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russell_bynum

Our trip to Gunnison - Part 1 "East Bound and Down"

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russell_bynum

With the bike all loaded up and ready to go, we commuted into work on Thursday morning. My mind was not in the game that day, and work dragged. Eventually, 4pm arrived and we were on the bike headed towards I-15 faster than Nicky Hayden at Daytona. Our goal was to make St. George, Utah by the end of the day. St. George lies just over the border between Arizona and Utah on the North side of the Virgin River Gorge. We planned for this to be our long, hot, crappy, miserable day. Everything else would be fun.

 

We hit Barstow in our mesh jackets (me in my Joe Rocket Phoenix, Lisa in her FirstGear MeshTech) and stopped for fuel and fluids. Keeping hydrated in the desert heat is critical and we take it very seriously. The gas station attendant let us use the hose to wet our shirts down before continuing...WOW was that water COLD!!! After the inital shock, it felt great. We hit the road and felt the magic of evaporative cooling. Aaahhhhhhhhh.

 

The weather report called for scattered thunderstorms along our route, and I was eyeing a big cell to northwest as we left Barstow. We must have ridden into the storm's frontal boundary because it got much cooler all the sudden. We hit Baker and it couldn't have been more than 85 degrees...last time we were there it was 109...big difference. We skipped our planned stop at Baker and pressed on. Down the backside of the Baker grade, and the lights of State Line came into view. The storm was still there and looked very close to the road.

 

As we hit the bottom of the hill before State Line we saw that the land on both sides of the freeway, which is usually a flat, sandy, dry-lake looking place, was totally underwater. The mountains and stormy sky reflected off of the smooth water as far out as the eye could see...the world's biggest mirror.

We stopped in North Las Vegas. It was a definitely warm, but not unbearable. Dinner, fluids, fuel.

 

I was running out of gas (me, not the bike) when we hit Mesquite, so we stopped at the Chevron at the last exit...nice air conditioned place to sit inside at some tables, and nice attendant to talk to. I downed some Coke, then we hit the road.

 

Through the Virgin River Gorge...hmmm...it's different at night. I can't run the big PIAA 910's because there's too much other traffic, so we run the PIAA 1100's and the high beam...it's not enough, so we reduce speed a bit. Yahoo! what a fun road! It's hard to belive this is the same long, straight, flat road we've been on for the last 400 miles.

 

We rolled into St. George, found the Motel 6, and fell asleep before our heads hit the pillows.

 

Gee...for the long, hot, crappy, miserable leg of the trip, this wasn't too bad. The weather kept it cool through what would have been the hottest parts of the desert but managed to avoid drenching us. It did, however provide us with some spectacular views.

 

If this is as bad as it gets, I can't wait for the good part.

 

The RT sits in the garage at work next to a 600F4i and a 929RR. They only WISH they were going where the RT is. OK...maybe the RT wishes for the 929's horsepower...but only a little bit. smile.gif

 

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Some shots along the way to State Line. Sorry they're blurred. Shooting pictures from the back of a motorcycle at 85mph at sunset is not exactly optimal.

 

 

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The water on one side of I-15 and the reflections of the mountains.

 

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Passing through Primm, Nevada.

 

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395 miles

 

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90%angel

Oh man, what a bummer that the pictures blurred!!! mad.gif.

 

When I viewed them on the camera, they looked fine!! URGH. Oh well, as Russell said, it is tough to keep the camera from moving when you are going (AT LEAST) 85mph on the bike!

 

Part one was actually ok. Maybe it was the adrenaline rush of embarking on our most excellent trip, but I had fun. It wasn't too hot, so that made it good.

 

Part One memories/thoughts:

Loved, loved, loved that thunderstorm. We didn't get rained on, but got the benefit of cooler temps and neat looking clouds as we went through the desert

 

Working before embarking on a trip is a DRAG! At least we had that fire drill in the afternoon to break things up a bit!

 

Gas station attendant at Barstow was cool. I asked him where the water hose was, and how much it cost. Instead of making us pay for the hose to fill up your car, he let us use his garden hose for free. MIGHTY cold water. I remember the looks we got from passerbys as we hooted and hollared at the ice cold water. Those are definitely some people who, if they didn't before, think motorcyclists are CRAZY!!

 

Another cool thing about the gas station in Barstow...sprinklers! I will now call myself "princess Jedi (in training) sprinkler runner" (well, if Laney can be princess Jedi Streamwalker...) smile.gif I had so much fun running through the sprinklers in full gear. Got some much needed exercise and a nice cooling off. When I headed back to the bike, a gentleman said "guess you ran through and got you some cool, eh!?" sho enough.

 

--Lisa

 

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