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Our Un-trip to Gunnison


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It looks like Ride Tales from the Un are still dribbling out, so here is our two drops' worth:


I’ve tried to post this a couple of times, but numerous power-outages the past few days have prevented success.


To view Jane's pictures, go to:


Click on "View Slideshow", then the click "Play" button in the upper right, or use the arrow buttons next to it move forward or back. You shouldn't have to sign-in.



We were leaving Saturday, June 17th. The day started ominously, with problems with one of our sprinkler systems in the front yard. We were going to get a (relatively - I'm NOT a morning person) early start - Jane is hoping to beat the heat in the Central Valley. I trace the problem to the drip system. Jane doesn't have a replacement part, so her flowers will pay the price, but the rest of the circuit now works (the flowers did fine - I think the neighbor looked after them).


About 8:15, we're ready to leave. A couple of hours later, on CA hwy 88 a ways east of Stockton, someone - we're not naming names here - discovers he doesn't have his wallet! (I usually let Jane tell this story since she takes such delight in telling it!) Here, we're on the first day, the first few miles, of a 10 day trip; there's no way we can "wing it". We have to turn around.


Maybe someone is trying to tell us something and this trip wasn't mean't to happen?


About 1:05 PM, we are ready to leave again - with the wallet! As a result, we put in a full day of riding .... and only make it as far as Fallon, NV., having planned to get at least as far as Eureka, NV.


The next day, Sunday, we make up time, cross into Utah and spend the night in Salina, where we pick up I-70 the next morning. We take I-70 into Colorado and exit to go through Colorado National Monument just outside of Fruita, CO. The route to the Colorado NM was well marked from I-70, but on the other end, .... we could find no signs directing us back to a highway! We wander around a bit - not what we want to be doing in this heat - and finally just try to follow the main flow of traffic. Before long, this brings us to hwy 50 again, as we wanted. Continuing east on 50, we catch some really strong winds out of the south, but make it into Gunnison mid-afternoon. We check into Alpine Inn, as planned, and I go up to HIE to register us for the Un while Jane recovers from the heat and wind. Jane is not prepared to get back on the bike that evening, so we walk up to Pizza Hut for dinner.


The next day, Tuesday, we just look around the town of Gunnison in the morning. In the afternoon, we join Ron (Ron B) for a ride up to the Black Canyon from the south side. For dinner that evening, we try the Mexican restaurant a bit west of town (near KOA). It turns out to be a good choice. A while later, Fernando Belair shows up and claims another table for himself and shortly-arriving Howard, Leslie and Jamie.


Wednesday, we decide to try the "Carbondale loop"; it seems to be of reasonable distance. Leaving later, we catch up to the group heading to Redstone at the north overlook over the Gunnison River. They continue on their trip, and we pass them while they're in Redstone, while we continue on our loop. We catch lunch - and a little rain - in Carbondale. We catch more of a shower the other side of Independence Pass, and find our way back to hwy 50 and into Gunnison from the east. While we were approaching Independence Pass, we hooked up with someone in a Japanese-made sporty-car; I didn't get close enough to make out a brand, but it says "SVU" or "SVX" or something like that on the back. This person obviously knows this road! After getting around a few slow cars, we're free to enjoy the road, he leading, we on his tail. As we overtake slower cars, whenever he pops out to pass, I do too. This goes on for several miles over the top and down the other side, where we reach a junction. I've run off the edge of my map in the mapcase and have to pull over to check which way to go. We lose our escort there. That night is the first group dinner, where we visit with old friends and meet new ones. While in line for dinner, it's a real treat when Tom Roe steps out of the shadows to say hello; it's been too long, Tom! Jane gets to meet Paul Mihalka, and we visit with him during the meal.


Thursday, we're doing laundry, and I mail a few items home so we don't have to carry them. I meet another BMW rider at the Post Office doing the same thing with a larger package! In the afternoon, we ride out to Crested Butte and have lunch at a deli there. On the way back, we take a detour and find "The Castles" rock formation northeast of Gunnison. At dinner that evening, we meet Tom Fogle and his wife, Gabby, and they join us for the meal. Tom and I have exchanged e-mails, but hadn't actually met until now. Afterwards we walk back to our lodgings, having walked over for dinner, Jane shunning the motorcycle again. (Do I detect a pattern here?)


Friday, we start home. We're heading to Torrey (as are several others) - Jane has not been to Torrey yet. Our route goes down hwy 550 to 62, to 145, then, at Dolores, cut over to 491 which takes us into Utah. There we catch 191 south and a lunch stop in very hot Blanding. Then it's hwy 95 to Natural Bridges National Monument for just a quick visit. It's way too hot to stay long, but Jane wants to see it while we're here. We continue up 95 to the Colorado River and stop at the Hite overlook. I can tell Jane is not enjoying this because of the heat: she is unimpressed! She snaps a couple of pictures and is ready to continue. In Hanksville, after getting gas and a hydrating break, we follow 24 into Torrey, arriving at the CW a little after 8PM. I try to call Bob Palin to check-in as we figure his place is likely the unofficial HQ for those of our group passing through. They've all already gone to dinner, so I just leave a message, and we walk over to Brink's before they close.


Saturday we kinda take it easy. We try a short trip up to hwy 72, but hwy 24 now disappears into dirt just west of Bicknell. We try to continue for a couple of miles, but, two-up, neither of us is enjoying the soft dirt, dust, and rough road! So we make a careful u-turn and catch a road out to Teasdale instead. There are some nice homes nestled in the hills back there! The road dumps us out onto hwy 12 south of Torrey, and we return to town. From the CW we walk over to the large, interesting-looking building that we can see out the back window of our room. It is the old Torrey schoolhouse, recently converted to a B&B with 10 rooms. Dinner that night is at Cafe Diablo.


Sunday we head down hwy 12 from Torrey, then over through Cedar City, and into Nevada. In Nevada we swing north on 93 back to US 50. We hole-up for the night - time-zone changes are now in our favor - in Eureka, NV., where we had intended to stay our first night on the way out. We run into Dave Waterman (BMWDave152) there and enjoy his company for dinner.


Monday we continue west on US 50. While stopping for gas in Austin, NV., we meet two immaculate antique cars with matching travel-trailers, making their way from Sonoma to Boston. West of Austin, we take NV 722, as suggested by Dave, which roughly parallels 50 for a few miles. There we come upon a large eagle (Golden Eagle?) in the middle of our lane on some road-kill. It becomes plain that he is not about to relinquish his prize because of our approach! We cross over into the oncoming lane - there is no traffic on this road - and ease by him. North of Fallon, we join I-80 into Reno and back into California, where we are greeted by .... rain! By mid-afternoon we reach our family vacation-home at Tahoe, where we spend the night. Tuesday is anti-climactic, as we head down 89 to 88 west again, and arrive home mid-afternoon.


We pick up our dog, Miki, from the dog-sitter, then starts the unpacking, laundry, cleaning, etc. Jane remarks that she has never seen any of my motorcycles, over the years, as dirty as the RT looked then!


10 days and about 3500 miles for us.

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Nicely done, Peter & Jane. thumbsup.gif


"The Kid" and I enjoyed seeing you at dinner Thursday night, and meeting Jane. Sometime we'll need to find a way to share some touring.


Just keep reminding Jane of that quote: "Adventure is discomfort recalled at leisure." wink.gif

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Paul Mihalka

Peter, it was great to meet Jane and meet you again! Too bad time is always way to short and too much happening to have a real visit. Let's see what next year brings with UN planning and/or Torrey wink.gif

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Nice ride, somebody needs to do something about this heat problem though!


Again, sorry we missed you in Torrey, I really feel bad about that. UT24 is now paved all the way again though they haven't finished working on it. Apparently there is a shortage of the type of oil they use to finish pavement and they may be delayed a while, the pavement is smooth and nice though.

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Jane and Peter, it was a happy coincidence meeting you on the road. Dinner was much more enjoyable with your company than eating alone. clap.gif


This is what I love about this board. thumbsup.gif

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Thanks for your comments, guys.


Paul, our friend Miklos has threatened to stop by on their way through the area tommorrow. smile.gif We'll see how that works out.

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Paul Mihalka
Paul, our friend Miklos has threatened to stop by on their way through the area tommorrow. smile.gif We'll see how that works out.
Too bad I'll miss it. Please say hello for me!
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