Monday, August 3, 2009

Day FIVE, complete

We're done. We rode just over 440 miles today on our way back home to Las Vegas. Here is the map of our entire trip.

For today's route, click HERE

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day FOUR, a complete success

Today began in Moab Utah. Once again, no alarm noise reached out from within my phone to slap me into action this morning. It seems that when I'm on the road for a few days I lose track of which day of the week it is. This morning's alarm was nonexistent due to the fact that my alarm is set up on a schedule for "weekdays only". Despite the silence in our room I still managed to wake up at a decent hour. We packed the bike and headed to the lobby area to find the continental breakfast. "Hi, welcome to the Best Western, can I help you?" "Yeah, uhhh (looking around) where can I find the breakfast?" The confused young lady behind the counter replied "Just down the road across the street is the Pancake House, they have breakfast." "So then uhhh, no continental breakfast here at the hotel?" "Oh no sir, we don't make you breakfast."

So the most expensive night of our trip comes to an end without the aid of bagels and cold cereal (served from a machine that crushes every damn flake before it hits your foam bowl). We returned to the room geared up, checked out, and headed the quarter mile down the road to an establishment called "Pancake Haus". Yes, every time I said the name of this place I did my best California Governor impression. Turns out it the place wasn't all that great. There were no Austrians in the whole place, and their idea of an omelet isn't what I've come to enjoy. The pancakes were pretty good...essential given the name of the place.

After a mildly satisfying breakfast we headed north. This turned out to be some of the most boring miles of the trip so far, but still the time passed. Not having a current Utah state map I once again relied on the driving directions provided by Google Maps (I printed them out for each day of our trip before I left home). Once again, screw Google Maps. Mind you, I'm a huge fan of nearly everything Google, but Maps is at the bottom of my list after this trip. On more than one occasion this week I have been lead astray as a result of my faith in Google's ability to guide me. I finally broke down and purchased a paper map in Colorado and had no issues after that. It seems I should have purchased a map of Utah, too. Lesson learned. But we made it to our first destination today, despite Google's best efforts. (Oh, and I just remembered, Google screwed me in Arizona, too....bastards.) Anyway, we arrived at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry today with no problems (once I stopped using Google's driving directions.) This place was truly in the middle of nowhere. We traveled down several very small, slightly maintained roads before turning onto some gravel/dirt roads. We followed the signs another 13 miles before arriving at the locked gate of the BLM facility. Never fear though, we were about 20 minutes early. At this point all I hoped for was that they actually showed up to open the place today. We took off most of our motorcycle gear (it was getting pretty warm by this point) and sipped some water while walking around the BLM land near the dirt road where we stopped. We found some fascinating rocks. This place is full of rocks that look like they don't belong in the area. We stole some. Stop by to see them if you really want to. After a few minutes of enjoying the solitude of the central Utah desert we spotted the BLM folks arriving. We drove the remaining mile beyond the gates to the facility. This place is great. All solar powered, modern, attractive and immaculate. We were first met by a young lady hoisting the US Flag onto the flagpole. She was quite friendly and happy to answer the multitude of questions I had for her. It seems that on weekend days they quite often get up to 60 visitors. Please understand what a feat this is. This place has signs on the road that I nearly missed and I was actively looking for them. Then there's the 13 miles of dirt roads. while those roads are very well maintained, I'm sure this is a deterrent for some would-be visitors. It was well worth the journey. We toured the facility under the guidance of a staff member named Leah. Leah was full of interesting facts and spent quite a bit of time explaining the history and ongoing operations at the site. We then finished with a self guided tour of the active dig site and the rest of the grounds. We enjoyed our time there. Thanks to the BLM for running such a great facility. Nick and I enjoyed our visit.

Then it was on to the south for our final destination, Torrey, UT. We hit pockets of wind and raid on our trek down hwy 10, but nothing that slowed us at all. Once we arrived at I-70 I got onto the westbound side for our short trek to hwy 72. Wait, what the?? Oh crap. I can't claim that I noticed right away, but I made a navigational error. I should have gone UNDER I-70 and then parallel to it for a few miles in order to reach 72. I didn't realize my mistake until about 15 miles to the west. At that point I was quite happy to see a ranch exit which allowed me to turn around an head back to the exit where we had recently entered. Geez. A 36 mile mistake. Oh well, we enjoyed the ride. Once on UT 72 we were in for one of the best rides of the week. This road is fantastic. If you ride, and you get a chance, take UT hwy 72 between I-70 and Loa, UT. You will not regret it. Tons-o-fun.

After arriving in Torrey we walked across hwy 24 to a great little place called Pizza Patio (or something like that) for dinner. We had a great pizza for dinner and they serve a ton of beer. I had a few "Full Suspension Pale Ale" pints while Nick and I threw darts. It was a great place. Highly recommended.

And now, here we are, at the pool. As I type this the Euro types in unauthorized swimwear have been replaced by Euro types in far more appropriate attire. Finally, a break from that nightmare.

The weather is fabulous. Slight breeze, a few high clouds, about 75 degrees and not a care in the world. I'm going to sign off, finish my last can of Dale's Pale Ale and return to the room to relax. Life is good.

Day FOUR is complete

We just arrived in Torrey Utah. No cell service, but we have free Wi-Fi Internet. Cool. Off to get some food and then I'll offer more details of our day later this evening.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day THREE complete

Sitting poolside and another Best Western. Yeah, I got some reward points this week. We're in Moab Utah. The weather isn't quite as nice as Cortez was, but still nothing to complain about. We had dinner at a place within walking distance called "The Slickrock Cafe". I had a mushroom Swiss burger, salad w/ blue cheese, and a couple of beers. Good stuff. Nick had a BLT. He seems to dig those. Tonight's meal was less than half the price of last night's pile of crap and much better. I am now enjoying one of the Dale's Pale Ales that I imported from Colorado. The state run liquor store was closed by the time we got done eating, so no local purchases tonight. Geez, tomorrow is another night in Utah, too. What was I thinking? This place is very beer-challenged.

Today was a pretty brutal day in terms of riding. Lots of twisty roads, some pretty cold temps early, and some pretty hot temps towards the end of the day. We,re beat. Tomorrow is an easy day in comparison (no accident...this isn't the first multi-day ride I've planned). We'll be staying in the tiny town of Torrey UT tomorrow night. Beautiful place, but not much else.

Nick is now playing Marco Polo with the herd of kids in the pool. He seems to be having fun. That,s what it,s all about.

Signing off for now...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cortez is THE place to be

So, as I sit here outside our hotel room right on Main St in downtown Cortez, CO, I have learned something. It seems that Main St is the local cruise corridor. Across the street from our room is a grocery store called City Market. City Market attracts the young folk of Cortez. There are plenty of kids hangin out in the parkin lot over there. We witnessed some shopping cart races, some "Frogger" style jay-walking, and plenty of "who has the biggest truck" or "who has the loudest car" contests. It's really very entertaining.

(Attention FJR riders: This place would be grand for next year's WFO gathering.)

Anyway, this place is fun. Nick and I are having a great time poking fun of the crowd that makes up this little town. I love our time together and tonight is better than most.

Signing off from the cruisin' town of Cortez....

I may never buy another restaurant steak

We dined at the Main Street Brewery and this evening (Cortez CO). The food was mediocre. The salad was GREAT. Real crumbles of blue cheese and very fresh ingredients. But that's where the "good" stopped and the "not so good" began. My porterhouse steak was slightly overcooked and slightly under-quality. I mean, I DO make a pretty kick-ass steak at home and the bar is pretty high, but PLEASE. For the money I paid (I won't even tell you how much...I'm embarrassed) I should have had the best steak EVER! I did not. Oh, the Pale Ale was good. The IPA, OK. Dammit.

Anyone who knows how I travel knows I have two requirements for a town to qualify as an overnighter. Beer and steak. I got one tonight.

Off to the pool so Nick can swim (that's his only requirement for an overnigher).

Day TWO almost complete

We just arrived in Cortez. Now we are off to the Main Street Brewery and Grill for some food and maybe a beer for me. Root beer for the kid.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day ONE is complete

Well, we had some dinner, visited a really cool dam, and enjoyed the pool with a sunset view. It stopped raining and dried up just in time for us to go find some grub. A nice guy just outside the lobby gave me directions to The Dam Bar & Grill. Heck, we coulda walked to it. After some kick ass potatoe skins as an appetizer Nick had a BLT and I tackled a prime rib French dip with mushrooms. The food was pretty good. I think mine was better than Nick's, but he didn't complain. I also enjoyed some Alaskan Amber on tap with my sandwich.

After stuffing ourselves we headed over to Glen Canyon Dam. They have a very nice visitor's center with some great views. We were disappointed to find out that we had just missed the last guided tour of the day, but the visitor's center was still quite interesting.

After seeing the dam we returned to the hotel. Nick was very excited to use the swimming pool. I sat poolside and enjoyed the view of Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell, and a decent sunset while he frolicked in the slightly chilly water. Just before his lips turned blue he decided to get out and dry off. We returned to our room and relaxed. More fun tomorrow.

.Dinner and a beer at the Dam Bar. on Twitpic Prime rib french dip (plus mushrooms), Dam chips, Alaskan Amb... on Twitpic

Day ONE, almost done

We just arrived in Page, and despite the best (or worst) efforts of Google Maps, found our hotel. Just in time, too. The sky decided to open up just minutes after we got our stuff off of the bike. We're going to get cleaned up and hope the weather breaks for us to make a mad dash to dinner in a couple of hours. As I type this it appears that the rain is letting up. I'm glad. I don't want to get wet on the way to eat dinner. We're leaning towards a place called "Dam Bar & Grill".

Early to rise

Early to bed, early to rise, right? Screw that. I didn't get to sleep as early as I should have last night, but the alarm didn't care. Granted, I get up everyday before 5am, but Nicky Tomatoes does not. He's less than thrilled right now. He's a barely even functional. We're about to get on the road in an effort to beat the sun, the traffic, and the heat. Oh, and the heat. It's gonna be hot today. Again. Watch the map.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day ZERO is complete - Welcome to Las Vegas

Well, we've arrived at our destination for day zero. I don't really count this as part of the trip since I'm at home in Vegas. Nevermind that it took us 175 miles of scorching hot motorcycling across the Mojave Desert to get home, we're here. Tomorrow we'll be taking off early in order to beat the heat, the traffic, and uhhhh, the heat. I can't wait to get into some higher elevations and (hopefully) cool off. Tomorrow's destinations include the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, a place I have never visited. I can't wait. If the Internet is readily available once we arrive in Page AZ (our home for the night) I'll try to post up some of our adventures from day one. Stay tuned.

Road Trip 2009 Map

Check back here frequently for updates to this map.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Quick update

Lots going lately. First, LeAnne and I now own a brand new home. Good times! Nick arrives today and I llok forward to our action packed summer together. I still have some things to get done on the FJR before any major road trips, but that's in the works. I'm typing this on my phone so that's it for now.

Friday, May 8, 2009

FJR Maintenance time

Last night was the beginning of my major maintenance cycle for the FJR. The first few steps were just baby steps, with more to come next week. Last night Desert Cycle Works spooned on a new Dunlop Roadsmart rear tire, changed the final drive oil, and cleaned & oiled my K&N air filter. Next week we'll tackle (and hopefully document with photos) the following items:

Check / adjust valves
Replace valve cover gasket
Replace spark plugs
Replace cam chain
Replace cam chain tensioner & gasket
Replace cam chain cover gasket
Lube steering head bearings
Replace fork seals/bushings & fork oil
Rebuild Wilbers rear shock
Reinstall Wilbers rear shock
Replace engine oil & filter
Flush and replace coolant

And whatever else I've forgotten about...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

World Superbike tickets for sale (Tooele, UT)

I have two sets of FIM World Superbike tickets for sale. The races take place at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah just outside of Salt Lake City. May 29-31, 2009. Two great seats in the Erda grandstands at Club House Corner plus two paddock passes. Tickets and paddock passes are for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Contact me via my blog if you're interested.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Good Luck Ben Spies

This weekend marks the beginning of the 2009 World Superbike racing season. Sunday's Phillip Island (Australia) race will be the first WSBK event for AMA Superbike Champion Ben Spies. Ben will be riding the new Yamaha R1. Good luck, Ben. All of us on your side of the pond will be rooting for you. Enjoy the ride, be safe, and go fast!

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