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Old 07-20-2005, 04:16 PM   #1
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Trip Report: Lost in the Desert 2005

Day 1 - Pacifica, CA to Ely, NV

I spent the better part of the prior night cleaning my house, in spite of all my stuff being in boxes so my landlord could show the place while I was gone. Didn't get to bed till 1:00 am, but still managed to be out of bed by 5:30 AM for my 6:30 AM departure. Alright, so I didn't get out of the house till just before 7:00 AM, the important thing was that I got to the Lyons restaurant in Manteca a mere five minutes late. Becca and Tom were already there and didn't look as though they'd been waiting too long, so I didn't feel bad for being late.

We had a small breakfast and discussed whether to take Sonora or Tioga pass. Tioga sounded the better deal, in spite of the possible traffic snare that it can be, so we opted to take that route. And it was a great decision, as the only traffic snarl was getting into the park and getting gas inside the park. Outside of that, it was smooth sailing and some beautiful vistas!

Half Dome from a random pull-out.



More Yosemite Valley from same pull out.



Weird rocks rock!



Becca and Tom, too cool for school.



Becca at the Yosemite gas station saying, "Why yes, I do kick ass . . . How kind of you to ask."



After we exited the park, we stopped for lunch at a gas station on the corner of 120 and 395. Becca and Tom were both convinced that this was a good idea, while had some serious reservations against it, going on prior gas-station cuisine experiences.

Man was I surprised when I dug into my plate of lobster taquitos at the Gas Mart -- they were superb! It was shocking to find such gourmet faire at a service station.

After lunch, we gassed up and hit the road. There was still some twistification to be had after extiting the park, and Tom and I took care to savor it properly. This gave us a little time down the road to set up get pics of Becca as she came down the road. Or, in my case, to get pics of Tom getting pics of Becca coming down the road.



After a bit, we picked up Hwy 6 to make the long diagonal journey across Nevada. First "big" town we came across was Tonopah, where we stopped at a local McDonalds for some ice cream and the hopes of air conditioning. Unfortunately, they weren't much into running the air that day, so the ice cream had to suffice.

I found Tonopah to be a bit scary, but that's mostly because I don't like clowns . . .



After Tonopah, the nearest ANYTHING is the Blackrock Station, a lonely little gas station out in the middle of nowhere. Because the tanks on Tom's bike and Mine are *maybe* good for 165 miles from full to fumes, and the distance from Tonopah to Ely was ~170 miles, we thought it a good idea to pay the good folks at the station a visit. Fortunately for us, they were there that evening.



The lonely road that leads up to the Blackrock Station:



The station in its entirety:



. . .

Last edited by Deeter; 07-20-2005 at 05:10 PM..
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Old 07-20-2005, 04:17 PM   #2
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I thought that the next 75 miles was going to be like the 75 prior, straight and relatively boring, but boy was I wrong. The elevation got higher, the temeperature cooled more, and the road got more twistified. It turned out to be a really nice way to end the day's longish ride.

But then we got greeted by this jackass:



Fortunately, though there was a BARF salute in one hand, there was a frosty Dos Equis (sp?) in the other, and that made everything oooookay.

Becca was so excited about being at our destination, she decided to do the Happy Dance on her tent stake.



There was some mention of getting some kind of limo service to a restaurant in town, so we decided to explore that option. Boy were we surprised when an actual limo pulled into the KOA parking lot!

Steve showing his BARF spirit, Sally showing restraint:



Becca, "I will not smile, I will not smile, I will . . ."



"Ooops, I smiled"



We had half-assed dinner at the half-assed casino, but it didnt' matter, because the company was first rate, and we had a great first day!

Later that night, however, the cold that my family members had been dealing with, the one that I had been ducking for three weeks, finally caught up with me in the night. Damnit!
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Old 07-20-2005, 04:34 PM   #3
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Day 2: Ely, NV to Moab, UT

I spent the better part of the morning clearing out the head-munge that had built up in my sinuses the night before, muttering under my breath about how pissed I was going to be if this was to be de rigeur for the trip's entirety. But everything was okay once I got an eyeful of hot, wet, moose at the local Mickey D's.



The bikes on display outside the Ely McDonalds.



After fueling up both the bikes and our stomachs, we said goodbye to Becca, who was off to do her own adventure and we all hit the road. Unfortuantely, most of the road for this day, looked a lot like this one:



Lots of looong boring straights. I was wondering if routing so much of this trip through Utah was such a good idea.

About mid-day, we made a stop at the same gas station that Sally, Steve, and I all stopped at two years ago on our way to Arkansas. Last time through, shortly before we got to this gas station, Steve, had broken his ankle trying to showboat on a local salt-flat, and Jim, one of our other traveling companions, decided he wanted to see what motorcycle looked like with the shiny side down, next to the same damned salt flat.

Needless to say, we all averted our eyes away from that evil salt flat, on our way into town. I tried to get a photo of it while still moving, but unfortunately, the card I was using ran out of space and I couldn't switch till we go to the gas station.

Sally at the gas station, showing how jealous she was that she wasn't riding in Yamaha style.



Steve insisting that I bring him the can of Chain Wax. It was too sunny for me to walk alllllll the way out there!



After much ado and a lot of straight-line droning, we pulled into Moab, UT around dinner time. Fortunately, Moab was packed with outdoorsman stores, so I was able to get a replacement Camelbak bladder, since, like the douchebag that I am, I forgot my bladder in the freezer at home.

Steve had his though, and liked to rub it in any chance he got!



We ended up staying at the Canyonlands RV Park inside of Moab proper. It turned out to be a really nice facility, even in spite of the fact that the tent area was on semi-gravel surface.



Once we got camp setup, we coordinated with Tom and agreed to walk toward one another, us from our campsite, and him from his hotel, and we would meet in the middle for dinner.

Well, we walked about a third of the distance between our campsite and Tom's hotel when Sally decided she had had enough walking. Fortunately, she chose the spot where most of the restaurants were anyway, and that's where we met Tom.

Dinner was served at a local place called Eddie McStiffs. We had some beers and some pretty decent food and then went our separate ways for the night.

Last edited by Deeter; 07-20-2005 at 05:14 PM..
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Old 07-20-2005, 04:42 PM   #4
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Day 3: Moab, UT to Pagosa Springs, CO

Since this was to be our shortest day of the trip, we knew we had some time to take in the sites at nearby Arches National Park. This officially marked the beginning of the "Omigod, this place is beautiful!" part of the trip. (It's amazing how many times that phrase got uttered in reference to things in Utah!)

Here we are after just crossing the gate into Arches:



Once we got up the side of the cliffs and into the park, we took the first turnout to talk about what we wanted to see inside the park.

This was the first view we saw at that turnout:



Artsy fartsy:



We decided we'd stop at the North Window arch and have a look around, and on the way there, we saw this oddity:



Upon arrival at the turnout for North Window, we de-geared and began to look around. The first thing I saw was this arch that was paltry enough that it didn't even have a name.



Rocks behind the path to North Window:



North Window:



Closer:



Neighboring South Window:

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Old 07-20-2005, 05:01 PM   #5
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North Window:



Utah skyline:



I see Tom, but where the hell is Steve. If only he hadn't worn that camo t-shirt . . .



After Arches, we hit the road again, destination Colorado. When I charted the route though CO, I was soooo excited at all the twisty little squiggles that were on the map -- I had figured the whole day was going to be a motorcycle wonderland. I turned out to be half right . . .

The roads out of Moab and leading up to US 550 in Colorado were the highlight of the day. As you first enter Colorado, you end up zooming through miles and miles of beautiful canyon twisties. And then one the canyon opens up and the road straightens out, you find yourself in Bedrock, CO at the Bedrock Store. (Notice my biohazard suit hanging on the side of the store? )



Steve pulling up to the store:



Sally inviting us to kiss her ass if we thought we were going to make her ride on the gravel:



Notice Tom's bike at the edge of the road, too. Damn, it's good to be tall!

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Old 07-20-2005, 05:01 PM   #6
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Tom chatted up the shopkeeper a bit, something he excelled at with anyone and everyone, to find that the Bedrock Store had been featured in quite a few films, the most famous of which being "Thelma and Louise". (I plan to go back and watch that movie to see if I recognize it.)

They had a real, honest to God outhouse there, so I had to use it. I think I'll stick to peeing on bushes from here on out, thanyouverymuch . . .

Another few dozen miles or so and we were treated to our first view of the Colorado Rockies!



"Don't have mountins like this in Ireland!"



Unfortunately, what I thought was going to be the highlight of the day, namely the trip south on Hwy 550 turned out to be a bit of a disappointment thanks to large numbers of slackjawed tourists driving the road at a fraction of posted speed limit.

Things got particularly hectice when we got stuck behind two lumber trucks that were lumbering their way up the hill. Fortunately, Tom and I were able to get around them and take in some of the road in an unobstructed manner.

At the end of 550, we stopped in Durango to regroup and fill up. It was decided at that point that Sally, Steve, and I weren't going to camp, and would instead check into the hotel where Tom was planning to stay. It was at that exact moment that camping was done for on this trip and all that camping gear just ended up being dead weight! :

Once we got to Pagosa Springs, we checked into our hotel as I was starting to feel as though I had a full blown flu about to come on. We went to the neighboring Mexican restaurant and had beer and some damned fine Chile Rellenos. Although neither of those things helped my cold any, they were still mighty fine.

Back to the hotel for some more moto-related jabbering then off to bed.
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Old 07-20-2005, 05:02 PM   #7
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Okay . . . I'll post more pics and story later. This gets tiring!
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Old 07-20-2005, 06:07 PM   #8
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Very nice writeup and pics

I miss Arches/Canyonlands National parks Last time I took an extended tour of southern Utah when I was taking time off from work. Now I live vicariously through adventures of folks like yourself.
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Old 07-20-2005, 06:30 PM   #9
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Nice!

Next year I'll make it, I promise!
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Old 07-20-2005, 06:40 PM   #10
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Now I am jealous.
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Old 07-20-2005, 07:42 PM   #11
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Scott.... Are you back? We would love to have dinner with you and hear about the trip. Let Tyler and I know
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:49 PM   #12
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Scott.... Are you back? We would love to have dinner with you and hear about the trip. Let Tyler and I know
He was at the P&W this evening. Where where you?
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:58 PM   #13
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He was at the P&W this evening. Where where you?
having a nice dinner and cosmos at home... with a nice soaking in my tub where were you
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Old 07-20-2005, 10:05 PM   #14
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having a nice dinner and cosmos at home... with a nice soaking in my tub where were you
Scott was my bitch.
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Old 07-20-2005, 10:09 PM   #15
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it was worth it
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