Hi All--here are some photos from my ride out to California in early October. Hopefully I'll have time to come back and add some commentary and captions in the near future.
Leaving Crested Butte on day 1 . . . fall colors maybe just a little past their peak. I took Kebler Pass Road out of the west end of town.
A classic view off fall of Kebler Pass Road.
Once over Kebler pass, I headed west through Paonia and Hotchkiss to Delta.
At Delta I fueled and turned on to west US 50 and stayed on it until I reached Whitewater, just south of Grand Junction. There I turned down CO 141 and soon ran into rain. The rain provided my first route dilema, as I wanted to get of the pavement and cut across country at Gateway. If mix of gravel and clay roads were wet, though, that wasn't the place for a big two-wheeler like mine. Surprisingly, the rain let up just before Gateway, where I took the John Brown Canyon Road and climbed out of the canyon.
The John Brown Canyon Road ties into this road that took me around the north edge of the LaSalle Mountains, eventually dropping me into the Castle Valley. Riding out the Castle Valley Road, I came to UT 128 and took it into Moab.
If I remember right, I had lunch at the Slick Rock Cafe in Moab . . . the food was fine and the service was quick. When I came out of the restuarant, I noticed that my lisence plate was hanging on by one bolt (I'd seen some bumpy wash-board roads already in the day). A stop at the Moab True Value was next on the list. A couple of nuts and bolts later, I headed south out of Moab on UT 191.
This was one of the more overcast, cooler days I can remember seeing in the Moab area. While I had left the rain showers up in the LaSalle Mountains, there was no sign of the desert heat that usually greets me this time of the year in Moab.
A ways south of Moab, I turned west on 211, rode it for a few miles, then headed south on the Hart Hill road (I think that's it's name . . . it's the only paved road that takes off to the south of 211, anyway). I'm all about twisty, climbing roads with little to no traffic . . . I've ridden this one before and was looking forward to it on this trip. I wasn't disapointed--it was a hoot!
On top of the Hart Hill Road, I turned up a forest service road that climbed further into the Abajo (pronouced "ah-Bah-ho") Mountains. This bumpy and at times steep little road climbed through the dark timber of the Abajo's, winding me around to the point where I couldn't find where I was on the map anymore. The views up here were nice, but muted by the gray, hazy day.
After doubling back and asking for directions from some hunters, I managed to find the road that would keep heading south for Bear Ears Pass. North of Bear Ears Pass, the road became sandy and gave me some "yikes" moments on my big bike with the street tires. I was starting to wonder about my fuel, as well. I was pretty sure I had another hundred miles of gas in the tank so I could get to the next gas station . . . pretty sure.
Looking back on my trip , I realize that at one point or another I probably would've had just about all of my riding partners cursing me and swearing that they'd never head out on an adventure with me again. I did't design the adventure to do this . . . it just kind of happened. At this point, with with the V-Strom picking its own lines down the sandy sections of road and the fuel thing starting to speak louder to me from the back of my mind, I can picture a riding partner or two cursing at me. the afternoon was starting to get a tad long . . .
Looking back at the Abajo Mountains from somewhere southwest of them (I was lost enough so that I can't tell you exactly where I was). When did finally go over Bear Ears and get to UT 95 the pavement felt oh-so-smooth and added to my feeling of relief. Fuel was less of a concern at this point, as I was confident I could make it Cainville if there wasn't fuel at Hite.
This shot was taken around the Hite area. I pulled into Hite and found gas pumps--that was a good feeling. Those are the Henry Mountains in the background. I had never been in them and wanted to camp there for the night.
That's about it for now--thanks again for stopping by! My Outlook crashed in early January, so I've lost many of your email addresses. Drop us a line to say hi or, better yet, come visit! In any case, we hope things are well in your world and take care!