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Juan_S

49 States in 30 days - A tale of a mid-life crisis ride

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Juan_S

Sorry fellows, I left you guys with no notice, I can feel the love all the way up here in cold Prince George. Thanks for worrying, but yes, I was up in Hyder and there is no internet access. I will be catching up on my postings and thanks for caring and reading.

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ClearwaterBMW

excellent juan

glad you checked in

sorry that we were so concerned... we miss you

crazy.gif

 

ride safe

greg

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Juan_S

Day 13 Monday September 5th – Jackson Hole, Wyoming

 

For the last 13 days, with the exception of one morning, the weather has been wonderful. The mornings start clear and cool and then warm up to the mid 80’s. Today is no exception, the weather is perfect. My plan for today is to visit both parks on the way to Montana, Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Before I leave the Jackson Hole area, and based on the advice of my fellow board member, Doug (DouglasR), I decided to try out route 22 through Teton Pass. This beautiful road heading west from Jackson Hole goes through the mountains that make this area famous, but today was very crowded with cars since it is the end of the Labor Day weekend - so going west I was part of the large exodus of people.

 

Once at the top, I made a U turn and headed down again, a much better ride. The road is nice….Please read Doug's Ride Report .

 

Route 22 coming down from Teton Pass

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In my book, the Teton range is one of the most striking natural formations I have seen. On a beautiful morning like today it is even more so. Here is the range as seen from the south coming into the park

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The south entrance to the park, from the Teton village, brings you in through a very small road that has several miles of no pavement and really no visibility of the mountains. I would recommend skipping this part of the park and going straight to the entrance off route 26 at the Moose Visitor Center.

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You can spend a whole week just in this park catching the amazing views, but for me it was time to move forward.

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I thought that even though it was Labor Day weekend, these parks would not be very crowded by Monday, and that most people would have already headed home. How wrong I was, here is the line just to get into Yellowstone. From here to the gate is at least ¼ mile.

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The results of major forest fires in ‘88 are still very evident. When you come from the south, you get the feeling of almost being on a different planet.

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Mandatory park tourist stop, heated water pools.

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The buffalo still roam in Yellowstone.

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The north side of the grand loop road is closed for rebuilding, so I took route 89 north. The Montana side of the park is open fields instead of pine forests.

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After leaving the park, I continued on 89 north. It sure felt good to leave all that traffic and 45 miles per hour riding behind it. Once I was out of the park the speed limit goes to 65 and there are no cars…..

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Not a bad spot to have a weekend home??

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It amazes me that in this country no matter where you are the roads are fantastic. It makes no difference if you are near a major metropolitan area or out in the middle of Montana. The good thing in Montana is that there are no cars and the speed limit is high.

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Also the views are not to bad…

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During this trip, I have been leaving late in the morning. I find myself departing around 9:00 am which means I stay out later. This is both a good thing, as you can see from the pictures, the afternoon light provides the most interesting light of the day, and bad because it is the time of day that the creatures start coming out of the woods on to the roads …

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On my way to Missoula, my destination for the night, I took a detour on 287 through Helena and then 12 West. The sites once again are excellent and the roads are very good and with very little car traffic.

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I always heard of the big Montana Sky, well it does exist. I experienced it today as I came north from Yellowstone. As you are riding the bike you see this beautiful open views everywhere you look. Montana big sky as seen from route 12 west of Helena.

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So another day on this wonderful trip comes to an end with me continuing west towards Missoula, my destination for the night.

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Stats:

Jackson Hole, WY Departure 9:25am

Missoula Arrival 8:30pm

 

Miles 488.3

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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bmwdave152

WOW!!!! thumbsup.gif

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Juan_S

Day 14 Tuesday September 6th – Missoula Montana

 

When I woke up in Missoula the temperature was only 36 degrees, so being the Floridian that I am, I waited until around 10 am to get going. The temperature had risen to around 46 degrees by then. On top of that, I wasted another 40 minutes shopping for a couple of screws that are missing on my high way pegs. So a long story short, I did not leave until around 11:30.

 

My destination for today is Banff in the Canadian Rockies. I left Missoula on Mt-93, a crowded road, full of trucks. After ten miles or so, I took Mt-200 west. Mt-200 more or less parallels I90 towards Idaho. It goes through the Flat Head Indian Reservation, and is totally un-crowded and a very nice road.

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200 follows the Clark Fork River and provides an excellent ride. Since it runs parallel to the river, it has beautiful spots all the way through out the section that I rode today.

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Eventually I connect with 95 in Idaho. This is my planned road into Canada, and with every mile I travel on it, it keeps getting better. The vegetation in this area changes from mostly open range grasses to northern pines , so the smells as you ride along are fantastic.

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I had read that the Canadian Rockies were gorgeous, well they are. Here is a preview of what is coming. The challenge is to keep riding the motorcycle and not to stop at every turn to gawk at the views…

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Not a bad road….

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More Canadian Rockies as seen from Canada 93 on my way to Banff.

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To get to Banff you have to go through Kootenay National Park and pay an entrance fee. Since it was late in the day when I entered the park, the very nice lady gave me the one day ticket valid for the next day. The best seven dollars I have spent. Here is the entrance to the park from the Radium Hot Springs town.

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Views from 93 on the way to Banff.

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As you can see it is late in the afternoon and the forest creatures are starting to come out. Here is a moose just hanging out. By the way, right after I passed this moose, there was a crashed motorcycle in the ditch….no one around but the bike…you can barely see the top of the windshield, to the left of the yellow arrow and the left of the moose’s ass. I wonder if it hit an animal…

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The ride from Radium Hot Springs to Banff is out of this world. At every turn of the road the views keep getting better…These are definitely the most awesome views I have seen so far in this amazing trip. Arrival to Banff, late in the afternoon.

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Another perfect day of motorcycle riding ends in the beautiful town of Banff. This area is a “must visit”, it is out of this world. I am not kidding, on the way up, every bend in the road brought another wow!!! I think I am repeating myself, it is that good…

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Stats:

Missoula Departure 10:20am

Banff Arrival 7:30pm

 

Miles 488.3

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

Wow Factor: 10

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ClearwaterBMW

excellent, as always

greg

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Carley_Rose

Hey Uncle Juan, It's your niece, Carley!

 

I got this account just so I could see what was up on your trip. I think it's really great that you are doing this. smile.gif

 

Just here to cheer you on!

Go Uncle Juan GO!

 

Love,

Carley

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ClearwaterBMW

It's so nice when everyone in the family is excited about this as much as we are.

 

your uncle, juan..... is making a wonderful journey.

thanks for being here to support him as well

it means the world to him, i'm sure

 

greg

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Juan_S

Hey Carley!! Nice to hear from you, I will give you guys a call when I am in the great Lone Star State.

 

 

I am having a fantastic trip!!! See you soon

 

 

Juan

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Juan_S

Day 15 Wednesday September 7th – Banff, British Columbia

 

When I woke up, the temperature was 34 degrees, too cold for me, so I spent the early morning walking and enjoying this beautiful town of Banff. Even though Banff is a tourist town, it is nestled in a little valley surrounded by spectacular mountains. My destination today is Prince George in BC.

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As soon as I leave town, I encounter these mountain goats which reminds me that this area is full of forest creatures, and that I have to be extra vigilant for unexpected encounters with the four legged ones.

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The road between Banff and Jasper is called the Icefields Parkway and it proved to be 182 miles of total wow!!!!!!!!

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The weather today is again wonderful, albeit a little cool, but it is clear, so the views are out of this world.

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On this road, I am like the little country boy coming to the big city for the first time and being totally awed by all the big city things. I feel that way, but in reverse, Mother Nature definitely has awed this Colombian.

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As you travel north from Banff, the peaks keep getting more and more majestic,

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and the ice fields more and more striking. Day15_017.JPG

 

 

This is a must do trip. If you guys ever have the chance to come to this area, do come, it is definitely inspiring. As far as pure motorcycle riding, these roads are not very challenging, but it is a good thing because it is impossible to keep your eye on the road. Bring your relevant other and take a leisure ride on this parkway, and please do it both directions.

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The views looking south are just as breath taking as the ones going north.

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Again, the hard part of the ride on this road is keeping your eyes on the road, the vistas are fantastic all the way around you.

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They have tours that put you on these monster buses and actually take you on to the ice. Remember, this is the 1st week of September, so these are permanent ice fields.

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Talk about strange, Fall already????

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The Canadians have the right idea for their rest stops, they place them in the most picturesque spots along the road. Here is a good sample of one by a river on my way to Prince George, my final destination for the day.

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Stats:

Banff Departure 10:40am

Prince George Arrival 7:30pm

 

Miles 430

 

Weather: Fantastic (Except late afternoon rain near Prince George)

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

Wow Factor: 10

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Juan_S

Day 16 Thursday September 8th – Prince George, British Columbia

 

Yesterday when I arrived at Prince George, it was a dreary cold rainy evening, but today is back to bright skies and cool temperatures. The run to Hyder is 435 miles northwest of here, so it is a 870 mile round trip, is it worth it? I am wondering before I depart Prince George. Well mama did not bring up quitters, so off to Hyder I go..

 

The ride from Jasper to Prince George is long and not very exciting, so I am thinking that today is going to be more of the same…

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Strangely enough, where yesterday had towns every hundred or so miles, today’s ride is through populated areas, there is farming, and towns all along the way on route 16 north of Prince George.

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Even though the temperature, the dry air and the color of the leaves points to autumn, this area has summer afternoon showers …time for the rain gear.

 

 

Ok so by now I am really wondering if it is worth it, I am in the middle of nowhere… tired and in the rain…but it is only another 139 miles from here so I continue. By the way, fill up here, there is no premium gas from here to Stewart.

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Tourist attraction to get you to stop at the so called gas station….an above ground with non-rated gasoline…no thanks, I will push my bike all the way to 310 miles on one tank.

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The approach to the Stewart-Hyder area is very impressive, it is almost as good as the Icefields parkway and the rain has stopped, so I am pumped…

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Depending on where the light is hitting the glacier, it looks totally different

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See what I mean…

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A very nice way to end the day with this approach

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Finally made it to my destination, what a great ride…This is as far from home as I am going to be this whole trip… I have traveled roughly 7,500 miles through the most wonderful area of North America.

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What is to me the end of my journey is only the beginning for others. The Alaska Yukon Highway extends another 1500 miles or so north from here, that’s where the real big dogs ride to.

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Stats:

Price George Departure 8:30am

Hyder/Stewart Arrival 5:00pm

 

Miles 444

Total Miles since I left home: 7509

 

Weather: Fantastic (Except afternoon showers)

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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Juan_S

Day 17 Friday September 9th

 

When I first woke up this morning and looked out my hotel window all I saw were these low thick gray clouds overhead and I thought here is the end of my nice weather trip. Not so, they were just a few clouds that provided for some dramatic scenes. My plan for today is to get down to Williams Lake – 588 miles from here, my thinking being that 420 miles or so are a repeat from yesterday so I won’t be distracted looking at the sites….

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Another view of the low flying clouds from the King Edward Hotel Parking lot. By the way this is both a hotel and motel. The motel rooms are very nice with a full kitchenette and the hotel has a pretty good restaurant and bar.

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Even though I came through this road yesterday, it feels like a totally new road today. Here is the view coming out of Stewart in the morning

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Scenery continues to be very striking coming from Stewart

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The glacier looks totally different in the morning light than it did yesterday afternoon, and check out the foliage, full autumn in the first week of September… Glad I live in the south.

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The glacier has a strange luminosity in the morning light. Yesterday the ice looked dirty and grey, as snow looks in a mayor city when it’s a few days old. Today, it is bluish, and the light looks to be coming from the ice….

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So off onto the rising sun I ride, since I have a long distance to cover, time for me to leave this amazing land.

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So I thought that today would be a quick way out since it was a repeat….The views coming back to Prince George are fantastic, and since I am coming the other way, they look totally new to me…

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I have been totally awed by the Canadian Rockies. Everywhere you look you see majestic peaks that go forever and ever.

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More fall colors….

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Had to stop for the night in George Prince to get a new rear tire. The current tire with barely 5,000 miles won’t make it out of Canada, so my brother has been kind enough to find a replacement and, this being Friday, I decide to play it safe and change instead of pushing and being stuck with no tire down the line.

 

 

Stats:

Hyder/Stewart Departure 8:40am

Prince George Arrival 5:00pm

 

Miles 434

Total Miles since I left home: 7509

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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ClearwaterBMW

hey juan

great stuff

you've finally turned the corner and are heading home

strange about the only 5K on the tire

hmmmmm

not sure why that is

glad you are having fun

i know you'll have many family obligations when you get home/but can't wait to get together...

went riding with 5 other bmw buddies on saturday... we aer all following alone on your journey

 

greg

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Juan_S

Greg,

I changed the tire with only 5,100 miles. It would not have made it to 6,000 miles.

I am glad you guys are enjoying my postings, it keeps me motivated to keep up with them. We will get together once I settled back home.

 

Juan

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Barbara_S

 

"Had to stop for the night in George Prince to get a new rear tire. The current tire with barely 5,000 miles won’t make it out of Canada"

 

Hmmmm.... Rear tire....

 

Popping wheelies all the way to Alaska?

 

Busted! wink.gif

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ClearwaterBMW
We will get together once I settled back home.

 

Juan

 

for all the entertainment you've given us over the past days.... we owe YOU a great dinner

you name the place... it's on us!

 

greg

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klkelly

Hi Uncle Juan,

Amazing trip! I have really enjoyed your postings and pictures. Take care on your return home. Happy Birthday!

Karen

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Juan_S

Day 18 September 10th – Prince George

 

Yesterday afternoon I managed to make it to Prince George Yamaha just before closing, and arranged to have the rear tire replaced first thing this morning. They did not have the correct ZR rated tire, but instead had available a Bridgestone sport tire BTO14. Being the beginning of the weekend and about 500 miles away from any other alternative I chose to go with this tire.

 

At 9:00am on Saturday morning, I promptly made my way to the shop, here is my bike with its rear tire off. It is strange how you have to rotate the exhaust pipe to get that tire out.

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It breaks my heart to have left all that sidewall rubber on this tire, and to have used only the middle part, but there were really not a lot of twisties on this route…..maybe on the next tire…

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I am off at around 10:30am with a new rear tire, heading south on BC 97. The weather again is absolutely fantastic, not a cloud in the sky, and the temperature in the high 50’s to mid 60’s.

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The terrain in this area will remind you of upstate New York, with farms in rolling hills. This area of BC is populated with plenty of farms and towns all along the way.

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South of Lytton, BC the terrain once again become arid and mountainous.

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The further south you travel, the road keeps getting more and more interesting.

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So it had to happen. I dropped my bike by being careless. I stopped in this pull out to take or better say, try to take a picture of the canyon and when I got back on the bike and I pushed the bike from the left to the right to get the kick stand up, my right foot slipped on some loose gravel…down it went…ouch!!!! blush.gifblush.gif

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These scratches to the right side bag are the only damage. I hope that this is my one bad for this perfect trip

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So as I was saying before I dropped the bike, the canyon and road keeps getting more and more interesting the further south you travel.

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The end of another fantastic day on Canada route 1 towards Abbotsford. I decided that since I still had some Canadian cash, to have dinner in Abbotsford and then cross the border to spend the night around Suma, WA. Big mistake, while Abbotsford has plenty of nice hotels and restaurants, Suma has nothing. Not only that, but I crossed the border in the night, so here I was forced to travel through country roads in a pitch-dark night… no fun…Finally got to a hotel in Bellingham, WA around 9:30pm.

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When I got off route 1 on to 11 in Abbotsford, this is the view towards the south….could this be Mount Baker??? Pretty cool view!!!

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Stats:

Prince George Departure 10:30am

Bellingham Arrival 9:30pm

 

Miles 484.9

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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Juan_S

Day 19 September 11th – Bellingham, WA..

 

For the last four or five days I have been monitoring the weather in the Seattle area and the forecasts were all for rain. So to my surprise, this morning the weather is actually good. There are some high clouds, but no rain and the temperature is nice and cool.

 

Route 11 south from Bellingham is a nice scenic route. It has great twisties and great views of the coastline. This was Sunday morning so there was almost no traffic. I imagine that during the week this road does get its share of cars since it is very scenic.

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The coastal views from route 11 are very nice. Here is a cove about 5 miles south of Bellingham.

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After route 11, I crossed over to route 9 and then route 2 going east through the mountains. This route looked promising on paper, but when I got on the road, it was very crowded with car traffic. The reason for this was that I90 west had been closed due to a rock avalanche that actually killed three people in a car.

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On route 2 on my way to Stevens Pass, the clouds were covering the mountains, so I missed the views of the Cascades, and since the westbound traffic was such a mess, there really was no way to go back.

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Music to my Colombian ears, drive-thru espresso coffee stands. I guess they do like coffee here in the northwest, I saw these kinds of stands all along the road in eastern Washington.

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Regardless of the traffic, Route 2 is really a very pretty ride.

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And with all my complaining, the east bound traffic was moving at normal speeds, but the poor guys traveling west….the traffic jam was at least 25 miles long, from Leavenworth almost to the junction of I90 with 97. Don’t even want to think how long it took these poor people to get to the other side of the mountain…ouch!!!

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After rte. 20 across the mountains, I took route 97 south. I always thought that Washington state was all green and full of tall trees, but not so, here is 97 through Yakama canyon.

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The ride through the canyon is fantastic, very little traffic and lots of sweepers, with fantastic views.

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Am I back in Montana? No, this is southern Washington State on route 97 heading towards Oregon. This area truly looked like Montana.

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I went back to ride this road, but they had closed it, what a shame…. It looked like a fantastic motorcycle road…

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Approaching the Columbia River on route 97, fantastic view…

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I continued south on 97 through Oregon’s Grass Valley, the views are exceptional, and you can see the snow capped mountains in the far distance.

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Another fantastic day’s end, I spent the night in Madras, Oregon, a small town in the middle of nowhere, but with a nice hotel and an excellent Chinese restaurant.

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Stats:

Bellingham Departure 9:25am

Madras Arrival 7:00pm

 

Miles 448.5

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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seacrest

Hi Juan,

GREAT trip report. I wish I could take that much time off and ride my 1200 RT to Canada. Great pics. I just ordered side bag protectors for my 1200 from BMW. They will cover up the scratches on your side bag. They are hard plastic and vinyl and clue on. I think they are 70 bucks apiece.

Alot cheaper that the side bags. Thanks again for the great report.

clap.gif

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SC_Jack

Juan,

Thank you for sharing these photos and your impressions with us. What a great trip. If you're ever up my way again, send me a PM and I'll show you some of the back twisties in the mountains around Greenville, SC.

Keep those pictures coming. thumbsup.gif

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Juan_S

Day 20 September 12th – Madras, OR

 

This morning I started slowly since I needed to find a BMW dealer to get my bike’s 12,000 miles service done, and depending on what dealer I found it would set my direction for the day. Little did I know that BMW motorcycle dealers do not work on Monday’s - what a waste of a beautiful morning. Anyway, once again the weather gods are looking out for this Colombian boy, the weather is fantastic.

 

My goal for the day is to get down to around Lake Tahoe in California, but the minute I get back on 97 heading south and look to my right I see this amazing mountain out in the west. Am I going to pass it up and stay on 97 towards Tahoe?

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Not a chance, I look at my trusty GPS and find a nice little road that eventually leads me to the Cove Palisades State Park.

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Great place with a very nice motorcycle road…

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and great views.

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Again, they lead to nowhere. I think in my next crisis trip I will go to the dark side and get a GS, except I will never make it anywhere since I will be in all the small roads I keep finding on my RT.

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So Mount Jefferson was a no go, the three sisters are just to the south of it. And believe me, it has been a long trip with out the call of the gentler side, so I can’t resist the call of the three sisters, and off I go.

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From 97 you take back roads off 126 towards the town of Sisters. This town is at the north end of the three mountain tops and is a nice tourist stop if you are traveling with your significant other. Otherwise, it is a tourist trap crowding up an otherwise wonderful motorcycle ride.

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I took 242 west out of Sisters, and it is a very nice twisty road. Being a Monday in the middle of September the traffic was very light, but I imagine that during the summer months this road is crowded. The summit of this road is all volcanic…

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It reminded me of route 200 between Hilo and Kona on the Big Island in Hawaii…a total moonscape with lava rock everywhere you look…

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From 242 I took 19 south through the Willamette National Forest. Rte. 19 is a fantastic 60 mile road connecting to 58. It is a wonderful motorcycle road, and I would highly recommend it.

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I ended up the day in Klamath Falls, only 180 miles south of where I started the day, but what a day. The roads out of Sisters are out of this world.

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Stats:

Madras Departure 10:00am

Klamath Falls Arrival 6:50pm

 

Miles 380.5

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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ClearwaterBMW

Juan.....

Klamath Falls... we stayed at the RUNNING Y LODGE there recently... amazing place

did you NOT take a ride around CRATER LAKE?

it is perhaps the most beautiful spot in the Continental US

 

be safe

thanks for continuing to entertain us

greg

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Smoky_Mtn_Buds

It’s the Kevlar Kid and Slow Turn Sally here to say ”HAPPY BIRTHDAY” to our Smoky Mountain Trail Boss! Doc (aka as La Vaca Joe) sent us the link so we could ride vicariously through you. What a great trip! We have had the best time following along. We actually got back from our annual trip right before you left. This time we headed to Colorado and had a great week of riding.

 

Thanks so much for taking the time to post for everyone. It has been an inspiration for us to travel some new roads. Canada will be our next trip.

 

You take care & travel safe.

 

Let’s Ride!

(Peggy & Vince)

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Juan_S

I was heading that way but I was low on gas and my GPS was saying that the closest Gas station was forty some miles away, so I turned around.

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Juan_S

Day 21 September 13th – Klamath Falls, OR

 

My very nice brother found Ozzie’s BMW center in Chico, California that was willing to fit my bike in for the 12,000 mile service, so the route for the day was set to Chico, CA.

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I pointed my GPS to Chico and resigned myself to a boring 210-mile trip down 97 to I5. I could not have been more wrong, as soon as you come out of the Klamath Falls area, Mount Shasta appears in the far horizon. Rte. 97 goes right through the base of the mountain on its way to I5.

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Even this part of I5 is not bad as it goes through the Shasta National Forest on its way to the northern central valley.

Day21_014.JPG

 

 

From I5 I took route 99 towards Chico. On the way there is a whole bunch of farms with this type of nice trees. I am not sure, but I think they are almond trees.

Day21_015.JPG

 

I got into Chico around 2:00 for my service appointment. They started working on the bike this afternoon but it won’t be finished until tomorrow in the AM, so I am taking this opportunity to wash my riding gear. Three weeks wearing the same outfit,….it gets gamey… Anyway, there is a hotel, laundromat and restaurants all within walking distance of Ozzie’s.

 

Stats:

Klamath Falls, OR Departure 10:25am

Chico, CA Arrival 2:10pm

 

Miles 210

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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Juan_S

Day 22 September 14th – Chico, CA

 

When I first started looking for a place to have the bike serviced, all the dealers that I contacted said that they were booked for the next 5…6….7….days… but not Ozzie’s. Even though they were booked for the next two weeks, since I was on the road they were willing to squeeze my service in. Ozzie’s is a small old-fashioned BMW Motorcycle dealer in Chico, California. They were fantastic to deal with, very friendly and welcoming. In addition, the cost for servicing the bike was very reasonable. Definitely go and visit them when you are in the area.

Day22_001.JPG

 

 

George, one of the fellow customers at Ozzie’s, suggested that I take route 70 heading east towards Lake Tahoe. It turned out to be a great road with lots of twisties…

Day22_002.JPG

 

But unfortunately, it also had a lot of areas under road construction.

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Again the weather is fantastic, here is the world famous Lake Tahoe.

Day22_014.JPG

 

The ride around the lake is very pretty, but it is very crowded with cars…even on a Wednesday afternoon.

Day22_024.JPG

 

Route 88 from Tahoe towards 49 offers a great ride; it goes through multiple mountain passes, including Carson Pass.

Day22_029.JPG

 

The views from the passes are again out of this world, and the weather for my whole trip has been fantastic.

Day22_034.JPG

 

I stopped for the night at Jackson located at the junction of 49 and 88. It was a short riding day since I did not leave Chico until close to 11:30am, but nevertheless a fantastic riding day.

 

Stats:

Chico, CA Departure 11:30am

Jackson, CA Arrival 6:50pm

 

Miles 210

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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Highway41

Like others, I'm following with much interest.

 

Is there anything you wish you had done to your bike for the trip such as radio, highway pegs, beer cooler? And how are you getting these great posts to us? PC or maybe a blackberry?

 

Looking forward to the next post. Bill clap.gif

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TNT

You the man! thumbsup.gif Thanks for posting this trip and have a good/safe ride home. cool.gif

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murrayg

Juan,

Following your trip is great! thumbsup.gif I love reading this at the end of your posts,

 

"Stats:

Chico, CA Departure 11:30am

Jackson, CA Arrival 6:50pm

 

Miles 210

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)"

 

You're helping a lot of people have fun by following your amazing trip. Be careful, ride well, and keep posting we love it. clap.gif

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ELP_JC
Juan,

Following your trip is great! thumbsup.gif I love reading this at the end of your posts,

 

"Stats:

Chico, CA Departure 11:30am

Jackson, CA Arrival 6:50pm

 

Miles 210

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)"

You have to admire a guy who had a 'Fun Factor' of 10 the day he dropped his new bike thumbsup.gifclap.gif

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Joel
You have to admire a guy who had a 'Fun Factor' of 10 the day he dropped his new bike thumbsup.gifclap.gif

 

Ain't that the truth!?!

 

Go Juan, go! thumbsup.gif

 

I hope Juan or someone in his family is archiving this tale. It would make one heckuva coffee table book. I'd buy it.

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Juan_S

Day 23 September 15th – Jackson, CA

 

Again, the weather is fantastic, a little cool, but the sky is a deep blue and not a cloud to be seen. My plan is to head south on California highway 49 before turning east on 120 toward Yosemite National Park. Highway 49 is a very pretty road that meanders through the foothills of the sierras and goes through some quaint little mining towns, but it does have traffic….

Day23_002.JPG

 

 

This morning when I left the hotel I was dragging and did not feel like riding until I got to Route 120. 120 from 49 towards Yosemite is a fantastic road with wonderful views. The vegetation is interesting, it goes from grassland (looks like hay) to tall pine forests the higher and further east you go….One good road, good weather and all my draginess is gone… I am ready to ride….

Day23_004.JPG

 

 

Tall pines on the way in to Yosemite.. a little crowded, but still a lot of fun is to be had on 120….

Day23_014.JPG

 

 

The roads in Yosemite park have speed limits of 45 miles per hour, but who cares….the views are fantastic. Here is the entrance into the valley from 120.

Day23_016.JPG

 

 

Spectacular…who can ride faster than 45… and look at the beauty that mother nature has to offer?

Day23_042.JPG

 

 

Today the park was surprisingly busy. I thought that being both the middle of September and the middle of the week, the crowds would be thin. No such luck, but with this wonderful weather who can blame them.

Day23_021.JPG

 

 

Even the roads down in the valley are fantastic…slow… but fantastic.

Day23_023.JPG

 

 

Not a bad place for lunch…

Day23_036.JPG

 

Back on 120 continuing west through the Tioga Pass the tall pines give way to a lot more arid area.

Day23_060.JPG

 

And the road keeps getting better… If you are adverse to heights, do not take 120 west, it does not even have guard rails, but what a super road.

Day23_064.JPG

 

 

As soon as you leave the park, you are in the desert. No sign or anything…just the desert.

Day23_068.JPG

 

If you are ever in this area you must take route 120 between 395 and route 6….it is a fantastic motorcycle road…with lots of switch backs and undulations that make it a riot to run..

Day23_072.JPG

 

The dessert in this area is all covered with these yellow plants…that give off kind of a citric smell, all very pretty and great to ride through..

Day23_075.JPG

 

Here is shot of the plant…Who knows what it is called?

Day23_080.JPG

 

I told you this is a fun road, I can’t wipe out my goofy smile…it even has it own Oasis that provide a nice spot for a break. Here I found two fellow BMW riders from Las Vegas just sitting on rocking chairs waiting for another friend to meet up with them. Not only were they nice enough to give me some routing tips, but they also took this shot for me.

Day23_085.JPG

 

This part of Nevada is empty; except for the police…I got my first performance award within the first five miles of being in Nevada….57 dollars, not too bad.

Day23_089.JPG

 

As the sun settled in the west, I chased my shadow along the vastness of the Nevada desert, really a fascinating ride..

Day23_094.JPG

 

The views in the dessert are fantastic.

Day23_096.JPG

 

Desolate, low gas, dusk and now the extraterrestrial highway…..

Day23_100.JPG

 

 

The extraterrestrial highway is Nevada route 375 and even though it is totally void of human inhabitants, it is a very nice ride.

Day23_102.JPG

 

 

Today I totally miscalculated the vastness and emptiness of Nevada. When I was riding on route 6, I went through the little town of Tonopah, it had motels and gas available. I had half a tank of gas left, and it was only 5:45pm. On the way out of town they had a sign saying next gas is 90 miles from here. I failed to realize that I was not continuing on route 6 all the way, but instead I was turning south on 375; to make a long story short, I finally found gas on route 93 with only ½ gallon left, and a motel 50 miles later in Caliente at 9:45pm. There was almost a full moon, and the temperature was in the sixties, so the night ride on the desert was actually very nice… but I did worry about finding gas.

 

Stats:

Jackson, CA Departure 9:00am

Caliente, NV Arrival 9:45pm

 

Miles 527

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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Juan_S

Like others, I'm following with much interest.

 

Is there anything you wish you had done to your bike for the trip such as radio, highway pegs, beer cooler? And how are you getting these great posts to us? PC or maybe a blackberry?

 

No, I think I got everything I needed done before I left, with the exception of adding GS type rear view mirrors to the bike. This is what I did in preparation:

 

After reading all the feedback on the 2005 RT, I traded in my 2004 RT for the 2005. My 2004 was an excellent bike and only had 36,000 miles on it, but this one is much better. It is quicker, lighter, faster, more comfortable and, yes, uglier…

 

I took the new bike on a 2,500 mile shake down trip up to the mountains around the southern end of the BRP and decided that the only addition I needed for my trip were the highway pegs ,since my left knee really hurt and became stiff after a couple of hours on the bike. Additionally, side bag liners are a must. The bags on this bike are huge and a real PITA to carry into hotels at night.

 

So in summary here is a list of the extra stuff I carried:

 

BMW Tank Bag, excellent for my electronic connectors, and snacks.

 

Alaska sheepskin seat cover – I am using the OEM seat with this cover and staying on the bike all day with no problem.

 

IPOD- My kids got it all set up for me, so all I have to do is push the play button, very nice….. I carry it in my jacket so I can get on and off the bike with no connectors to worry about. The ear plugs I am using are the Etymotic Research ER 6i and they are doing a great job.

 

After many years, I have come to the realization that a lot of the fatigue I felt when riding motorcycles was due to the fact that I was letting myself become dehydrated, so I purchased the cheapest camelback I could find. I tie it to the back pillion and I have water all day long whenever I want it. Best $ 14.95 I have spent.

 

BMW top case. Basically bought it so I could have my laptop PC with me. It is big and ugly, but easy to take off. Also, in cross wind situations, it does shake the bike around a little bit.

 

Kathy’s case liners – I only bought the ones for the side bags. It is a treat to just open the hard case on the bike, grab the soft bag and go into the hotel.

 

For Highway pegs I am using the Elf Pegs. They are pricey, but they are doing the job.

 

GS type mirrors. I finally added them in Chico. I tried to buy them when I was servicing the bike in Indiana, but they did not have them in stock. Ozzie’s had them and installed them. Now I don’t feel like I am driving a truck with no backward visibility.

 

Got to ride…more on equipment later… grin.gifgrin.gif

 

Juan

Edited by Juan_S

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Juan_S

You have to admire a guy who had a 'Fun Factor' of 10 the day he dropped his new bike

Nothing bent or broken…no skin left on the payment…don’t like it…but no problem… anything that I can fix with paint is no problem…specially a case cover…

 

Juan

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Bob Palin

The yellow flowering plant is almost certainly Rabbit Brush which is in flower all over my area at the moment. The picture is a little fuzzy so can't tell you which kind of Rabbit Brush. It is supposed to flower 6 weeks before the first frost.

 

Are you coming through Torrey?

 

edit: it's definitely Rabbit Brush, the flowers are too big for Sage Brush. Rabbit Brush is a member of the sunflower family (along with about 50,000 other plants). The seeds, roots and leaves are "edible", haven't tried them! Supposed to be a treatment for headaches, colds and internal injuries, perhaps this should be in the disaster planning thread.

Edited by Killer

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ClearwaterBMW

Juan...

still enjoying every picture and every word

it's like an ongoing PBS special event....

and i mean that in the very best way

greg

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Juan_S

Bob,

 

I went though Torrey this afternoon. I had a blast on 12 and on 24 and on 95…heck I had fun all day long. Sorry I missed you but tonight I am in Blanding Utah and heading to New Mexico tomorrow.

 

Juan

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Juan_S

Greg,

 

Thanks for all your support, by the way, I am on my way to New Mexico tomorrow and I am going to try some of the roads you suggested to Ken/OC on “Santa Fe – Advice Needed”

 

Juan

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ClearwaterBMW

wow

i can't wait to hear how you like them

that is yet ANOTHER beautiful area of this country

greg

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Global_Rider

One question...why the time constraint of 30 days? Work?

 

Sounds rushed.

 

Nice pics, but I'll have to wait till I get to work to see all of them. I have dial-up at home...so slow.

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Juan_S

Day 24 September 16th - Caliente Nevada.

 

I woke to a beautiful day again in Caliente Nevada, the only town in the middle of the dessert, that had a couple of hotels. Upon my arrival last night, I had to wake up the front desk lady, in order to get a room. The Midway motel is really old fashioned… they do not even take credit cards. When you register, the lady tells you your room number and the key for the room is hanging on the door lock, interesting, anyway the room was not only comfortable but also very clean…

Day24_003.JPG

 

 

From Caliente I continued towards Utah on route 93. The day is clear and bright and you can see around you for miles and miles….For an eastern-based boy, the west offers magnificent open vistas that we do not get at home. Your soul just wants to expand….very beautiful…

Day24_007.JPG

 

I came to Utah via highway 56 into Cedar City and, having a couple of hours to spare before having to be down in St. George for a tire change, I decided to take the motorcycle route instead of the highway…14 west out of Cedar City…excellent road.

Day24_008.JPG

 

South on 89…nice….

Day24_015.JPG

 

 

Then back west on route 9 through Zion National Park…wow!!!!!!!

Day24_045.JPG

 

 

Roads are slow, but who can keep his eyes on the road…

Day24_040.JPG

 

 

Then I was off to the Harley Davidson dealer for my 2:00pm appointment for my new tires. What a disaster. First, I did not realize that there was a time change involved so I was there at 3, not 2. Secondly, they did not have anybody to install the tires; so my bike became my pickup truck to rush them off to another place to have them mounted. And finally, and this I did not realize until the next day when I noticed the rapid wear in my new tires, the guys sold me Dunlop D 207ZR. When I purchased them, like a fool, all I paid attention to was the ZR rating on the tire.

Day24_052.JPG

 

Anyway, EPIC Motorsports in St. George were life savers, I got there at around 4:15 on a Friday afternoon and they had me out within one hour with both tires mounted.

Day24_054.JPG

 

So there was still daylight left….time to ride some more in this beautiful area.

Day24_057.JPG

 

Took old US-91 south towards Littlefield, again a wonderful ride. The landscape in this part of the country never ceases to amaze me… the weather helps…and even the moon is helping. Cruising through America is a wonderful journey.

Day24_076.JPG

 

 

Stats:

Caliente, NV Departure 8:45am

St George, UT Arrival 7:00pm

 

Miles 310.1

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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Highway41

I'm just green with envy and taking notes. Your trip has inspired me to start serious planning for long spring ride. Maybe a 5-7 day reconnaissance this fall.

Continued good luck. Bill thumbsup.gif

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Juan_S

One question...why the time constraint of 30 days? Work?

 

Sounds rushed.

30 days is a long time to be with out the SWMBO……… tongue.gif

and yes work dopeslap.gifdopeslap.gif and kids... smirk.gif

 

Juan

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Juan_S

Day 25 September 17th. – St George, Utah

 

Yesterday afternoon on my way down to St. George, I did a wonderful loop through Zion National Park. Not wanting to repeat the same route I decided to get on I15 northbound towards 143. What promised to be a 65 mile boring highway ride did not last 20 minutes before I saw the turnoff for the Kolob Canyons. These Canyons are on the interstate side of the park and are absolutely fantastic and, as opposed to the main side of the park, hardly anybody is here on this gorgeous Saturday morning.

Day25_008.JPG

 

Utah’s route 143 runs east from I15 at the town of Parowan to the junction with 89 in the town of Panguitch. It is a wonderful road, it goes up to the summit at 10,400 feet, and it has great sweepers and turns….and very little car traffic….also the views are excellent…

Day25_017.JPG

 

 

Soon after I take route 12 towards Bryce Canyon National Park the road gets very interesting with all the red rock formation, not to mention these arches over the road.

Day25_024.JPG

 

 

Bryce Canyon is very beautiful, but it is not any better on a motorcycle than in a car. In this park all the views are from above looking into amazing rock formations, but they are only visible from the viewing area so you don’t really get a better view on the bike.

Day25_029.JPG

 

Route 12 east of Bryce towards Torrey is even more fun…Utah is a state of contrasts, one minute you are going through red rock canyons….

Day25_056.JPG

 

The next minute you are going through green aspen areas….

Day25_063.JPG

 

Back to beautiful red rock canyons…..

Day25_078.JPG

 

To grey and white…

Day25_088.JPG

 

Just a wonderful state to cruise on. All the roads and areas I have gone through are fantastic. Now I know why the group comes to Torrey every year, an amazing area….come ride it….

 

The north end of Lake Powell is a little dry, but it is still beautiful.

Day25_100.JPG

 

 

So once again, the end of the day catches me 65 miles from the nearest hotel…but who cares… these roads at dusk are out of this world….

Day25_107.JPG

 

 

 

I’ve been so lucky on this trip, the weather has been perfect and now even the moon comes out to keep me company while I try to get to the nearest town….for a hotel.

Day25_109.JPG

 

 

By the way, there must have been some sort of long distance motorcycle rally this weekend, because I encountered a whole bunch of long distance bikers heading north on 95 at night. The lights those boys put on those bikes are strong….When I encountered the first two bikes heading north, I though it was a space ship coming to get me, then I realized that I was not back at the extraterrestrial highway…..

 

Stats:

St. George, UT Departure 10:10am

Blanding, UT Arrival 8:30pm

 

Miles 310.1

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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ClearwaterBMW

Juan,

those spaceships can come and get you anywhere....

i think the "smart" aliens avoid the E.T. Highway entirely

smile.gif

 

greg

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soboy

Fantastic trip and great pics, Juan. I took the family to Utah and Northern Arizona last summer on a canyon trip and I think Zion is the most beautiful, peaceful place in the U.S. Almost a religious experience. And Utah 12 is one awesome roller coaster ride, isn't it? Great part of the country, glad you're enjoying it and you are bringing back great memories for me.

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Juan_S

Day 26 September 18th – Blanding, Utah

 

My plan yesterday, before I ran out of light, was to take route 261 from 95, but since my GPS did not show any towns on that route, I went to Blanding for the night. I decided to backtrack 35 miles in order to take this route. Boy was I glad…around mile 15 from Blanding, I started thinking that this was really stupid to backtrack all this distance for not much of a road until I went through this pass….

Day26_002.JPG

 

 

Then I got on to route 261 and I see this warning about unpaved and narrow road ahead, but I also saw a couple of rental sedans coming the other way so I decided to continue… Then I get here…if I turn around, it will be like a 70 mile wasted trip…so 3 miles of unpaved road…I can do this….

Day26_005.JPG

 

This is what you see at the first turn….The drop is 1100 feet straight down….

Day26_007.JPG

 

And this is the road going down…definitely not a high speed highway…

Day26_013.JPG

 

Yours truly very happy to have come all the way to see this unbelievable wonder of nature!!!!

Day26_017.JPG

 

After stumbling onto monument valley, a must-see place, I continued on to New Mexico via route 64. 64 is a mixed bag type of road, in the western part of the state, between Shiprock and Bloomfield, it is a four-lane highway. Between Rutheon and Tres Piedras it is a great road. By the way, that is not a cloud on the horizon, it is a forest fire….

Day26_037.JPG

 

As I said, 64 becomes fun after Rutheon, it goes up through the mountains to a summit of over 10,000 feet, and it has a lot of sweepers….sweet.

Day26_044.JPG

 

It is starting to feel like fall…colors are starting to show on the trees…and the air is cool.

Day26_045.JPG

 

64 continues to be a lot of fun, even on the flatter part of the road. The smoke cloud keeps getting bigger….

Day26_050.JPG

 

I found out later this night that this fire was actually located about 60 miles south of route 64, but as I was approaching the smoke cloud, it felt like it was really close

Day26_052.JPG

 

 

Taos, New Mexico is about 60 miles north of Santa Fe and it is a really neat southwestern town to visit. Day26_058.JPG

 

 

From Taos to Santa Fe, I followed Greg’s (ClearwaterBMW) suggested route and what fun it was. Routes 75 and 76 are great motorcycle roads. The views from 75 are pretty good.

Day26_065.JPG

 

 

Route 76 is a ridge road, it runs on top of the ridge for a good while, but unfortunately, it has large sections under construction. So if you are not into gravel riding, avoid it until it is repaved, but nevertheless a wonderful road to finish another wonderful riding day.

Day26_073.JPG

 

 

Stats:

Blanding, UT Departure 9:45am

Santa Fe, NM Arrival 7:00pm

 

Miles 479.7

 

Weather: Fantastic

Fun Factor: 10 (Scale 1 to 10)

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ClearwaterBMW

Hey Juan,

fabulous pics and story

i am SO sorry about that gravel on my suggested route

glad you liked TAOS....

i think that place is neat

 

can't wait to hear more

 

greg

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questrider

Juan,

 

I am loving this Ride Tale. Absolutely wonderful.

 

However, I do have a question about how you're taking pictures like this:

 

Day23_016.JPG

 

and this:

 

Day24_008.JPG

 

You're obviously riding and not stopping to take the pictures so I'm curious as to how you are doing this without compromising your safety and potential damage to the camera if you dropped it!

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