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...

View Scott Wright"s profile on LinkedIn