Monday, August 18, 2014

2014 IBA International Meet - Getting There - August 16-18, 2014

It was Saturday, August 16 and we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of Hendrik, a/k/a DucRed or Ducati Fanatic.  He had flown from South Africa to Seattle, picked up a bike from friends and was riding to the Iron Butt Association International Meet in Denver.  Along the way, he stayed with friends in Idaho and Montana.  But today, he was to stay with us.  He made good time and arrived late afternoon.  Hooray!
 Pulling into the driveway.
 It was a bit warm.  No, really it was HOT.  Like 104 degrees hot.  Eric is directing Hendrik to the cool shower.
We had a wonderful visit and feasted on bacon wrapped onion rings (requested by Hendrik), grilled New York steak, baked potatoes with all the trimmings, fresh green salad and garlic bread.  Not gourmet, but definitely wonderful.  Sorry no pics but we were so busy chatting and eating, I simply forgot.  Oh my gosh, the onion rings were out of this world delish!!!  Just ask Hendrik what he thought about them :-)

We got up at a reasonably early hour the next morning and got ready to rock and roll.  The day was beautiful but promised to get hot by afternoon.

Left to right, Terry & Lynda Lehman's rally ready Goldwing, Hendrik's ride, my 2011 rally ready BMW F650GS and our new to us 2009 DL650A, Eric's ride that is pretty bare bones.  Eric's Super Tenere is getting some repair attention and wasn't ready so we decided it would be a good thing to add a spare bike to our stable.  
 Bikes loaded up and facing the exit.  Let's go!
 We headed out toward Zion National Park on Utah Highway 9.  It's in our backyard and Hendrik had never been there.  We stopped at Checkerboard Mesa for a break and Hendrik was immediately surrounded by folks looking at the bikes and striking up conversation.  This group happened to be from Italy.

 We pretty much rode for 100 miles, stop for gas, ride another 100 miles.  From Zion NP, we headed south on Hiway 89 to Kanab, UT where we then headed west to Page, AZ where we crossed the Glen Canyon Dam.  Lake Powell must be at an all time low, but still pretty blue.  From Page we turned on Hiway 98 to Kayenta, AZ.  Another highlight for Hendrik (and us!) was Monument Valley.  Although it was hot, it was also clear and beautiful.

We rode through Mexican Hat and Bluff, UT before our stop for the night which was the Stone Lizard Motel in Blanding, UT.  This was the first motel ever built in Blanding.  The current owners have been here 3 years and are really working hard to make it special.

 Our room was lovely.  King size bed, flat screen TV, clean and fresh.  Although small, the bathroom was nice with original tile in the shower.  This is definitely on my list to re-visit.  I love Mom & Pop motels and motels that we can pull the bikes right up to the door.  This fit the bill perfectly.
 Hendrik stayed at a chain motel (hey, he gets points for free stays!).  So we arranged to meet for dinner at one of the few places open in Blanding on a Sunday night.  Dinner was at the Homestead Steakhouse and suited us just fine.

The next morning Hendrik headed for Four Corners and will meet us in Denver for the IBA International Meet on Tuesday evening. 

We took the scenic route to Grand Junction, CO.  From Blanding we headed north on UT 191 then west on UT 46 which turns into CO 90.  Wow!!!!!  A fantastic ride in great weather took us up, up, up a twisty, winding road with virtually no traffic.  The road surface was pretty good for the most part and we just enjoyed ourselves.

 Now in Colorado, we headed north on CO 141.  I had been on this road during the MERA 10n10 Inagural Rally and vowed to come back and take a leisurely ride so I could thoroughly enjoy its beauty.  It wasn't a mistake!  CO 141 follows the San Miguel river for quite a ways as well as the Delores River.  It's a great two lane highway with no traffic and lots and lots and lots of curves.  The speed limit runs anywhere from 65 mph to 30 mph.

We made a number of scenic and Point of Interest stops along our way.

 Here we learned about the Uranium Mining in the early 1900's.  Tailings and mine openings are still visible on the hillside.

 We stopped at Gateway, which is about halfway along CO 141.  Out of nowhere, nothing for miles and miles, all of a sudden you come upon this Gateway Canyons Resort.  We stopped and had lunch here.  I'd so love to spend a few days at this resort and partake of some of their activities.  But, alas, it is way beyond our pocketbook.  So, it was fun to just stop for lunch.  Sorry, no pics but check out their website :-)

Back on the bikes, we got fuel at the little Gateway General Store and motored on our way.

We made another scenic, point of interest stop here.  Cows and ruins.  I didn't take a pic of the information sign but the building was the beginnings of a mansion being built by a miner, rancher, who was also a lawyer and business dude.  He finished the house but only lived there a short while.  The building was used by cowboys and others for a while before falling into decay.  It has now been stabilized through charitable funds and is blocked from public use.  It made quite a nice picture with the cows and horses along with the incredible mountains behind it.

 Our ride on CO 141 was at an end and we turned west on CO 50 toward Grand Junction and our home for the night.  I'm so glad we rode CO 141.  It was just as beautiful as I remembered and a great ride.  A good variety of terrain that kept me entertained the entire day.

Now on CO 50, we cruised into Grand Junction.  Sheesh, it was HOT and we had to slow way down as we cruised through downtown Grand Junction.  Before long we arrived at our abode for the night.  We've stayed here a number of times and absolutely love it.  One of the best values and best places, period, to stay in Grand Junction.
Yummy, king size bed.
 Deep armchairs for relaxing.  Flat screen TV, computer desk, fridge and microwave.  In room coffee.  Nicely remodeled bathroom.

 Parking right outside our door.
 All this plus a decent brekkie in the morning and a dip in the pool if we're so inclined.  Yes, I love this place :-)

Tomorrow, we head to Denver and the Marriott Tech Center to check in for the Iron Butt Association International Meet.  We're a day early but that's just fine.  I expect there will be plenty of folks already checked in so it will be an afternoon and evening of kicking tires, telling lies and having cocktails.  Sounds awful doesn't it?  LOL.  I'll try to keep fairly current on the blog during the Meet but no promises.  If it's anything like in the past, we will be busy with seminars, lectures, vendor displays, meals, demonstrations and riding.

So cheers for now - stay tuned :-)


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