Monday, October 7, 2013

Moab Done: I'm Home

2,279 miles later, I'm home safe and sound. Happy to be back, sad that it's over so soon. Can't wait to plan another adventure. I think it has the word Colorado in it... :)

Moab Diary Day Seven: Long Ride Home

This is the day of eating miles. It's 411 miles to Santa Cruz from our final campsite. A breakfast in Barstow. A quick goodbye and then full throttle home.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Moab Diary Day Six: The End

This is it... The end of an epic moto adventure. Me, on my BMW F650GS, and my brother John, on his Suzuki VStrom 650. We left this same campsite here in Afton Canyon just 6 days ago and travelled almost 2,000 miles around southern Utah. Tonight we are back here in Afton Canyon enjoying the cool, clear night. Tomorrow we ride home.

Hopefully you had a chance to follow along on this blog. I'll probably post a trip wrap up tomorrow night and recap a bunch of stuff. But this has been an unbelievable adventure. Not just seeing southern Utah, but doing it on our motos. Camping on old fire trails, up dirt roads to the top of mountains, and everything in between. The pictures can't even do it justice. Now to start planning the next adventure... Any ideas?

Moab Diary Day Six: Zion Outta My Mind

I have to say, Zion was absolutely unbelievable. I thought we had seen the most beautiful parts of Utah, and I still believe that's true, but Zion is breathtaking. And the best part? The road was made for a motorcycle. It's a winding road that just flows from top to bottom. And one more benefit thanks to the government... It's free today!! Drive through while the government is shut down. It's your national park... Enjoy it!!!

Moab Diary Day Six: Leaving Utah

Today is the last day in Utah. We will be riding through Zion Canyon and then on to Las Vegas and our final campground back in Afton Canyon. I'll post a wrap up tonight when we camp.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Moab Diary Day Five: Final Thoughts on Day Five

It's late on day five and I'm laying in a hotel bed reflecting on our ride. We covered a lot of miles today but the adventure in Valley of the Gods was so amazing that I just keep thinking about it. This whole trip has been amazing!

We ran into another moto adventure-head on the ride. Chris is from Colorado and he has been out riding Utah for a while. His KTM was sweet and very nicely setup. I could imagine spending weeks rolling around the US on that thing.

We will be making our final ride through Zion tomorrow morning before heading off to Afton Canyon. It's a little sad thinking that our trip will soon be over.

Moab Diary Day Five: Marathon Miles

We knew we had to cover some ground today since we were 1,000 miles away from home. But that didn't stop us from seeing some amazing sights and riding our motos through beautiful Utah.

Today we started out in freezing Monticello, headed down to the Valley of the Gods and up Moki Dugway. In my last posts I put some photos. But it was epic. The pictures don't even capture how amazing this ride was. Not only was it beautiful, the ride was on dirt and washout gravel which made it challenging as well. By the time we got to the top of Moki Dugway I had snapped off the rack that was holding my extra fuel. It was just hanging off the back of my bike. So I did a quick repair and attached it to the top of my bag so we could hit the road again.

We left that beautiful spot and jammed down to Mexican Hat where we grabbed Navajo lunch. Then it was full throttle for a couple hundred miles.

Overall, that part was pretty uneventful, except for the part where I lost my iPhone!!!

We pulled out of the gas station in Page, Arizona, getting ready to cross back into Utah over the Glen Canyon Dam when I felt the lightest, weird touch in my right leg. I knew immediately that my iPhone had fallen out of my tank bag. I just knew by the way it felt in my leg. Then it was instant terror!! Everything is on that phone. I was freaked.

I pulled off the side of the highway and backtracked but nothing. Then I got off my bike and walked it. And there I saw it. On the side of the road in the dirt. I just saw the back side. I thought it was a fragment of my nice new iPhone 5S... I raced over and picked it up. Not a scratch!!! The cover totally protected it.

So that's the story. Tomorrow we ride through Zion Canyon and then on to Las Vegas, maybe back to Afton Canyon where it all started.

Moab Diary Day Five: Moki Dugway

Sorry I don't have time to write, but here's some pics of what we've been up to today. I'll write a full recap tonight.

Moab Diary Day Five: Valley of the Gods

Quick update photo

Moab Diary Day Five: Heading for Moki Dugway

Staying in a hotel last night was a great idea. We cleaned up, ate some good food and had a solid night sleep. But most of all, we skipped out on freezing to death in the 28-degree weather.

This morning we leave Monticello and head down to ride Moki Dugway and the Valley of the Gods. Then off for a long ride through Arizona and back up toward Zion Canyon. We should be camping tonight just south is Zion.

Since it's so cold outside, we are riding a little more carefully and keeping south, closer to the desert and warmer air. This means we will be about a day off schedule. With more than 1,000 miles left to cover we want to make sure we keep the rubber side down.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Moab Diary Day Four: Hello Moab Goodbye

As soon as we saw the sign for Arches National Park, and the ranger sitting outside the chained gate, we knew Moab was over. We rode our motos through the crowded little town. We stopped to talk it through. After a minute we both looked at each other and knew... Goodbye Moab.

We split that over-crowded town and ripped out for a smaller spot where we could breathe again. The road leaving Moab was fast and cold. We got to a little town called Monticello, Utah just in time. It was freezing cold and the sun was setting. Decision time: camp or hotel.

We decided to stop at the first hotel which turned out to be an awesome idea. We got the last room! Plus, they had an indoor pool and jacuzzi. After cleaning up and taking a swim we ran across the street to grab dinner. On the road was a hint of what our night would have been like if we were camping... Snow!

Thank you Amex.

Moab Diary Day Four: Mid Day Update

We rode our motos 8 miles on dirt roads to get back to the highway... And it was so worth it!! On our way to Moab today.

Moab Diary Day Four: Sunshine on Mt Hillers

I woke up this morning and heard my brother John rustling around. He said he wanted to watch the sun come up. Last night was a combination of rain, hail and wind. I thought for sure this would be a soggy day.

I crawled out of my tent expecting it to be wet and cloudy. But it was already dry, desert dry. Still, the air was bone cold. I walked out past our tents and the trees just a few yards to see John and his JetBoil making coffee. We warmed our hands on our mugs as the sun came up. It lit up the entire state as far as we could see.

I'm in awe of the beauty of Utah. We accidentally found ourselves up here in the BLM, camping on Mt Hillers in a spot called Start Springs. Chance, fate, luck, opportunity, God, life... Call it what you will, I'm blown away by the wonder of it all.

Now for the day ahead. Our plan is to ride the rest of the way to Moab today. We will do the Arches if the government will let us in. Then we will do a few more trails around Moab. We will end our day with a long ride south to Moki Dougway. It's supposed to be a trail to the top of the world where we can camp on a Mesa overlooking the canyons.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Moab Diary Day Three: Through The Red Valley

After we packed up and hit the road we decided to moto all the way to Bryce Canyon and look for some breakfast along the way. That turned out to be a good idea since nothing was open until 10:00am anyways. We finally stopped in for breakfast at a little restaurant off the 12 somewhere between Bryce Canyon and Boulder Utah.

With a full stomach our plan was to take this little road called the Burr Trail out of Boulder and head down toward lake Powell. That was one of the best decisions we made.

The Burr trail takes you down winding roads, through deep red canyons and across open desert with rock walls towering overhead. I was in awe most of the ride. Then we took a dirt road the rest of the way to Bullfrog where we were going to camp.

Unfortunately the government had a different plan. Because of the funding fiasco going on in Washington right now, all federal parks are closed, including lake Powell and our camp site.

Instead we headed up into BLM land and found an even better campsite on top of a mountain. Sometimes life is like that... You don't get what you want only to find there was something better waiting for you to stop throwing a tantrum.

I have so many great photos of today's ride. It's not fair to just post one or two, but for now you'll have to settle for these.

Moab Diary Day Three: Waking Up Half Frozen

So I made a pretty big miscalculation while packing my gear. I assumed the weather would be misty scorching hot with some cool nights. I packed light. About 3:00 am last night I thought I was going die. It was so cold I couldn't feel my feet.

But, we did find an amazing spot to camp up at the summit off the 14 just outside Cedar City Utah. See my previous post for details.

Today we are heading out through Bryce Canyon and deeper into the Utah wilderness. There are three great rides between here and Moab and we are going to hit them all. Our plan is to end up in the Glen Canyon National Recreation area. We think we can camp tonight down by a little town called bullfrog. Unless we get ambitious and head all the way to Moab.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Moab Diary Day Two: Afton Canyon to Cedar Mtn Utah

We had an epic ride today. Lots of 85mph hwy 15, but once we crossed into Arizona and eventually into Utah it was beautiful. We cut off 15 at Cedar City and we are now in 14 up at Cedar mountain. The government shutdown and closed all the campgrounds so we found this sweet little spot up in the mountains. So stoked we have all our gear and moto we go. So much more to report but this is all I can muster before the sun goes down. Oh, it's also super cold up here!! Yesterday we slept in the mojave desert. Tonight it's chilly Utah mountain air.

Moab Diary Day Two: Waking Up In Afton Canyon

After 7 hours of riding my brother John and I met up in Afton Canyon for our first night camping. I arrived around 3:30 and ran into some fellow moto campers. Patrick and his two brothers were unloading their dirt bikes and packing them up for an adventure into the BLM.

Since we were staying just one night and they were worried about their car being left alone, I graciously volunteered to camp in their spot. Saved $6... And if you know me, you know how happy I am about that.

Waking up with the sun was even better. Looking forward to a fun ride today. We are aiming for southern Utah.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Moab Day One: Afton Canyon Campground

I made it to my first campground, 411 miles away. I left Santa Cruz around 8:30 and just pulled into the campground at 3:45. Took my time and ate a sandwich in Tehachepi but mostly enjoyed the speed of the Tarmac. When I dropped into Mojave I started to feel the temperature climb fast. It was 62 when I left Santa Cruz and it's 92 as I sit here waiting for the sun to go down. John should be pulling in anytime now and we will start the official trail planning.

Moab Diary Day One: Leaving Santa Cruz

Well the day is finally here and I'm heading out. The weather is beautiful here in Santa Cruz. I'm excited to get on my F650GS and moto away. First stop Paso Robles, then over to Mojave. I'll gas up in Barstow and try to be in Afton Canyon by 3:00.