Epic 2012 Ride Report

This Ride Report has multiple parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
by brandon on Jul 13, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 13, 2012
End Date: Jul 13, 2012
Distance: 441 mi
Rode on:
Rides for this Report:
Ride Report Discussion:
Go to the discussion thread!
This is the ride report for our Epic 2012 Motorcycle Ride.

Today started with me, Brandon, riding from Albuquerque, NM to Denver, CO to meet up with Ryan. I left my house at 6:30am and arrived up here in Denver around 2:00pm. The ride was pretty uneventful and the weather was nice. There was a little construction traffic along the way but nothing too terrible.

After I got up here we did a few last minute preps for our ride. We synced up our new Cardo Scala Rider G9's, got a few extra tools and got an external hard drive to backup our photos and video for the upcoming trip. Today's ride didn't really feel like the start of the journey since I've made this ride several times before. Tomorrow morning will see us heading up to Yellowstone. We have 575 miles ahead of us so we're planning on a very early start tomorrow.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's report!

Photos

Getting ready to depart ABQ in the morning!


Half way to Denver in Trinidad, CO.


Getting everything ready to go for tomorrow morning

July 14 - Tetons and Yellowstone

by brandon on Jul 15, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 14, 2012
End Date: Jul 14, 2012
Distance: 580 mi
Rode on:
Today started with us waking up around 5:30am and getting ready. We packed up all of our cloths and other miscellaneous items we had out the night before. We left Ryan's house around 7:00am and he needed to fuel up. By the time he was finished with that and I had given my chain a good lubing, we set out around 7:15. We made our way toward Fort Collins where the GPS had us take HWY 287 instead of the interstate. We were glad we did since the roads were empty and we passed through some awesome terrain. We continued on to Rawlins, WY where we stopped for lunch at Subway. The weather looked like it was going to rain soon so we put on our rain gear. It ended up not raining so we ended up sweating like crazy. We eventually stopped and took the rain gear off again in an effort to cool down. After another couple hours of riding, the sky started looking very ominous as we entered the Shoshoni National Forest. We made it another half hour before we had to stop and put the rain gear back on. Fortunately we got the rain gear on when we did because it started raining immediately afterwards. We would be in rain from around 2:00 until 9:00.

When we entered the Grand Teton National Park we both bought a national park pass so we could come and go as we please through the national parks without having to pay entry each time. After entering the park we drove around through the rain without being able to see anything more than a couple hundred feet around us. We eventually stopped for gas just before entering Yellowstone. We went inside a service center there to dry off a bit and figure out what we wanted to do. If it kept pouring like this, setting up our tents and staying dry at night would be extremely difficult. We eventually decided to keep going and we'd pull over in Yellowstone and see if there were any cabins or lodges available.

We found another reservation center in Yellowstone and asked about availability but the only room available was 2.5 hours north. We hesitated for a bit and then she told us someone else had just booked the room. Before heading back out into the rain we decided we would head to the campground and hope it stopped raining for long enough to set up camp and eat.

We missed our turn to the campsite and ended up heading over to Old Faithful. As we stopped the rain finally let up. We walked around the geysers for a bit and checked out some of the old lodges there. I went into one of the gift shops to buy a fleece for the night so I wouldn't be so cold. Afterwards I realized that my park pass wasn't in my pocket where eI had hastily put it in the rain after purchasing it. It hadn't fallen out when I bought the fleece so my only thought is that it fell out when I was fueling up just before Yellowstone. By now all the service centers were closed and I'll have to figure out what to do about this tomorrow when they open up again.

We eventually made it to our campground around 9:30pm and had to set up our tents in the dark. There was some water falling from the trees but nothing too bad. We ate dinner (I had the Santa Fe Chicken from Backpackers Pantry and Ryan had the Spaghetti w/ Meat sauce from Mountain House). They were both good and it was nice to have some warm food in us. We packed up all of our food and put it in the bear box and then both headed off to bed before the rain was supposed to hit again.

I already posted a brief description about day one earlier. Here are some photos from our first day riding from Denver to Yellowstone.


Leaving Ryan's house in the morning. Bikes both look nice and clean at this point.


Outside of Fort Collins heading up to Wyoming


The sky is starting to look really bad. Soon after this we pull over and put on our rain gear...


All of our gear was completely soaked after 4 or 5 hours in the rain. This is Ryan ringing out his glove. Both of our supposedly waterproof gloves were completely full of water and soaking wet.

Al photos can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771133755362977841

July 15 - Riding Yellowstone

by brandon on Jul 18, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 15, 2012
End Date: Jul 15, 2012
Distance: 110 mi
Rode on:
It rained off and on throughout the night last night. I actually slept pretty well with my new Yellowstone fleece jacket on. I only remember waking up being a little cold once. The first time I woke up it was around 5:45am but I convinced myself to fall back to sleep for a little while longer since we weren't really in a hurry today. I finally ended up getting out of the tent around 7 and Ryan followed soon there after.

For breakfast I tried the Mountain House Scrambled Eggs w/ Bacon and it was pretty good. I was a bit shocked that the serving had 113% of your daily intake of cholesterol though. Ryan had the Mountain House Granola w/ Milk and Bananas and said it was also good and filling.

We were camped next to a couple other older bikers who were from out east and were completing a rather large trip through many of the northern states.

The plan for today was to take a tour through Yellowstone making sure we saw Yellowstone Canyon and Old Faithful. Today was looking to be much nicer than yesterday which was great. We could actually see our surroundings today and wouldn't be freezing.

We packed up our tents and got everything loaded back onto our bikes and were on our way to explore around 9:00. We made sure to turn our GoPro cameras on today so we could get some good footage of the park. Our first destination was Yellowstone Canyon. This is a very cool canyon that has a giant waterfall and river running through it. The canyon itself is very colorful. We took some photos there and then made our way around to Old Faithful, stopping at several geysers and hot springs along the way to soak in the views.

The only animals we saw today were some bison that were causing quite the backups. We were both hoping to see some bears or moose but weren't lucky enough this time around. By the time we reached Old Faithful, I was extremely hungry. It was around noon and my breakfast had worn off after a couple hours.

Our first order of business was to go into the visitor center to try and find out more information about getting me a new park pass issued since I had lost mine yesterday. They said there was nothing they could do and told me to head over to one of the entrances and they might be able to help more. I was a little discouraged but then saw that Old Faithful was set to erupt very soon so Ryan and I went outside to get a closer view. Old Faithful itself is cool to see, but after it blows water up a few times that's about all it's going to do. We decided to beat the rush and went into the Old Faithful lodge to eat lunch. We were seated and I noticed our server mentioned he was from Indiana on his name tag. He ended up being from Fort Wayne and went to IPFW (a Purdue extension in Fort Wayne). I went to Purdue in West Lafayette and knew some people who went to IPFW.

After lunch we went back into the Visitor Center so I could get my National Parks passport stamped and Ryan bought a Yellowstone sticker for his panniers. We fueled up and set off for our campground at Henry's Lake, ID.

The rest of the ride through Yellowstone was nice as we had some nice scenery and little traffic. There was one small spot we got rained on a bit, but it only lasted a few minutes and wasn't very heavy. We got to the West Entrance so I pulled over to ask about the national park pass. The guy said unfortunately there wasn't anything they could do since the park pass doesn't actually have any personal information associated with it and there was no way to look me up in any kind of system. Since the lady who sold it to me didn't give me a receipt it left me with even fewer options. He gave me the phone number for the gas station I thought I left it at, but then when I called it said the number is no longer in service. I'm still not sure what to do because being out 80 bucks really sucks.

We quickly made it to our campground at Henry's Lake around 3:00pm where we were greeted with some awesome views. Apparently that same storm that hit Yellowstone last night also hit here and caused some severe winds to blow through along with extremely heavy rains. as of 7:30pm when I'm writing this we haven't had any bad weather yet so we're hoping it holds out. We immediately set about putting up our tents so we could get that out of the way.

We mixed some gatorade with vodka and relaxed for a bit, knowing that tomorrow is going to be a very long day. After a few drinks we decided it was time for dinner. I had the Mountain House Lasagna w/ Meat Sauce and Ryan had the Mountain House Chili Mac w/ Cheese. We also had the Backpacker's Pantry Mocha Moose Pie for dessert which was good.

We tried starting a little fire but everything was too wet from the rains the previous night. Ryan then decided to go test out the free showers and said the water was nice and hot. I'll be doing that shortly and then we'll be heading off to bed. As I said earlier, we've got a big day ahead of us tomorrow where we'll be covering quite a distance.


Our camp site in the morning. After getting up I moved my tent from under the trees in an attempt to dry it out just a bit. It worked slightly but the tent was still wet when I rolled it back up.


Yellowstone Canyon. Thanks to an advrider for telling us about this in our ride prep thread! The view from here was amazing.


Our bikes in the parking lot for some mud pits.


Dragon's Mouth Spring. Apparently it used to shoot a lot more water out but has calmed down over time.


We had to stop and see Old Faithful erupt. We watched it for about a minute then ran inside to get some lunch before the mass crowd did the same thing.


Outside of Yellowstone heading to our campground at Henry's Lake State Park


We got to our campsite pretty early and had a chance to set up in the sun and relax for a bit. It felt great to take it easy after the rush the night before trying to set up camp before the rain started.

All photos can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771140501746035809

July 16 - Offroad Adventures

by brandon on Jul 18, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 16, 2012
End Date: Jul 16, 2012
Distance: 550 mi
Rode on:
Rides for this Report:
We decided to go to bed early last night because we knew today was going to be a long rough day. We were in bed by around 8:30pm and then within the hour some family showed up and were making more noise than I thought possible for about an hour. I finally fell asleep and woke up around 5:45am today.

We ate breakfast and packed up our bikes. I had some oatmeal and Ryan had one of the Mountain House Scrambled Eggs w/ Ham. After we finished up we set out and were on the road by 6:50am. We started out and it was a little chilly and stayed that way for quite a bit of the day. We eventually had to stop and put our rain gear on to try and warm up.

By the time lunch came around, we fueled up in some tiny town and stopped at some locally owned sub and pizza shop. The waitress and owner seemed like they were pissed that we were taking up their time by ordering. We eventually finished and set out on our way to Missoula.

It seemed like the entire day was split in half with Missoula at the center. The first half of the day was nice and relaxing with some good views of far off mountains. The second half of the day is what we were looking forward to. It took us by the St. Joe's River where we were planning on getting our first taste of off road riding.

We got onto St. Joe's road and turned on our GoPro cameras to record the upcoming adventures. Based on Google Maps we were supposed to stay on St. Joe for the duration of the ride until we hit Highway 3 again. Before setting out on this ride I had disabled the "avoid gravel roads" option in my Garmin and it had produced a slightly different route. We figured we'd just take that and see where it would lead us.

After a few miles we made it off of the gravel and onto a Jeep trail that was really nice and maintained. We followed that for several miles having a blast riding along. We crossed another gravel road and continued on our jeep trail, which is where things started to go bad. We noticed the trail wasn't as groomed as it previously had been. There were trees blocking the way and you could definitely tell it wasn't used very much. We kept pushing through thinking it would eventually clear out a bit more.

Things didn't quite end up that way unfortunately. We had a few tough spots to get through and eventually hit a spot where I almost fell off a huge cliff and then proceeded to get stuck in a giant tree that had started to grow up through the trail. Ryan was behind me and was in a spot where he couldn't actually put his kickstand down because of the angle of the trail at that point. We were both looking at each other like "what do we do now?" Eventually Ryan was able to get his bike adjusted enough to put the kickstand down and we spent about 20 minutes just trying to maneuver my bike around so we could turn around and head back to the last nice road we saw. It's hard to put into words how crazy this part of the trail was. Imagine a 2 foot wide trail angled pretty steeply downhill with a 60 degree incline up or down on either side of you. Fortunately I had stopped in an area that was wide enough to turn around the bike (after knocking down a few trees).

After each of us got extremely tired and sweaty during that ordeal we finally hit a paved road which turned out to be the road we were originally supposed to stay on, which seemed to have been renamed to the St. Joe Scenic Parkway. We followed this road next to the St. Joe river and through some very nice mountains for about 60 miles when we realized we were about to be in trouble. We still had about 40 miles to go before we got out of the park and Ryan was running on fumes. I wasn't doing much better so we pulled over and had the first opportunity of the trip so far to use our RotoPax. Imagine being in the middle of absolute nowhere, stranded with a huge thunderstorm getting ready to plow through. That's exactly what we didn't want to happen which is why we brought some extra fuel.

The only issue is that the "eco-whatever" spouts that come with the rotopax are absolute crap. Neither Ryan nor I could figure out how to get these things to open up. We twisted, pushed, pulled, yanked, etc for a few minutes but nothing we would do to either of our units would get any gas to come through. Absolute shit engineering there. Anyway, we ended up just pouring the gas directly from the can into our bikes while trying our best not to spill too much fuel everywhere. We finally got that taken care of just as the first of the rain started falling.

Fortunately not too much later the road opened up a bit and the speed limit increased so we could try to outrun the rain. Somewhere along the way a small bird flew into my chest and scared the crap out of me. We made it to ID-3 and started to make our way up to the Beauty Creek campground near Coeur d'Alene. The roads were very nice, although we probably didn't enjoy them as much as we should have since we'd been on the road for 13 hours already. We noticed the refueling we did about 90 miles earlier was starting to reach its limits and once again there were no gas stations in sight (nor had we seen any since the time we fueled up). After getting rained on and having deer jump in front of us for another half hour we finally spotted a gas station. It was a single pump outside of a bar and grill. Unfortunately their network was down so we had to pre-pay with cash only. Ryan and I both gave $20 which was enough to fill up our bikes and add some back to the rotopax. It was only another 30 miles or so to the campground but we had to continually ride through rain and I had another deer jump in the road in front of me not 30 feet away.

As we rode into the campground we could hear thunder and see lightning so we worked as hard as we could to set up camp as quickly as possible. It was about 9:30pm (MST) when we rolled in which made for another extremely long day. We noticed there's a shelter at our campsite with a picnic table under it so we quickly moved the table out of the way so we could try and get our tents under it. By the time that was done the sky had started to clear up a bit, even though there are storms all around us.

We washed up a bit and got dinner going. As my dinner was rehydrating (I had the Beef Stroganoff w/ Noodles), I decided to wash my clothes at the water pump since they were starting to smell really bad, especially from all that extra exertion trying to get the bikes off of that trail.

The rain hasn't hit yet and I'm siting here typing up this ride report before heading to bed. All in all today was a blast. The whole trail ordeal is the kind of stuff that we weren't really planning for and was a pain at the time but was still a ton of fun. Be sure to stay tuned for photos of that. We'll be in a hotel in Vancouver in two nights where we'll hopefully have some internet we can use.

Off to bed now since we've got a 400 mile day ahead of us tomorrow that will see us crossing into Washington and camping near Bellingham at Birch Bay.


Leaving our campsite at Henry's Lake (Note: They have FREE hot showers which was a huge plus!)


Stopping to put on rain gear. It was pretty cold and we needed to warm up.


Rolled through some pretty cool looking small towns in Montana

The following photos are from our adventures in the trails









This is where things go downhill really quick. We both get stuck on a decline and there's a pretty decent sized bush growing in the middle of the trail that I can't get around. I almost dropped my bike to the right which would have been very bad, lol.




After 20 or so minutes of maneuvering we got both of our bikes turned around so we could head back to a previous road crossing that looked much more promising. By this time each of us had probably sweated out a good couple of pounds of water. We were absolutely drenched.




Finally returning to a paved road. Mission accomplished. We had successfully survived a very crazy couple of hours! Until...



.... we both ran out of gas. All the messing around on the trails had messed up our fuel economy. The nearest town was a good 40 miles away and neither of us were going to make it. Fortunately we each came prepared with a 1.75G RotoPax. One thing though... the spouts F**KING SUCK! No matter how we twisted, turned, pushed or pulled the locking mechanism, no fuel would come out. We ended up having to simply pour it from the tank which was a bit messy and it didn't help that it was starting to rain. We eventually got everything taken care of and started off again.


Except that next town 40 miles away didn't have a gas station. It took us another 70 miles or so before we found a gas station and fueled up. Their network was down so we had to prepay with cash which kinda sucked but at least we had fuel and we were only about 45 miles from our campsite.


We got to our campground after riding through rain for a while and once again the rain stopped as we pulled up. We set up our tents under a shelter next to our campsite so we wouldn't get too wet. It ended up raining a little bit but not nearly as much as we thought it would. We also gained an hour because we crossed into Pacific time which was nice. It gave us a little time to unwind from a 14 hour day of riding.

Video of us getting stuck and getting my bike turned around:


All photos can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771138057597959361

July 17 - Starting to feel like the Pacific Northwest

by brandon on Jul 18, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 17, 2012
End Date: Jul 17, 2012
Distance: 405 mi
Rode on:
Rides for this Report:
Moving our tents under the shelter last night paid off. Sometime around 3am it started raining pretty heavily. I got up and moved some of the stuff we had on our picnic table under the shelter as well so it wouldn't be soaked in the morning. It started to get light out and both Ryan and I woke up around 5:30am and laid in our tents until around 6.

We got up, ate (I had the Mountain House Granola w/ Blueberries and Ryan had the Mountain House Scrambled Eggs w/ Bacon), and then packed our bikes up. As we were doing all this we heard thunder all around us. We checked the weather and it looked like a huge cell of weather was moving exactly where we were planning on going.

We were on the road by 7:20am and headed out to Spokane via I-90. The rain finally started to hit us just a few minutes after we left our campsite and continued until we crossed into Washington. We jumped on Highway 2 just outside of Spokane and followed that until we split off onto 174 which eventually connected to Highway 97 and eventually Highway 20. We were dodging weather pretty much the entire way there. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant connected to a gas station and were really amazed with how good it was. Once you were inside the place you'd have no idea it was part of a gas station. We both ordered burgers and were blown away with how good they were. It was called the Rivers Restaurant in Pateros, WA.

As soon as we got onto Highway 20 things started changing for the better. The route takes you up to 5400 feet in elevation from about 1300 feet. The rides and views were amazing the entire time. There were some nice waterfalls off the side of the road too. We got to the tallest pass and got out to take some photos of the surrounding area. The ride down was equally as amazing. We made sure to stop at several of the pullouts and get some great photos. Eventually we made it down and fueled up for our final ride into our campsite.

After that fuelup we pushed it the last 70 or so miles to our campsite at Birch Bay, WA. The campsite is extremely cool in the middle of a forest right by the Birch Bay. We pulled in and got our tents set up and then headed back out to get something to mix with our vodka and ended up with some Country Time Lemonaid/Ice Tea mix. We came back and started up some dinner. I had the Backpacker's Pantry Chicken Vindaloo which was really good. Ryan had the Mountain House Rice and Chicken.

Since then we've just been sitting around drinking and thinking about the ride report. We also walked down to the bay and got some photos at sunset. Our original plan for tomorrow was to head up to Whistler and down to Vancouver but after doing as many miles and hours on our bikes as we have our new plan is to cross into Canada tomorrow morning and then head up to NW Vancouver near the ferry station, find a hotel and then go see the Capilano suspension bridge and relax for the day before crossing over into Vancouver Island.

My laptop is about to die and my phone doesn't have great coverage here so uploading this ride report will have to wait until tomorrow when we're at the hotel.


Heading out of Spokane with rain in the distance.


Grand Coulee Dam


Chief Joseph Dam


Getting ready for some real riding...




At the highest pass... 5,400 or so feet. Basically the same elevation we live at in Albuquerque and Denver, lol.





Photo of a photo...





Our campsite in Birch Bay, WA. We both said we had the best sleep of the entire trip tonight. I think we've just been so exhausted from so many long days that we were able to sleep really well.


Sunset over Birch Bay

All photos can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771138667359727969

July 18 - Venturing into Canada

by brandon on Jul 19, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 18, 2012
End Date: Jul 18, 2012
Distance: 70 mi
Rode on:
I had one of the best nights of sleep I've ever had in a tent last night. Ryan said the same thing about last night as well. For some reason, whether it was because of all the miles we'd already put on, the location, the lack of noise… something… we just slept really really well.

We got up around 7:00am and took our time packing everything up and eating breakfast. Ryan's propane tank for his camping stove finally died and he doesn't have any backup. We set out for the border around 8:30 or so. We fueled up just outside of Birch Bay and then crossed the border on Highway 543 / Canada 15. I went through fine but Ryan ended up getting stopped and needed to be pulled aside to answer more questions. After that short delay we were on our way to North Vancouver. It seems like the entire city of Vancouver is under some kind of construction though. We hit more construction traffic than I care to remember in the span of 30 miles or so.

For some reason my GPS didn't have the point saved where all the hotels were. Instead it just had some random point in North Vancouver. I tried to navigate to where I thought I remembered the hotels but didn't have much luck. We pulled over and decided to go look down by Horseshoe Bay where the ferry terminal is to see if there was a hotel there. We got down there and found some little motel and went to see about the price. It was going to be $130 for the night which sounded a little high for the look of the place. We said we'd wait until they were finished cleaning the rooms and decided to go get lunch.

We ended up eating around the corner at a place called Trolls. They had good burgers and fries and are apparently known for their fish and chips. Our waitress told us to head back to North Vancouver or Squamish and Hotwire a hotel for cheap. We decided to head back to North Vancouver to try to find that row of hotels I had mapped out earlier. Turns out I was just off by one street which is why we didn't find them earlier. We checked into a Comfort Inn but the room was still being cleaned.

We waited around for a good hour and a half while the cleaning service made their way through the hotel. During that time we sat in the lobby and updated our ride reports with photos and checked out some of the other photos and video we took so far.

The plan was to get into our room and change into some lighter gear and head over to Lynn Canyon where we heard there was a nice park to walk around and see a suspension bridge. Originally we were going to head to the Capilano suspension bridge but the same waitress at Trolls told us it's probably not worth paying the $35 since you can get the same experience for free at Lynn Canyon.

Our room eventually opened up and we made our way to Lynn Canyon. We got there and were pretty impressed with the trails. The scenery is definitely stereotypical of what most people think of the Pacific Northwest. Very tall trees covered in moss, etc. We walked around and found some people jumping into huge pools of water from cliff faces then made our way to the suspension bridge. Unfortunately it was pretty packed, but the views were still neat.

We made our way back to the hotel and fueled up once again before heading back. Once inside I uploaded the ride report photos and we started washing all of our clothes. As of 10:00pm as I'm writing this report our clothes are still soaked so we'll see if they dry by the morning. After washing all of the clothes we set out walking around trying to find somewhere to eat. There were a few places that all looked a little too high scale for what we wanted. Eventually we stumbled into a place called The Cactus Club Cafe. I had a cajun chicken sandwich with a beer and Ryan had chicken tenders. Both were pretty good and the servers were very attentive.

After eating we set about trying to find more propane for Ryan. We first went to a sport store and they didn't have any camping equipment. They said to head back a few blocks to Walmart and they should. We got to Walmart and unfortunately the only kind of propane they have is for the big camping stoves you see people bring when they car camp. We'll just have to use my remaining propane tank until we can find another one.

We got back to the hotel, showered and tried to re-pack as much of our stuff as we could without getting all of our clothes packed. The plan for tomorrow is to get up at 6:00am so we can finish packing, eat and then head to the ferry terminal so we can get on the 7:45am ferry to Vancouver Island.

Random assortment of photos for the day:

Trolls Restaurant with helpful waitress


Waiting for our room...


Lynn Canyon


Fairly busy suspension bridge


Our disaster of a room


The semi-successful attempt at doing our own laundry

All photos can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771134700050598033

July 19 - Vancouver Island

by brandon on Jul 23, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 19, 2012
End Date: Jul 19, 2012
Distance: 269 mi
Rode on:
Rides for this Report:
Today we woke up in our hotel at 6:00am so we could eat, pack and head to the ferry terminal for the 7:45 departure to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Breakfast at the hotel was pretty weak. They had a selection of cereal, toast and some mass produced eggs and sausage. The waffle maker was out of mix which is a shame because those are usually really good.

We were on the road by 7am and made it to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal shortly afterwards. We were expecting some traffic getting there but the roads were empty. We purchased our tickets and got in line, only to find out we were looking at the wrong schedule and the ferry wasn't set to depart until 8:30. We had some time to kill so we lubed up our chains and then talked with some other motorcyclists that showed up a little later.

It was finally time to board the ferry and we were the first ones on. We blocked up our bikes so they wouldn't fall over then headed to the sun lounge at the top of the ferry so we could get some cool photos. They have a cafeteria on board with full hot breakfasts if you're running late and didn't have time to eat. The ride over to the island was nice. It cleared up and was sunny for the whole ride. After a while we went down to explore the rest of the ferry. We were hoping they had some stickers we could put on our panniers but they didn't. Also, I tried to get some cash from the ATM but my debit card kept getting declined. I probably should have called my bank and let them know I would be out of the country.

It was almost arrival time on Vancouver Island so we headed back down to our bikes and got ready to roll out. We got onto Highway 19 and started heading north. We decided to fuel up in Campbell River and also had lunch there. We found a place called River City Grill that had some really good food. We both ordered their take on a Philly Cheesesteak. Their rendition had bbq sauce on it with some onion, pepper and melted cheese. I got mine with a side of chicken noodle soup and Ryan got fries. They made everything to order which was really nice.

Over the course of the day we had talked to several people about where we were going and when we mentioned Port McNeil they all looked at us a little strange. At lunch we took the opportunity to try to find a campground up in Port Hardy which is where we originally planned on staying. We found the Port Hardy RV Park and decided to head there. There was still about 130 miles to go from lunch to our campsite so we set out. The highway turns into one lane around this point and almost entirely emptied out a few miles outside of Campbell River. We eventually pulled over to stretch our legs. The day's ride hasn't been too bad but I think we're both just getting tired of sitting on the bikes all day.

We eventually made it just south of Port McNeil and decided to fuel up before our final push to Port Hardy. We got to our campground and got a couple of spots. After that we immediately set up our tents and hung our still wet clothes from yesterdays washing attempt. Some other people tent camping came over and talked for a bit. They were up here on vacation from Port McNeil, which made us glad in our decision to skip it over.

The plan was to head into town to see it and try to find something to eat. We had pictured a decent sized port town but when we showed up it seemed like the entire city had died. There were about 5x the number of out of business shops than ones that were open and everything closed around 6pm. We walked around a bit and got some photos then decided to save our money and come back to the campsite for dinner.

We got a fire going with the free firewood provided and set about making dinner. We both decided on Chili Mac and Beef and also had some vodka before eating.

It's about 8:30pm as I type this and the sun's still up like it's 3 in the afternoon. The lady who checked us into the campsite said there were some bears spotted a while ago and that we should put all of our food away at night. We'll probably hang out by the fire a little longer, pack up our food and then take our clothes down off the hanging line and go to bed.

Tomorrow we're planning on leaving here around 7:30am to head down to Victoria. While there we need to find a Mountain Equipment Company (basically Canada's version of REI) and get Ryan another fuel tank for his stove. We also want to find some shops to go through so we can try to find something cool to buy and take home.

Random assortment of photos for the day:

Waiting for the ferry... way earlier than we needed to.


Our bikes loaded up and blocked so they wouldn't fall over


Leaving Horseshoe Bay


Pulling into Nanaimo


Highway 19 with some really nice scenery


The bikes in front of a big Port Hardy sign


Our tents with all of our clothes drying in the background

All photos can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771137558346073393

July 20 - Vancouver Island pt. 2

by brandon on Jul 23, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 20, 2012
End Date: Jul 20, 2012
Distance: 350 mi
Rode on:
Rides for this Report:
Ryan woke up around 5:45 and couldn't fall back to sleep so he took a shower and got everything packed up. I ended up waking up around 6:30 and quickly got all my stuff good to go. The plan was to head down to Victoria to our campground. The ride started off a little cool and stayed that way for an hour or so. By the time we hit Woss it had started to rain and continued that way until we reached Nanaimo.

We fueled up in Campbell River and continued on to Nanaimo for lunch. By the time we reached Nanaimo for lunch the rain had started to subside. We went into Subway for lunch and both ordered a 6" sub and the chicken noodle soup. We wouldn't recommend getting that again because the broth was watery and there was hardly any chicken in it. After that we headed over to Starbucks to use their Wifi and try to track the weather and figure a few things out. We had been talking and thought maybe just getting on a ferry and heading to the States would be the better choice instead of spending another night in Victoria. The ferry schedule said there was a departure at 3 and another at 7:30 so we were going to try and get there for the 3:00 ferry.

We hit quite a bit of traffic which slowed us down a lot. We pulled into Victoria right around 3 and went to the ferry terminal. When we pulled in we had obviously missed the ferry but figured we'd get situated and ready for the 7:30 launch. We parked our bikes and went up and got our tickets. They told us we needed to be there 90 minutes before departure for customs checking. This made us feel better because no matter how much we sped, there's no way we would have made it in time for the 3:00 ferry.

With a few hours to kill we decided to head into Victoria and check it out. The Black Ball ferry terminal is pretty much right in the center of it all. We just had to walk up some stairs and we were in all the action. We went into a few touristy souvenir shops looking for some stickers or something else cool to put on our bikes. We were really disappointed with what they had to offer. Eventually we made it down to Sasquatch Trading Ltd. and were blown away with their offerings. All of their items for sale are hand made instead of the mass produced stuff made in china we found elsewhere. We both bought some really cool stickers for our panniers. I was debating getting a totem of some kind but couldn't justify the several hundred dollars. I might check to see if they have a website and order something later.

After that we started looking for some dinner. We saw a few pubs along the main drag and went into Irish Times. The service was pretty crappy and the food was just so-so. We tried to find some wifi so we could look up campgrounds once we crossed back to Port Angeles. We found a Starbucks around the corner and used theirs. We found the Elwan Dam RV Park and decided that's where we would go. It looked close to the port and had some decent reviews.

We headed back to the ferry and started talking to another motorcyclist and his wife. They were from Gibbons, BC and on the way to Washington to visit their grandkids. They had a lot of information for us for future trips up there and we talked for a while about motorcycling and other random stuff. Eventually 6:00 rolled around and they locked all the gates and started the customs process. It was extremely simple and didn't take very long. Soon after the ferry pulled up and everyone started unloading from it. We were blown away with just how many vehicles they had crammed into this thing. RV's, double length semis, trucks towing boats, etc. We waited and waited and eventually were able to roll on board. The motorcycles were first on and we tied them up against a wall and used come blocks to keep them from swaying around.

We headed up to the deck to get some photos and try to find some more information about camping. We hung out up there for a bit then when we crossed into US waters we turned on our phones and got updated on everything we missed for the last couple of days.

The ferry finally arrived in Port Angeles around 9:15pm. Fortunately we were the first ones off and were able to start looking for the campground. We made it there only to find the office closed down and what seemed like 20-30 drunk people playing basketball right near the tent camping area. We debated for a bit and then decided we would try to find a hotel. We had seen a few on our way in and went to check them out. The first one was a really small sketchy looking motel that wanted $130 per night. We quickly declined that and ended up calling a few other motels which were all sold out for the night. About this time the cashier from the gas station we were at told us about some free camping that was about a half hour away. By now it was around 10 and we thought what the heck and headed off for it. We finally made it only to find out we needed some kind of Discover Pass for all Washington parks and could face a huge fine if we didn't have it.

Discouraged we pulled out our phones and found out there was an RV/tent camping area about 10 minutes away and headed out to it. We were finally able to test our Dually headlights at this time since these roads were completely dead. They work wonders and made riding these wet back country roads much more pleasant. We made it to the Crescent Beach RV park and had to fill out a late registration slip and pay $40. By now it was around 11:30 and we were exhausted. This has been our longest day so far and we just wanted to sleep. There was no map telling us where tent camping was and the campground wasn't very well marked. We ended up finding an open spot in what we think was supposed to be a parking lot and just set up camp there and set off for bed.

Random assortment of photos for the day:

Yay, more rain. Who would have guessed....


Parked at the ferry terminal after getting our tickets.


Wandering around Victoria


The US!


Ready to get to a campsite. Little did we know it was still going to be another 4 hours from this point, lol


Our bikes all tied down on the ferry

All photos can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771135016384394161

July 21 - Pacific Coast

by brandon on Jul 23, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 21, 2012
End Date: Jul 21, 2012
Distance: 250 mi
Rode on:
Rides for this Report:
We woke up around 7 this morning to some very wet tents and gear. I'm not sure if it actually rained last night or if it was just the fog/mist coming in off the ocean. Either way it was yet another cold wet morning which we've had more mornings than we would like. We tore down camp, packed up and ate and then took a quick tour of the beach. We were soon on our way for Cape Disappointment at the very south western tip of Washington.

We had to backtrack about 15 miles to Port Angeles so we could fuel up. We weren't sure where the next town was and didn't want to have to resort to the Rotopax again. After fueling up we started our journey down the 101. The ride was really nice, although it stayed cold for the majority of the day and the mist/fog was essentially rain and kept us equally as wet.

We stopped at Ruby Beach in the Olympic National Forest and were greeted with some really nice views of the pacific ocean. This is also the first time one of our bikes went down this trip. I was trying to turn my bike around in the parking lot so I could get my kickstand down in a reasonable spot and didn't release my clutch enough and tipped over. The SW-Motech panniers held up amazingly well and we quickly righted my bike and carried on. I did start to have a few idling issues for a short while after this though. Instead of idling my engine would just shut off. We pulled over a few times and couldn't figure out what the problem was. We thought it might be a spark plug issue but then it went back to normal and the problem hasn't appeared since. We're still not sure what it was.

We eventually made it to Aberdeen where we stopped for some lunch about 70 miles away from our final destination. Ryan's rear tire has been causing him some concern so he started looking for KTM dealers nearby that he can hopefully get a new rear tire from. He found one near Astoria, OR and decided he'd call them when we got to the campground.

Some nice scenic roads later we made it to our campground and got set up and found out there's no cell service here. We'll try to find a KTM shop some time tomorrow when we get reception back. We walked around the beach and took some shots. The sand was very black and also nice and warm. The water however was freezing cold.

After getting back from the beach we decided we needed some more booze and set off on a walk to the nearest general store. What we thought would be a quick walk turned into a walk that was a little over a mile each way. It took us about 30 minutes to walk each way. They didn't have any hard alcohol so we ended up getting some beers and walked back to the campsite. We cracked open the beers and started a fire and that puts us to where we are now. We've still got a couple hours of daylight and will probably eat soon and then head off to bed. We've got a really long day already planned for tomorrow and if we do try to get Ryan's tire changed it'll just add that much more time to it.

We're hoping we don't get rained on tonight which would be nice for a change. We'll see how it goes though!

Random assortment of photos from the day:

Our campsite from last night


The view we had when we woke up


The beach that was about 50 yards from our campsite


Some nice riding along 101


Ruby Beach in the Olympic National Park


The trees are getting bigger


Our campsite for the night


The beach at cape disappointment

All photos can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771137052624031729

July 22 - A really really long day

by brandon on Jul 23, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 22, 2012
End Date: Jul 22, 2012
Distance: 520 mi
Rode on:
Rides for this Report:
Last night we drank most of the booze and had some dinner and got our fire going pretty well. I think we both slept pretty well and fortunately it didn't rain on us through the night.

We woke up and did our daily routine of eating, tearing down camp and packing up our bikes. We were on the road by 6:45am. We had to carry our trash out of the park and find the nearest trash can. Next up was fueling up. We still had quite a few miles on the current tank so we wanted to fill up sooner rather than later. We didn't see any gas stations near the park so we had to go about 4 miles out of the way to get some gas. After that we were finally on our way down the coast on Highway 101.

The plan was to head town the 101 until we got to Highway 26 and then take that to Portland where we would ride through the Columbia River Gorge and see some of the sights along the way. When we neared our exit for 26 I saw that Cannon Beach was just a few miles away and wanted to go see it. It had been really foggy and cold and when we pulled up to the beach the view was a little obstructed but it was still cool.

We set off on 26 and after some more rain/fog we finally started to make it to Portland. Riding 30 along the gorge was awesome. There were some highly trafficked spots since it was the weekend, but overall it was a nice pleasant ride. We got to see some cool waterfalls along the way. We both got some stickers of the Multnomah Falls for our panniers.

After seeing those falls we headed out to find lunch. We decided on some Taco Bell and ate that. After filling up we still had a long way to go. The original plan was to head back to the coast and ride 101 all the way down to Redwoods. Since the weather had been holding us back and we were pretty sore, we decided just to take I-5 down to 199 and take that into the park. We were on I-5 for over 200 miles and it was pretty boring. Once we got to 199 things started changing for the better. The weather cleared up and the roads got really twisty. We continued on that for 90 miles until it connected back with 101 and we headed into the park. Ryan had to take the twists pretty slowly since his rear tire was almost bare. We really have to take care of that tomorrow.

We made it to camp around 9:00 and fortunately still had a bit of light to set up our tents. We got to see some of the Redwoods on our way to the campsite which was really cool. The campsite attendant told us there were bears in the area and whatever had any kind of scent needed to be put in the bear box. We both ate and then quickly decided to head off to bed after another long day… about 14 hours in total.

Random assortment of photos from the day:

Crossing a cool bridge into Oregon


Cannon Beach. Again, with the haze and clouds it wasn't looking as spectacular as it could have but it was still cool


Vista House along 30


Some of the scenery along the Columbia River Gorge


Multnomah Falls. You can't tell from this picture but we might as well have been at Disney World with as many people that were there trying to get photos


Weather is finally clearing up!


Our campsite in Redwoods. There's a much cooler pic from tomorrow in the daylight.


Taking full advantage of the bear box to keep all our gear dry.

All photos can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771135268987832209

July 23 - Heading West

by brandon on Jul 24, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 23, 2012
End Date: Jul 23, 2012
Distance: 500 mi
Rode on:
Rides for this Report:
Soon after we fell asleep last night it seemed like everyone decided to start running around doing stuff and making as much noise as possible. I put some ear plugs in and eventually fell asleep.

I had my alarm set for 6:10am so we could get started early. There was a cool mist surrounding the campground when we woke up. Once again our normal routine of packing up and eating took place. We were on our bikes by about 7:15 and headed out. The original plan was to skirt Redwoods on and ride some gravel and dirt roads and eventually catch up with 299 toward Redding. Since Ryan's tire was essentially shot, we decided to head to Eureka where we found a KTM dealer and try to get Ryan a new tire.

The ride there was extremely cold and foggy. We unfortunately didn't get to see too much of the coast or trees because of the fog. Eventually we made it to Eureka and found the KTM dealer just after they opened at 9am. Fortunately they had a tire that fit the bike and set about replacing it. It didn't take too long and before too long we were out on our way to Redding and eventually Reno.

The cold and fog continued until we finally crossed a high pass on 299 and it seemed like the temperature immediately went up by about 20 degrees. We had been complaining the last week about how cold and damp it had been during the journey and getting blasted with this hot dry heat for an hour or so made us realize that both extremes can be equally bad.

We pulled into Redding and decided to get Wendy's for lunch so we could get some Frosties as well. We decided to go ahead and call ahead and see if we could book a hotel room without just aimlessly riding around Reno trying to find somewhere to stay. I was looking at a map for an REI so we could buy more freeze dried meals and saw there was a Comfort Inn & Suites just around the corner so we called them and got a room. We then drenched ourselves in water to try and cool us down while riding. This helped for a bit until it evaporated and we were stuck sweating in our riding suits again.

By the time we reached Highway 44 it looked like we might hit some rain and sure enough within a few minutes it started to lightly rain on us again. The rain quickly went away for a while and we had more nice riding on 44 then 36 and 395. We fueled up again in Susanville, CA and took a little rest. Ryan's debit card ended up getting declined due to overuse which we thought was strange since we had been using our cards for the last 8 days several times each day. He got it cleared up and we got on our way. There was about 86 miles to go before we reached our hotel. As soon as we got out of Susanville the winds kicked up like crazy. We were riding with side gusts of 30 or 40 miles per hour and we saw some rain off in the distance. For the remainder of the ride into Reno we were either getting blown all over the road by wind or rained on.

Eventually we made it into Reno around 7 and went to REI so we could get more food. We then checked into our hotel, showered, started our laundry and then went to find something to eat. The closest thing was Denny's so we just went there. We were so exhausted we didn't feel like venturing out any further.

We came back and threw our stuff into the dryer and relaxed for a while and worked on this ride report. Our laundry finished and now we're getting ready for bed. Tomorrow is the day we've least been looking forward to the entire trip. Reno to SLC. About 540 miles through a hot dry desert. Additionally we're also going to lose an hour which makes things even worse. We'll see how it goes! We're off to bed now so we can get up early and get going before it's too hot.

Random assortment of photos from the day:

Once again waking up to everything being soaked.


One of my favorite shots from the whole ride so far


Some giant trees in Redwoods National Forest


Yet more fog to contend with and ruin our views


Finally getting Ryan a new tire


What a difference a few miles makes. Extremely hot and no clouds at all


Finally taking a break to remove our rain gear and open all the vents on our riding gear


What's this in the distance? Could it be? More rain? No..... Yes. It's more rain we're getting ready to ride through.


We got to see some rainbows at least


I think we maxed out this poor little luggage cart with all of our panniers and gear.

All photos can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771136535152471457

July 24 - Across the Desert

by brandon on Jul 28, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 24, 2012
End Date: Jul 24, 2012
Distance: 580 mi
Rode on:
Rides for this Report:
Today we woke up around 6am so we could get packed, eat and fuel up before starting the long haul to our campsite east of Salt Lake City. We were on the road around 7:15 and immediately jumped on I-80 East. We would be on this for about 500 miles today in total.

The day started off with nice weather but by the time we stopped for lunch in Elko it was really heating up. We resorted to pouring water into our riding gear in order to cool off while we rode. The water would evaporate pretty quickly which was a shame.

About a half hour west of Wendover the clouds started darkening quickly and it looked like rain. We stopped and zipped up our riding gear and took off. Not 30 seconds later the rain started. It wasn't too heavy and only lasted a little while but this would make it the 10th day in a row we hit some sort of precipitation. We hit a break in the rain when we got to Wendover and had just enough time to fuel up and find a liquor store before the rain hit. If we had been another minute slower we would have been drenched. Fortunately by the time we made it to the salt flats the rain was getting farther and farther behind us.

The last 80 miles or so of the ride seemed to take forever. We finally hit I-215 and made our way to Exit 6 where we would get off and make our way to the campground. We were happy when we rolled into our campsite and it was still daylight. Our long day of riding was complete and the temperatures were quite pleasant. It might not have been our longest distance day, but it was definitely the most monotonous day of the trip so far.

After setting up camp we looked around for some fire wood so we could get a fire going. Some of the empty campsites still had some laying around that we were able to take back to our site. Unfortunately they had some really heavy rains there earlier in the day so everything was wet and hard to start. We tried a few things and finally resorted to dousing it all with some gasoline. That did the trick and we had a nice fire the rest of the night.

For dinner I had some of the Natural High Chicken Pot Pie with Mashed Potatoes and I was blown away with how good it was. Ryan had the Honey Mustard Chicken and said it was pretty good too. We're both extremely exhausted so we're going to head off to bed now. Tomorrow takes us down to Arches National Park where we'll be staying for two nights. The ride is only 250 miles which seems like an extremely short day compared to what we've been doing.

Random assortment of photos from the day:

Just some interstate riding


A pretty cool tunnel along the interstate


The seemingly everpresent rain we run into all the time


Finally off the interstate and onto 190


The campsite at Spruces Campground


Cooling our booze and drinks in the creek. The water was so cold it actually cooled everything down really well.

All photos can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771134346978167905

July 25 - SLC to Moab

by brandon on Jul 28, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 25, 2012
End Date: Jul 25, 2012
Distance: 250 mi
Rode on:
The plan this morning was to wake up whenever we wanted to and take our time since the ride down to Arches National Park was only going to be about 250 miles. Ryan ended up waking up at the crack of dawn and I got up around 7, so we didn't really get to sleep in much. We did take our time getting ready though. After eating we packed up and headed out for some roads we thought were going to be dirt/gravel before hitting Heber, UT.

We ended up getting stopped for one-way construction traffic and had to wait for about 5 minutes for our turn to go. After a few miles we turned off onto some really nice and tight roads that gained quite a bit of elevation. Eventually the road turned to gravel and then eventually some really nasty hardpack that was being worked on. The road turned into some extremely unmaintained asphalt before we finally arrived in Heber.

We made our way through Provo to Highway 6 which we were on all the way until I-70. Another 45 miles or so and we were at Arches National Park. We used Ryan's park pass to get us both in and then went into the visitor center so I could get my national parks passport stamped and we could buy some stickers.

The ride through Arches NP was really nice. The rock formations and sights you can see simply while riding through the park are amazing. There wasn't too much traffic when we were going through which was nice.

It took another 45 minutes or so and we finally made it to our campsite at Devils Garden. By now it was around 3:15 and extremely hot. We quickly set up our tents and tried to stay in what little shade we could find. After relaxing for a bit we decided to have some vodka and go exploring around the campsite.

A little later we saw this big Ryder rental truck pull up to one of the group sites. We couldn't quite tell what was going on but guessed that they were probably setting up stuff for a big group. Sure enough, about an hour or so later this huge tour bus showed up full of high school aged looking kids. We figured they were going to be really loud all night but we lucked out. They did however create quite the line at the water station and restrooms.

Eventually it got dark and we were cool enough that we could finally start dinner. I had the Natural High Spicy Sausage Pasta and Ryan had the Chicken Enchilada. Both of us thought our meals were dull and lacking some flavor so we added a few packets of Taco Bell hot sauce.

We had a little fire and decided we'd head to bed. We were still kinda playing catch up from the last several long days. Tomorrow the plan is to explore Arches and try to do some off road exploring around Moab.

Random assortment of pics from the day:

We started a fire in the morning for a little bit of warmth


Some of the nice views near Heber, UT


Starting to look a little more like the desert


Long, flat, hot and boring areas of Highway 6


Just a few miles outside of Arches National Park


The bikes at our campsite


The view of our campsite from a big rock behind it. I ended up having to move my tent due to all the dripping sap.


The huge tour bus that pulled up and unloaded a ton of kids.


More hiking around behind our campsite

All photos from the day can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771135820831030065

July 26 - Adventures in Moab

by brandon on Jul 28, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 26, 2012
End Date: Jul 26, 2012
Distance: 100 mi
Rode on:
Rides for this Report:
We were hoping to sleep in a bit this morning but between crows squawking, the sun blasting into our tents and other people getting up we woke up around 7. We tried to quickly eat and get ready while it was still a little cooler outside.

We set off to see some of the sights in Arches. The first stop was Landscape Arch. We weren't sure how far away it was from the parking spot so we set off with our full gear on (aside from helmets and gloves) and immediately started to regret that decision. Turns out the arch is a 1.6 mile round trip. It was cool to see it though. We made it back to the bikes and set off to see Delicate Arch. Instead of hiking the distance up to it we opted for the lower viewing area where we could see it from a distance.

While there we ran into another biker and his passenger who had a Victoria, BC patch on his riding vest. We got to talking and it sounded like they were doing a really similar loop to ours, as they were just in Albuquerque a few days ago.

Next to the parking lot for the Delicate Arch viewing area we saw an unmaintained road that said 4x4's only and decided we should go and explore it. The trail was a mix of sandy spots and rocky areas. After a mile or so we decided this isn't the kind of riding we were looking for and turned around. It was a little too rough for our bikes, especially mine with relatively smooth tires.

We headed down into Moab to fuel up and find some food and figure out where to ride next. The couple on the motorcycle we ran into at Delicate Arch had mentioned the Blue Pig as a good BBQ place to eat at so we figured we would try that. We got there and found out they were only open for dinner so we ended up at the Moab Grill instead. The service and food were really good. Both of us got Patty Melts on Texas Toast. We took our time drinking as much water and tea as we could before setting out into the extreme heat again and exploring some dirt roads.

We decided our route would be Cotter Mine Road to Blue Hills road and ride that all the way back to 191. When we got onto Cotter Mine Road we immediately started climbing some really steep and rocky hills. We both looked at each other and though… not this again. Things got better after that initial climb though and we had fun riding around. All in all we spent about 2 hours out there riding around. Neither of us dropped our bikes but both of us had some close calls. Ryan almost went over his handle bars when riding pretty quickly through a dip in the road and hit a hole larger than he was expecting. I had some close calls going through some sand. I also started having issues again with my bike overheating. It seems like when this happens it won't idle and instead the engine simply cuts off. It made it pretty annoying trying to navigate some of the trails to get back to 191. I'll have to look into it when I get home to see what the deal is.

We eventually made it back to 191 and then stopped at a Shell station for something cold to drink and to relax in the shade before heading back to our campsite. We talked to the cashier for a bit about some of his journeys on an old BMW and told him about our ride so far. We finished our drinks and set off for the campground. Riding through the park took a lot longer this time because we got stuck behind an RV that simply wouldn't pull over. We were stuck behind them all the way to our campsite.

We got back and doused ourselves with water and are now just relaxing in the shade waiting for it to cool down. All of our booze is extremely hot so we'll probably pass on that tonight and wait until tomorrow night in Aspen where it's supposed to be a lot colder.

Random assortment of pics from the day:

Walking around Arches


Landscape Arch in Devil’s Garden


Delicate Arch from the lower viewing point. In our full gear we didn’t feel like doing the full 1.5 mile hike each way to see it up close.


Moab Grill where we had good patty melts for lunch



Stopped half way through our offroading and snapped a few shots of the bikes.

Getting stuck behind a camper for 15 miles going as slow as possible. All we wanted to do was get to our campsite and wash off

All photos can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771136160744371697

July 27 - More Rain in Aspen

by brandon on Jul 28, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 27, 2012
End Date: Jul 27, 2012
Distance: 257 mi
Rode on:
Rides for this Report:
We had been sleeping with our rain flies off our tents since it's been so hot. Last night we were woken up in the middle of the night by rain drops coming through our tents and hitting us. We got up and put the rain flies on our tents and heard other people doing the same. We couldn't believe that even being in the middle of the desert we still couldn't get away from the rain.

We woke up around 7, ate and got our bikes and set off so we could try to beat some of the heat on the way to Aspen. It started heating up really quick. By the time we stopped for fuel and food in Grand Junction we were ready for the day to be over. We checked the weather and saw that it was supposed to be thunder storming around Aspen and the exit we needed off of I-70.

We got back on the road and sure enough, right around the time we reached our exit off of I-70 it started to rain. We pulled into a gas station to fuel up and get some gatorade to mix our booze with later tonight. As soon as we headed out of Glenwood Springs on 82 the skies opened up and it poured on us for about a half hour.

Eventually we made it to the Difficult Campground and pulled up to the host campsite to figure out where we were supposed to go. The guy who was in the RV didn't know anything about what was going on and told us to find a lady riding around on a golf cart and she could check us in. We did a loop of the campground and finally found the lady but she couldn't find our reservation anywhere in her little notebook. Ryan told her he had a reservation number so she looked through her book again and found us. We had to fill out a bunch of information we had already filled out online and finally made it to our site.

When we got to the site, we quickly set up our tents before the rain started too hard. We threw all of our stuff in the bear box so it wouldn't get wet in the rain. After that we started mixing the gatorade with the remaining vodka we had. The Svedka Clementine flavored vodka mixed with orange gatorade tastes really really good we found out. After drinking for a bit we had dinner. Almost immediately after finishing dinner it started to rain so we decided just to head into our tents. It was about 8:15pm at this point so we figured that wasn't too bad. Also, it isn't about 90 degrees out like it had been the last couple of nights in Moab. This is the last night of camping and of course it had to be in the rain. At least tomorrow we head back to Denver where we can take a real shower and sleep in real beds again.

Random assortment of pics for the day:

Finally made it to Colorado


At the campground in Aspen

All photos for the day can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771134255051776785

July 28 - Aspen to Denver

by brandon on Jul 28, 2012
Ride Dates:
Start Date: Jul 28, 2012
End Date: Jul 28, 2012
Distance: 163 mi
Rode on:
We woke up again today to more rain. We finally were able to drag ourselves out of our tents around 7 so we could get everything packed up again and set out. We didn't even eat this morning because sitting around for an extra half hour in the rain didn't sound to appealing.

We headed out of our campsite around 7:50am and got back on 82 and headed toward Independence Pass. It immediately started dropping in temperature as we gained elevation. Ryan said at the coldest point it reached 48 degrees which is quite the difference from high 90's and low 100's we experienced over the last few days. We made it over Independence Pass and down toward Leadville. The temps started slowly warming up and by the time we made it to I-70 things were tolerable again.

Being Saturday, there wasn't really too much traffic and we made it to Denver quickly. We made it back to Ryan's place where we both took showers and then went out to eat. The rest of the night will be filled with editing photos that we will upload to our ride reports.

I head back to Albuquerque tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to being off of my bike for a while.

Random assortment of pics for the day:

Nearing Independence Pass


Some nice riding on the decent from Independence Pass


Made it back to Ryan's house in one piece!

All photos for the day can be found here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/103728474652800767702/albums/5771134309305590065
Recent Activity on IncrediRides.com

Fuelups

DVC86 added a 39.7 MPG fuel-up for a 1998 ST2
Fueled-up on November 12, 2014
Sosa added a 40.2 MPG fuel-up for a 1997 Magna
Fueled-up on November 8, 2014
Sosa added a 43.5 MPG fuel-up for a 1997 Magna
Fueled-up on November 7, 2014
DVC86 added a 44.7 MPG fuel-up for a 1998 ST2
Fueled-up on November 3, 2014

Motorcycles

Ride Reports

Ride Report by Ryan on July 15, 2013
Ride Report by spyderwolf66 on May 17, 2013

Forum Threads

by working57 on September 25, 2014