July 12, 2006 GMT
Moab back home to Texas

7-6-06

It rained a litle overnight, so I had to pack up soggy gear to get going in the morning.

7-6-06 start 50,264 end 50,675

It rained a litle overnight, so I had to pack up soggy gear to get going in the morning. Headed south on 191 and east on Utah 46. I was trying to find a low traffic route east into Colorado, and this one went just south of the LaSal mountain range. You climb up out of the valley 191 runs in and at the CO border the road turns into CO 90. This road runs through a huge valley beside a river, with red rock cliffs on both sides. I tried to take what my map showed as old 90 over a mountain range, it was shown as gravel on my map. I met some guys running graders, doing road maintenance, and they told me the gravel turned into dirt a few miles up the road and I wouldn't make it. Being stubborn, I ignored that warning and went ahead. When the gravel ran out, I didn't make it a quarter mile before the dirt/clay packed up between my front wheel and fender and locked the wheel, which made for a very interesting couple of seconds. So I turned around and went back, about 20 miles to the paved road. I think the road grader guys laughed when they saw me come back through. I then crossed the mountain range on the paved road and came out on 550 just south of Ridgway. Took 550 north to US 50, then east through Gunnison, and over 2 more passes and past a huge reservoir, formed by a dam in the Black Canyon. Turned north on CO 24 to Leadvile and the Horizons rally site.

I found the place without any trouble and there were probably 20 tents set up and a MASH syle tent for a pavilion. Within 2 hours I had met a couple people who I had met at HU Mexico meets in the past. Jeremiah, who left Mexico last fall and headed south. He left his bike in, I think Brazil, and is currently planning when he can get back to finish his trip, as he came back to the States to work for the summer. Also, Chris who had done a multi year round the world trip with his wife Erin (ultimatejourney.com). Chris and Erin had made some stickers up to give to people they met on there trip, and I had seen one on the toolbox of the BMW mechanic at the dealership in San Jose, Costa Rica. It didn't mean anything to me at the time, but a year later in Mexico at the HU meet, I met Chris. Erin is here with him this time in Colorado.

An American guy did a hilarious slide show of a trip he took on his Harley to the mid east in '05. Started in Germany and went through Czech Republic, Romania, Turkey, Syria, Israel, and I forget where else. No serious problems, except for almost getting run over by Porsches on the Autobahn.

7-7-06 start 50,675 end 50,874

Got a little rain over night, but nothing serious. Went to town for breakfast and came back to figure out what to do for the day. There was a ride over Mosquito pass, which I have never done, but is supposed to be pretty hairy. Another, less severe but still rough ride was going over another pass, while Erin, who was leading a women's only ride tomorrow wanted to scout the route ahead of time. Since I am here on my Concours, I was relegated to the girly ride. (Oooh, I'm in trouble now..) We reasoned that if I could make it on the Concours, beginning riders on dual sports should be able to do it. It ended up being a great ride over a pass and through an old mining town, with some views of 14,000 foot peaks on the way. I wouldn't have wanted to do anything real much rougher, but it ended up being totally doable on a street bike. After we got back, I decided I would ride over Indenpendence pass to Aspen, and see how the beautiful people live. The ride over the pass is incredible (I keep saying that, don't I), it's asphalt, but at times goes down to one lane with wide spots for passing oncoming traffic. Aspen is about what I expected it to be. I have been to Jackson Wyoming several yimes, an it reminded me of that. The town is in a beautiful spot, but is restricted from growing by the valley it sits in. Naturaly, this drives up property values to the point of ridiculousness. Lots of Range Rovers driven by good looking women, in a high maintenance, trophy wife kid of way. Unfortunately, I had to come back the same way, and it was raining by that time. You have to expect to have some rain in the afternoon in the mountains, but this was turning into an all day soaker. I was going to take some pictures on the way back, but the rain ended that. Got back to camp and did the normal picture show, and beer around the campfire thing.

7-8-06 start 50,874 end 50,884

It rained. I sat in my tent and read a book. It rained. I went to town and ate breakfast and did my laundry. It rained. I went back to the camp ground and stood under a tarp and talked about motorcycles. It rained. Did I mention it rained?

Ok, I copped an attitude for a while there, but the weather has just sucked. Now it's later and it's not raining. We had a presentaion by Chris Jones tonight, who is doing the Dakar rally as a privateer in January. For those that don't know, the Dakar is the Indy 500 of desert racing, held in northern Africa every year. Really fascinating insight into what really goes into preparing for something like that. For instance, the event is so grueling that 1/3 of the support trucks routinely fail to finish. Watch for him in the results.

This was followed by Lawrence, an Irish guy who is on a round the world trip, who did a little show on the portion of his trip across east Europe and the former USSR. He is probably in his 60's and rode all the way across, including the Zilov Gap, which is the part Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman took the train around in "Long Way Round". And he did it on a Honda ST1100 which is very similar in concept to my Concours.

7-9-06 start 50,884 end 51,551

Got up in the morning and guess what? No rain. Spent an hour or 2 helping tear down the big tent, and then the rain started again. I figured I had done my civic duty by that time and packed up and left. As I was leaving the Ryder truck they used to haul all the gear out wouldn't start, but I left anyway. I assume they got it going one way or another. I'm not sorry I went, but I have to say, I prefer the set up for the Mexico meeting better. There you at least have a real meeting hall for presentations and a bar to sit in if the weather isn't cooperating. Here you had to go to town if you wanted anything, and I think there was more interaction between rally goers in Mexico.

Rode south for hours in the rain. I'm realy sick of that word. I was going to take a route through Taos and southeast from there to meet up with I-40 at Tucumcari, but the cops had the road to Taos blocked off. I stopped and asked the sheriff's deputies what was up, and they said there was 8 feet of water on the road up ahead. Needless to say I didn't go to Taos. I was peretty disgusted, so I just got on the bike and rode all day, hardly stopped for anything except gas, and made it al the way to Pecos TX, where I got my second motel room of the trip. At least I got a chance to spread out al my gear inside and let it dry. Oh, the rain did quit as soon as I crossed I-40, so it didn't rain all day, at least.

7-10-06 start 51,551 end 52,032

Not too much to say today. I was on the home stretch, and pretty much just slept late, gassed up, and rode home. Took US 90, just to stay off the interstate. The Pecos river had more water in it than I have ever seen, although I haven't been here that long. Stopped in Langtry to take a look at the Judge Roy Bean tourist trap. The judge sounded almost corrupt enough to fit in with todays politicians. Got home about 6 pm.

Posted by Andy Tiegs at July 12, 2006 05:40 AM GMT
 



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