WeSTOC 2016 Continued Page 3
Day 15 - Friday September 2nd
Planned route for the day:
The plan for the day was to ride I70 to South UT Hwy 24, stop in at Goblin Valley, then back to Hwy 24, follow it through Capital Reef NP, and stop in Torrey UT for lunch. Then head south on UT Hwy 12 to Tropic, where we will spend the night. If times allows, we’ll go to Bryce Canyon.
We were up and loaded around 9am (early for us). A Quick bite at Burger King and we were off, heading west, on I70. The weather wasn’t too bad, but they were calling for rain in the afternoon in Grand Junction, so we didn’t want to stick around too long anyway.
I70 wasn’t anything to write home about and thank goodness we weren’t planning on riding it too far. Although we had only gone about 100 miles or so, we figured gassing up and taking a break in Green River seemed to be the best bet for us. That way we would have full tanks to get down 24 & 12.
While resting up, another biker came in. He was riding a Kawi V Twin. He had left Colorado Springs, after the hail had hit on the 29th (what Dave and I missed by hours) and had gotten wet riding down to Las Vegas and back. He had plenty of wet tells to tell us about. I believe he had told Dave that he left Las Vegas while it was raining, and was glad to be out of it.
Until we told him they were expecting rain in Grand Junction this afternoon! When the guy was ready to leave, he couldn’t find his key. Dave asked him were the spare was, and the guy said safely at home! Oops! Well, it took him a good 15 minutes of looking until he found it in his jacket. Seems a hole developed in his jacket pocket and the key found its way in there.
Dave and I took off right after that and we only had 38 more miles of I70, until we turned south on UT24. When the boys and I did our Southwest Tour a couple years back, we came north on UT24. It was a long, HOT, and boring. We even stopped on the way to Goblin Valley, but the boys didn’t want any part of it. One reason was because of the heat. The other, they just wanted to ride to our next destination, which was Moab.
I warned Dave not to expect too much, but since Dave likes to look at the landscape, it was more interesting for him than it was for the boys. When we stopped at Goblin Valley, we both found it very interesting. It looked like someone was playing with clay and just put globs of clay here and there! Big Globs!
After a short photo opt and rest, we were back on the road again. We had a lot of two lane miles to cover. While heading south on 24, we could see thunder clouds in the direction we were traveling! I had checked the weather and they were expecting rain on Hwy12, so I knew we were in trouble!
UT24 continues south to Hanksville, where it makes a 90 degree turn to the west and heads though Capital Reef NP. Capital Reef has some interesting mountains, but we didn’t stop to take many pictures, in fact. We were just taking pictures as we rode through.
From Hanksville, it was 57 miles to Torrey, where we would have lunch and watch the ugly rain to the south, knowing we were going to be going into it! While we were eating, we joined a couple of guys sitting at one of the tables. One of them was a Gunsmith for a specialty gun shop, and the other guy was a cop from Bountiful. They were there for some gun classes.
The one guy, a bit of a talker, was interesting to listen to. Although he wasn’t that old, he had a lot of experience with guns! But our lunch and theirs came to an end, and off we were to go into the rain!
We knew we were going to get wet, but neither of us donned our rain gear and we just took off. It didn’t take long before we were in the middle of it and it was getting colder the farther south we went, because the elevation was going up too. The coldest I saw was about 45F, which felt real good, being wet and all!
I was on a constant watch for the forest rats, and sure enough, we came across them a couple of times. We even had a cow run in front of us (about 50 yards in front of us) and that cow wasn’t stopping for nothing! Good thing there wasn’t any tractor-trailers going through at the time! We even had another rider behind us from Torrey. I kept expecting him to pass us, but he never did. I guess he wanted us to run point for the deer!
Once we hit Boulder UT, the rain let up and as we were making the 90 degree turn at the south end of Boulder, we didn’t see any more rain, for that ride and even that rider that was following us stopped at Boulder. Now Escalante was only about 37 more miles down the road, but we stopped at the “Head of the Rocks” Overlook and took a quick break. We were already drying out.
We then took off for Escalante where we stopped for gas. By this time we were both getting tired. The rain took a toll on us since we had to go slow, but also be on the lookout for the forest rats! And we still had another 43 miles to travel before getting to our room.
We finally made it to Tropic, but we were so tired, there was no way for us to go see Bryce.
After getting settled in our room, we went down to the local store and then to the restaurant and had some dinner. After a bit (after 10pm) I realized I didn’t have any water, so went to get a bottle. I hit the water button and got a Dr Pepper! Grrr. I then went back to the store, which was closed, but I was hoping for a coke machine… there wasn’t. I then checked the motel’s laundromat, none! So I just went back to the room and said, Oh well!
Total miles for Day 15 was about: 380
Day 16 - Saturday September 3rd
Planned route for the day:
The plan for the day was to ride down to Rainbow Point in Bryce Canyon, ride back out, then head over Hwy12 to Hwy89 south, then Hwy9 through Zion. We would continue to I15 and head south to St George, then go back through Las Vegas and to US95, so we could stop by and see Hoover Dam and the new bridge and spend the night in Laughlin.
Sometimes things just don’t go as planned! So we got up, got dressed and headed to the Motel Office for their “Breakfast”. After seeing everyone there, we choose to go eat at the restaurant that we ate at the night before. Besides, they gave 10% if you were in the Motel!
So, Dave and I order the same thing, but instead of a “meat” omelet, she gave me a vegetable omelet! UCK! So she had to take it back and about 20 minutes later, I get my all meat one! The problem was, that delayed us even more. So now we were a lot later getting away than we wanted.
As we got to the Bryce Canyon gate, a line had already formed. Dave got in one line and I got in the other. As I told Dave as I was a car or two ahead of him, it only takes one to completely screw everything up! I hate it when I’m right! Dave was about 5 minutes ahead of me getting through the gate. I had several vehicles in front of me that caused issues!
But we got in and headed towards Rainbow point, about 16 miles away. The further south we went, the clouds got darker! But we made it to Rainbow Point and took a few pictures before leaving.
Off in the distance we could see even darker clouds and decide it was time to head back, although there were a few spots we still wanted to check out.
At one spot we stopped, there were a couple of Ravens sitting on two large posts. After Dave and I posed with them, a couple of gals went to pose with them when they started Squawking. Really making some racket! I told the gals they are complaining, they wanted $15 an hour to have pictures with them! LOL
As we were getting close to the entrance, we were getting a few drops on us, so we stopped and put the cameras away. Then we stopped again and put some rain gear on. This made us a little too warm, but kept us dry.
And just as we were getting out of the park, it started coming down pretty hard! I knew that there were a couple of gas stations up ahead, so we picked the first one and ducked under it. After filling the bikes up we decided it would be a good time to take a break, so I told Dave to ride over in front of me, where a pump was out of commission and we could just stay there until the rain stopped. So we took a break and watched the rain and lightning for about fifteen minutes or so.
Once the rain was gone, we took off to get back on Hwy12 heading west. We had ridden about 16 miles when we came across Red Canyon and decided we needed to at least take a few pictures!
Just before we rode into Bryce Canyon, we had stopped at a store, I was hoping to pick up a large chip for my onboard cameras. Although they didn’t have any, the guy told me to go to the town of Panguitch, just a few miles north of the US89/UT12 intersection. They had a RadioShack there.
So we headed north on US89. As Dave and I were going through town, we saw a Rexall Drugs, and thought we could stop there if nothing else. We continued for about a mile more and not seeing a RadioShack anywhere, we turned around and headed for the Rexall Drug store we spotted earlier. As we came in view of the Rexall sign, we could see that the RadioShack sign was right below it! DUH!
I went in to pick up a 64GB chip, but saw they had a 128GB, so I got that instead. I went back out and Dave decided to go in and use the restroom, but also decided to get a chip. When he told the guy that he was really disappointed that his brother was just in and bought a 64gb chip, the guy corrected him and said I had bought a 128gb! Dave went ahead and got a 64gb chip. (And later I’m thinking I should have only gotten a 64gb chip, since it seemed that I had issues using the 128 gb chips in my onboard cameras.)
For me to get to my onboard cameras, I had to completely unload my rear saddle! Then remove the saddle to get to the DVR. Once I was all loaded back up, Dave and I took off south on US89. And it was a really good thing we weren’t speeding, there was a cop sitting at the edge of town as we were leaving!
So now we had about 63 miles to the east Zion gate. As we were heading down US89, we spotted another cop, who came in right behind us, so I kept to the speed limit and played it safe! Also, as we got closer to Zion, we could see the clouds getting darker and darker!
We found Hwy 9 and turned towards Zion and we felt we missed another storm! When I was going through the gate, I asked the Gal if they had gotten any rain yet and she said “no”, then looked up and said; “Oh my”, she could see the clouds above us at that time.
Dave and I pulled in, stopped nearby and set up our GoPros and other cameras and then took off with a few rain drops falling. I’ve gone through Zion a couple of times on my bikes, but only west to east, never east to west. This gave me new views of Zion. Right after we cleared the long tunnel, we came to a pullover area, an “at an angle" pullover, and I had a heck of a time getting my bike to sit right. But as soon as I shut it down, there goes the “Camera Stopped” thing again on my on-board cameras!
DANG! Off come my extra bags off the rear saddle and pull the rear saddle up and grab the DVR and pull the battery! Again, I had a 128GB chip in it. I really think it causes it somehow.
So I got that fixed while Dave was talking to another couple. I loaded the bike back up and after getting a couple of pictures, we were on the road again! As we approached the west entrance, Dave needed a break, so we pulled into the parking lot (what a mess, which is what it is every time I’ve been through!) We found some empty “20 Minutes Only” spots and pulled into them. Once Dave was in, I pulled my bike next to his space, so others could use the other space I was in.
Again, we were ready to leave. Now trying to get out of that parking lot, pulling a left turn is bad at best! But we did it and then rode out of the park and on our way through Hurricane. But not as fast as we would have liked! Five cages in front of us didn't know what the sign 55 MPH in English meant, so I had to make short work of them!
Then, it was slow going for the last mile or two of Hurricane, because they had it down to one lane due to construction, what a mess!
We finally got out of there, and it was like 5pm, but we kept going until we got to I15 to head south. I figured we could gas up in St George, and then ride all the way to Laughlin. It was getting late and by the time we were in Las Vegas, it was dark.
So much for Hoover Dam! We were a few miles from a gas stop in Henderson, when my new Sena 20s tells me that my power was low. She said that two more times in a very short distance, and boom, no power! We pulled off, gassed up and then I connected my power cord from my tankbag to my Sena. Working again!
By this time is was just getting darker, so Dave and I just made a be-line to the hotel in Laughlin. Due to a late start, rain delay, traffic delay, we just never could get this day going for us. Oh well, off to the hotel and when we get there, what a mob!
Okay, so the hotel has to upgrade us, well, that didn’t work, since I wanted a non-smoking room! So she tried a few more, nothing! So the kid manager comes over and he gets us in a Handicap room (I don’t like Handicap rooms since an infection I got once a few years ago, but I didn’t have much choice!) I then found the bellhop station and got help so we could get our stuff up to our room.
Dave stayed up in the room while I went and wasted a little money in the Casino. Waste of time, I could almost hear the sucking sound in the machines! Oh well, back to the room I went. At lease we were able to sleep pretty well.
Total miles for Day 16 was about: 375
Day 17 - Sunday September 4th
Planned route for the day:
The original plan for the day was to ride back up and see Hoover Dam & bridge, then head for HOME! But I thought Dave would like to go see London Bridge in Lake Havasu City. So we changed our plans a little.
In the morning, we got up and decided we would wait for breakfast until we could hit the McDonalds in Searchlight, on our way to Hoover dam and the bridge. So I called the bellhop to come get our stuff, which we were lucky, not that many people were leaving Sunday morning on a three day weekend!
I walked down with the bellhop and Dave was getting his bike. When the bellhop and I got down to the loading area, he told me to go ahead and get my bike too and he would hold the stuff there for us. Cool. So I went and got my bike before Dave even got his going.
We both rode down, loaded them up and off we went the direction we came. Out 163 to 95 and north to Searchlight, where we filled up the bikes, found some shade and I went in and bought us some breakfast. As always, most of our stops are not short and this one was not different. So a good 45 minutes later we were heading north again towards Boulder City.
The temps were climbing a little, but it was still comfortable. We found the dam entrance and followed the road for what seemed miles. As we approached the “Security” area (it wasn’t there when I visited back in Jan of 2013), there we maybe five cars ahead of us.
Our first stop was at the parking lot for the bridge. “Hey, look, shade, right next to the bathrooms!” BIG MISTAKE, I kept having the smell of those things in my helmet for the next 100 miles! AIR, I need AIR!
Dave and I walk up the steps to the bridge and it was really windy! I removed my hat because I thought it would blow off! We walked about halfway out, took our pictures and headed back to the bikes. As we got back to the parking lot, an Australian guy started talking to us about the bikes and our adventure.
We then walked back to the bikes and all I could smell was the odor coming from the bathrooms! It was pretty strong; I will not do that again! (Park near outhouses). Dave and I then headed to the dam and I was thinking that the road from the Arizona side would be open, WRONG! So after turning around we stopped at an almost empty parking lot that overlooked the dam and the bridge and we took a bunch of pictures and then a Pepsi break!
As we got back on the bikes, our Sena’s started acting up. We could hear our music, but not each other. So I called Dave and we talked on our cell phones as we exited the park. Remember when we got to the Security area, that we were only like five vehicles back? Well let me tell you that that line was now backed up to the off ramp at the freeway! Some two or three miles back! And they weren’t moving very fast!
“Timing is Everything”, was the theme of this ride!
Now Dave and I are riding down Hwy93 in Arizona and our Sena’s were still not working, which was frustrating the heck out of me! So I kept playing with it, turning it on/off, laying with the dial, etc! I don’t even know what I did, but all of a sudden, Dave could hear me again! (I have to figure these things out, that all there is to it! And now that I have two of them, maybe I can!)
Wow, we were able to communicate again. The cell phones were great when we were trying to get out of the park, but once we hit speed, I couldn’t understand Dave too well. But with the intercom working again, we could talk just fine. And since the road to Kingman was long and not too exciting, being able to communicate allowed us to make comments of the different cages around us and how some of them would go real fast until they got around us and then slowed down again. And we would pass them again! Oh well, at least we weren't going back down US95...again, since we had already ridden twice in the last two days.
We didn't even stop in Kingman, we just headed west on I40, and about 32 miles later, we took AZ95 south for another 25 miles or so, until we saw a Chevron/McD’s. And it was getting hot by now, so being inside seemed like the thing to do! Before we left, we had a few conversations with different folks.
We take these extended breaks and then Dave wonders why we are so late at getting to our destination??? Well Bro, stopping for an hour and a half several times has a tendency to delay us getting to the next point, and then it adds up over the course of the day! Hello!
Anyway, we head down to the bridge and I got confused as to which road to take, which put us at a parking lot that had a good view of the bridge. So we stopped and took some pictures there, then got on the bikes and figured that the main road does not connect to the bridge, you have to go east one block, and then to the road that goes over the bridge.
We rode over the bridge, made a u-turn and rode back the way we came and stopped in a parking lot to put our riding gear all back on. Since we were just doing slow maneuvers, we just placed our jackets over the topcases. It was just too hot not to be moving fast enough!
And back to the main hwy we went, heading south to Parker, where we could cross back over into California. The ride down 93 was fairly interesting as it follows the Colorado River down. Once in Parker, we took another break before crossing the bridge into CA! We caught Hwy62 west from there and followed it for about 54 miles to Hwy177 and followed 177 for 27 miles, south to put us on I10 west for almost 50 miles. We got on hwy 111 and just followed it until we found a Chevron, where we took another extended break.
It was now getting dark and we changed our helmet visors to clear and took off looking for Hwy74. Hwy 74 took us over the mountains to Hwy 371 where it was getting cool again, and then to Hwy 79 & Temecula. From there it was up Butterfield Stage and Murrieta Hot Springs. As we were riding down Murrieta Hot Springs, I called Chris to let her know we were almost home. As I came up to the next light, Dave wasn’t there!
My first thought was that he crashed or got hit and since I was on the phone, I couldn’t hear him tell me he got stuck behind a light. So I made a u-turn and saw him coming down the road, so I flashed my lights, but he didn’t see them. I then turned around again and was a few cages behind him. I gave him instructions to turn right, so he did and I was able to catch him and guide him back to my place, although by then he had already dialed in his GPS to take him there.
Shortly after that, we arrived home!
But the adventure wasn’t over yet! Dave was still almost 500 miles from his home!
Total miles for Day 17 was about: 487
Day 18 - Monday, Labor Day, September 5th
Planned route for the day:
None, Dave’s bike needed to have the oil changed and he wanted to remove the rest of the Autocom from his bike. So, that’s what we did!
So, Dave was pretty much ready to go, but I was really worried about his rear tire!
And then we just sat back and took it easy for the day!
Day 19 - Tuesday September 6th
Dave was heading home. Once he was packed and ready (I didn’t have anything to pack since I was coming back home.) we took off to get to I215 north. Nothing special for this ride, just tag along with Dave to Kramer Junction and then head home.
I215 merges with I15 just north of San Bernardino, and then once up the Cajon Pass, we peeled off to US395. Another 48 miles and we were in Kramer Junction’s Chevron station. We gassed up and then took a long break.
We said our goodbyes and off Dave went heading to Stockton! I headed back south and got home a couple of hours later.
A few hours later, Dave said he was home and his tire was fine! So, now he can replace it!
Total miles for me on Day 19 was about: 240
Total miles for Me (Bob): about 4,811
Total miles for Dave: about 5,305
And the ride was Officially over! But what a great time we had! I sure enjoyed being with him for this trip and we sure saw a lot of sights!