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!




  1. How uncivilized! Take your shoes off when you get in bed........☺

  2. Old Boy Scout tip - bring your sleeping pad with you even with a cot - it keeps you from getting cold underneath (the air circulates under the cot and sucks the heat out of you). :-)

    1. Thanks Jim, we thought of that and several people have given the same tip. We'll get it sorted :-)

  3. Woohoo! Good on ya'. I love moto camping! There is a feeling of freedom just like riding. Enjoy! Can't wait for the next blog update.

    1. Yup, it was pretty cool. We're thinking camp a few days then motel so we can get a shower, unless of course, the campground has showers. I do think if it rains, we'll motel though!

  4. Woohoo! Good on ya'. I love moto camping! There is a feeling of freedom just like riding. Enjoy! Can't wait for the next blog update.

  5. As a long time m/c camper, use a simple space blanket (those aluminum foil looking thingys) under your sleeping bag and above the cot. I'd skip bringing a thick sleeping pad due to bulk. Instead get a compact packing down jacket and wear that as part of sleepwear. HTH.

    1. Thanks Tim. I always carry a space blanket on the bike and didn't even think about it. Someone also mentioned handwarmers which I also carry on the bike. I'm sure we'll get it sorted before our next camp trip.

  6. Fun times! You are lucky you live in such a beautiful area full of great rides and camping spots. No fun getting cold though..been there! Come up to Washington for the labor day camp out :)

    1. Yup, with the bigger tent and sorting out my sleeping situation, I think we'll be enjoying camping on the bikes. I'll have to see how things go, I'd love to go to Washington for labor day!

  7. Good for you guys. I would suggest getting a 2nd tarp to go under the tent floor. That will save your floor. Harbor freight type. Assuming you have the standard wire tent pegs, get some bigger replacement ones, at least for the 4 corners. Now take those DS bikes in the real woods/trails...

    1. Thanks! We did have another tarp under the tent and had better stakes, all that was easy and worked well. And YES, we're taking those big DS bikes out into the wood soon. Today, I'm getting my knobbies mounted.

  8. Something you had with you is a good insulator - your riding jacket. I always spread mine underneath my legs. It's also a space efficient way to store the jacket in the tent though I've never used a cot. The pads are an excellent insulator.

    Jeff Jones

    1. Thanks Jeff. I think we've got it sorted now!

  9. Nice camping gear. I will have to look into some compact cots. Sleeping pad on the ground just isn't comfy enough.

  10. Looks you had fun and great scenery! I am afraid all our moto-camping will have to be in the RV towing the bikes though :-)