits. Trust me, I shot photos :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351898-M.jpg

After what seemed like miles and miles of rolling across The Plains, I entered another mountains range.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351899-M.jpg

The road followed trout streams. This was the Colorado I had been expecting. Roads snaking through the valley, with towering mountain on either side. I was real disappointed with my photos through this section, but I'll show them anyway :deal
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351900-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351901-M.jpg

I found a small path that led to a boat ramp. Noone was around. I rode right to the river edge. It was amazing to finally be standing next to a stream in the Rocky Mountains.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351902-M.jpg

Nasty overexposed photo, but the subject was far from nasty.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351905-M.jpg

A few miles later, a few more shots:
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351906-M.jpg

As I was shooting here, I heard a rumble roaring through,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351907-M.jpg

The sound echoing off the canyon walls,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351908-M.jpg

getting louder, totally disrupting the trickle of flowing water
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351909-M.jpg

The roaring exhaust was pure music. These guy were railing through the mountains. I got the impression they weren't sight seeing:D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351910-M.jpg

so in honor of the above riders
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351911-M.jpg

I stepped up to the plate. And shot more photos:D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351912-M.jpg

John Denver ringing in my head :rofl
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351914-M.jpg

Rocky Moun------ain Hi-------ih,,,,,,,,,,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351915-M.jpg

Co----------
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351916-M.jpg

Lor----------
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351921-M.jpg

Ado--------:D (Come on, sing along everybody. It's fun.) :lol3

:evil This one's a keeper.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351920-M.jpg

Back to the seriousness of the report :deal
Those mountains are getting closer, and taller
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351922-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351924-M.jpg

I was just shooting. This is the section of road just before entering Route 550 :evil
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351926-M.jpg

It doesn't get much better.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351931-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351933-M.jpg

What? Two's not enough enough? Don't worry, I have more :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351934-M.jpg

Pretty soon, the landscape got exceedingly boring :deal
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351937-M.jpg

so I stopped for a rest
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351939-M.jpg

just outside of Ouray
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351945-M.jpg

and forced myself
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351947-M.jpg

To press on towards Ouray:1drink

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355182-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351949-M.jpg


Next up: Lunch, Ouray Pass.

zrex1100
16-09-2006, 02:04 AM
Day 5 Continued. Ouray to Silverton

I rolled into Ouray. Up until this point, Ouray was just a name. A place where an ADV Rally had taken place, but to me, it was really just a place with no significance. That's the way this whole trip was. These places were just names. That is until I experienced the sights, smells, and sounds first hand.

The first thing I noticed about Ouray is the street is flat in the middle, then slopes way down as the road approaches the curb.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355183-M.jpg

On a normal bike I wouldn't even notice. On the Uly with a stock seat, my 34 inch inseam had to be careful when navigating a U-turn. I could see it now. Everyone's enjoying a nice peaceful lunch, listening to Enya softly playing from the mountain heights, and I come rolling into town, try to turn around, and without notice, drop the bike in the middle of the street with a Enya interrupting crashing thud :D .

I rolled down mainstreet spying several deli's. After reaching the end of town, I rolled up to one that looked promising. Actually, it had a front porch, where I could order up a sandwich and watch the world go by. I rolled up and tried to park the bike. The slope of the curb wasn't cooperating. I rolled back around across the street to prepare for a better approach. Everyone's lunch has been thoroughly interrupted by this point. The second time around, I positioned the bike at an angle where it wouldn't fall over by the slightest wind. Everyone went back to eating :D . I went inside and ordered up a club on white bread, then retreated to the side porch.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351950-M.jpg

As I was waiting for the delivery boy, I just sat there enjoying the moment. I thought about how nice it would be to live there. Every now and then, a bike, or a pack of bikes would interrupt the silence and roll by. Sitting next to me was a couple that looked to be just beyond college age. I couldn't help but eaves drop on their conversation. He was asking her how she liked her new place. She said something about Ouray being a great place to live, but 'only if you have the toys to fully take advantage of everything there is to do.' Or something like that. I didn't want to strain my neck listening :D .

I don't usually eat lunch. Maybe a snack, but rarely a sandwich. The delivery dude walks over a plops down a monster club sandwich, piled high with lunch meat. I could have been content eating a third of it. I sat there and ate the whole thing, savoring every mouth watering bite. I was stuffed.

After lunch, I walked back to the bike and shot a couple of photos to remember the event. When I shot this

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351951-M.jpg

a guy walked up behind me asnd asked how I liked the bike. We started exchanging stories. He was coming from Durango, through the pass, around a loop, then back to Durango. Apparantely there was a biker convention in Durango Labor Day Weekend. While he spoke, I recalled the group at my motel in Escalante saying they were coming from the same bike event. I found out he was from Texas, and mentioned tomorrow, I was heading from Durango to Amarillo. He just said "Oh God, good luck, that's a LONG trip." What neither of us knew at the time, Amarillo would end up being my halfway point tomorrow :deal . For now though, we'll save that part of the trip for that part of the trip:D .

I also noticed the sky was turning dark in the direction I was coming from. He said "It looks like we're getting a cloud." I never hear anyone put it quite that way before. I would have said it looks like a storm's brewing. But in reality, out west, a storm is simply a cloud. Or a cloud can be a hellacious storm. From now on, I'm going to start referring to storms, as clouds. It's less intimidating.:deal

I hopped on the bike and headed to the edge of town. I stopped so I could take some insulin, then a photo
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351954-M.jpg

or two
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351956-M.jpg

well,
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351957-M.jpg

severl photos
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351960-M.jpg

of this place called Ouray, before departing. The 'cloud' is getting closer.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351970-M.jpg

The guy also asked if I had been 'through the pass yet.' I said not yet, not knowing what 'the pass' was. He said I would enjoy it. I rolled on, climbing into the mountains overlooking Ouray.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351973-M.jpg

to a height that seemed at the time to be level with the 'cloud.'
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351982-M.jpg

Within a few minutes, I began to understand what 'the pass' was
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355187-M.jpg

And this is where photography's limitations fail to show the dramatic dropoff on the right side of the road. Or is it my limitation? Nah!:D

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355189-M.jpg

The road led right through a pass which was elevated at least a thousand feet, maybe more, over a ledge which was only several feet from dropping off to the canyon floor below.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351984-M.jpg

What the photo can't convey, is that sensation you get in the pit of your stomach the first time you ride a roller coaster. That's the sensation I got riding through this section of road.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351985-M.jpg

I was trying to look over the edge, and focus on the road, without riding off the edge:D . I suppose if I went over the edge, I'd never be found. Later, I'd get a history lesson about the region. For now, I'll just explain that the region gets 35-40 feet of snow annually, and there's no guard rails because the trucks push the snow right off the mountain. For the record, they lose, on average, one plow truck and driver per year:eek1 .

Down inside the gorge
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351987-M.jpg

and one for the road. That's Ouray Pass.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351988-M.jpg

That's Ouray Pass. And my Uly:D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351993-M.jpg
,,,,,about to get wet if I don't stop shooting and get moving.

I continue on, where the sights continued to amaze
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351995-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351997-M.jpg

as I was shooting this, a red freakin' mini van pulled right up in front of me and right into my viewfinder. I couldn't believe it. Of course, I do realize that whatever shot HE was going to shoot was way more important tha the one I was planning to shoot:D . I blew it off, and remembered something about traffic on the rainy toll road back home. :D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95351998-M.jpg

not too shabby
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352003-M.jpg

:evil
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352006-M.jpg

check the elevation. Just afterwards, I hit 11,204 feet. My highest ever.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355192-M.jpg

Approaching the above photos from my perspective on the bike
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355194-M.jpg

more traffic
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355194-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352012-M.jpg

I basically went apeshit here behind the lense:D
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352014-M.jpg

almost forgetting to do an about face to see what's back there
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352016-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352020-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352021-M.jpg

I continued
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352022-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352025-M.jpg

not bad for a bike mounted cam
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355201-M.jpg

and before long, made my way into Silverton.http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355208-M.jpg

where I parked the bike
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352026-M.jpg

and started shooting:rofl

:1drink

zrex1100
16-09-2006, 03:23 AM
Silverton was pretty much what I expected it would be. A nice town surrounded by the majestic Rockies. By this time, the storm,,,,oops, cloud, was gaining ground on me. According to my GPS, I had a moving average of 27.7 mph so far:D . Even though it was only September 5, Silverton felt like mid late November in Virginia. I parked my bike at the edge of town planning to walk all the way down main street with the camera. I shot a photo, then started walking.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352027-M.jpg

It didn't take long to realize Main Street is a long street. I turned around, and headed for the bike. I was suddenly attacked by a wild animal. Fortunately, his owner was close by and thwarted the attack.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352028-M.jpg

I hopped back on the bike, and rode through to the other end of town. The wind really started picking up, blowing vast amounts of dust across the road. At the same time, the skies began getting darker, and the temps started dropping. My plan of exploring Silverton with a camera sudenly changed.

While at the opposite end of town, I managed to grab a few quick shots before putting the Nikon back in the tank bag. I was concerned the lens would get scratched from all the dust blowing around, not to mention the lenses attached to my eyes.

Here's the sum total of my Silverton experience:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352030-M.jpg

I wonder how much a place like this sells for :deal
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352034-M.jpg

A little stream on the outskirts of town
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352035-M.jpg

Silverton's a rugged place.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352037-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352038-M.jpg

If it works, don't fix it.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352039-M.jpg

I shot a final photo of the bike in town, then rolled out.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352042-M.jpg

Here's the town from above
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352044-M.jpg

Just outside of Silverton, I got one final shot of the majesty of the Colorado Rockies
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352045-M.jpg

Here's heading toward Durango. Looks like a cloud up ahead.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355210-M.jpg

I kept rolling, catching up to, and passing this gentleman. It was getting very cold.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95355211-M.jpg

As I passed him, I noticed he was prepared for the cloud. I wasn't. About 7 miles later, I pulled off to the side of the road to put my rain gear on. It started sprinkling. As I was roadside, the gentleman towing the trailer rolled up beside me and asked if everything was okay. I gave him a thumbs up, and told him I was preparing for the weather. I asked where he was from. He smiled and said Kentucky. I could tell he wanted to get a move on. I didn't want to hold him up, so I thanked him for checking up on me. He left.

After putting my rain gear on, I knew I'd have to put the cameras away until I reached Durango. I looked around and grabbed a few departing shots. This is where I was stopped.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352048-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352047-M.jpg

The cloud was now on top of my head
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95352050-M.jpg

I put both cameras in their plastic bags, and left the beautiful scene. Within minutes, I was riding in a cold rain. My gear kept me warm, and dry. Within a few more minutes, I caught up and passed the gentleman from Kentucky, again. Most everyone had slowed down to 40mph due to the cloud. I sped up to 65 and just blasted through it. I reached Durango in maybe a half hour, I forget exactly. By then the cloud was just spitting on me. I rode all the way through Durango looking for a choice motel. I found a Holiday Inn that looked nice enough. I went inside and the attendant was a prick. Maybe because I was in my wet riding gear, I don't know. I asked for a AAA rate on a non smoking room. He quoted $142.00 plus tax. I said no thanks, and headed back toward the motels I'd seen on the way in. I stopped in a Budget Inn, and scored a room for $58.00. My room was on the lower level, with parking at my front door, and came equipped with wifi.

Little did I know, I was about to meet one of the most interesting people on my trip.

zrex1100
16-09-2006, 05:39 AM
I need to back up a paragraph. After deciding the Holiday Inn was too pricey for tonight's budget, and their attitude was too close to what I'm familiar with back in Virginia , I rolled out to the edge of town and saw the sign pointing toward Mesa Verde. I had planned to explore Mesa Verde if time allowed. Unfortunately, the route, CO-160 west lead straight into the cloud. Also, by the time I rolled into Durango, the clock struck 5:00pm, well, close enough to 5, that I decided against the whole Mesa Verde trip.

So, anyway, I'm back at the Budget Inn unloading the Uly. This process is very familiar by now. I removed both pieces of Wolfman Luggage and the tank bag. Once inside the room, I unload the tank bag so I now have a place to store dinner. I hop on the unloaded, much lighter Uly and head out to explore Durango in the misty rain. It's rush hour, so the streets are busy.

Diagonally across the street from my motel is a Subway. Perfect. I head straight over and order up a Tuna Sub LOADED with accouterments. As the lady is building the Sub, I notice three or four colorful bikes pulling into the motel directly across the street, right next to my motel. I'm almost certain this is the group I saw the day before back in Arches NP. I sieze my dinner, return to the bike, and I'm tempted to go talk to the group, but I have a more important mission. Beer!

I go into a gas station and look through the drinks. There's no beer. I ask someone inside where I can buy beer. He gives the Colorado history about supermarkets selling weak 3.2 percent stuff, or I can get the good stuff at one of two places, located at either end of town. None of this makes sense to me. In Virginia, if I want a beer, I can get a beer anywhere. This is turning into an ordeal. But I wanted a beer. I left the gas station and ended up in the historical district of Durango. I pulled up next to 2 girls and asked them where I could get a beer. They asked if I wanted to sit and drink a beer, or get carry out. I'm thinking I could have brewed my own batch by now, but I said 'carry out would work just fine, thanks.'

They gave me directions that led toward the Holiday Inn I had already visited, and right down the street from the Holiday Inn was a well equipped liquor store. I scored a couple beers, and now I'm heading back to the motel. As I pull up to my parking space, there's a fellow in the space next to me, putting a cover on his Gold Wing in preparation for the night.

I'm feeling chatty, so I roll up, remove my helmet, lock the bike, and introduce myself. At first, I can tell this older gentleman is sizing me up. He seems to be trying to figure out if I'm going to bum something off him, or something. Finally, he says hello. I tell him my name, and before long, he knows my life story. About a half hour later, I know his life story.

His name is Bob from Carson City, NV. 6 kids, 15 Grand Kids, etc.etc. Bob is super interested in hearing about my trip. I'm totally tripping when he mentions he and his lovely wife are just completing a 48 state tour of the United States. Oh man, I can only imagine the stories he has to tell. We continue talking, and just as when I was talking to Stan the evening before in Arches NP, Bob's wife continues whatever it is she's doing in preparation for the night. It's as if these ladies of the road expect their husbands to have extended conversations with strangers. This stuff never happens to me in Virginia!

Anyway, we continue talking for at least a half hour, and honestly, I started to feel bad for keeping this gentleman from his wife. Before ending the conversation, Bob said he was heading to Provo, UT to care for his dad for several weeks, before heading up to the Dakotas to finish their 48 state tour. I was gobbling up every word he spoke.

We finally wished each other well and went separate ways. And as usual, I didn't get a photo.

I went inside and discocvered my previously iced cold beer wasn't so iced cold anymore. That's okay, I'd just come from an engaging conversation. I grabbed my ice bucket and went to the ice machine across the way. I returned to the motel, put both bottles of beer in the bath sink, and pour the ice on top. Then I went for another load of ice.

On my way back to the room the second time, I walked past a couple obviously struggling to get their door open. I stopped, grabbed the card and slid it into the key slot. They were so thankful, you'd have thought I just bought them dinner. He see's my riding jacket and asks where I'm from. I tell him Virgina, at which point he gets excited and says "Greensboro North Carolina here!" He then leaves his wife, and starts walking over toward my bike. Before long, I know all about his '1983 something or other that hasn't been started in years but is sure it runs motorcycle sitting in the back of his shed',' and now he wan't to know all about my bike.

Pretty soon, the ice is melting. I'm getting more and more hungry, more and more thirsty, and less and less chatty. He grabs my hand and nearly broke it with the handshake, saying, "God Bless You Dave and Keep The Rubber Sign Down." I said something about "well He always does bless me and I always try to keep the rubber side down." That's pretty much all he needed to hear, and he split.

I went inside, popped open a beer, slammed down my sub, and just enjoyed the blessing.

glitch
16-09-2006, 03:18 PM
Oh yeah man....there's more , MORE of this tale.
Dave, you're a champ and thanks for saving the weekend with the latest instalment. Bloody marvelous stuff, that !! :D :D
What a change in scenery :shock: Looks like 2 totally different planets.

This is GOOD !!
More, more -pleaaase...

Hytram
16-09-2006, 05:10 PM
thats it!!!

Im mounting my camera to my bike...

I was think of putting some sort of timer on it so it would take a photo every 5 mins but also have a trigger to take a photo when I wanted it, A couple of gigs of cards and bob's your uncle

zrex1100, what camera mount do you use?

Marty

glitch
16-09-2006, 05:47 PM
thats it!!!

Im mounting my camera to my bike...

I was think of putting some sort of timer on it so it would take a photo every 5 mins but also have a trigger to take a photo when I wanted it, A couple of gigs of cards and bob's your uncle

zrex1100, what camera mount do you use?

Marty


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
THIS is funny. Went to Croydon Camera House this morning, trying to find something like i've seen in Dave's pics here.....NOTHING in the "pod" section :cry: :cry: , but came away with a $15 tripod I'll have to hack and mod and stuff around with. I'll get it going, but it'll be a while.

Checked Ebay yesterday, again no luck.
Would be best to have something adjustable to quickly mount to the bars of any bike (with bars/ not clip-ons)....

zrex1100
17-09-2006, 12:50 AM
Day 5 Continued into Day 6, Wednesday, September6,2006

Durango, CO to ????????????



After the evening conversations were wrapped up, I retreated to the comfort of my $58.00 room. I found the cheaper rooms were actually cleaner and cozier than the more expensive ones. I spent the evening uploading photos, talking to Julie, and listening to The Weather Channel. I wanted to get as much sleep as possible for the beginning of my return trip the next day. I fell asleep sometime around midnight, and woke up late, 7:35am Wednesday morning.

As I was preparing for the day inside the room, I happened to open the door at 8:05am and saw Bob and his lovely wife Linda on their Goldwing ready to depart. I caught their attention just in time. I grabbed my Nikon, and walked over. Bob shook my hand like he meant it. He then grabbed our hands with his left hand, and I could feel the genuine friendship flowing through.

I took a step back and shot two photos.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Bob and Linda W. These are two of the nicest people on the entire planet. And I mean that.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95506729-M.jpg

And the bike Linda purchased for Bob.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95506728-M.jpg

She bought it from Tampa. They flew in from NV, and started riding. No wonder Bob and I hit it off so well the evening before.

Right after I shot this photo, I walked back over to say goodbye. Bob told me to please stop by if I ever make it to Carson City, NV. Linda looked me right in the eyes, smiled, and said "Please bring your family, they're welcome in our home." I said I hope to see them again one day, told them to be careful, and just like that, Bob and Linda left.

I walked back inside the room with mixed emotions. I was sad they were leaving, and I didn't know if I'd ever see them again. I was happy to be able to see them one last time. How could someone I barely knew, someone I spoke to for only 30 minutes, have such an impact on me? It's because a connection was made, and it was real.

I went back inside, realizing I was getting a later than usual start. After loading the Uly, I left the parking lot in Durango at 9:10AM. My gas tank was full. I didn't stop to get a time documented receipt in Durango. I just left.

Heading south on 550 toward Albuquerque, the temps were frigid. My immediate goal was to reach Amarillo, 500 miles away. I wouldn't be stopping for sights today. The number one priority was maximum mileage. I didn't even mount the Kodak on the handlebar. In the back of my mind, I was planning, today or tomorrow, to do an IBA, 1000 miles in 24 hours. My plans usually fail, so it was loose plan, and success depended entirely on how I would be feeling once I reached Amarillo.

I left Colorado and entered New Mexico for the first time. Route 550 is pretty boring through NM. There were a few mountain passes where the elevation reached 7000 feet. Mostly, the road was flat, long, and straight. I checked my GPS and noted the elevation averaged between 4500 and 6000 feet. In New Mexico, 5500 feet was like sea level back home.

My Nikon was up front and center inside the tank bag, just in case. As I was rolling through NM, I saw a sign mountains off to my left were The Continental Divide. I shot a pic
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95506732-M.jpg

just because it was the Continental Divide. Since I had the camera out, I shot another of the NM landscape
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95506733-M.jpg

I stopped one other time to shoot a famous mound, I think it Montezuma ???
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95506734-M.jpg

The above photo was taken from the saddle, just a record of seeing it. I wasn't in the mood for 'capturing' anything, just miles.

A few more shots of NM

zrex1100
17-09-2006, 12:53 AM
oops, I hit 'Submit Reply' prematurely, again.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95506735-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95506736-M.jpg

I stopped here for a tank of gas and a hotdog.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95506730-M.jpg

Then I rode to I-25 south, to Albuquerque, to I-40 east. To make a long story short, I rode across New Mexico. I then rode into Texas. I reached Amarillo at 4:10PM. I pulled in for gas. I had ridden 500 miles. I called Julie. We talked about my possibilities. I told her I wanted to stay off the bike for 20 minutes, and just chill. She talked to me the whole time. The sun was setting. I decided to keep riding. I said goodbye to Julie, and told her I wouldn't be calling because it would be late by the time I got off the bike again.

I hopped back on I-40 and headed east. Before too long, I enter Oklahoma. I ran through a tanks of gas, and stopped to fill up. I went inside to pay. A really nice young guy, maybe 24-25 years old, took note that I was traveling on the bike. He asked me how far I was going. I told him I planned to run straight through Oklahoma. He thought for a moment, then went into action, telling me the towns up ahead where I should watch my speed. He was looking out for me, and I appreciated it. I thanked him, cranked my iPod, and split.

As soon as I got back on the interstate, I saw a HUGE, FULL MOON rising . It was slightly masked by haze, but was a wonderful sight. I debated on whether to stop and capture it. I kept rolling. Before long it was too high in the sky to make in interesting photo. I kept rolling. My next immediate goal was Oklahoma City. I wanted to see the bombing memorial. I reached Okalhoma City sometime between 8:30 and 9:15pm. Obviously too dark to stop and absorb the power the site offers. I kept rolling. Coming out of the east side of the city, the temps were dropping fast. Some kid in an import, maybe a civic, was driving right beside me. I guess he thought it was cool. I wasn't interested in playing. I was interested in focusing. I sped up, he sped up. I slowed dow, he slowed down. I crossed over 3 lanes of traffic, and left him. I just wanted to be left alone with my iPod, and the road.

Before long, a guy on a chopper came rolling past me. He was flying. I was cold wearing full gear. He was only wearing tattoes. This guy was wearing whorts, a muscle shirt, and sun glasses. I shivered just watching him. I don't care what anyone says, that guy was freezing his ass off. Period. I rode behind him for 15 miles, before he exited into one of Oklahoma's suburbs. I continued rolling. Before long, the busy interstate surrounding Oklahoma City gave way to empty darkness. I was very alone. I kept rolling. My night had only just begun.

zrex1100
17-09-2006, 12:55 AM
I was wearing all the cold weather protection I had. Part of the attire was my rain jacket. That works great at speeds below 45. Above 75mph, there's quite a bit of wind drag trying to rip the jacket off my back, strangling my neck in the process. I rode for hours hovering between 78-82 GPS indicated MPH. You just get used to it. My iPod was cranking. I continued rolling.

Most of the time, I used my brights. I'd roll up on a tractor trailer, then just as I'd pass, I'd turn the brights off, move into the left lane, flash the passing lights twice, execute the pass, the return to the brights. I had only one close call. I was passing a series of tractor trailers, was at about the gas tank on one truck, and he started coming over. Just when I thought I would have to run off the left side of the road, he saw me when he was half way into my lane, and moved back over. I was on high alert every time I passed a rig from that moment on.

There wasn't much traffic after 10pm. In fact, the flat land I had been traveling gave way to tree lined interstate. It was extremely dark. I started feeling very alone. Soon, my mind started thinking about what I would do if I ran out of gas, or worse yet, if the bike developed a problem. I didn't have a cell signal in much of the area I was riding. I had no flashlight. I started thinking about how difficult it would be to even fix a flat tire roadside in the dark. Just diggin out my tire repair kit from somewhere inside my luggage would be difficult.

The Uly had taken me on an Epic journey without missing a beat. Still, I began stressing out. In fact, I was starting to mildly freak out at the 'what if' scenerios. There's no logical reason for me to start worrying, but I was mastering the emotion. After so many miles in the saddle, so many hours solo, I guess the stress from fatigue started to have a negative impact on my psychological well being.

About this time, in the midst of a freak out, I swear this happened. I'm not going to sugar coat it, but it did happen. I was somewhere on the east side of Oklahoma City, my mind playing tricks on me, and I looked up and saw a billboard. In spotlights, I read the words "Fear Not For I Am With You." That's what I saw. And you know what, those words hit their mark. I can't explain it, other than to say, all those 'what if' thoughts left, and I was now riding in a totally peaceful state of mind. I think AC/DC was cranking in my iPod at the time :D

I rolled on, totally grooving on the trip. As the night wore on, my goal was to hit the 1000 mile mark so I could achieve the IBA. I rolled out of Oklahoma, into Arkansas. That was a welcomed site. About 1:00am, I was getting close to hitting the 1000 mile mark. BTW, I was using my GPS as the odometer, so the mileage was definitely accurate :deal . I was about 23 miles away from Clarksburg (or Clarksville, not going to look it up right now), AR. I was getting very tired. I knew I wouldn't hit the 1000 miles by the time I reached Clarksburg. I din't want to risk having to ride another 35-50 miles before finding another motel.

I rolled past the first exit. I rolled past the 2nd exit. I rolled up to the 3rd and final exit for Clarksburg, and my odometer was at 995.0 something miles. I rolled up the exit ramp, across the I-40 overpass, and busted a U-turn heading west on I-40. I rolled past the middle exit. I rolled up to the first exit. As I was coming up the exit ramp, my GPS indicated exactly 1000 miles. I ain't bullshittin' ya :D

I looked to my left, nothing. I looked to my right,,,,,,a Day's Inn motel stood right before my very eyes.

I rolled up at 1:37 am. There was another guy standing outside checking in. I took off my helmet, took out the ear buds, and walked over to check in. The guy turns around and asks, "How do you like that Buell?" :clap :deal :D .

I said, "I like it just fine. I left Durango Colorado this morning and just rode 1000 miles."

He said, "I just bought an Aprilia Tuono."

I couldn't believe he spoke those words. Everyone who knows me knows the Tuono is my Dream bike. One day, wait,,,,,,I need a moment here.






Anyway we start talking bikes:D . The guy behind the glass is smiling, participating in this engaging bike conversation at 1:45AM. I must have received an incredible adrenaline dump, cause my batteries were suddenly recharged. I paid for my room. The guy asks if I want to go get a beer. I declined, rode over to my room, got out the jetboil, and prepared myself a slammin' cup of coffee to celebrate th IBA accomplishment.

(I probably won't submit the paperwork for the actual certificate, since I didn't stop in Durango to get a witness or time/date receipt. I consider the photo of the GPS log my certificate, and plan on place an 8 x 10 photo on my garage wall as my certificate.)

Here's the trophy:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95514118-M.jpg

I drank the coffee, turned on The Weather Channel, and fell fast asleep. The next day I would go after the Saddlesore, 1500miles in 36 hours :D

zrex1100
17-09-2006, 04:40 AM
I was stirring about the room by 6:45 am. I woke to the sound of The Weather Channel, volume turned half way up. I didn't hear it until I slept right through the broadcasts all night long. I fired up my Jetboil on the front porch and prepared another cup of coffee. I prepared the bike for today's journey, then shot a few photos

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95514120-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95514119-M.jpg

I was on the bike heading out of Clarksburg just after 8am. I felt completely rested. My body had no soreness from the day before. I expected to be sore, I expected to be miserable. I was totally refreshed and ready for another day of riding. That's a testimony to how good the ergonomics are on the Buell Ulysses. That was one of the factors that narrowed my search down to selecting the Uly as my next bike. The stock seat, and seating position, and handlebar position, is perfect for my frame. None of these items need or will receive adjustment by me. For me, the Uly is good to go, as is from the factory.

I continued east on I-40. After a few miles, I noticed a vintage Yamaha XS1100 coming up on my left, riding two up. They passed me at a pretty good clip. I sped up to keep pace. I was pacing them at 84 GPS MPH, a speed just a touch too fast for my drivers license. I backed off, disappointed that I would have to ride this next stretch of highway solo.

As soon as I backed out of the throttle, the Yamaha also backed out a bit. I settled in behind them as we crusied in the 78 mph range. For the next 50 miles or so, I just paced off the Yamaha. They'd make a pass, and I'd follow suit. After 40 minutes or so, I decided to take the lead and let them follow.

It's funny the stuff that goes through one's head sometimes. I was happy to be riding with someone. I didn't want them to think I was up to no good, like stalking, or anything. I was just riding along. That's why I made the pass. I was hoping they wouold follow me down the highway. They did.

Before long, we started getting close to Little Rock, AR, just in time for rush hour traffic, and road construction. All lanes were forced into one. We were riding about 10MPH for several minutes. I could tell the guy on the Yamaha wanted to pull up alongside and say something. My iPod was cranking, so as soon as he pulled up along side me, I had to motion that I couldn't hear him. This went on for several miles.

Finally, traffic stopped completely, and I was able to reach inside my jacket and turn off the iPod. The guy rolls up, and mentions the "ADV" sticker on the back of my helmet, and asks if I ever post here. I said occasionally, although the truth is, I'm more comfortable with the fellow misfits on ADVRider than any other site. He said he's lurked here but never posted. He then mentions they are just returning from an 11000 mile trip across America, including Alaska. Traffic starts rolling again, and they are low on gas, so they exited. It turns out the guy is Kevin, and his better half is Lori. Kevin goes by KNYBanjo here on ADVRider. It was a pleasure rolling up I-40 with the two of them. Encounters like this, though brief, cement relationships. One day I hope to ride with you again Kevin and Lori. Until then, I hope to read a report about your trip.

I finally made it to the otherside of Little Rock. I continued on, iPod cranking again, for what seemed like hours before reaching Memphis, TN.

I was disappointed with the size of the Mississippi River. The potomac is wider than the Mississippi :D . Rolling through Memphis was a challenge to this out of towner. Pretty soon I'd discover law enforcement, Memphis style.

The following is a cut and paste from the thread over in the "Beasts" section from the thread "I'm getting a Uly too." It's easier than rewriting it.

I was folloowing a white SUV government vehicle across the Mississippi River, when, several miles later, the I-40 Eastbound lane was a suden left hand single lane merge. I was in the process of passing the SUV, when I saw the sign, so I motioned that I was coming over in front of him, and I'd appreciate it if you'd give me enough space to merge in :D . He did, and I gave him a thumbs up gesture. About this time, the lane we were in merged into a boatload of traffic, mostly tractor trailers, none of which were trying to be courteous to the fine folks in my lane trying to merge in. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,, I pinned the throttle and sped up to about 80mph (in a 55mph zone) to accelerate past all the traffic on I-40 :D , and it turns out the nice little SUV is an undercover state cop:D .

I had no problem hearing the siren piercing through the music on my iPod, and no problem seeing the blue lights in my Uly's vibrating mirrors :D . I immediately pulled over across 4 lanes of trafic with the SUV on my ass, stopped the bike, took off my helmet so I could get the earphones out of my head:D ,because these were instructions I wanted the heed:D .

As the cop was walking up, I got off the bike, and said, :I totally screwed up back there and I apologize for it. I'm not from around here, and that sudden merge caught me off guard, but I screwed the whole thing up." :deal :deal :deal :deal :deal :D

He asked me where I was going. I told him "back to VA." He then asked me where I was coming from :clap :clap :clap and I proceeded to tell him about my journey:D . He asked to see my license, I handed it to him, and he said "you were riding pretty aggressive back there Dave.":lol3

He then said, "Dave, I'm not going to write you a ticket, but I want you to crank it down a notch or 3.":D I said "thank you Mr. Nichols," and he let me go.

So if you happen to read this Mr. Nichols, I tip my hat to you:freaky

The real funny thing is, all the people on I-40 I blasted past earlier, saw me sitting there pulled over by a cop, then, within minutes, I was blasting past them again:D

I continued riding through TN. It seemed like it took four IronButt awards before reaching Nashville. I rolled into Nashville around 4:15pm. Rush hour was well under way, and traffic sucked.

I had planned to contact FtBstrd in Nashville to smack down a brew. After sitting in rush hour traffic the only thing on my mind was getting to the other side of the City, out of traffic. Also, I forget exactly, but I had not yet reached 500 miles for the day, and I had until 8:10 that evening to achieve the Saddlesore. Even though I won't submit the paperwork for the official certificate, it was a personal goal, and I wanted bragging rights. I just want to say to Ft Bstrd, sorry for not stopping, I meant nothing personal by it.

I kept. rolling through Tennessee. On and on, damn, that's a long state. Finally I reach the outskirts of Knoxville. I stopped and called Julie. I told her I was planning to go to Deals Gap and stay there for 2 nights if I could score a room. (For my Aussie friends down under, Deals Gap is 318 turns in 11 miles snaking through the Smokey Mountains here in the eastern US:deal.) Julie looked up several motels I was familiar with in Robbinsville, NC, but both were booked solid. Usually I would have just gone to Robbinsville and discovered I had no place to stay after riding the 1.5 hours to get there. Today, I was happy I called beforehand and didn't waste 3 hours.

I told Julie I just earned the saddlesore. Here's my trophy:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95514116-M.jpg

1588 miles in 22 hours. BTW, the Uly handles just fine at 103 MPH :D

Anyway, Julie told me I should stop for the night. I said thanks for the advice. An kept going:D .

I actually thought about riding all the way home. It would have been about a 1150 mile day. I would have arrived home at 4:14AM according to my GPS.

I continued North. About dark, I started getting tired. A little later, I got real tired. And cold. And hungry. And thirsty. Marion, VA would be my goal. I continued rolling. About 18 miles south of Marion, my bike hit reserve. I had to pull over for gas. At about the same time, my iPod batter breathed its last. There was no way I was going to ride all night without tunes to keep me company.

I filled the tank, went inside, bought two 24oz Watermelon Smirnhoff drinks, and checked into a rustic motel. I went inside, cranked up the wifi, drank a few drinks, stayed up late, and slept in for the first time in 7 days.

Nice place for $50.00
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95518751-M.jpg


Only one day left :cry

zrex1100
17-09-2006, 06:30 AM
Final Report. Day 8, Friday September 8, 2006.

Destination: Home sweet home.

I slept until 9:30am. I awoke, and for the first time took advantage of the motels continental breakfeast. Then I loaded the Uly, and hit the road.

Marion VA is only several hours south of Pops house. This morning I had two options. I could ride route 16 West out of Marion. This road leads through some of the finest twisties Virginia has to offer. I've ridden it only one time, with Steverino, Harpoon, Eap, HarveyMushman, Squidley, Jabba, Scorch, I'm leaving someone out, and I hate that, but it's unintentional,,,,,oh yeah Robert (forgot screen name) :D . To this day, it was the best group ride I've ever been on. I need to go back to Marion:deal . The other option was to head north, and stop by to see my Dad, and my brother Squidley, on the way home.

One thing I learned a long time ago, is People are more important than things. If you haven't learned this on your own, noone can teach it to you. There was no struggle in deciding what to do.

I rolled up I-81 to my dad's place. For the next 1.5 hours, I shared tidbits of the trip with my dad and Squidley. My dad seemed really interested in what I had to say. I enjoyed the visit. Here's to you dad.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95518754-M.jpg

Squidley was all ears. Later that evening, he called to say my trip had inspired him. He was leaving the next day on a solo trip to Maine. No wonder his wife hates me :D

I rolled out of dad's place toward home. I hit 211 eastbound. For the first time, I let the Uly run free. I hit some familiar Virginia back roads, and just hauled ass through the twisties. The bike handles like it's on rails, even with 40 lbs of baggage loaded on the back. I knew the Buell Ulysses was a perfect match for my riding style.

I arrived home to a warm welcome by my supportive wife and kids, shortly after 5:00pm. I love you Julie. Total miles for the trip was 3300 and some change.

If I ever get the opportunity to do this again, there will be no hesitating. If anyone out there is debating on a similar trip, I simply encourage you, go.

I'd like to say a hearty Thank You to everyone I met along the way who made my life richer just by your acquaintance. Everyone in this report, whether I met you out on the road, or here in the forums, including ADVRider, BadWeatherBikers, or AusTouring.com, I'm humbled by your generous comments regarding the report and photos.

I hope to see everyone of you out there someday.

Dave

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/95519561-M.jpg

farawayman
17-09-2006, 04:53 PM
What a great trip. :shock: :shock: :D

I must admit that my favourite trips have been the ones that I have done alone. Not that I donít enjoy riding with others.
Thanks for sharing you trip with us Dave, absolutely fantastic pictures and you are a great wordsmith. Just enough commentary to keep it interesting.
Thanks

farawayman
17-09-2006, 05:18 PM
thats it!!!

Im mounting my camera to my bike...

I was think of putting some sort of timer on it so it would take a photo every 5 mins but also have a trigger to take a photo when I wanted it, A couple of gigs of cards and bob's your uncle

zrex1100, what camera mount do you use?

Marty


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
THIS is funny. Went to Croydon Camera House this morning, trying to find something like i've seen in Dave's pics here.....NOTHING in the "pod" section :cry: :cry: , but came away with a $15 tripod I'll have to hack and mod and stuff around with. I'll get it going, but it'll be a while.

Checked Ebay yesterday, again no luck.
Would be best to have something adjustable to quickly mount to the bars of any bike (with bars/ not clip-ons)....

Thought about it years ago :P
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c259/farawayman/Other%20stuff/cammount.jpg

The screen usually has too many bugs on it and is a bit thick and old (discoloured) to get a decent picture through.

Will have to rethink it :roll:

glitch
17-09-2006, 05:59 PM
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c259/farawayman/Other%20stuff/cammount.jpg

:

That's the friggin space-shuttle !! :shock: :shock:
Holy Cow what a cockpit!!
What sorta fork-springs ya runnin'? Star-posts? :lol: :lol:

Hytram
17-09-2006, 06:05 PM
The screen usually has too many bugs on it and is a bit thick and old (discoloured) to get a decent picture through.

Will have to rethink it :roll:

hole saw?

mh

Clancy
17-09-2006, 06:18 PM
Dave,
That was a brilliant report. Thanks for sharing it. If you get to do any touring around Virginia, you'd better share it with us too. Spent a little time there a while ago, and around Georgia and North Carolina, and loved that part of the U.S.

farawayman
17-09-2006, 06:42 PM
hole saw?
mh

Electric screen would have to cut a slot from the top to bottom. It might fall in half then, donít know why :?:

And it does come handy when it gets wet and cold :roll:

farawayman
17-09-2006, 06:57 PM
That's the friggin space-shuttle !! :shock: :shock:
Holy Cow what a cockpit!!
What sorta fork-springs ya runnin'? Star-posts? :lol: :lol:

Donít knock the old star posts. Had a bit of trouble with the fork seals though, didnít seem to fit. Had to change the rake just a bit to get the right flex going otherwise it was bit harsh. Front wheel is no longer round, tyres are hard to fit and doesnít fall into corners anymore just falls over donít know why, O and tyres donít last long.
Iím looking for a site on the internet that might help me, if you know of on :?:


:P :P

farawayman
17-09-2006, 08:49 PM
http://i29.photobucket.com/albums/c259/farawayman/Other%20stuff/cammount.jpg

:

That's the friggin space-shuttle !! :shock: :shock:
Holy Cow what a cockpit!!
What sorta fork-springs ya runnin'? Star-posts? :lol: :lol:

Don't know what your on about :?:
I got nothing :roll:
http://www.blm-accessories.com/images/BikeModels/k1100/k1100lt-dmount.jpg

tonye
18-09-2006, 07:44 AM
Would be best to have something adjustable to quickly mount to the bars of any bike (with bars/ not clip-ons)....

I've got a mate who has a mount that works well, mounts to his R1100R Beemer, I'll chase it down for you.

lady-rider
18-09-2006, 10:22 AM
I'd like to say a hearty Thank You to everyone I met along the way who made my life richer just by your acquaintance. Everyone in this report, whether I met you out on the road, or here in the forums, including ADVRider, BadWeatherBikers, or AusTouring.com, I'm humbled by your generous comments regarding the report and photos.

I hope to see everyone of you out there someday.

Dave


Dave Thank You
i totally looked forward to your next round of photos
and report as to where you took them

You ARE an inspiration to many that have an illness(diabetic)
and a bike passion
(we bought our 6th bike on saturday>dont tell me bikes arnt addictive :lol: )

I am just an Aussie woman that is Very Proud of you and Your Understanding wife

I am now off to see my mother whom is in hospital as i write this
haveing major hip surgery and she is diabetic as well

Oh Dave
a
PS
so does this mean
>I hope to see everyone of you out there someday<

your coming to Australia for a visit :D

Regard's
Joanne

FondaHonda
18-09-2006, 01:35 PM
What a fantastic and inspirational ride report!

I was hooked from start to finish. So many excellent photos and a great story to accompany them. If reading that report and viewing those beautiful photos doesn't make you want to do that same ride..then maybe you are on the wrong site!

I am so inspired...I could even consider looking at a Buell as a next bike...think of all the advantages...after all it is a big twin...annnnd...it isn't a Suzuki...What more could you want?? All the criteria for a decent bike :D

What do you think Pete? Maybe you want one too??

Great stuff...How much is a return trip to the ol' USA...Buell hire and a good map...could be better option than South Africa...2008?

Are you there, Pete???

glitch
19-09-2006, 07:47 AM
I am so inspired...I could even consider looking at a Buell as a next bike...think of all the advantages...after all it is a big twin...annnnd...it isn't a Suzuki...What more could you want?? All the criteria for a decent bike :D

What do you think Pete? Maybe you want one too??

Great stuff...How much is a return trip to the ol' USA...Buell hire and a good map...could be better option than South Africa...2008?

Are you there, Pete???

:lol: :lol: No comment !! :lol:

tonye
19-09-2006, 07:49 AM
Would be best to have something adjustable to quickly mount to the bars of any bike (with bars/ not clip-ons)....

I've got a mate who has a mount that works well, mounts to his R1100R Beemer, I'll chase it down for you.

Got it... :lol:

It was a RAM Mount.


http://www.cyclegadgets.com/Products/RAM/

He ordered it from the States and has had no problems with it.
He uses a fairly large professional style digital SLR style camera and it works well.


TonyE

glitch
19-09-2006, 07:58 AM
Gotta read this story again, soonest !!...in one hit, rather than dribs/ drabs.
It's just about too much of a great thing.
What a fantastic story, the pics are superb and string it all together.
Many thanks for a truly magnificent read !!!

glitch
19-09-2006, 08:01 AM
Would be best to have something adjustable to quickly mount to the bars of any bike (with bars/ not clip-ons)....

I've got a mate who has a mount that works well, mounts to his R1100R Beemer, I'll chase it down for you.

Got it... :lol:

It was a RAM Mount.


http://www.cyclegadgets.com/Products/RAM/

He ordered it from the States and has had no problems with it.
He uses a fairly large professional style digital SLR style camera and it works well.


TonyE

Great stuff, Tony. Thanks for chasing it up, this sounds really good and is still reasonably priced.

Hytram
19-09-2006, 09:41 AM
Would be best to have something adjustable to quickly mount to the bars of any bike (with bars/ not clip-ons)....

I've got a mate who has a mount that works well, mounts to his R1100R Beemer, I'll chase it down for you.

Got it... :lol:

It was a RAM Mount.


http://www.cyclegadgets.com/Products/RAM/

He ordered it from the States and has had no problems with it.
He uses a fairly large professional style digital SLR style camera and it works well.


TonyE

Great stuff, Tony. Thanks for chasing it up, this sounds really good and is still reasonably priced.

yes..thanks

Pete let me know when you order, I'll go halves in the postage

Marty

zrex1100
19-09-2006, 10:55 AM
If you guy's/girls ever make it to the states, I can show you some great riding on the right half of the country. Hell, I'll head out west again too :) And of course, you can stay at my place.

Pete, thanks again for inviting me over here.

I think someone wanted details about my camera setup. Here ya go:

Dave:

Excellent report! Makes me want to load up the bike and hit the road :-)

Anyhoo; could you comment a little on the camera setup? How did you press the shutter button? Simply take hand off bar and press?

Thanks for taking us on your ride.

Rino

Sure. I pressed the shutter with my left hand. I just made sure the camera was pointed in the right direction.


I would also like to see the camera setup with a close up picture if at all possible.
I like the idea and how did you keep the lens clean. :)

I'll do my best to show the setup, but asking me to show it with just "a" close up is a tall order :D . I got lots of those pics too :D

I kept the lense clean by wiping it with Plexus and a rag whenever I stopped for gas. I don't recommend using a top notch camera for this setup, unless you're rich :D . The camera I used is a Kodak Easyshare DX-6490. I've used this camera for that last several years, and it's always delivered better than expected images. My garage wall is full of 8 x 10 photos from the camera. I figured the camera has been in use long enough to demote it to heavy use :D .

One of the first things I bought for the trip was a "camera specific ram mount." It includes the 1/4 x 20 threaded bolt which screws into the base of any camera. Here's the receiver ball mounted to the right side of the handlebar:

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266876-M.jpg

and here's the rest of the camera ram mount setup. Notice, with a ram mount, the camera can be position any number of ways:
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266877-M.jpg

a photo showing the 1/4 x 20 threaded nut on the bottom of my bug infested camera
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266879-M.jpg

normally you would just scew the camera onto the base and be done with it. I remembered a setup I used to use on my 35mm cameras back in the day. It's a nifty little doohickey made by Stroboframe which includes a base with the 1/4 x 20 nut which mounts to a tripod, or in this case, the camera base on my ram mount. The other part includes a mounting plate with a 1/4 x 20 screw, which screws onto the bottom of the camera. Here's the individual components: (this stuff has been sitting in my dresser drawer for years. It works perfectly on the ram mount setup)

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266878-M.jpg

a shot of the Stroboframe mounting plate mounted to the camera

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266880-M.jpg

a shot of the Stroboframe receiver plate mounted to the ram mount, and the camera about to be mounted. To mount, simply tilt the camera back, position the rear of the camera into the receiver, and drop the unit forward. It is held in place by a spring loaded mechanism, which holds the camera very securely. During the trip, nothing ever came loose.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266882-M.jpg

The camera is now firmly mounted. Notice the lever on the right side of the mounting base has moved to the extended position. To remove the camera, I simply push the lever to the left, and the mechanism releases the camera mounting plate from the receiver. It can be done as quickly so fast. I used this setup to photograph the deer in Bryce Canyon, because releasing the camera was faster than getting my Nikon out of the tank bag. plus the lense on this camera has the equivilant focal length of 38-380mm on a 35mm camera, so I could bring the deer in close.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266883-M.jpg

The camera turned on with the lense extended

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266888-M.jpg

a view from the front, complete with bugs
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266884-M.jpg

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266885-M.jpg

and finally, a photo of the view from the seat

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266889-M.jpg

The setup worked well, especially when I remembered to clean the bugs off the lense. The lcd display on this Kodak is large and bright enough I could actually see what I was shooting. However, after draining the battery the first day, I shot with the lcd screen off for the rest of the trip. I didn't need to see the photos while riding. Each evening I downloaded the photos into the laptop from each camera. I then viewed the photos on my laptop screen. Honestly, I only got 8-10 "keepers" for every 100 photos I shot, due mostly to motion blur and bugs. This setup is ineffective in low light. I lost every photo riding through Oak Creek Canyon because the speed of the bike created too much blur in the low light conditions. However, 8 or 10 keepers is more than I would have otherwise, and gave me, and the viewers here, another perspective from the saddle that I was experiencing during the ride.

I purchased the Kodak right after it was introduced for over $500.00:eek1

Today, cameras are available that are twice as good for half the price. I still like the Kodak. It's like an old friend.

My other setup was kept inside the tank bag. A Nikon D-50 body and a 17-55 f2.8 lense. The body now sells for $500.00. That's hard for me to digest. A bargain, really. The lense is slightly more :lol3 . That lense kicks photo butt. It's the reason the photos are so sharp. It has nothing to do with me :deal

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96292787-M.jpg

Sorry for the long response, but I love talking about photography and bikes :D

zrex1100
19-09-2006, 11:03 AM
And just for the hell of it, here's what I did yesterday :)



Thanks for letting me ride the Uly. It's not everyday poor folk like moi get to ride exotic toys. It's a hell of a bike. I never been on a harley before. It vibrates quite a bit, but not as much as I though.

The bike is fast, but it's deceivingly fast. You never know how fast you are going, but it moves. It does nice wheelies too, the wheelies you pulled were some of the best ive seen you do.

It's got a big ole engine.. It's like a supa thumpa

That must have been someone else pulling the front end up yesterday :D .
I enjoyed riding your Speed Triple. I still love that 955i motor.

Here's a couple shots of the Scorch/Squiggy ride today.

On the way out to Sperryville, I rolled through The Plains, VA, and saw this bloke filling up his toy. I pulled over right on the side of the road, pulled out the camera, and started shooting. The night before, I had just watched "Behind The Headlights" a movie documenting the tragic events about the life of 1950's movie icon James Dean. With the movie fresh in my mind, as soon as I saw this car, I knew I had to shoot it. James Dean was killed in a similar car.

The guys looked at me like "who the hell are you" :D at which point I said "come on guys, the car is gorgeous, Give Me A Look." The driver smiled, and click.:D Feast you eyes.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266868-M.jpg

Shortly after, I spied my brother Squidley in Sperryville. He was chatting with another biker. I took off my helmet, and noticed a nail in my rear tire. I poured wated on the spot, and it wasn't leaking. I decided to add a little air with my 12V compressor, and promptly let all the air out of the tire. I couldn't get the damn thing to inflate. Good thing I discovered this at a gas station instead of roadside. I rolled my bike over to the air pump. I was walking back to the store to get a quarter for the air machine. As I was walking across the parking lot, looking straight ahead, I heard a bike coming toward me pretty fast. I was thing to myself, 'alright asshole, what are you going to do, take me out?' I looked up and it was Sorch on his Speed Triple, who did a stoppie and landed about 2 feet from me :D . Surprise, Surprise.

Scorch and I go way back. He's definetely one of the best street riders I've had the pleasure of riding with. And he has the the perfect attitude. No wonder we get along so well :D

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266872-M.jpg

Scorch, Squidley, and I rode for several hundred miles, discovering some new roads. We switched bikes for about 50 miles. Scorch didn't have his GPS today, and was leading. When I found out he was navigating without the GPS, I offered to trade bikes. He took to the Uly immediately. I rode his S3, which now has 67,000+ miles. The boy rides :evil .

A couple of badass bikes:
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266875-M.jpg

owned and ridden by a couple of misfits.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266873-M.jpg

zrex1100
19-09-2006, 11:14 AM
BTW, the finger means no disrespect over here. It's a salute. Kinda like saying, "Hey man, what's up."

I hope noone here is offended by it.

glitch
19-09-2006, 11:28 AM
Jeez...what a reply !! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Nearly as good as the ride report :wink: :lol:
That ram mount is looking better and better to me.
Is it the type with the U-bolt around the handlebar?

Was thinking along the same lines re: camera....since it's exposed quite severly, an older / 2.grade unit would be an acceptable loss in the event of something hitting it (or decking the bike).
That removable jigger you had could also be duplicated by using a slightly modded top-plate off a standard tripod?

It all starts with the ram mount though, let's worry about that one first.

Many thanks for the help and advice (and again: PICS)

glitch
19-09-2006, 11:30 AM
[quote="glitch"]

Oh...and the birdie? (finger) ??
We pretty much take it the same way over here :) (amongst friends, anyway)

glitch
19-09-2006, 11:32 AM
Feast you eyes.
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/96266868-M.jpg


Porsche....hmmm 356 Speedster?

zrex1100
19-09-2006, 12:09 PM
I believe so, probably a kit car reproduction, but still a beauty.

zrex1100
19-09-2006, 12:16 PM
Yes Pete it uses the U-bolt setup to mount the ball to the handlebar, Ram mounts are exceptionally sturdy for the price. I think you really dont need the Stroboframe jigger for everyday use. I don't even know if they still make it. The standard ram mount would be just fine.


Jeez...what a reply !! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Nearly as good as the ride report :wink: :lol:
That ram mount is looking better and better to me.
Is it the type with the U-bolt around the handlebar?

Was thinking along the same lines re: camera....since it's exposed quite severly, an older / 2.grade unit would be an acceptable loss in the event of something hitting it (or decking the bike).
That removable jigger you had could also be duplicated by using a slightly modded top-plate off a standard tripod?

It all starts with the ram mount though, let's worry about that one first.

Many thanks for the help and advice (and again: PICS)

zrex1100
19-09-2006, 12:19 PM
[quote=glitch]

Oh...and the birdie? (finger) ??
We pretty much take it the same way over here :) (amongst friends, anyway)

Exactly. Of course, used appropriately, it'll piss off people too :D

matt232
19-09-2006, 03:29 PM
my bug infested camera

Do you wait until you can see the whites of thier eyes before you shoot? :mrgreen:

Seriously though, have you managed to catch the last few seconds of a bug while going after some scenery? I'd expect the clean up of the lens would be a bit of a worry.

Anyway ripper of a story, it was that immersive that I'm sad to be home.

zrex1100
21-09-2006, 12:06 AM
my bug infested camera

Do you wait until you can see the whites of thier eyes before you shoot? :mrgreen:

Seriously though, have you managed to catch the last few seconds of a bug while going after some scenery? I'd expect the clean up of the lens would be a bit of a worry.

Anyway ripper of a story, it was that immersive that I'm sad to be home.

:D A little bug would show up as a blur. A big beautiful butterfly, ot the other hand,,,,,nevermind :D

I admittedly abuse the bike mounted cam. When I clean the face shield on my helmet, I just give a squirt of whatever I have to the lense, and wipe her clean. Not exactly proper equipment etiquette, but it works. The Nikon lense, on the other hand, gets pampered :D

roundman58
21-09-2006, 09:27 AM
If you look closely in some of the photos posted, you can make out the odd unfortunate bug as a blur.

FZX250
20-08-2008, 12:45 PM
damn good write up. Say what you want about americans, but the landscape is farken spectacular. I hope to go there and ride 1 day.

bengo
04-03-2009, 02:01 AM
We're so uptight here on the east coast. Some folks checking in at the airport are a miserable brood. I stood there and watch people bitching, much to my delight . They were bitching about stupid little things. I decided I'd give them something real to bitch about .

The line to pass through security was flowing as fast as an airport security line could be expected to flow, until my bag went through the x-ray machine. All of the sudden, everything stopped. The operator called for a security check because of the two viles of insulin (liquid) in my bag. It took about 2 minutes for the first security detail to show up. I'm standing there smiling . I'm the only one smiling . The people in line were impatient before I stopped the progress. Now, they're ready to take up stones and cast them upon me.

The security detail shows up and asks for back up . They pull me aside and for the next 15 minutes, remove everything from my bag, wiping and testing everything for bomb residue materials. They were particularly pissed to see my laptop in the carry on. It was inside a foam protective cover, which was inside a plastic protective case. One guy is checking my stuf, the other guy is checking my reaction to this event. I'm just smiling . I explained I don't fly much, and didn't know laptops had to be indvidually examined. They finally finish examining all my stuff, and ask me if I need any help putting it back in the bag. I decline their assistance.

By now, I'm one of the last people to arrive at the waiting area to board the plane. The folks on my plane don't seem too chatty . Fine, I'll just wander off into a corner and listen to my iPod. Oh yeah, I was in full riding gear, wearing my Sidi boots and Joe Rocket jacket. The other passengers weren't impressed. Oh well. I'm utterly delighted that I'm not as miserable as some of the fine folks around me.

We finally board the plane. I'm sitting next to the window. A couple, obviously in love, sit nex to me. I stand up and tell the girl next to me, "this jacket has to come off." She doesn't even acknowledge me. Didn't look at me. Didn't say anything. Nothing. I'm thinking to myself this is going to be a long flight. I look out the window. I rummage through my carry on bag at my feet to find my little Kodak. I look out the window. The girl next to me is irritated that I'm doing something. I capture the moment. The mood outside is representative of the mood sitting beside me. Well, not quite that bad

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594172-M.jpg



I find my stress has completey departed. I think it landed squarely on some of the folks around me. I'm wondering to myself if every flight is full of miserable people .Nah! The crew is extremely professional. They smile as they walk by. The guy in front of me decides to recline his seat all the way back into my lap. I act like it doesn't bother me. I feel like throwing him of the plane .

We take off. Within a few minutes, Tom Cruise is playing on the Screen in front of me. Mission Impossible III is the choice entertainment for the day. Halfway into the flight I have to pee. I don't dare get up. People all around me ar getting up to pee. I didn't want to piss anyone off, again . I decide to hold it until Phoenix. I decline the second offering of coffee. Fortunately I didn't have to pee that bad. I enjoy the rest of the movie. It's over and we're just crossing Texas. I grab my camera again. As we descend, I start shooting out the window. There's nothing else to do.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594178-M.jpg

My first glimpse of Phoenix. It doesn't look so hot out there

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594175-M.jpg

Downtown Phoenix
http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94594174-M.jpg

The good thing is the plane landed 37 minutes ahead of schedule. Plenty of time to pee before making my way to baggage pick up. The bad thing is, our baggage doesn't come out of the plane until sometime around 10:15. We're all waiting. We all want our luggage. Everyone is nicer now. Several people come up to me and say "Yeah, you're from Dulles, I saw you back in the airport. I'm just making sure I'm in the right luggage terminal." They're surprisingly friendly in Phoenix. People start asking questions. Why are you wearing a jacket in Phoenix? Don't you know it's 108 degrees outside? I look around. Everyone is wearing shorts. I have on heavy Joe Rocket riding jeans, riding boots, and a jacket. It turns out to be a great conversation starter. People seem geniunely interested in what I'm doing.

I talk to a lady who flew out from N. VA for her fathers 75th birthday. She tells me there is no better place on the planet than Oak Creek Canyon . That's wonderful, because I'm riding through there in a few hours.

I check my cell phone for messages. I'm getting an unclear signal. Finally, I call Bill who is picking me up. He asks where I am. I tell him I arrived early, but I'm waiting for my luggage. He says he's in the luggage area too. I turn around, and he's standing right there. Bill says, "You said you have blond hair, I was looking for a long haired hippy. You didn't say anything abolut having a crew cut."

Bill turns out to be a super nice guy. He's very interested in my plans. He's very interested in sharing about his family. He's understanding about having to wait for my luggage. It finally arrives. We head out to his Big Whit Buick SUV with 20 inch rims. I immediately notice how hot it is. In the shade.

We head towards Sun City West. On the way, Bill offers to swing by the Harley Davidson dealer so I can buy a quart of oil for the ride home. I have the chance to talk to the service manager who just performed the 1000 mile service. He assures me the bike is ready for the road trip ahead. He seems curious as to why I would want to ride the Buell across the country. In the parking lot I notice a sight I've never seen before. The bikes parked out front all have towells draped over the seats. It really does get hot in Phoenix .

We head over to Bill's house, conversing the whole way. No ackward moments. Bill is like a long time friend I haven't seen in years. I had a gut feeling when I first spoke with him on the phone that he was the geniune article. We roll through the gates to his community, past the golf course, to his house. The garage door opens, and I laid eyes upon my bike for the first time.

http://xsquiggy.smugmug.com/photos/94592308-M.jpg
Your Buell motorcycle is looking good dude... some people wonders why we would want to ride the Buell across the country...



_________________
buell motorcycle parts (http://www.buellparts.net)

Hytram
11-03-2009, 08:05 AM
I want that bike ... it's a belt drive!!!!


oh.... the irony of that post :)

castle-of-teckk
05-12-2009, 07:06 PM
Read this report the 5th or 6th time, itīs sooooo brilliant ! :clap::clap::clap:

But this time, i had google aside and plotted the mountain part of the trip :

http://maps.google.de/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=sun+city+west+az&daddr=wickenburg+az+to:prescott+az+to:sedona+az+to :Sunset+Crater,+Coconino,+Arizona+86004,+Vereinigt e+Staaten+to:County+Road+395,+Flagstaff,+Coconino, +Arizona+86004,+Vereinigte+Staaten+to:fredonia+az+ to:bryce+canyon+ut+to:Utah+63,+Bryce+Canyon,+Garfi eld,+Utah+84764,+Vereinigte+Staaten+to:Kodachrome+ State+Park+Rd,+Kanab,+Kane,+Utah+84741,+Vereinigte +Staaten+to:Reservoir+Rd+to:boulder+ut+to:UT-24+E+to:hanksville+UT+to:State+Route+191%2FUS-191+S+to:UT-313+W+to:Arches+Entrance+Rd+to:moab+ut+to:ouray+co +to:durango+co+to:albuquerque+nm&geocode=FR6kAQId585N-Sl17C2pQVsrhzFogDLQK1KOrw%3BFQFSBgId6uFH-Sm9Akw1k07TgDE6zuY-M6JOlg%3BFfgJDwId6t1L-SnrfHEA1CgthzHd_u5S5z2kCQ%3BFewRFAIdoqlW-SkNsEL5MqEthzH9jmz6I8VIVQ%3BFU-dGwIdUpVa-SkPJJyJHnUyhzEM_b1-4RQRpg%3BFcAzHgId4J5b-Sk_ThQPOg0yhzF4Dyo0KbLslw%3BFYa-MwIdA_tK-SkzW5fFitE0hzHBbUyGcB--_g%3BFZwpPgId8XRQ-SmhS5LzH2k1hzHqrNkXse6Jsg%3BFQ7cPgIdBqFQ-SllRskyimk1hzEhfqOdE107aQ%3BFfl2PAIdpy1T-SkP0guH5gw1hzE_IlBUMJJE9A%3BFU_FQAIdoE1Y-SlnRl6Emo81hzFek5pSFFn7wg%3BFT5pQgIdLcZb-Sl_8ef0YvQ1hzFDVUBUH9HMuw%3BFRdJSAIdmkhe-Q%3BFa6GSQIdSaNm-SnPk6_agcRJhzHh7or0Up7tXg%3BFTRfUAIdoeZ0-Q%3BFawkSwIdGIN1-Q%3BFYBlTwIdQOV3-Q%3BFQSVTAId8WZ4-SmNLbia5eFHhzEtxNXxerEyCw%3BFXQuRAIdZxCV-SnzhnOvfB8_hzHdWykABMgDkA%3BFZDGOAIdfeGR-Skj_IW9pgI8hzFafqajgogr3A%3B&hl=de&mra=ls&via=14,15,16&sll=35.451721,-106.998596&sspn=1.975529,4.22699&ie=UTF8&ll=35.047987,-106.743164&spn=7.938201,16.907959&z=7

Buellboy
06-11-2012, 11:05 PM
I was initially drawn to this post by the fact that the write up was about touring on a Buell and as I'm such a great fan of the marque I proceeded to read on.... not finishing it all in one go!

However on returning back to the post I find that there are no photo's anymore........

could someone please explain why?

Thank you!

Christo
07-11-2012, 06:40 AM
The post is 6 years old.

I've seen a lot of photos disappear from forums for various reasons.

Usually because the OP closes an image hosting account that the photos were linked to, or something similar.

The links to this OP's Smugmug account, take you nowhere.

I'm sure Glitch or someone in authority, will be along to give you the good oil eventually.

Don't take it personally, it's not just a Buell thing.

K1W1
07-11-2012, 07:20 AM
T
Usually because the OP closes an image hosting account that the photos were linked to, or something similar.

The links to this OP's Smugmug account, take you nowhere.


Got it first go.
The images were linked to a SmugMug account that either no longer exists or has been changed.

tim
14-02-2013, 03:14 PM
Most links have been fixed by OP.. Thank you for this...