Solo trippin' on a Buell Ulysses...WARNING, loads of pics...



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,

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.

The parking met the criteria.

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

this could be interesting.

Inside the park looking back toward Moab

Hey look. A photo without bugs.

The view looking North toward Dead Horse State Park.

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.

The first of many photos I was about to shoot.

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


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:

and looking right

I shot another


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.

Those Rockies are getting closer


On the way to the next turn out, and the next conversation with Jason


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.


Petrified sand dunes leading to the Rockies :deal

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.

At the next turn out, I shot this photo,

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

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 . 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.


The ADV Salute

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.


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 .


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.

I finally reached the end of the park.

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.


Mapping the next ride...
Staff member
...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!


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


Mapping the next ride...
Staff member
zrex1100 said:
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:


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:



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.

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!

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 ."

Before long, I turned left on 46 heading east. The elevation started increasing, as did the temps.

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 .

The extra layer of warmth felt fantastic. For about 2 miles, anyway. I started getting cold again. I was entering another forest.

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

Here's the shot behind me

The rain jacket provided sufficient warmth, and man it felt nice. As I warmed up, the roads began to twist. I was 'riding' again.

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

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.

There was no traffic. There was no rain.

There were mountains, rivers, and sunshine. And cold temps.

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.

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

After what seemed like miles and miles of rolling across The Plains, I entered another mountains range.

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


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.

Nasty overexposed photo, but the subject was far from nasty.

A few miles later, a few more shots:

As I was shooting here, I heard a rumble roaring through,

The sound echoing off the canyon walls,

getting louder, totally disrupting the trickle of flowing water

The roaring exhaust was pure music. These guy were railing through the mountains. I got the impression they weren't sight seeing:D

so in honor of the above riders

I stepped up to the plate. And shot more photos:D

John Denver ringing in my head :rofl

Rocky Moun------ain Hi-------ih,,,,,,,,,,



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

:evil This one's a keeper.

Back to the seriousness of the report :deal
Those mountains are getting closer, and taller


I was just shooting. This is the section of road just before entering Route 550 :evil

It doesn't get much better.


What? Two's not enough enough? Don't worry, I have more :D

Pretty soon, the landscape got exceedingly boring :deal

so I stopped for a rest

just outside of Ouray

and forced myself

To press on towards Ouray:1drink



Next up: Lunch, Ouray Pass.


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.


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.

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


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

or two


severl photos

of this place called Ouray, before departing. The 'cloud' is getting closer.

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.

to a height that seemed at the time to be level with the 'cloud.'

Within a few minutes, I began to understand what 'the pass' was

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


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.

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.

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

and one for the road. That's Ouray Pass.

That's Ouray Pass. And my Uly:D

,,,,,about to get wet if I don't stop shooting and get moving.

I continue on, where the sights continued to amaze


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

not too shabby


check the elevation. Just afterwards, I hit 11,204 feet. My highest ever.

Approaching the above photos from my perspective on the bike

more traffic


I basically went apeshit here behind the lense:D

almost forgetting to do an about face to see what's back there



I continued


not bad for a bike mounted cam

and before long, made my way into Silverton.

where I parked the bike

and started shooting:rofl



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.


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.

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:


I wonder how much a place like this sells for :deal

A little stream on the outskirts of town

Silverton's a rugged place.


If it works, don't fix it.

I shot a final photo of the bike in town, then rolled out.

Here's the town from above

Just outside of Silverton, I got one final shot of the majesty of the Colorado Rockies

Here's heading toward Durango. Looks like a cloud up ahead.

I kept rolling, catching up to, and passing this gentleman. It was getting very cold.

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.



The cloud was now on top of my head

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.
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