As I expected when I went on my trip last year, taking a summer vacation on a motorcycle was going to become an annual event. Last year we had come so close to going from coast to coast that we figured we might as well make that our 2008 trip, though fate had a different plan and we had to find a way to shave three days of riding off of the trip. The most realistic option was to focus on the national parks we missed in 2007 and save the ocean to ocean trip for another year. Last year we hit a few of the major parks, Badlands, Arches, Rocky Mountain, Grand Canyon, and Carlsbad Caverns. But there were still many out west that we didn’t get a chance to see, so we updated our route which now gave us more time to explore the ones we missed: Great Basin National Park, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Four Corners Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, and Great Sand Dunes National Park. Black Canyon would be the only one we wouldn’t make it to.
The trip was slated to be 6013 miles and wound up being 6084. I have no idea how we’re this good at estimating long distances! Planning for this trip was much easier than our first motorcycle trip since we had a baseline to go off of. We tweaked the packing list a bit after evaluating what we used and what we didn’t the year before. Most of my gear stayed the same, the biggest difference was an upgrade from a Walmart sleeping bag and 8 person tent to a North Face 40 degree bag and an EMS 1 person tent. Going with a smaller tent allowed me to pack everything but my camping chair into my hard luggage or tank bag. It also allowed for much quicker setups and teardowns of the campsite.
As the week before the trip approached we watched the forecast. It was supposed to be sunny and warm for the foreseeable future. I’m sure no one knows where this is going… Hurricane Gustav hit land and we started the ride out wet. I felt confident since I picked up a rain jacket from LL Bean this year to go over my Joe Rocket Alter Ego jacket. It worked so well that after the first day of riding I left it at my parents’ house never to wear it again. I can’t wait until we’re able to look back and laugh at the garbage that is called “waterproof.” How hard is it to make stuff that won’t leak?!
The bike itself didn’t receive any upgrades. After last year’s trip I had around 10,000 miles on the bike, at the end of this trip I clicked over to 30,000. On the last few days of riding I heard some marble sounds from my chain, so I ordered up a new DID x-ring chain along with sprockets to eventually replace the OEM chain. A quick oil change along with new sparkplugs and I’m all set for some fall New England riding!
The trip was supposed to be 17 days but rain in the forecast on the tail end of the trip had us cut it back to 16. Here’s how it went!
Day 1 – Connecticut and Delaware to Pennsylvania (416.5 miles)
We decided to get a head start Friday, September 12th by meeting up at my parents’ house in Western Pennsylvania. There were only two of us this year and one of the issues we ran into last year was we were pulling into most of the sites well after midnight. We figured by getting a head start Friday instead of leaving Saturday morning we’d be more into the groove of riding. It paid off. For the entire trip we arrived at every stop (with an exception you’ll read about below!) well before sunset with enough time to unpack and relax. For me the trip began at 11:00AM, I rode the 416 miles from Connecticut while Brooks left from Delaware. 40 minutes into the trip it started to rain. As I rode into Pennsylvania the rain continued to get harder. I made it in around 5:00 PM, Brooks, who left after work, would arrive a few hours later.
While riding I noticed that my feet felt different. My Joe Rocket boots that were waterproof last year, now leaked like a sieve. I could pour the water out of them. I never did get rid of the musty smell in them, and for the next few days I’d ride with my feet in plastic bags. Likewise, the LL Bean rain jacket that I picked up for this trip did nothing to keep me dry. The only thing that worked in my favor was the T-shirt I was wearing was so thin it couldn’t absorb any water. That night most of our gear sat on various fans throughout the house while hairdryers got our gloves ready for another day in the rain. My GIVI luggage, which also had been previously water tight, was letting in a few drops of water. If anyone can make waterproof gear, they’d be rich. I guess in the meantime companies will get rich off of lying about their products!
Day 2 – Pennsylvania to Illinois (562 miles)
We woke up refreshed and ready to ride. After a quick homemade breakfast we threw on our raingear, rode down the street to fill up our tanks, and hit the road. About an hour into riding we were on the Pennsylvania turnpike when Brooks started to change lanes to pass a truck. He quickly got back into the right lane and tried to push the bike around. Something was off, and he pulled off onto the side of the road in the pouring rain. When he came to a stop I saw what was wrong, our first (and thankfully only) flat tire of the trip. Last year I brought a tire plugging kit along with CO2 cartridges along for tire repairs. The kit worked great but I used up all of the CO2 and the tire was only at 20 PSI. This time around I picked up a Slime air compressor. It worked great. We had to inflate the tire to find the hole, and then a second time after it was plugged. Once the plug set we were back on the road. Somewhere outside of Toledo Ohio the rain stopped and we met up with an old college friend. She took us to Red Robin and after an hour of catching up, it was back on the road.
The rain started again and once the sun set the riding became difficult. The Joe Rocket gloves I have are semi-waterproof with wipers on the thumbs, but since I wanted completely dry hands I put on the Fieldsheer Overgloves, which were about as effective as putting my hands in a fishing net. On top of that, I no longer had my rubber wiper on my thumb, so driving through Chicago and the construction in the pouring rain was a bit of an adventure! In general though I was pretty dry. The Alter Ego 2.0 jacket kept me from getting much worse than damp. Once again I was disappointed that my Scorpion EXO-700 helmet leaks, but not enough for me to have bothered to do anything about it since last year. When we got into the motel that night we found out that we’d just ridden through a storm which dropped 6.5 inches of rain in the area. I guess that’s not a typical rain shower!
Day 3 – Illinois to Omaha Nebraska (485.8 miles)
After a warm shower and some sleep, we were up bright and early for another ride in the rain. The area saw another record amount of rain, for a total of 13.7 inches. Luckily all of the roads were still open, though it was amazing to see how many fields had become lakes. Once we passed into Nebraska the rain stopped and it became very windy and cold. It wasn’t until well into the evening that the temperatures went up a little. We rode to meet up with a friend who was hosting us for dinner and a few drinks. I ignored the bridge construction sign which said it was closed except to local traffic. That was a mistake! The bridge was closed to all traffic except flying cars. We slipped through the concrete barriers hoping we could make it across, but three quarters of the way over the concrete ran out and turned to rebar. A U turn later and 30 miles north to the next bridge that crosses the river and it was time for some burgers and beer! We spent the night at a hotel in town, excited that there was no longer rain in the forecast!
Day 4 – Nebraska to Wyoming (550.4 miles)
It was in the high 40’s when we woke up; it was a perfect temperature once we got riding. We stopped at a coffee shop in the morning and just enjoyed the scenery. As we rode through Nebraska the landscape went from great to gorgeous. Last year I really liked riding through Wyoming, and this year was no exception. The elevation changes from 3700 to 8700 feet really made the day go by quickly. We thought about camping that night but figured it might be a little too cool out and we have 7 days of it planned. Instead we picked up a 12 pack of beer and watched the Eagles game. It was a great night; the only mistake we made was by not doing laundry as soon as we got in. We did it the following morning and the dryer took around 2 hours to dry our clothes. The view from our motel was great, it was kind of sad to see all of the open land and yet there were trailer parks with trailers 2 feet from their neighbors’ house.
Once we got into Wyoming we thought we might have had a bad tank of gas. The bikes seemed to have no power at all. In hindsight it was the change in elevation and our chains screaming in protest of riding through so much wet weather without a lot of chain lube.
Day 5 – Wyoming to Salt Lake City (422.4 miles)
Today was the first planned stop on the trip which made it really feel like it was getting started. From here on out we’d be camping until we were on the return trip home.
After waiting the 2 hours for our laundry to dry we were back on the road. It was another picture perfect day. We rode through one of the biggest windmill farms I’ve seen. The temperature rose and was almost too hot once we hit stop and go traffic trying to head into Antelope Island State Park in Utah. The park was incredible. After riding across an 8 mile causeway, there were a few good roads that would have been even better if they didn’t have a good 4 inches of sand on them. Luckily they were spotted in time.
A quick stop at Walmart and we were back at our campsite with dinner. We weren’t allowed to have campfires so we had hoagies instead. I opened up my GIVI case which had my camping gear for the first time and was greeting by a musty smell which I can only compare to a wet ball of rags forgotten in a damp basement. The case had leaked and my pillow was holding half a gallon of water. I was kinda grossed out thinking that it was probably all road spray. I took the pillowcase off and for the most part the smell went away. Luckily my sleeping bag didn’t absorb any of the water, which I won’t spend too much time over how that was possible.
While we were sitting and talking, enjoying a few beers, I thought a car pulled up behind our site with the lights on. After 5 minutes of this we both turned around to see it wasn’t a car, but the moon rising. On a completely dark island with no fires, it looked especially bright. With warm temperatures and full stomachs, it was an excellent night for camping. The place was covered with mosquitoes, but somehow I didn’t get eaten alive as badly as I normally do when camping.
Day 6 – Great Salt Lake to Great Basin National Park (Nevada) (292.2 miles)
It was yet another picture perfect day of riding. We packed up our campsite and headed off to Starbucks to get a cup of coffee and relax a bit. The traffic was heavy getting out of Salt Lake City but we made pretty quick time by using the HOV lane. It was nice to ride in an area where the HOV lane is longer than a couple of miles.
Once out of the city we were on US 6/US 50, which was a very scenic road. We stopped at a hole in the wall place for a Mexican lunch and were back on our way. With only 300 miles to ride, we were at our destination in no time. Once we passed into Nevada we stopped at a gas station and met up with 2 guys from the East coast who were on a cross country trip on bikes from the 70’s. They had nothing but problems, in fact, the one guy rebuilt the engine in a parking lot earlier that morning! It made us appreciate just how far things have come.
We pulled into Great Basin National Park and after setting up our site we went to pick up some wood and food. The entire day had been very windy. We ate at a local restaurant in town and grabbed a pizza. It was almost too warm in the place after being in the cold for a few hours. Back in the park we were camping at the second highest campsite, the highest, Wheeler Peak, had the water turned off for the season because it was now getting below freezing at night. That should have been a hint that it was going to get cold!
And it did! Even wearing layers to sleep, the 40 degree rated sleeping bag was about as effective as using ice cubes to cool down a volcano. I felt like I woke up every 30 minutes to shiver myself back to sleep!
When we woke up though it was another awesome day.
Day 7 – Great Basin National Park to Zion National Park (218.6 miles)
We packed up our campsite and road around GBNP. Fall had started to change the colors on the leaves as we reached the top of Wheeler Peak. I’ve never seen a Birch forest before, as most of them had died out on the East due to a virus a few years back, so it was a really cool sight to see. An hour later and a few more pictures on the memory card, it was time to head over to Zion.
For whatever reason, today just seemed like a blah day of riding. Brooks’ bike was having issues with stalling and I was having problems with acceleration. I think both of us had stalled about 6 times trying to pull our bikes into the camping spot the night before. For the next few stops I put premium in hoping that would fix the issue, though Brooks was already running it.
Our GPS led us astray for the first time, we typed in Zion National Park and it took us to Kolob Canyon, which was technically part of the park, but was just a 5 mile drive with a turn around. It was another 30 minutes to the park entrance. Today was the first day I would have liked to have used my Camelback, but since it was only a 200 mile day I didn’t see the need for it. The highest temperature I saw posted when I passed a sign was 93. The day was dry, though in the distance we saw a storm with some intense lightening. I counted 2 drops of rain that were lucky enough to hit me!
At the visitors center we found out that all of the camping spots were filled in the park, so we stopped at a camping “resort.” I had made a joke that night to Brooks that he shouldn’t mess up any of the gravel on the ground because someone will have to rake it back into place in the morning. To my horror, the next morning I saw a guy with a push broom grooming the gravel! We set up our sites, not even bothering to put the rain flies on our tents. The temperature was in the high 80’s, though there was a nice breeze to keep things comfortable. Next to our site 2 BMW riders pulled in, one a trainer for BMW here from Germany teaching classes, riding between the locations. He and his friend, a guy he met in South America last year, were visiting many of the parks we were, but taking the sandy 1 lane roads that run through the desert. It’s an adventure I couldn’t ever imagine doing. We ate dinner and had some drinks with them before turning in for the night. The nice breeze that was blowing all evening died down at night, and a few times I woke up drenched in sweat.
Day 8 – Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park (111.7 miles)
Once morning came though the breeze returned and the temperatures stayed mild as the sun was blocked from our view by the rock formations in the distance. After we packed everything up we headed to Zion National Park. It was amazing how there were so many different kinds of rock formations in the same state. Once going through a tunnel it felt like I was transported a hundred miles away as nothing looked familiar anymore.
We left the park and headed to Bryce Canyon National Park. The sun soon turned to clouds, but after an hour or two of riding we were in the park and had our site set up. Having a smaller tent really helped with the setup time. Shortly after we were situated it started to rain, hard. We took cover under a tree for about half an hour until the storm passed and we rode to grab some food and then to the visitor center to get some supplies. The seniors here had to be the rudest people I’ve ever run into. Literally run into. I’m glad I had my motorcycle gear on or I’m sure I’d have bruises from how many times I was elbowed or pushed by someone wanting to grab a shirt before their bus left! It got so bad while we were getting food and wood that we were thinking that every time we were pushed out of someone’s way we should say loudly to ourselves “It’s okay, they probably don’t have a lot of time left here.”
Once back to our campsite we made a smoke. We were trying for a fire but the wood didn’t want to burn. We also picked up some hotdogs from the local store, which didn’t have ketchup in packets or a bottle. The lady suggested putting some in a bowl, which made for a challenging ride back to the campsite! The hot dogs, called America’s Best, were among the worst things I’ve ever tasted. I don’t know who was running that judging contest, but I’m guessing they didn’t have the sense of taste.
That night I went to go take a picture and my camera said “Card Error.” I tried to play back my pictures and it couldn’t see any of them. When I got home I was able to recover many of the pictures, but there’s no way of knowing how many were lost.
Over night there was a brief but strong storm that passed through, but everything was dry when the morning came.
Day 9 – Zion National Park through Capitol Reef National Park to Canyonlands National Park (279.7 miles)
We packed up quickly, lubed our chains, and headed off to Capitol Reef National Park. After a quick ride through the park we headed towards Canyonlands. This ride was probably the most scenic of the trip. Parts of it though we had ridden through last year, but we didn’t recognize anything until we passed the ‘gas station in the rock’ that we saw last year. If we had known, we could have stopped here instead of a gas station 2 miles before it which had a selection of warm Mt. Dew and Pepsi to choose from.
As we rode our GPS wanted to give us a hard time yet again. It insisted that Canyonlands National Park was only accessible via a dirt road. Having a sense of adventure, we decided to make this turn off in the middle of the desert. It was only 30 miles, how bad could that be? As the dirt and gravel gave way to sand, we realized that there was no way in the world we could ever do this. We made it in a mile or two before spending 5 minutes making a U turn in the sand. I almost dropped my bike more times in that 15 minute period than I ever did in the history of riding anything with two wheels. The wind picked up as we hit I-70, which was also very scenic. It felt good to hit 100 MPH again!
We stopped at Arches National Park to see if Canyonlands had any spots open for camping. It turns out that both parks were booked since early morning. Once we were at Arches we noticed something different this year, tons of the National Park rangers were rude. At each park it seemed that the rangers hated their jobs, which was completely opposite of my previous experience at all of the parks I’ve been to.
We were set with camping, as there was a place right up the street in Moab that had a few spots. We set up our tents in what looked like a refugee camp and then walked a few miles into downtown Moab to grab a bite to eat. It was a perfect night to take a walk and stretch out a bit. By the time we made it back the campsite was so packed with off-road vehicles that we didn’t make a campfire because we didn’t want to smoke anyone out.
Day 10 – Canyonlands National Park to Mesa Verde National Park (293.6 miles)
It was another warm day and we started it riding through Canyonlands National Park. We found out that the dirt road we were supposed to take yesterday doesn’t connect to the main road in the park, so it was a good thing we turned around when we did. The park was more impressive than the Grand Canyon was. It actually looked like a canyon, so that could have helped! On the ride it seemed that everyone wanted to race us. I’m not sure what made people think they could keep up, but twice on the trip I was asked if the FZ6 is a scooter, so maybe that has something to do with it.
After a few pictures, it was time to head to 4 Corners National Monument. Well, that’s a bit of a lie. It’s not a United States national monument. It’s an Indian national monument. Every time I ride through the reservations of the West I find myself depressed. It’s sad how they choose to live, but I guess there’s only so many casinos that can be built. After a $3 admissions fee, I got a ticket which isn’t used for anything. The actual surveying was done by the US government, which was nice of them. Too bad they didn’t create their jewelry selling stations too, as they’re about 5 feet tall and if anyone stands up in them accidentally there are roofing nails to greet their head.
Once we were back on the road the scenic views continued though the day remained windy. We pulled into Mesa Verde National Park which was probably our favorite park of the trip. It was the most scenic, the most varied within the park, and it was completely different from all of the other parks we’d visited on the trip. The temperature was also the coldest yet and there were deer everywhere. We picked up another pack of hot dogs, this time by a company we’d actually heard of, and once nightfall came, again I shivered myself to sleep.
Day 11 – Mesa Verde National Park to Great Sand Dunes National Park (248 miles)
We got an early start and headed down to the visitor center to pick up tickets to visit a cliff dwelling. It was an interesting tour, and it made me realize that I wished we had done more stuff like this during the trip. It was almost like we were relaxing too much every night, if that was possible. Riding through the park we rode through areas where the forest was destroyed by wildfires: it was both eerie and cool looking.
Once on the road again we went through the Rocky Mountains. The roads were incredible. Sweeping curves with 2 lanes in each direction so we didn’t have to worry about cars crossing into our lane. Once I got to the summit of 10,300 feet I had to convert my jacket from mesh and put on thicker gloves to stay warm.
Outside of Great Sand Dunes National Park we saw some pretty intense storms off in the distance so we decided not to camp. We rode into town and got a motel room. On our way to eat the worst Chinese food I’ve had in my life Brooks’ chain was sounding like marbles hitting each other. It was on its last leg. His had around 16,000 miles, though mine with around 27,000 was starting to make strange sounds too.
Day 12 – Great Sand Dunes National Park to Colorado Springs (259 miles)
When we woke up it was a chilly 38. Brooks found a Laundromat and searched for a Yamaha dealership to get a new chain. It was beyond shot! After some confusion between 532 and 530 chains, we were on the road to see Great Sand Dunes National Park. It was amazing to see what a little bit of wind and a lot of time can achieve. Looking at the pictures the only way to get any kind of scale is to realize that the little black dots in the distance are people.
We had an extra day planned in our route and we had been discussing for the past couple of nights how to spend it. We decided to see the Garden of the Gods in Colorado. The friend I saw in Omaha had a picture of it up in his living room and we thought it looked like something we should see in person. We got to the park as the sun was beginning to set. Night was getting here earlier and earlier! We had dinner at a steakhouse, which was our second favorite meal of the trip. They even had Shiner Bock, the beer from the brewery we visited last year in Texas.
That night as we watched the weather channel we saw that we were going to end this trip as we started it: wet. We were planning on riding through Kentucky but realized if it’s going to be raining there won’t be many good views so it wasn’t worth the extra mileage.
Day 13 – Colorado Springs to Kansas (412.9)
Today was our easiest long day of riding ever. For most of the trip we had been riding tank to tank, getting around 160 miles a tank. With Brooks’ new chain he was consistently getting better fuel economy than I was. We were now measuring days in tanks of gas, not in miles. Last year a 400 mile day would have been 4 stops, and maybe one for lunch, and now it was 2.
When we were in Colorado everyone was harsh on the state of Kansas, warning us that it was going to be very boring and very flat. We didn’t find that to be the case. Eastern Colorado was much more flat. Though I think the record so far goes to Iowa for being the flattest state.
We spent the night in a motel and watched whatever crap was on TV. After being away from a TV for a week I realized that no amount of time away from one will make me miss them! The only thing we learned was rain was still in the forecast!
Day 14 – Kansas to Missouri (447.9 miles)
The day started out with lunch at Jack Stack, which was the best meal of the trip. I met a friend there (who also rides) who suggested the place, which was also suggested to Brooks by a friend of his. After talking for an hour and devouring my meal, it was time to get back on the road.
When I think about what else happened this day, I draw a total blank! We didn’t have any real plan on where to stop, so we just rode until dark and then stopped at a motel. I don’t remember if we grabbed anything to eat, but I’m guessing not as we were still stuffed from lunch! We picked up some Jack to enjoy that night as we had had our fill of beer for the trip!
Day 15 – Missouri to Ohio (535.6 miles)
Today was supposed to not only be our highest mileage day of the trip, but ever (again, no one knows where this could be going!) The goal was to make it back to Pennsylvania to spend the night at my parents’ place. Doing this would allow us to get back home a day earlier than planned, and one day less of riding in the rain.
The day was going at a pretty good clip until around 6:30PM. Brooks pulled over to zip up his jacket as it was getting a little windy. Back on the road a few miles later I saw him pull over again, which I thought was odd since we were 2 miles from the next exit. He heard a clicking sound and didn’t know what it was. We soon found it; it was the sound of a master link halfway out of the chain. Neither of us wanted to think what could have happened if we had pressed on to the exit. We found a shop that had a replacement link but not the tool, and a place that had the tool but not the link. I rode to pick up the link and then to the other shop to pick up the tool. He waited for AAA to come and tow the bike. AAA took too long and the shop closed, but they sold me a chain press and a ball bearing to rivet the link ourselves. It wasn’t until 11:30PM that we were back on the road. It was the first time that we found ourselves riding at night. We road for a few hours until exhaustion and the cold temperatures had taken their toll. Still in Ohio we found a hotel and called it a night.
Day 16 – Ohio to Connecticut (and Delaware) (541.8 miles)
Overnight it had rained at our hotel. We woke up and stopped at Panera Bread for breakfast. We sat around talking for some time before hitting the road. You could feel it in the air that the trip was ending. In Harrisburg PA we’d go our separate routes. For the first half of the ride we lucked out, missing the rain which was supposed to be coming down in sheets. We stopped for lunch on the turnpike and after some fast food; the trip had come to an end. Brooks had 107 more miles to go, I had over 300. As soon as I got back on my bike the rain hit, and it might have been some of the heaviest rain I’d ridden through. Since it was still light out visibility wasn’t an issue. Soon I hit 107 on my trip odometer all I could think about was how the riding had ended for Brooks and how this trip was soon going to end for me. As I rode into New York the Catskill Mountains looked eerie and awesome. Between the rain storms there was heavy fog, though I wasn’t wearing my overgloves so I was able to wipe my visor. Soon I was in the bumper to bumper traffic of the CT Interstate and before I knew it, I was back home. Somewhere along the trip the button that hooks up to my garage door opener had failed, so it’s time to find a waterproof replacement.
I parked the bike in the garage, got a long hot shower, and finished another cross country motorcycle trip that I’ll never forget.
Fuel information (doesn’t include the last tank of the trip.)
Total Miles 5769
Total Gallons 137.605
Average MPG 41.92434868
Average Cost PG 3.792667418
Average Cost PM 0.090464552
Gas Total 521.89
Total Miles on Bike 29979
Theo Tank Max 214.0875133
Theo Avg MilesPerTank w/Reserve 213.8141783
Theo Avg MilesPerTank w/o Rerserve 176.0822645
Looks like everything will fit.
Luggage connected and ready to go!
Pulled over on the side of the PA Turnpike to fix a flat.
Tire plugged and ready to roll.
It only got worse from here! The storm moved South.
We tried to talk her into joining us next year!
Time to swap gloves again.
Gas stations were the only place where we could park to get out of the rain for a few minutes.
Bridge out? We’ll be the judge of that. (It really was out.)
After a good night of sleep, we were ready to ride the next day! Actually, we waited 2 hours for our laundry to dry.
Sometimes the road behind you is just as nice as the road in front of you.
Another perfect day in Wyoming.
On the road in the middle of the Great Salt Lake.
Sunset at our campsite.
We’re all set up, time to find a cooler.
Found one! The luggage got double duty most nights of the trip.
Is that a car headlight behind us? Nope, it’s the moon.
The only road on and off of the island.
Those bugs were all from the 8 mile ride on the causeway to get back to our campsite.
Utah has some great roads.
We’d see storms off in the distance like this often, but we didn’t get wet by any of them.
We only spent 1 day in Pacific Time Zone. Throughout the trip we kept our watches set to EST.
US 6/50 was a great ride.
We won $2 million dollars at this slot machine and retired. Or not.
2 bikes I’d never want to ride across the country on!
Deer were everywhere!
Great Basin National Park
Stopping to take in the view.
Heading up to Wheeler Peak.
The higher we got, the more fall-like it was.
Another storm in the distance that passed us by.
Wheeler Peak, ~13,000 feet.
We could see for miles up here.
This was the road to the top.
One of my favorite pictures of the trip.
It took us a few tries to park in these spots; the bikes either didn’t like the altitude or the gas.
Time to decide where to go for dinner.
Kolob Canyon, Zion National Park
Resort camping at its finest. This place cost what some motels did!
Sorry if we messed up the gravel too much!
Zion National Park, day 2.
Once through the tunnel, the rock formations changed.
Not exactly a straight line!
How lucky can we get missing all of these rain showers?!
Trying to get a bowl of ketchup back to the campsite. It didn’t really matter, the hot dogs were horrible!
Our camp smoke.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Even outside of the parks the views were amazing.
Capitol Reef National Park
1 or 2 miles down this road and it turned to sand. We turned around! There’s a better way into Canyonlands National Park!
Back at Arches National Park, but just for information.
Camping at a refugee camp!
Canyonlands National Park should be renamed The Grand Canyon!
Brooks said if I fell he wouldn’t go after me. I guess that’s fair!
Zoomed in on the big canyon.
My hands and boots had traction. My pants? Not so much!
For some reason every car we saw on this road wanted to race us. We left them in the dust.
I made a quick stop on Mars.
Just outside of Moab, UT.
Another picture perfect day.
4 Corners, um, something.
The roads out of there were nice when we weren’t behind traffic.
Sometimes the clouds added to the great scenery.
Welcome to Mesa Verde, enjoy your stay.
I’m guessing Indian’s weren’t 6’5″!
A cliff dwelling.
The cliff dwelling we toured. The rectangles that look like windows were actually they doors they used.
The top area right under the rock is where food was stored. It had food in it when it was discovered.
I’m guessing art didn’t come naturally!
This place looked much better than any of the photos can show.
Forest destroyed by a forest fire.
A storm off to the distance, we decided to stay at a motel for the night.
Time for a new chain!
On our way to Great Sand Dunes National Park
Garden of the Gods
Met up with a friend outside of Jack Stack.
Picked up some Jack to complement lunch. We still weren’t hungry!
What’s that clicking sound. That could have gotten ugly fast.
I rode to pick up the parts, it took a few hours for Brooks’ bike to arrive.
Good, well, hopefully better, than new!
Where’s a sink at 11:30PM when you need one!
The offending link.
At a rest stop in Harrisburg PA, time to part ways.
Just a couple more hours until I’m home!
That’ll take awhile to get through!
Top case held camping supplies and riding gear.
The bags are unpacked! All of the electronic stuff fit in the tank bag, the stuff under the left case was mainly camping gear, and the right case was clothing.
The route we took.