July 06, 2006 GMT
Portland to Moab

6-24-06 start 48,154 end 48,737

Left Stanley on ID hwy 21, a great road that goes over two big mountain passes

6-24-06 start 48,154 end 48,737

Left Stanley on ID hwy 21, a great road that goes over two big mountain passes on its' way to meet I-84 near Boise. Lots of 25 mph curves so slow going. Realy makes me realize I live in the wrong part of the country for remote exploring. As big as Texas is, there is very little public land. From S. Dakota al the way to Oregon there is unlimited oportunity for dirt road exploring. Of course I haven't been able to do too much, since I'm on a road bike, and although it seems like I should have all the time in the world, I do have places I need to be. With that in mind, the rest of the day was pretty much just a high speed blast west on I-84 to my brother's place in Portland. Nearly a 600 mile day, and the first 150 was slow.

6-25 to 7-2-06

For the motocentric reader, there isn't much to tell here. I spent a week at my brother's place, and my Mom and my 11 year old nephew flew out from WI to meet us. Spent the week visiting with my 14 month old niece, who I had never met. Went bicycling, went to the beach, went to some waterfalls, to the movies, out to eat, to some brew pubs, to a rodeo, and all that kind of thing. Moto content: I washed my bike and changed the oil. But speaking of the bike, I don't know how it could have performed any better. All I have done to it, in 4400 miles, is put gas in it and check the oil and tire pressures. There was about 4600 miles on this oil, and it used maybe 1/2 a pint in all that time. Maybe I'll get 100,000 miles out of this one.

7-3-06 start 48,767 end 49,248

Left Portland about 10, after my brother took my Mom and nephew to the airport. Went south on I-5 to Salem, then east on OR-22 to Bend and south to Klamath Falls. It's been really hot out here and I was trying to stay up in the foothills of the Cascades to stay cool. I'm wearing a 3/4 length First Gear Cordura jacket, and that is OK till mid afternoon, then I have to take it off. Up to now I would have been OK with my mesh jacket, but Colorado is still to come, so I might be glad yet that I took this one. I gravel rashed my calf and palm of my hand trying to show my nephew how to wheelie a mountain bike, so I got a little reminder of why we wear protective gear. Right now I am southeast of Lakeview OR, probably very close to where OR, CA, and NV meet. I know, if I had a GPS I would know for sure. Anyway, I left OR hwy 140 that I was on to go up a gravel Forest Service road to find a campsite, when I started seeing ribbons and arrows from what I assume was a recent mountain bike race. I kept going, thinking there might be an after race party with naked mountain biker chicks dancing around a bonfire or something, but at the end of the road there was just an empty camp ground. Bummer. 12 miles of dusty gravel put the kibash on the wash job on the bike, but at least I got a free campsite out of it.

7-4-06 start 49,248 end 49,879

Rode the 12 miles back out to the paved highway, Oregon 140. This is a great road that goes over several 6,500 foot passes before dropping into Nevada. This country is dry, with hills and views I would think of in Utah or Arizona, not Oregon. Having seen "The World's Fastest Indian" recently, I wanted to stop by the Bonneville Salt Flats, and see what I could see. I have driven through on I-80 before, but never stopped to see the racetrack. I ended up talking to a guy riding a Guzzi California at a gas station, and he convinced me to go south to US 50. Besides, I am going to the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, which is supposed to blow the doors of Bonnevile. He was right, this road goes through the Great Basin, which is a bowl maybe 250 miles in diameter that doesn't drain to one of the oceans. Naturally in a wetter climate this would be a huge lake, but now there are lots of dry lakebeds in the bottom. Be prepared out here, there were several stretches where it was 120 miles or more between any significant civilization. Around 7 I took a dirt road on some BLM land to see if i could find a campsite. After a few miles, I could see a dry lake ahead, so I kept going till I got to a place I could bushwhack out to the lake surface. The lake had to be 4 or 5 miles in diameter and hard packed. Not completly smooth though, the way it cracked when in dried left it about like a cobblestone street. Easy to ride on though. I resisted the urge to open up the Concours and see what it would do, but I went 60 or so and I'm sure I could have gone 120 no problem. There is the matter of being by myself, miles and miles from anything though. I camped near a probably 50 foot high rock "island" in the middle. I know, I know, I need to post the pictures.

7-5-06 start 48,879 end 50,264

I am now 4 for 4 with Moab, I have been here 4 times and it has rained 4 times. It is raining now and raining hard. This is supposed to be a desert.

I rode US50 to I-70 and then took Utah 24 through Capitol Reef Nat. Park, which I had never been to. Similar land forms to the Moab area, but higher elevation and therefore greener and cooler. Lots of riding areas around Torrey that look like they would be good for mountain bikes or dirt bikes. The trouble with these trips is you come back with too many ideas for where to go next time.

I now appreciate how much time the Interstate system saves. It has taken me 3 full days to get here from Portland. Well, I got here at 3 today. Obviously I have taken some detours and indirect routes, but this type of trip easily adds 50 % to my travel time. Not that this is bad or good, just something to consider when planning. I thought I would have time to rent a mountain bike on this leg of the trip, but the Horizons meet starts tomorrow, and I'm still 300 miles away, so I will have to hustle tomorrow too.

Posted by Andy Tiegs at July 06, 2006 02:13 AM GMT

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