Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 15 through August 17 - Riding to Rockmor!

Monday, August 15, 2016

I had poured over the maps and detailed a route for us that would eventually land us in Buena Vista, CO for the Rockmor event.  Rockmor is a new event and targeted toward ADV (Adventure Riders) and Dual Sport riders and is being held in Buena Vista, CO.  We actually had a tough time deciding what event to attend for our vacation (Eric has limited time off now that he is working full time).  We decided to attend Rockmor so I could expand my riding experiences and stretch those limits!  I really want to get comfortable riding gravel and dirt on the Beastie Bike.  So, Rockmor it was!  Fortunately, although I was late to the party (again) they found a space for us.  Yippee Skippy, here we go to Colorado for some dirty fun!

A few weeks ago at the ADV Woman Rally, I scored on a set of Butler Maps and they were awesome to use for planning!

Because of "life" we weren't able to leave on our vacation until Monday afternoon.  Starting from home, we headed out toward Page, AZ where we planned on spending the first night.  I was excited to be riding the Beastie Bike again and Eric was on his reliable Super Tenere.  It was already warm and the temperature continued to rise as we headed east.  Our first stop was at Pipe Spring.  There is a convenience store/gas station and across the street is Pipe Spring National Monument.  We didn't explore it today because we have been there many times in the past.  However, it is definitely worth a stop and look around.  Also, you can get a stamp for your National Park Passport!

In addition to Pipe Spring NM, this is the Tribal Headquarters for the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians! Kaibab Band

 From there, we continued on to Kanab, UT and then toward Page, AZ.  It was warm indeed!  I had made a reservation at the Page/Lake Powell Campground for a tent site with power.  Eric uses a CPAP machine at night, so until we sort out a smaller, battery powered machine, we need power.  No problem, the campground was very accommodating and we were given a delightful site.

We set up camp pretty quickly and both laughed because the tent site was on sand and when you stepped into the tent the floor would move around, hahahaha!

 I'm glad we had done a trial camping trip to Torrey the week before.  This really helped expedite putting up the tent and cots.
 We ordered pizza for dinner.  Yup, we sure did, lol.  As we were waiting for our dinner to arrive, I spied three people up on the mesa above us.  Wow, turns out it was two young Native American's practicing ring dancing with their coach/tutor.  You can barely see them in this picture.

 Or this one.
 But this picture is better (hey, I have a small point & shoot camera).  It was so cool to watch them practicing with the hoops.  Apparently there is going to be a big PowWow in a month or so and I imagine they were practicing for that.
 We were entertained, had pizza delivered and then just sat back with a drink to enjoy ourselves.
It was VERY hot and neither of us could actually get in the sleeping bags so we both just slept on top.  This was going to change very soon, lol.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The next morning we broke down our camp, packed up the bikes and headed to Cortez, CO via Monument Valley and Mexican Hat.

 The weather was lovely although a bit warm.  And, surprise, traffic wasn't bad at all!

 After meandering through Monument Valley, we made a late lunch stop at the San Juan Inn at Mexican Hat, UT.  I've stayed here many times and it is the BEST accommodations in Mexican Hat.  Apparently, it has been "discovered" because rooms are pricier and harder to get these days.  Oh well, our lunch was great and the scenery simply stunning.

Originally, we had intended to ride the Moki Dugway but time was getting short on us so we just pushed on toward Cortez, CO for our campsite.  Although we stayed dry, it was obviously raining and storming over by Shiprock, AZ.  I love how dramatic this photo is!
 We stopped for a quick break at the intersection of CO 160 and CO 491 where a small Native American shop is located.

 I always enjoy reading the information boards at rest areas or scenic pull offs.

We had booked a tent site with power at the Cortez KOA and it was very nice.  Instead of sand, we had pea gravel on which to pitch the tent.  Again, we were pretty quick about setting things up.  No pizza delivery today though.  We used our new little camp stove and had chicken and rice with cheese sauce!  Yummy!

 One of the campground residents drove by in his rat car.  Reminded me of Jeremy Loveall :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

We had a good night sleep and were up at a reasonable hour to tear down the campsite, pack up the bikes and move on. Our goal for today was Lake City, CO.  I chose this route because it's been a long time since I've ridden on some of the southern Colorado Rocky Mountain passes and I remembered the road from Creede to Lake City was particularly beautiful and wanted to ride that again.

We left Cortez and continued on CO Highway 160 to Pagosa Springs.  We stopped for brekkie in Pagosa Springs at a small, local eatery and it was delish!  Back on the bikes, we headed toward Wolf Creek Pass, one of my favorites!!

Somehow, I lagged behind and Eric was cruising up the pass, eating up the sweepers like they were nothing.  There were about 4 bikes ahead of him but not anyone we knew.  I twisted the wick to catch up with Eric and then on our comm system, I heard, "There's a Popo behind you."  Oh my!  I looked in my mirror, and sure enough, disco lights were flashing.  I signaled and moved over into the right lane and guess what?  The Popo moved into the right lane as well.  Oh CRAP!  It's me, it's me he's after.  Poop.

When I realized it was me he was after, I put on my right signal and pointed with my hand that I would pull over up the road where there was a space to park.  CRAP, oh, I said that.  Actually, I said a lot more than that to myself.  Piss!

So, I pull off the highway and of course, the pull off is sloped and I can't just park.  I stop and try to maneuver the bike so I could put down the kick stand.  By now, Trooper S. was next to me.  I told him I needed a moment to get parked safely, I had earplugs in and couldn't hear much and bear with me, the bike is new and heavy.

Jeez, it felt like eternity before I got the Beastie Bike parked, my helmet off and the earplugs out.  CRAP.  I have to admit that Trooper S. was patient and kind.  Yeah, big deal, hahahahaha.  He told me I was going xx in a 45 zone.  What????  No way.  There is NO WAY I could have been going that speed on those sweepers!  He told me yes, yes indeed I was.  CRAP.  Could you just maybe give me a warning?  No, sorry, with the camera and radar all recording it, no can do.  CRAP.

However, I will give you a yy rather than the zz you deserve.  Oh, thank you Trooper S!  So, I get off the bike, dig out my driver license, registration and insurance papers and Trooper S goes back to his patrol car and I light up a smoke, lol.  Hey, it was stressful.

 My selfie says it all, CRAP!!!!
 And, look at that sky, it was going to dump on me anytime now!  At least I remembered to take some pictures :-)
Trooper S then returns to me and my bike and asks if I'm with the other motorcyclists that were ahead of me.  "No, I'm just with my husband, we don't know the other riders."  Okay, Trooper S then asks if my husband is going to return and look for me.  Hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!  "I don't think so, I know where we're going and it's very unlikely he'll turn around."  Trooper S said, "Hmmmmm."

So, the next thing was sign here and press hard, four copies.  CRAP!  Dang it, on one hand I was pissy because of the ticket and on the other hand I was impressed I could take those sweepers at that speed, lol :-)  Anyway, Trooper S was kind, gave me a ticket for a "minimal" amount so I don't get hammered by insurance and then told me to slow down.  Well, heck, Wolf Creek Pass at 45 mph is not much fun at all.  I know, it's not fun.  That is way too slow and boring......but of course, I maintained 45 mph for the duration of the pass.  CRAP!

I then remounted the bike and tried to depart.  Well, it wasn't a very graceful departure.  I was shook from being stopped and heck, I was on a slope, the bike was heavy and whatever.....I finally managed to get the bike in gear and pull out without falling or getting hit by another vehicle.  Oh piss.......

My honey, Eric was waiting for me at the top of the pass but I didn't stop.  I just said on the comm, "Here I am, let's go" and that's what we did.  I didn't even stop for the obligatory Continental Divide photo op.

Oh well....so on we go.  Yes, it did rain.  And, it rained pretty darn hard.  Fortunately, we did stop somewhere and put on the pinlock faceshields and zipped up our gear vents.

From CO Highway 160, we turned onto CO Highway 149 that would take us through Creede and eventually to Lake City via Slumgullion Pass.  It rained off and on the entire portion of this ride.  However, we had our few lucky moments when it was dry.  We took a little break at a scenic pull out and I snapped these pictures.

Interesting, eh?
 This was the view the other direction.

 Yes, the sky was ominous and it delivered what it promised :-)

 Although it rained almost the entire ride from Creede to Lake City, it was still beautiful.  Someday, maybe in another life, I'll be able to ride it in the sunshine!

We pulled into Lake City and found our camp site.  We were originally going to tent camp but after all the rain and more rain threatened, we asked if a cabin might be available.  Well yes, hooray!  We got the last "Camp Cabin" available.  No plumbing but dry and electricity along with a fridge and microwave!  Hooray!  Good thing because it poured rain all night long :-)

Here is our home for the night.  This was a very nice private campground with full cabins, camp cabins, RV spaces and tent spaces.  The public bathrooms and showers were clean and nice.

 We fixed dinner using the microwave, had a few cocktails and called it a night.  We both slept very well, like Goldilocks, not too hot and not too cold.  It poured all night long.  So glad we got the camp cabin :-)

We were both looking forward to tomorrow when we would arrive in Buena Vista and the Rockmor event!

Stay tuned, more to come.  Much more.  Some pretty exciting stuff coming up :-)

Cheers and thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog and especially my Spot tracker!  You peeps are simply the best ever and I love you all.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Stretching Our Boundaries

I had such a great time in Hamburg, NY camping at the MOA Rally that I begin hinting to Eric that maybe we could go bike camping and save some $$ on lodging.  No, I didn't really "hint" more like I yelled "Let's go bike camping!"  Both of us had done so before on our own but never as a couple so we decided to check it out.

First, we went through what we thought we might need, what we already have and what we needed to purchase.  And, being tightwads, we didn't want to purchase a lot or anything really expensive.  After all, our goal was to keep our costs down.  As it turned out, we had quite a bit of stuff already.

One of our biggest discussions was about sleeping surfaces.  The slim pad I used in Hamburg was not enough for me.  I was stiff and sore because I was basically sleeping on the ground.  So of course, we discussed air mattresses and cots.  We finally decided on cots and in short order, Eric had ordered two different cots online.  We already had sleeping bags.

Within a few days the cots turned up. I forgot to take a picture of mine.  Suffice it to say, it is not as big, sturdy or nice as Eric's but it is considerably lighter!  As soon as they arrived, we had to put them together.  Heck we didn't want to try and figure it out at o'dark thirty in the rain somewhere!
Eric's Tee Shirt is compliments from the 2016 Spring Shoot 'Em Up, eat your heart out Jerry White!

Ooohhh,  Eric also bought us little camping pillows.  Sweet luxury!!
 Of course, we needed a trial run and set up the tent on the back patio and put the cots inside.
 That's mine, the little grey one!

 Not much room in there for anything else, is there?  We didn't think so either.
So, we bought a bigger tent!  Oh, this one is much bigger.  We can even stand up!  Yippee Skippy, yes, I think this one will work just fine.
 First, we tried this "L" configuration for the cots as it gave us a good entry space and more space for "things".
 See, lots of room inside :-)
 Yup, I had to try it out.
 I'm smiling so it must be good.
We decided the larger blue tent was the keeper so I treated the outside and rain fly with permethrin to keep bugs away.

Well, tent, cots, sleeping bags, what else?  Nothing, just our normal motorcycle travel gear.  We planned a short trip away to give everything a test run.  We needed to figure out how to best pack our bikes and then set up camp, tear down camp, repack bikes and all that kind of stuff.

We managed to sort out who was going to carry what on their bike and got them packed and headed out for an overnighter on Sunday afternoon.  Torrey, UT was our destination and I had made a reservation at a camp ground.  One of our biggest concerns was power.  Eric uses a CPAP machine for sleeping and it requires power.  Hmmmmmm.  So, when I made the reservation I requested a space close to power.  They told us to bring a long extension cord, lol.  So we did!

We took a beautiful route to Torrey.  50 miles of I-15 then right at Cedar City onto UT 14 over the mountain which spit us out on US Hiway 89.  We took a quick break in Hatch where I took these photos.

Who knew, we were in the "Galaxy" of Hatch!
 It even has a Galaxy Diner.
 Across the parking lot from the Diner is a bike shop.  Now there is an interesting story here.  A number of years ago this place was purchased and re-habbed.  Originally, a Harley-Davidson logo and name were painted on the front side of the shop.  Then, suddenly everything got closed up.  Eventually, they re-opened and this is what we see today.
 Fun words on the window, eh?
 Harley is missing in action.....
I suspect and heard rumor that the people who purchased the place had been sued by Harley Davidson for mis-use or unauthorized use of their name and logo.  Apparently they were able to move past that issue and now have a darling little motel, bike shop and cafe.  Good for them!  So, if you're anywhere near Hatch, UT, consider staying here for a night.  I'm pretty sure you'll have a good time.

So, we finally made it to Torrey, UT and checked into the Thousand Lakes Campground.  We got the tent spot closest to the main building so we could run an extension cord for power.  Here is my honey getting our big tent sorted out.
  And here we are, all sorted.  Yes, I did help a bit :-)

 And, this is how we decided to layout the inside.  One cot on each side which left us plenty of room in the middle for all of our "stuff".
 No pictures, but, while Eric was off getting us some dinner, I started a campfire.  He came back with my favorite pizza and we ate at the picnic table while enjoying our fire.  Not too much longer, it was dark and time for us to sleep.

I'd like to say I slept like a log but that didn't happen.  My honey had a pretty decent night's sleep as he was able to reach the electricity after buying another extension cord so his CPAP would be powered.

I, however, slept nicely for a while and then I got COLD.  Like really COLD.  It wasn't even that cold outside but my back was frozen.  Lesson learned.  We'll fix that problem before we camp again.  Overall, it was a great experience.  We were able to put up the tent without issue, set up our cots and bags and have plenty of space to do whatever we needed to do!  It was all good (except for me getting cold).

The next morning we got up (no, I slept another hour after Eric put his sleeping bag on top of me) and started to break down our campsite.  It took a bit of time, but then again, we weren't in any hurry.  Everything came down, broke apart and tucked into the proper bags without problem.  Hey, we might be okay at this camping thing (as long as it doesn't get COLD!).

 Here I am, all packed up and ready to go ride!
 Yeah, both of our bikes packed for camping.  I think we did well sorting out who would carry what.  It was a good, even distribution of weight.  I might be okay with this camping thing!
 All packed up and ready to go home.
 So, instead of back tracking, we decided to take a different route home.  From Torrey, we headed to Loa, UT and then on to Antimony, UT.  We found this beautiful, lightly traveled road full of twisties for a bit and then a straight on to Bryce Canyon.  Oh my, the weather was fantastic!  We took a rest stop here, in the middle of nowhere and enjoyed every minute!
 Nothing but us for a long, long, long way!
 Light, fluffy, powdery clouds and not much else. It was so wonderful!  Hahahaha, little laugh here.  I said to Eric, pull over here! as I pulled off the road onto the space that looked like a pull out.  Hahahah, not so much.  It was a big gravel dump and it was quite deep.  I said, as I rode into the pull out, Oh - not so good!  The gravel was thick but I somehow managed to stop in the most thick part of the loose gravel.

Okay, thanks cause I was able to exit the deep gravel with no problem and get back on the road.  Yeah, I think thanks are for the GS Women Rally that I attended a week ago and learned how to maneuver this big bike in all kinds of terrain!

 So, back on the road and to the intersection of Highway 12 and Bryce Canyon.  No time today for Bryce so we headed west on Highway 12 through Red Canyon which is one of my all time favorite places to ride through.

I insisted we stop and take a few pictures.  This is such a special place.  Yes, it is a small park but so incredibly beautiful.  If you ride through here, please take the time to stop.  There is a lovely visitor center and several pull-outs for photo opportunities.  I love this place!

 Yes, I took a number of photos from different directions.  Such a lovely, beautiful place!  Stop here and take a moment or two!

 Yes, a good place to stop!
At the end of Hiway 12 (one of America's most scenic rides) we hit Hiway 89 again and rode south where we then took Hiway 9 through Zion National Park.  Usually, we come through the park in the opposite direction so I insisted we stop and take a photo at the east/north end of the park.  And, here you go!

 Yeah, here I am trying to be an explorer.  Didn't really work out that good, oh well!

Unfortunately, our ride through Zion NP was tainted.  The first part until the tunnel was awesome!  The motorhome in front of us finally pulled over and we had the road to ourselves for awhile.  Then, we hit the tunnel and had to stop for way too long.  It was hot, hot, hot and we felt the heat.  Eventually, we got through the tunnel and made our way into Springdale which was crowded with Tourons!  Oh well....  (in case you didn't know, Tourons are Tourists/Morons. Yup, I bet most of you know what a Touron is!!!)

From there, it wasn't too far to home.  We made a quick stop in LaVerkin, UT and then pointed the bikes toward home.  It was so nice to be home.  We unpacked the bikes and got everything put away and made a cocktail.  Yes, it was good to be home!

We had a great overnight camping trip.  Everything worked out as we planned.  The new tent was awesome and the only changes we are going to make are an Eric sized cot for me and maybe a bag liner so I don't get cold.

We have an epic kind of trip planned for next week, so I hope you stay tuned.  I'm learning so much more about this new bike and motorcycle camping.  Wow,this is a whole different animal...let's see where this goes!

A new adventure will be posted soon!  Stay with me peeps!