Date: 06/06/2016 Monday
Starting Location: Panguitch, UT
Ending Location: Moab, UT
Starting Odometer: 7650
Ending Odometer: 7912
Mileage Today: 305 Miles
Mileage Total: 1379 miles
States Visited: 4
All about today…
I expected to have a pretty long day, and I needed to arrive in Moab in time to have my new tires installed. Since the workload at the motorcycle shop is unknown, I decided it was best to get up very early, and get on the road. So, today started at 6:45 AM, after a quick (free) breakfast.
I’m debating whether I should file a lawsuit against the Quality Inn in Panguitch. I object to the name of this hotel. Sure, it’s in Panguitch, but calling it “Quality” is a stretch.
6:45 – Out the door
A 6:45 start was the earliest that I’ve managed to get out of the hotel so far. when you combine the early start, with the fact that I’m at about 6000′ of elevation, I knew that it was going to be a cold morning. To ensure that I would be warm, I installed a liner into my jacket, turned on the heated hand-grips, and hit the road. The starting temperature was 41 degrees, but within a few hours, this temperature would begin to rise, until I once again found myself riding at a temperature in the upper 90s.
The Most Beautiful Road in America
I was told by the ranger at the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center that when I leave Bryce, I will travel on “The most beautiful Road in America”. I don’t care to dispute this, but I will say, this is one truly awesome and beautiful road.
Have a look
Capital Reef National Park
Capital Reef national park is so-named because when the original settlers came upon this foreboding land, it looked to them to be such a difficult terrain that they compared it to an ocean reef. An ocean reef is so foreboding and dangerous, you must stay away, or face the serious risks that you’re likely to have to deal with.
I was in a hurry to get to Moab, but Capital Reef Park is right on the side of the highway, so I figured I could stop there for a little while. I was lucky that as soon as I got off the bike, and got to the front door of the visitor center I learned that a geological talk was starting in just a minute. So, I waited a minute, and the ranger started his talk.
I found the talk fascinating, and if you’re wondering how I became a pseudo-expert on Capital Ridge, you’ll now know that I stole the ranger’s whole talk, and did my best to summarize it to you, in one paragraph.
The name Capital Reef comes from the fact that there is a rock formation that resembles the US Capital, or (as it was told to me) any other state capital. in any case, it’s yet another beautiful park, and I wish that I had more time to enjoy it.
I had intended to also visit Canyonlands, but unfortunately the trip into and out of Canyonlands would have added at least 2-3 hours to my day, and I needed to get to the Motorcycle shop to get the tires changed.
With my route altered and optimized, I was now headed directly to MadBro Motorsports, located on the far side of Moab, right on the main drag (Main Street). I pulled in, went inside, and asked if my tires had arrived. I was really surprised to hear that they had not arrived.
I called the shop that was supposed to send them, only to learn that they had not been sent. To say that I was disappointed is an understatement. I sent a very detailed email to these folks, including confirmation that I had already talked to MadBro, and that they were expecting the tires, and that they needed to arrive on or about june 2nd, so that there could be no possibility that I would be stranded in Moab without tires.
I guess you could say that even when you work the problem to a level that you don’t see how there could be a mix-up, there is still plenty of room for disappointment.
Luckily, the gang at MadBro motorsports took care of me. There were three different rear ties that I could have selected for my bike, and after a brief discussion, I chose the Heidenau K60 Scout, which is exactly the brand and size of tire that had warn out, and that was being replaced.
Not only did they give me a fair price, but they allowed me to park my bike under the awning in the back of the shop, and remove my tire in the shade. I was originally told that I would have to wait at least 90 minutes to get the tire changed, but once I had the tire off the bike, they adjusted their schedule, and took care of me immediately.
So, after arriving at MadBro at 1PM, and then dealing with all of the shipping issues, I was done with the maintenance work, and on my way by 3PM.
Thanks to the folks at MadBro for really helping me out.
The new tire is on the bike
With this new tire on the bike I could immediately feel that the tire was much more grippy, and as I leaned into turns, I no longer got the clunking feel that I felt with the warn out tire.
Arches National Park – Time for sightseeing
Earlier in this post I should have mentioned that I checked in at the hotel before going to the Motorcycle shop. When I checked in, I took the panniers of the bike and put them in my room. I also took the dry bag off the bike and also put it into the room.
So, when I left MadBro motorsports, I was traveling lighter, which is always better. I entered the park and started the video recorder, so I’ll show some video footage below. I took the main road of the park to a cutoff for delicate arch, and then headed to delicate arch. Delicate Arch is supposed to be a natural beauty, so i was excited to see it.
Arriving at the parking lot, with temperatures once again at 100 degrees or more, I discovered that there is a 1.5 mile hike to the arch, and if I was going to make the hike, I would have had to either wear all of my gear, or leave it at my bike. Usually if I have to leave a jacked and pants at the bike, I lock them to the bike, using a special cable.
You may recall that the cable was in the pannier, which is in my hotel room. so, I was not going to be able to lock the gear to the bike, and I was not going to be able to hike 3 miles (round trip) in my gear, and motorcycle boots. So, with a look of disgust on my face, I turned around and headed out of the park.
I captured some video of the return trip. Enjoy….
Back at the hotel
After arriving back at the hotel, I took a shower, and got ready for dinner. The Motel 6 is on the edge of town, and unfortunately to get to almost any restaurant would be a 1 mile walk, give or take. Today was a long day, and I’m hot and tired so I don’t think I could have made it to the historic section of town for dinner. So, I did what was convenient. I went to Denny’s, which was next door.
Now, before you start thinking anything disparaging about Denny’s or if you think that now that I’m retired, I’ve become the stereotypical old guy that eats all of their meals at Denny’s, I want to remind you that this visit to the big D was only for convenience purposes.
I entered Denny’s, found a table and settled in. I’m trying to use this trip to lose some weight, so I’ve been pretty careful about what I’ve been eating for dinner. I ordered a Caeser salad with extra chicken, and waited. The salad arrived and guess what? It was fantastic. No, Really, it was fantastic. I was pretty shocked that it could be this good, but I enjoyed every bite.
Yet another case where I declare that this was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. For those of you that are foodies, like me, you’ll no doubt be a little skeptical about this being the best meal ever. So, I started thinking about what could cause the food at Denny’s to taste so good.
I determined that there is one word, which is at the heart of this matter, and which describes this phenomena. That word is hunger, and exhaustion. Oops, that’s two words. But those two words seem to explain how these meals that are eaten at the end of a 12 hour day, where I’ve been wolfing down Gatorade, and driving in blistering heat can make just about any meal taste great. So, whether the meals are really great, or if they only seem that way because of hunger and exhaustion, and thirst (oops, that’s a third word), it doesn’t matter. In fact, don’t you wish that you could eat any meal, and have it taste this good?
Are you jealous?
I mentioned that my GPS had overheated, as had my video camera. Today, one of the two communicators that I use on my helmet seems to have failed. The communicator is able to connect to the GPS via Bluetooth, but it seems to disconnect after a minute or two.
I was originally unsure about whether the problem was with the GPS or with the communicator. To identify the root cause, I stopped on the side of the road, and in about 2 minutes, I had installed my backup communicator. It worked perfectly. That was, it worked perfectly, until the battery went dead after 30 minutes.
At my next stop, I opened up the panniers and took out the adapter that allows me to use the cigarette lighter jack to provide power to 2 USB ports. With the adapter installed, I connected the Sena Communicator to a USB cable, inserted it into the handlebar bag, zipped it closed, and drove off. After about 90 minutes, I unplugged the communicator, installed it on the helmet, and headed to Moab.
I’ll need to make a call tomorrow to the folks at Sena to see if they can ship me a replacement unit ASAP. More to come…
Real-time tracking available
If you’re curious about where I am, at any moment, you can watch me travel across the country in real-time. Click here for an explanation of how I’m tracking my whereabouts, and click over here to see the map in real-time.
Tomorrow, I’ll finish up my time in UT, and then visit 4 corners, where I’ll touch 4 states at once, and then head into Colorado. I’m excited about the trip into Colorado, as I’ll reunite with one of my oldest friends, and then I’ll stay a few days with one of my newest friends.
It’s really great to see the country, but the chance to see old friends and get caught up is also a really nice part of this trip.
Tomorrow I’ll also be running a section of the UT Back-country Discovery Route. It’s only about 50 miles, but riding 50 miles in the back country, with all that gear has it’s own challenges. it should be fun.
Lots of motorcycles – Hardly any BMWs
Motorcyclists wave to one another as we pass each other on the highway. it’s a courtesy and it’s a way to recognize others with similar interests. Given that it’s summer, I’m not at all surprised to see a whole lot of motorcyclists on the road. There are however two surprises.
First of all, I’ve hardly seen any adventure bikes on the road. Usually the BMW GS and the KTM Adventure are the bikes that rule the roads around the world. Here in America, it’s the Harley. Harleys seem to be everywhere. At least 9 out of 10 of the motorcycles are Harleys, and while I make no judgement, I’m certainly surprised.
Time for bed