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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, the disclaimer:

Warning: amateur swill ahead

Travel accounts from professional journalists, specifically professional moto-journalists don’t inspire me. They interest me, make me wish I could do likewise, but they don’t inspire me. Congratulations to those that have combined the work, education and talent to make a living as a writer, rider, explorer, photographer. Your stuff will be, and should be better than my friends and mine. But, following adventures of people on bikes on loan from a manufacturer, in gear under review, on a magazine’s per diem, and on time that is or will be paid for doesn’t inspire me. It’s the amateur stuff that inspires me. Show me that special trip on a not so new machine, that you planned, prepared for, and executed all while being a productive member of society in a separate career, and that will make me wish I could do likewise AND make me think I CAN do likewise. That’s inspiration. Where do I find the kind of amateur swill that makes me want to get out and go? Places like here, of course.

Now let’s get started

We took our first big motorcycle trip in 2017, to Tyler’s YFO. Enjoyed that so much we did Ray’s Reuben Run in 2018. We laid low in 2019 and missed the adventure something awful, so in 2020 we set our sights on John’s Red Lodge Rendezvous. Covid scuttled that.
All three big trips had some southern Utah in the plan but, snow hung around, stuff broke, viruses spread, plans changed and we have seen none of southern Utah.

So we decided to go for a ride in 2021. No “official” rallies lined up with my vacation schedule so we could start planning with a clean slate. Our route/plan for 2020 Red Lodge was a good one though. What the heck, let’s do Red Lodge 2020 better late than never. Maybe we can do something about those white states in the process.













As far as planning goes, I live on the over prepping side of the spectrum. Reservations made far in advance for nearly every night of the trip. It’s not work. It’s more like another hobby. Motorcycle touring leads to collateral pursuits. M/C repair, camping, photography, writing. If the trick is to dabble in all and master none, I’m on it. There’s no TV series that I will likely ever binge. The TV may be on in the background but my focus will be toggling Basecamp and Google Earth. Part of my plan includes the likelihood that a couple campsite reservation fees will be wasted when plans change. If I was travelling with the guys or solo I might not be as picky about where I spent the night.

Mrs1911 takes a simpler approach. Ask The Creator’s grace and protection each morning, give thanks each evening.
Her plan can be the only way to explain how this trip got past day 1.

After the slightly unnerving 2018 wheel bearing seizure on the Bushtec in Winnemucca I made it a habit to lift each side of the trailer and check for wheel bearing play at each stop. Also, this trip started with fresh bearings and tires and a hand full of spares.

Lunch break Sunday, day 1, finds us alongside The Ocoee River just past the site of the Atlanta Summer Olympic Whitewater event venue, about 200 miles into a three week trip. After we eat, almost as an afterthought this early in the game, I lift the left side of the trailer, wiggle the wheel and the whole damn thing comes off the axle. Both bearings have disintegrated and spun the nut off the axle. The road along the Ocoee is curvy and fun, but the pavement is a little rough in places. With the FJR two up and bags loaded the trailer doesn’t hamper acceleration or handling as much as you might think. Stopping distance it does. Riding the river has been fun. I may have felt a little vibration from the back end, but I thought it was just some rough road. Maralee’s plan is all I can credit for not losing a wheel at a very bad time. We discuss omens and bailing on the trip, but press on.

A little after passing through Hiawassee GA it is time to fill up. Station after station is out of gas. We take several detours with no luck. Finally there is a place near Murphy, with a trooper parked out front and a 10 gallon limit, that has fuel. We discuss omens and bailing again. We have enough fuel to get us out of the Colonial Pipeline serviced area and decide to……..press on. I’ll save my favorite Josey Wales reference for later.

TN 30-WOW!

One pic taken on day one route, Ocoee River lunch stop.



Monday morning day 2. Kenlake SP, near Land Between the Lakes KY. Nice spot as long as you don’t want to sleep in. The water carries the noise from the road quite well. Harley pipes and dump trucks rattling over the bridge. We’re not sleeping in anyway and we’ll do much, much better later.





While Maralee fixes breakfast I fix wheel bearings. The bearing issue could be its own thread. I call Bushtec and have more bearings and spacers shipped to our planned campsite a couple days down the road.





More to come
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
First, the disclaimer:



Warning: amateur swill ahead



Travel accounts from professional journalists, specifically professional moto-journalists don’t inspire me. They interest me, make me wish I could do likewise, but they don’t inspire me. Congratulations to those that have combined the work, education and talent to make a living as a writer, rider, explorer, photographer. Your stuff will be, and should be better than my friends and mine. But, following adventures of people on bikes on loan from a manufacturer, in gear under review, on a magazine’s per diem, and on time that is or will be paid for doesn’t inspire me. It’s the amateur stuff that inspires me. Show me that special trip on a not so new machine, that you planned, prepared for, and executed all while being a productive member of society in a separate career, and that will make me wish I could do likewise AND make me think I CAN do likewise. That’s inspiration. Where do I find the kind of amateur swill that makes me want to get out and go? Places like here, of course.



Now let’s get started



We took our first big motorcycle trip in 2017, to Tyler’s YFO. Enjoyed that so much we did Ray’s Reuben Run in 2018. We laid low in 2019 and missed the adventure something awful, so in 2020 we set our sights on John’s Red Lodge Rendezvous. Covid scuttled that.

All three big trips had some southern Utah in the plan but, snow hung around, stuff broke, viruses spread, plans changed and we have seen none of southern Utah.



So we decided to go for a ride in 2021. No “official” rallies lined up with my vacation schedule so we could start planning with a clean slate. Our route/plan for 2020 Red Lodge was a good one though. What the heck, let’s do Red Lodge 2020 better late than never. Maybe we can do something about those white states in the process.



























As far as planning goes, I live on the over prepping side of the spectrum. Reservations made far in advance for nearly every night of the trip. It’s not work. It’s more like another hobby. Motorcycle touring leads to collateral pursuits. M/C repair, camping, photography, writing. If the trick is to dabble in all and master none, I’m on it. There’s no TV series that I will likely ever binge. The TV may be on in the background but my focus will be toggling Basecamp and Google Earth. Part of my plan includes the likelihood that a couple campsite reservation fees will be wasted when plans change. If I was travelling with the guys or solo I might not be as picky about where I spent the night.



Mrs1911 takes a simpler approach. Ask The Creator’s grace and protection each morning, give thanks each evening.

Her plan can be the only way to explain how this trip got past day 1.



After the slightly unnerving 2018 wheel bearing seizure on the Bushtec in Winnemucca I made it a habit to lift each side of the trailer and check for wheel bearing play at each stop. Also, this trip started with fresh bearings and tires and a hand full of spares.



Lunch break Sunday, day 1, finds us alongside The Ocoee River just past the site of the Atlanta Summer Olympic Whitewater event venue, about 200 miles into a three week trip. After we eat, almost as an afterthought this early in the game, I lift the left side of the trailer, wiggle the wheel and the whole damn thing comes off the axle. Both bearings have disintegrated and spun the nut off the axle. The road along the Ocoee is curvy and fun, but the pavement is a little rough in places. With the FJR two up and bags loaded the trailer doesn’t hamper acceleration or handling as much as you might think. Stopping distance it does. Riding the river has been fun. I may have felt a little vibration from the back end, but I thought it was just some rough road. Maralee’s plan is all I can credit for not losing a wheel at a very bad time. We discuss omens and bailing on the trip, but press on.



A little after passing through Hiawassee GA it is time to fill up. Station after station is out of gas. We take several detours with no luck. Finally there is a place near Murphy, with a trooper parked out front and a 10 gallon limit, that has fuel. We discuss omens and bailing again. We have enough fuel to get us out of the Colonial Pipeline serviced area and decide to……..press on. I’ll save my favorite Josey Wales reference for later.



TN 30-WOW!



One pic taken on day one route, Ocoee River lunch stop.







Monday morning day 2. Kenlake SP, near Land Between the Lakes KY. Nice spot as long as you don’t want to sleep in. The water carries the noise from the road quite well. Harley pipes and dump trucks rattling over the bridge. We’re not sleeping in anyway and we’ll do much, much better later.











While Maralee fixes breakfast I fix wheel bearings. The bearing issue could be its own thread. I call Bushtec and have more bearings and spacers shipped to our planned campsite a couple days down the road.











More to come
 

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Such a great trip he did it twice ;)! No worries, I've merged and cleaned up for you.

Epic adventure! Good on yoose guys!!
 

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He must have a TON of vacation to do THAT trip twice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Day two is for crossing Missouri. It goes smoother than day one but there are still a few ups and downs.

Up-we get to witness this standoff as we cross big rivers at Cairo.



Down-when I lower the windshield and tell Maralee to duck she goes full buzkill. Maybe that is her super power. No Griswold in her at all. I couldn’t believe that the F150 thought they had a chance. The driver backed straight up a little but then over to one side and stopped. There was obviously not enough room for the sprayer to pass. The truck doors open and I think we are about to be entertained. Then the girl driving and the guy on the passenger side trade places and he backs the pickup all the way down the bridge.

Up-It sprinkles on us a little as we look around at The Fort Jefferson Memorial Cross at the Confluence, but not enough to don the raingear.



Down-I forget to photograph the dash as my bike turns 100K in eastern MO.

Up-We get west of Branson with zero interstate and without going through Branson. There are some pretty good thunderstorms in the area but we detour around them and enjoy some fine, roller coaster weightless moment style hills and curves on some alphabet roads in southwest MO on our way to Roaring River State Park. I love my GPS!

Down-signal choice!

A couple weeks prior to our trip RRSP had made the national news when it about got washed away. There were still signs of damage but the park was up and running. We’ve got our tent up and dinner started when we here the siren. When I was a 4th grader in California this siren was an air raid drill. In upstate SC this siren means something has gone wrong and Oconee Nuclear Station. Or maybe tornado. Keep in mind we have just dodged some t-storms, we can look around and see damage from the last storms and we are squarely in tornado alley. The couple camping next to us notices how much we notice the siren. They tell us not to worry, it is just the “stop fishing” signal. They are better folk than me. I’d have let the out-of-towners sweat it out a little, maybe had a little fun with them first.

Up-roaring river white noise great for sleeping.

Down-now is when I start using a lot of short video clips to illustrate. If you don’t like video, you might like the rest of this ride report.

There is a massive spring and a trout hatchery upstream from the campground, so we went upriver to study the circle of life.

Imagine how beautiful this was before it got industrialized


People feeding fish


Fish feeding people







It does get better as we get wester
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Day 3 of 22. Time to cover some ground and see some new stuff. We’ve got a campsite reserved at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, a little southeast of Amarillo TX, and we are looking forward to or first ride into Texas.

Pleasant backroads take us out of southwest Missouri. We do a little bit of city driving crossing Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, then we enjoy cruising through the Osage Hills in eastern Oklahoma, before settling in for a little droning. Can’t describe it any better than Steve Earl: “there’s a highway, in Oklahoma, straighter than a preacher, longer than a memory”. Don’t mind it though. What we are looking at now ain’t nothing like home. We’ll be riding through the afternoon storms today. Not enough road choices to dodge them out here. They aren’t real bad, but it does get our attention when we pass a dolled up little SUV that is apparently the official stormchaser car for News Channel X.



At a gas stop with cell service I check the phone and we have a missed call and a voicemail from Texas State Parks. The gist of the message is “we’ll refund all your money if you stay away”. I return the call and the nice lady at Palo Duro says they’ve had 5 inches of rain in the last three days. More expected tonight, with large hail. She says our site is not under water but that a lot of the trails and facilities are closed. Answering questions about our camping equipment, motorcycle with tent, causes her to strongly suggest we take them up on their refund offer. We point the FJR toward an alternate, Black Mesa State Park in the westernmost corner of that little skinny part of OK. A little later we look at the radar and backtrack to Woodward to find a room.

The first motel is too “sketchy” looking for Mrs1911. The second one is full. Hmm, this is no tourist town. The third is just right. The clerk recommends a good Mexican Diner.

The motel lot is full of trucks. Work trucks, welding and plumbing and such. I find myself in conversation with a fellow who has a bed full of climbing harnesses. Windmills? I ask. Nope, cell towers. He says he is working on a 550 footer nearby. Travels the country working on cell towers. He says most of the climbing on the windmills is done inside, and the thrill just isn’t there. I recall a campground in Wyoming from an earlier trip. A lot of nice trailers pulled by work trucks, and the trucks left the campground quite early. I recognized what was going on from skilled labor friends that live by the per diem. They would come out ahead by staying in a camper and pocketing the difference between camping and cooking their own meals and staying in hotels and eating out. Windmills, oil rigs, pipelines. DAMN! IT IS GOOD to see America at work.

Well, only three days in and we have switched from tent to motel, but at least we haven’t burned a reservation fee.

Day four

Forsake Texas, finish off Oklahoma.

We’ll start out in drizzle and break through to sun as we climb the Mesas leaving OK. Beautiful. In New Mexico we cross the Santa Fe Trail and pass by Capulin Volcano.









We run a short stretch of slab up to Walsenburg CO where we get a burger and then point the bike toward the Spanish Peaks. MOUNTAINS! I’m loving it.





There is a little bit of rain gear versus jacket liner comedy in Alamosa but the drop down to Pagosa Springs is just as spectacular as I remember it from 2017.

Camp for tonight is a little south of Pagosa Springs, alongside the Rio Blanco River. Waiting for us at check-in is a package from Bushtec. Waiting for us at our tent site is a duck named A—hole.

The Last Resort CG has a few quirks but I’d stay there again in a heartbeat. Man, I like campgrounds with owners on site.
The sunset hits that triangle rock face just right.





Sunrise is kind of nice too.







At home the kids are complaining about the heat, but I’m not rubbing their faces in the mountain weather at all.



Would have had a great nights sleep too, but for the duck. You would have thought a bobcat or coyote or Fudd was after him half the night. Each time I catch him floating with his bill tucked under his wing snoozing in the warm morning sun I toss a rock or two and a “wake up A—hole!” at him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, why did the FJR cross Oklahoma in a driving rain?



To grab onto the big crack nugget that is Durango-Silverton-Ouray, load it in the pipe, smoke it!

Day 5 starts in the dark as the firewood left over from last night gets used up.



The next couple hours alternate between standing by the fire drinking coffee/eating breakfast, striking camp and watching the sun come up. And cursing that duck.

We head north from Last Resort, turn west at Pagosa Springs and head to Durango. Coming into Durango the traffic gets a little heavy. We see electronic billboards advising travelers to check out US50CLOSUREINFO.COM or something like that. Seems odd, as far away from US50 as we are. In a week or so I’ll be glad I recalled those signs.

The traffic makes me a iittle nervous. I fear a slow moving parade is what we will be in where we are headed.

Just a little after leaving Durango on US550 northbound the traffic lightens dramatically. The weather is perfect.

THIS, is one of our “Why We Ride” days! Still gotta see that movie.

And riding is what we do. Ride, take it all in, enjoy. We end up with about a half dozen stills. I’m a rider that takes a few pix. A photographer that uses a motorcycle to get around would give y’all a lot better service on this day. But then again, a rider that makes an error/omission with a camera on The Million Dollar Highway is much better off than a photographer that makes an error/omission with a motorcycle on The Million Dollar Highway.

The GoPro Was there though. Along for the ride it captures some pretty cool stuff without any pilot distraction. I managed to whittle many gigs worth of fun down to the length of one song ;) Still, the best I can hope for is to jog your memory if you've been there, encourage you to do it if you haven't.


Day 5 ends tent up, dinner down, evening perfect, at Moorefield Campground, Mesa Verde National Park.
 

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OMG! And this, folks, is why we ride!! Nicely done, 1911!!

Now, while I can appreciate the Blues, as interpreted by Tinsley Ellis, I find it extremely hard to feel "blue" while watching this video, in full screen, on a 40" monitor, with my helmet on! 🤣

Thanks for sharing 1911, you continue to inspire!

I would love to see this video with Judas Priest's "Free-Wheel Burning," as the soundtrack! 🤘😝🤘
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In the two wheeled life box of chocolates day five was the confection perfection that will make you commit to the big variety pack over and over. Day six is one of the ones that you’re not real sure about. Won’t spit it out in disgust but you’ll work around the others like it until there is nothing else left.

We bedded down with great expectations for day 6 and without having checked a weather forecast. Morning surprise cold rain. We weren’t the only ones caught off gaurd. Pity the folks that chose stargazing through the tent roof sans rain fly.

Mesa Verde has a café that serves a great stack of pancakes for breakfast…….starting the weekend after we leave. For breakfast this visit we enjoy something processed and packaged and coffee from the campground store while we do laundry, along with a couple folks drying sleeping bags. At least it’s warm and dry in the laundromat. We are hoping for a break in the clouds but all we get is increasing wind. We wait as long as we can but finally pack up camp in a 43 degree sideways rain.

This is our second visit to Mesa Verde. The first one we had changed some plans and didn’t have time to visit the cave dwellings about 25 miles deeper into the park. After packing up it’s off toward the dwellings, at least the part of the park feature isn’t closed for renovation. There is some great scenery all the way up to the point that we decide to bail on the park’s main attraction and about face, hoping for better weather at lower elevation.



It sounds like the 1911s are 0 for 2 versus Mesa Verde. I know our kids would score it that way. They don’t think we do “tourist” correctly. Too much time spent traveling and not enough time at destinations. And the destinations need better accommodations and fancier food. Anybody else have trouble making family and friends understand that the ride IS the destination?

And by my scorecard, Mesa Verde hasn’t beaten us. It’s never really been the destination. On the way from home to The Grand Canyon or YFO or southern Utah, or whatever the destination is, if there is an actual destination, MV is a great campsite with great showers, laundry, store and café (in season). It’s cheaper than a motel and no more expensive than a KOA. The national park setting is a plus. We try to plan a lot of these multi-purpose stops on our trips. We’ll be back that way again.

Dropping down to Cortez gets us out of the nasty weather. County Road G takes us past Canyon of the Ancients National Monument. The free range horses hold our attention more though. Mrs1911 tries to get me to let her off so she can swipe a paint mare with little paint foal at side. G is paved, mostly. It’s a little rough and the pace is not fast. Too far in to backtrack and start over the pavement ends. I missed that on Google Earth. It turns out to be a short section of gravel, thankfully. We’ll do some gravel roads but I don’t like them as a surprise.

Not long after we hit pavement again we are in southern Utah, the focus of this trip, despite the title of this thread. There are a few sprinkles in the air and the wind is picking up. We are finally where I’ve been telling everybody we are headed-where the Road Runner cartoons were filmed. This is what we missed on our two other big trips and we are just cruising along and taking in the wonder.









Honey, I think the wind is getting stronger.



When Zumo says it’s time to turn toward Moki Dugway I think about the wind getting funneled through canyons and dirt roads and we roll on past.

Forest Gump Point! He was smart. He turned around.





Kind of silly how much I’ve been looking forward to being here.

A little past Gump Point things are getting a little sporty.

We can watch things progress , to a point, here


Zumo doesn’t show us any alternate lodging options that appear to get us to cover better than our plan A.

I’ve reserved what could be the ultimate Monument Valley tent site, at Goulding’s, a reservation operation in Monument Valley. Where I really want to stay is a primitive CG a little higher, a little darker and a little farther down the road-Sunset View CG. If conditions are just right, I’m willing to “burn” the reservation fee at Goulding’s in hopes of enjoying a more remote experience this night.

When we pull up to the store at Goulding’s I ask Maralee to dismount and brace the bike to keep it from blowing over while I go inside to check in. Gentlemanly thing to do huh? Scoping out our tent site, it’s depressing to admit defeat and give up on the idea of pitching a tent in these conditions. We go back down to the store and inquire about indoor lodging vacancies. The cabin right below our tent site is available. The tent site reservation fee can be applied to the cabin. We convert.

I don’t know what the official definition of “sandstorm” is but I’m going to say that when you feel sand and small rocks hitting your eardrum as you move stuff inside, you’re in a sandstorm. Q-tip depth soundings confirm sandstorm by my definition.

I’m kind of proud of my improvised bike protection.





I wish I had thought about the gas cap and windshield tracks.

We asked some fellows that worked at Gouldings if winds like this were a regular event. They said no, they hadn’t seen wind like this in years.

The view, or lack of, of Monument Valley from our cabin.



Not a housekeeping fail. This was coming in about as fast as we would sweep it up. We worried a little about our cabin coming undone for a moment or two. The wind did die down overnight.



 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
OMG! And this, folks, is why we ride!! Nicely done, 1911!!

Now, while I can appreciate the Blues, as interpreted by Tinsley Ellis, I find it extremely hard to feel "blue" while watching this video, in full screen, on a 40" monitor, with my helmet on! 🤣

Thanks for sharing 1911, you continue to inspire!

I would love to see this video with Judas Priest's "Free-Wheel Burning," as the soundtrack! 🤘😝🤘
The Mrs said I had to limit this video to one song in length. Pawnbroker was 11 minutes long :) All my Priest is on vinyl :(

And besides, finding a sugar mamma to un-hawk you're guitar is a happy thing!
 

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Indeed it is!!

And the Brian Setzer track was right on time!! Great reporting, 1911!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A pic from Friday to recap, the view from our cabin, looking through the notch at Monument Valley during a very windy afternoon:



We did get a good nights sleep, once the cabin stopped creaking and groaning.

Saturday just before dawn, the view from what would have been our tent site, looking through the notch at Monument Valley, on a dead calm morning.



One with the cabin below our tent site



My normal morning camp routine is to avoid order, haphazardly switching between packing up, eating breakfast and walking around taking pictures as the sun comes up. We add one more chore to this morning, see if the bike survived the night in a functional state.

Lighting up





Bad place to be in a strong wind



Sand in odd places





The bike fires right up, puffing a red cloud of dust out of the pipes as it does. Everything is stiff and gritty but works, all except the windshield mechanism. One of something on one side is packed with sand and the shield is stuck in the lowest position. We’ve got a lot of trip left. No doubt there will be some cold and rain. I sure am gonna miss that little feature.

Leaving Goulding’s the clouds and sun seem to offer a little apology for what we got yesterday.



A little tourist stuff on the way out







A good part of the day spent bouncing around southern Utah and northern Arizona looks a lot like



Coming into Page we pass a coin operated self DIY car wash. $5 worth of quarters doesn’t fix the w/s but the rig does look a little better.

Shortly after turning north on Old Paria Town Road I’m having second thoughts. The washboard braking bumps, whoops, blade chatter or whatever is making me worry about parts falling of the FJR. This excursion into the unpaved is not unplanned, but those washboard sections sure are rough. We endeavor to persevere and are rewarded twice over, at least. The chatter knocks something loose in the w/s retractor and I get one of my favorite buttons back.


The road dead ends on hallowed ground.




If Santa Rio doesn’t look familiar to you, then you haven’t watched Josey Wales enough. Off to Netfix with you NOW!









We end day 7 at the Tribal campground on the Kiabab Reservation just west of Fredonia. Great facility, very good setting.



 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sun up and coffee on! Sunday, May 23, day 8 of 22. Paiute Campground, Kiabab Utah.



Only one little nit to pick about this place. It seems like the gravel that they use for parking/tent pads is made up of broken arrowheads. Good that we carry extra stuff that can serve as groundpads.

On our way to the good stuff



I deleted our route through Zion because of the crowds and traffic and reservation requirements in the news. When we got to the 89 9 intersection though we decided to give it a shot.



No wait at all going in the east gate and even light traffic for a little while. It didn’t take too long to get into traffic and tight parking. If we had really wanted to we could have found places to dismount and walk about but we had other plans this day. So not much from Zion, just a little off-camber helmet cam.


I got a real “Gatlinburg” vibe rolling through Springdale as we left Zion.

I got that “Freebird” vibe running Utah 14 from Cedar City back over to US89 :D


And then on to Bryce Canyon :D :D


Now, Bryce Canyon, time to work on some stills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I know The Grand Canyon is THE canyon to see. I know I haven’t seen it all. But, if a person told me they were only allowed one canyon and asked my preference, it would be a very hard to choose between the two. I look at Grand Canyon and I can comprehend Mother Nature’s methods. At Bryce all I see are the leftovers of the supernatural whittling chess pieces or playing Jenga.

We roll into Bryce Sunday afternoon. We get our tent up and the mattress breathing at our reserved site and then it’s off to look around.





















Close to dinner time we run back up to the main road, with space now not filled by camping gear, and we go on a shopping spree at Ruby’s General Store.

Tonight is when one of my planning miscalculations hurts the worst. Bryce, and with it a lot of where we are spending our nights, is stargazing country. Dark Sky Preserve they call it. I’m looking forward to some prime stargazing on this trip. I’m dragging along some bulky stuff to try some night photography. But I forgot to consider the moon. On nights with clear sky, 23:00 is like daylight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Monday May 24

We are still learning the art of camping. One thing we learned here is to try to pitch the tent where the morning sun will hit it.









The plan coming into Bryce is to spend Sunday afternoon and a good bit of Monday in Bryce and then spend two days working our way over to Moab. No reservations for Monday night, just a bunch of first come first served primitive campgrounds loaded in the GPS POIs. We are enjoying Bryce quite a bit. The campsites in the park are all taken but the park doesn’t seem crowded and there are no traffic jams. We must have really missed some spectacular stuff back at Zion. That’s the only explanation I can come up with for why Zion was packed and by comparison it feels like we have Bryce all to ourselves.

Got to take a break here to say how much I like the national parks that we have stayed in. They don’t pack campers into the improved campgrounds like sardines. Even though the campgrounds are fully booked we still feel like we have our own little piece of wilderness. We have heard whining from some of the folks in really large rigs about it being hard to maneuver, no WiFi or cell and such. I think these campgrounds were built long ago before diesel pickups could tow 24,000 pounds and everything had three slideouts.

Monday morning we are in no hurry to leave Bryce. We look around a little first thing. Maralee gets even less enthusiastic about my two day to Moab plan when I tell her we’ll be picking a somewhat primitive FCFS site this evening. The reservable sites in Bryce are all booked and have been for six months, so we load up a little early and head over to the FCFS campgrounds in Bryce. At a half hour past checkout time we snag the last available site. WooHooo! Another whole day in Bryce.

As soon as the tent is up we go over to the park store and eat a fine pizza.

After lunch it’s back out to look around.

















 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·




















Seeing this group of trailriders coming up the valley makes Maralee want to take a trail ride. We inquire at the stables. The earliest available is about two weeks out. Planning fail number two :(





Mrs1911 hoofing it horslessly, and cursing this 10,000 foot air



Monday evening, in the office adjusting the route to Moab.

 

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48 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sure I posted some twice, but I didn't post them all.

The whole Bryce album:

 

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2006 FJR1300 AS - Orion The Hunter
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693 Posts
Wow, Man, Stunning! What gear are you shooting? Hella zoom on some of those shots! Color is amazing!!

The only problem with your posts, is that I am looking them, and watching the amazing videos, in lieu of working!! Dang it, Man!!

I think Yamaha needs to hire you for promo videos!

Great work, 1911!!
 
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