Jump to content

StretchMark and HoonTang


Recommended Posts


Warning: Lot's o Pics!


Well this is by far the longest I’ve taken to write a ride tale, sorry for the delay. I was going to skip it, especially after reading Mitch’s tale, but Mitch gave me a little nudge, so here it is, better late than never. I’ll apologize in advance for not using words like arboreal or confluence in my tale, but my bout with pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis has weakened my vocabulary. wink.gif


Christine and I dreamed about going to a Torrey event ever since the first one was announced. That fire was fueled the first time we met some of the West coasters at Eureka Springs UnRally and listened to their stories. I still have the Chuckwagon business card that PhillyFlash gave me while promising him we would make it there someday. After reading Gleno’s Spring Torrey...Kick it up??? thread, we knew we had to go.


Our original plan was to go visit Christine’s relatives in Idaho Springs then head to Torrey from there. About that same time, I was searching for a dirt bike for Christine and remembered John Eddy (jeddy) had purchased a Yamaha XT225 for his wife but it wasn’t getting used very much. Lucky for me he decided it was time to move it along, but now I had to figure out how to get a bike from Minnesota to Georgia. After further discussion we figured out John was going to his place in Steamboat Springs and then going to Torrey. So plans changed and now we were headed to Steamboat to get HoonTang “dirt certified”.


Our trip started out with a non-stop 1400 mile, 23 hour blitz in the pickup with the GS in the back. I always try to minimize the “getting there” part of the trip, but no matter how hard I try, there never seems to be enough time to do everything we want to do. “ Burning Daylight ” became our battle cry for this trip (and I guess I have to admit, all of my trips).


The side trip to John Eddy’s Steamboat Springs turned out to be quite a treat. Centainly a treat for Christine since she had resigned herself to riding pillion this trip, but now had an opportunity to play with her new toy:


She already wears blue to match her other Yamaha, so she assures me this purchase really saved me quite a bit of money. The bike fits her nicely! We tried to run up a few of the passes near Steamboat, but the roads still had not been plowed.


John led us through some really nice gravel roads, perfect for Christine to cut her teeth on:



Still plenty of snow to be found. Right after we took this picture, we noticed a car that had gone off the road to my right. No telling how long it had been there.


After a wonderful day of riding, we decided to slum it back at John’s place cool.gif . Just an incredibly beautiful place. Thanks again John for letting us stay and for hooking Christine up with her sweet ride!



Before our delcious Mexican dinner in town, John took us up to Fish Creek Falls. After a nice little hike up the river, we were rewarded with this:



Thursday morning, we had hoped to ride to Durango, but I managed to get myself sick, so the truck seemed a better option:



It actually turned out to be a fun ride in the truck. Our drive took us South on 131 through Yampa and Toponas through some interesting rock formations, across 70 to Glenwood Springs, then down Hwy 133 through Paonia, then over to Montrose, down 550 through Ouray and onto Million Dollar Hwy to Durango. Riding in the truck certainly makes it easier to stop for pictures. Christine was thrilled to have the chance to play with her new Mother’s Day present (Canon Digital Rebel Xti):



We were fascinated by the coloring of these birds. Someone told us they are Colorado Jays:


And I guess that was appropriate:



Further South, we started seeing some of the 14,000 footers. All the rivers were swollen from the snow melt, but it looks like plenty of snow still remains:



I have no idea what these are, but they were interesting. Anyone know?:



We thought the “Little Place” of Placita would be a nice place to put our little mountain home:



I guess the winters are quite hard on these roads. I’d hate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time out here:



Lots of interesting little mining operations along the way:



One of my main motivations for coming to Colorado before Torrey was to ride the Million Dollar Highway. I’d have to settle for it in the truck this trip. No regrets as the road surface turned out to be quite chewed up





5216 feet higher than what we can find in Georgia thumbsup.gif



More interesting old mining stuff:



Didn’t I see Whip running around out here?



Christine freezing at Molas Pass (10,899 ft)



The plan was to get to Durango, unload the bike and then backtrack to ride the Million Dollar Hwy, but by that time the afternoon storms on the mountain told us that we had burned our daylight for the day. frown.gif Instead, we went into town, checked out the train station and had a nice Chateaubriand for 2 at the Ore house. thumbsup.gif


Friday morning it was time to head to Torrey. My always over-optimistic plan included visiting Mesa Verde, Canyons of the Ancients, Natural Bridges, Glen Canyon, and Capitol Reef.


The road into Mesa Verda was cool:



...but looking at our Torrey arrival time, we knew we did not have time to go through the ancient ruins, so we read about them on the sign and took off…...Burning Daylight!



We blew by Canyon of the Ancients knowing we did not have enough time. In Blanding we ran into another GS with Colorado plates who flagged us over. Much to our surprise and delight it was Bill Ferran (roadscholar) who had decided to make a lst minute trip and rent a bike in Denver clap.gif :



The clouds were starting to build up, but we thought we would make a quick dash over to Natural Bridges.



This is as far as we made it before the lightning started getting real close frown.gif. Burning Daylight! Time to move on:




We outran that storm, but could see many more baby storms growing in the distance:






The sense of urgency to be at Torrey continued to grow, so the pace crept up…and up



And the pictures get blurrier and blurrier:



I loved the cave formations. The terrain is so different from what we experienced in Colorado yesterday.




Great riding in with you, Bill!!


We manage to outrun most of the storms and finally make it to the Chuckwagon in time for the welcoming dinner. Greeting Howard and meeting Whip and Tool for the first time. I am embarrassed to admit I could not think of Whip’s name when he came up to me. I guess a hundred or so Ride Tales just wasn’t enough to plant that name in my brain:



Meeting mister “larger than life” Wurty:



Meeting Sam and seeing Russell and Dartanian again:



And most importantly getting in line for the welcome dinner. Hi Fernando! :




Thinking about Gleno:



and he was thinking about us:



Really cool lighting behind the Chuckwagon that evening. Christine was definitely starting to figure the camera out:





Raaaan feeling a bit dwarfed my Boney and me:



Eric and Roydog trading stories:



What happens in Torrey stays in Torrey:



Great catching up with Jackie and Kaneman in the middle of their fantastic adventures:



So many new faces, not enough time to meet everyone. Daylight burnt frown.gif.


Saturday was the riding day we had really been looking forward to cool.gif. We joined the group for the ceremony atop Sweeper Madness:







Mt Gleno was in full bloom:




Then we went for a nice run with Howard, Russell, Tool, Sam and Greg on Sweeper Madness before the tar snakes got greasy.




After heading back up to the summit, we enjoyed the scenery around the Fish Lake Loop



We almost made it back to Torrey but Sam’s bike nust have been running a little rich that day grin.gif Tool saves the day!




After lunch, Norah joined us for a leisurely stroll down to Escalante. Boys, leave the testerone at home when you ride with Norah thumbsup.gif We had wanted to make it down to Bryce just to see the entrance but we were (all together now) Burning daylight and wanted to get back for the dinner.



We just barely missed the rain on 12, but the road was still a bit too damp to really enjoy the road to its fullest:




The roads dried up nicely however for the ride back up to the Burr Trail:




Speeds and picture blurriness proportionately increased:



Some cool pics along the Burr Trail:








A pleasant surprise to run into Whip, Louise, Jackie, Bill Ferran on the trail...and:



...and Dartanian:



Christine filing her boots with ball bearings:



We wanted to do the Burr Trail all the way, but Whip warned it might take too much time and besides, we wanted to get back for the dinner...and were burning daylight!


Awesome riding with Howard, Russell, Tool, Sam, Greg and Norah. Thanks for showing us around! An awesome day of riding. thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif


Howard, are you surprised not to see any pictures of our dash back to Torrey? Christine was holding on a little tighter for that stretch grin.gif


We did finally run into Jamie at the dinner and got the latest Leslie report. Unfortunately we did not get to see Leslie, but I’m glad she was being well cared for.



So many new faces, so little time to meet everyone frown.gif





Sunday came around way to quickly. We got up early, skipped the goodbyes, and scooted out of town. It’s never really a goodbye with this group anyway, it’s more of a “see you somewhere down the road…soon, I hope”…and besides that would most definitely burn too much daylight. Bill Ferran told us about Hwy 128 into Moab, so we decided to make that part of our plan then head into Arches (burning daylight foreshadowing) before going back to Durango. We headed out of Torrey on 24 and through Hanksville. Roger and Sue told us about how cool Goblin Valley State Park was, but inevitably we had to just pass it by this time. 128 turned out to be a very cool road which cut through the canyon and along the Colorado into Moab. I should have asked Bill if there was a service station at that exit off of I-70, but I didn’t. My low fuel light came on saying I had 45 miles to go right before we saw a sign that said “No Services, Next 47 Miles”. Backtracking 20 miles on the highway hardly seemed an option, so we pushed forward knowing Christine is plenty strong to push me for 2 miles smirk.gif


Some cool shots along 128:






After a brief lunch stop in Moab, the weather turned South very quickly so we yet again bailed out on another site seeing excursion and passed on Arches too frown.gif. We spent the next several hours in fairly heavy rain on some just average roads and knowing we had another 24 hour truck ride ahead of us. I always hate this part of these trips…too much to see, to much to do and not enough time to really do it right. I guess if I didn’t have these nagging feelings and regrets, I wouldn’t get so excited about over-planning my next trip. grin.gif


I didn’t even pay attention to what time we rolled into Durango. All I remember is seeing Christine’s face light up when she saw her little XT still safely strapped in the back of the truck. We struggled in the rain to get the GS up the slick ramp and into its tight little spot next to the XT. We tossed all of our wet gear in the back seat, slipped into some dry clothes and tried to get in as many miles as we could that night. We stopped around 2am in Erick Oklahoma, more for the shower than the bed, knowing we still had 1100+ miles to go eek.gif. After a few hours of sleep, we choked down a nasty cowboy breakfast at a local establishment and blasted our way back to Georgia, thankful to not be slabbing it in the GS in the 90+ degree heat.


Thanks to everyone who helped make Torrey such a great event! It was quite an effort to get there, but we are certainly glad we made it! It certainly seemed like a fitting tribute to Gleno.


I asked Mitch to drag his tale out as long as he could so I would not be the last Torrey Tale. Did I make it in time?

*Edit: Crap, just realized he beat me blush.gif

Link to comment

Nice! It was great riding with you two again. I'm glad you guys got to make the trip.


I'm sure Christine will enjoy that new bike!

Link to comment



Great tale. Can't believe how much you missed and how much you saw! Looked like a great trip, and great pics! Thanks for sharing. You are going to have to come back!


The "Colorado Jay" is a Magpie. The ovens were for charcoal production. The west wears it's history, it's short anglo history anyway, on it's sleeve.


Jan and Sharon (Bullett)

Link to comment

I LOVE lots '0 pics!! Thanks for sharing your tale guys! Looks like you had a really nice time. thumbsup.gif

Link to comment

WAH!!! frown.gif


I'm still sad I had to miss this past Torrey.


Great pix tho, and glad you guys got to experience it. thumbsup.gif


Y'all come back now, ya' hear!? wave.gif

Link to comment

The "Colorado Jay" is a Magpie. The ovens were for charcoal production. The west wears it's history, it's short anglo history anyway, on it's sleeve.


Ah..cool! Thanks for the clarification!

Link to comment

Nice tale.

Looks like you two had a great time.

Christine, you did a fab job with the pictures. thumbsup.gif

Link to comment

Christine, you did a fab job with the pictures.


Some of those on-bike shots were taken as she was standing up behind Mark as they careened down the road at near-warp speeds.

Link to comment
Joe Frickin' Friday
I always hate this part of these trips…too much to see, to much to do and not enough time to really do it right. I guess if I didn’t have these nagging feelings and regrets, I wouldn’t get so excited about over-planning my next trip. grin.gif


That's what makes you keep going back out there. So many national parks, so much to do and see in each one, and so many scenic roads in between. I enjoyed the hiking I did with Masako at Grand Canyon, Bryce, and Zion on our honeymoon a couple of years ago; I'm anxious to do more, and that's something you can't really do a lot of when you're wearing riding gear. smirk.gif


I asked Mitch to drag his tale out as long as he could so I would not be the last Torrey Tale. Did I make it in time?

*Edit: Crap, just realized he beat me blush.gif


Hey, a month and a half, I dragged it out about as far as I could. grin.gif Thanks for finally sharing your photos and story. Some great pics ya got there. :thumbsup.

Link to comment
The side trip to John Eddy’s Steamboat Springs turned out to be quite a treat. Centainly a treat for Christine since she had resigned herself to riding pillion this trip, but now had an opportunity to play with her new toy:


The whole thing really worked out great. Well, except for that part about you getting sick, falling asleep on the GS, and darn near running it into the ditch on our ride. I'm pretty convinced that had that happened, Christine would have shrugged her shoulders and kept going. She looked pretty happy riding the XT in the Colorado mountains. lmao.gif

Link to comment

Nice! cool.gif


Even if you lived 1000 miles closer, it would still be hard to do and see all you want in Utah and Colorado. I've been here nearly 40 years and my list is still pretty long.


Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Link to comment

Great pics and ride tale....it's was great meeting and riden with the both of you. Let's do it again in September!!

Link to comment

Great tale Stretch (Better late then never)!

Did you ever find out what those barrels where on the side of the road? To me they look like Kilns for coal.

Link to comment

Nice ride tale, Mark. It was great riding aroung the Utah countryside with the two of you. Sorry the ride back to Torrey was so fast that Christine couldn't take any photos. I would have slowed it down, but I knew you were hungry and wanted to get to dinner. Next time I'll let you lead (yeah, like that's going to slow things down grin.gif).



Start making plans for your return trip. thumbsup.gif

Link to comment

Start making plans for your return trip


Yes, and make it a September Torrey - the trees are just beautiful that time of year (though I know you guys have your own fall colors to gaze upon that time of year up on the BRP!) thumbsup.gif


Anyway, since you are doing the last EP this September, maybe next September will work. Unfortunately, the next May Torrey is likely out for me AGAIN, due to the same work incentive trip thingy scheduled for that same time. frown.gif (and I know you plan your entire trip around seeing me, so...) grin.gif

Link to comment
Kenny Haynes

Great stuff Mark and Christine. Well written and photographed. Man that camera takes nice pics.

Link to comment

Loved the photos and the creative captions. Mark, nice to see you figured out that by putting Christine into the frame, even you can dress up some average photography skills!

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...