BMWBMW • View topic - Helmut's coast to coast trip....kind of....Part5

Helmut's coast to coast trip....kind of....Part5

Tell Us About Your Rides!

Helmut's coast to coast trip....kind of....Part5

Postby helmut » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:40 pm

Sept-23rd

It was cold last night, but the blankets and select underwear, plus socks, kept me warm. I started scooting thru Yosemite around 9am and saw a Coyote trotting alongside the road, with a big smile on his face. The heart of Yosemite was pretty, but what came next blew my mind. I took Rt120 East out of Yosemite and after some 20 miles the views opened up to reveal spectacular views which I liked better than El Capitan or the Cathedral. Rt120, reached 10.000 feet at the peak of Tioga Pass, but before that the view of the Tuolumne Meadows, and some snow on the shadier sides of the mountain peaks. This is one of the prettiest landscapes I have ever seen, with ever changing views. Some desert elements came back into the landscape as I descended down on Rt120 (to Rt395), suddenly revealing a view down to Mono Lake, located in a desert high plane. In the back still the majestic snow speckled peaks.

I reached Rt395 (south) and the mountain views to my right where just absolutely gorgeous. It looked like a mad man painted the landscape with pastel colors, blooming sage brush, and luminous shades of green up the mountain slopes, then the rock, glistening at times, and the mini glaciers at various spots on top. I was forced to turn my wheel right again onto Rt158 following the draw of these views. (Turns out later, this is called the "June Lake Loop"). Rt158 spit me out again on Rt395, after 15 miles of bliss passing around 3 lakes.

I then continued to follow Rt120East, which first lead close by Mono Lake again, and then offered some brilliant mountainous landscapes with glowing colors of green and yellow, between barren rock formations, with wild textures. The vegetation become more sparse and desert like, and as a last treat, the initial view of the Benton Valley was an absolute jaw dropper. In hindsight, Yosemite Valley was just a small appetizer for a great meal.

After Benton, a somewhat decaying settlement, Rt120East ran in a sage brush valley, with barren smaller peaks left and right. Further East, the sage brushes had no more blooms and finally it looked like them sage brushes were hanging on for dear life, if not dead already.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


Sept-24th

Last night I ended up staying in the Clown Motel, outfitted with clown figurines and pictures in the lobby and every room. It is located in Tonopah (NV), which is a 2000 soul settlement with some decaying corners and an original 1900 cemetery from the silver rush founding years. After being done snooping around in Tonopah, I took Rt6 East and then jumped on Rt375 (SE). There is nothing for 160 miles. Just dead barren lands, with some open range cattle, known to attack honking cars. Somewhere in the middle is the 40 soul settlement of Rachel, right next to Area51. I stopped at the Rachel rest-stop, had a sandwich and talked to the locals. Some Harley dudes stopped by, being low on gas. Luckily the locals were prepared with a stash of reserve gas cans.

I continued the ride thru the barren landscapes, gased up after 160 miles, rode thru Caliente and took Rt56East to Cedar City, where I found a cheap clean motel for $37. Beforehand I had an excellent brick oven pizza out of a mobile brick oven, mounted on a trailer and operated by 3 students.

Image
Image
Image


Sept-25th

Leaving Cedar City I took I15 South to the Kobob Canyon, which was nice and then continued to Zion National Park. Before reaching Zion I took a little traveled road up to Kobob Reservoir, laying 8500 feet high. The small road was winding up for 20 miles and revealed changing plateaus and vistas. I got sidetracked on various gravel roads, but none was worth the additional effort. After get back to the main road I entered Zion and it was a zoo. Way too many people and long waits on the shuttle buses, the only way into the actual Zion Canyon since private vehicles are not allowed in there. It was already later in the day and I decided to forfeit Zion Canyon and, due to ongoing road construction and heavy traffic, crawled to Kanab taking Rt9, which was a very scenic drive, with marvelous rock formations. All motels were fully booked when I got there. But I had reserved a room earlier in the day, after seeing lots of traffic/tourists and realizing in was Saturday.


Image
Image
Image

Image
Image
Image



Sept-26th

Around 80 miles south of Kanab lays the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. 10 years ago, I visited the South Rim with my German folks, and it was impressive. Long story short: The North Rim features very limited sights for the casual visitor, like I was. Additionally the ride offered not much scenery, but the vistas and the fall colors of the Aspen trees within the North Rim Park were rather noteworthy.

After having seen the limited, but still great view of the Grand Canyon, I decided to ride back to Kanab, and then continue on Rt89 North towards Bryce Canyon. Now this was a pretty ride indeed. I especially enjoyed the meandering creek along Rt89 and some wider valleys beforehand. Rt12 East, running thru the very nice Red Canyon, brought me into Bryce Canyon Park just in time for sunset. I first hit Sunset point and then Bryce Point to witness the magnificent pillars and shapes of Bryce Canyon. I enjoyed the views until it was almost dark and then rode back to Panguitch, the only place offering fairly cheap motels.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


Sept-27th

Visual Bliss!

I started taking "Highway"12 East which leads down into Bryce Canyon and then to Escalante. From Escalante to Boulder the views get wilder and more breathtaking. From Boulder Hwy12 leads to Reef National Park, by crossing a pass around 9600 feet high. I estimated the mountain peaks to be around 10.000 feet, and the whole slopes up to the top were covered by Aspen, which displayed brilliant yellow and orange leaves. Below I could see the rock formations of the Reef National Park. I had to stop quite often, in order to enjoy these outstanding displays.

Once descended into the Reef National Park, the Aspen colored mountain tops greeted from afar, until yet unseen Canyon landscapes took over for good. In Hanksville I took Rt95East leading towards Lake Powell. By then the Canyon rocks featured a strong irony red, amplified by the low standing sun. The amazing thing about these Utah Canyons is that the rocks and canyons display so many different combinations of colors, textures and shapes. It is almost impossible to describe, alas if you can, go ride in Southern Utah for a great visual experience.

As the sun was ready to set, I was inside the National Bridges Monument, which was nice but could not compete with the views before, since it lays in a rather flat area. I continued my way towards Blanding, some 40 miles further, crossing some canyons as the night took almost hold. It seemed like the rock and vegetation were still somewhat fluorescent, providing great pre-night views and I almost started neglecting the riding task at hand, until I got reminded by some of the open range cattle right next to the road.

The settlement of Blanding turned out to be a dry Mormon city, so I had to ride out again for 5 miles to get some beer. At the beer stop I chatted with a Tiger rider from NY City, and then hit back to Blanding, scoring a basic but clean $25 motel room.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image



Sept-28th
From Blanding I hit south to Monument Valley, which is within the Navajo Nation. I horsed around some back roads there, seeing the Navajo settlements and the tourist center, all owned by some guy named Gouldings. Monument Valley offered some nice views, but they did not come close to yesterdays ride. Eventually I hit East, over Red Messa, towards the Four Corners. The Four Corners "Monument" is also owned by the Navajos, and, having a rather full bladder, I had no time (or interest) to enter the pay site to put my foot on some imaginary state lines. So, after taking a free piss right on the New Mexico state line, I hit North East over Cortez, and then back West to end up for the night in Monticello, Utah. Most of the ride went thru barren lands at 100 degrees, but once in Colorado the landscape was dominated by irrigated farming, and the higher altitude brought some relief in the temperature.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Sept-29th
Leaving Monticello I hit up North towards Moab. Somehow I missed the entry to the Needles, and once I realized it I was almost at the Arches National Park. Beforehand I got drawn to a rest stop at the "Hole N' The Rock". I humored myself by taking the tour thru the 5000sqf home in the rock, build by an artsy couple over a 20 year period. Actually, this was quite cute. By the way, I was the only person on the tour.
I decided to not backtrack to the Needles and went straight for the Arches Park. There I did some hiking in the blistering afternoon heat, and I was joined by hordes of people, some exposing clear signs of heat exhaustion. I also met a nice riding couple, Ellen and Russ, being on their 3 week honeymoon ride, camping and catching their own fish at times. Ellen used to be a tour guide for Edelweiss.
By now, I felt that I had my fill with canyons, rocks and barren dead landscapes and I hit into Grand Junction (CO), picked up a quart of oil and an oil filter, and then hit South towards Rt550, towards Silverton. For the night I ended up in Delta, in a rinky dinky Inn. The towels were clean looking, but were all frizzled and had numerous holes. The comforters featured burn holes from the days when smoking in the rooms was still allowed.


Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
hellebauer who?
User avatar
helmut
Newbie
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:17 pm

Re: Helmut's coast to coast trip....kind of....Part5

Postby Deano » Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:03 am

helmut wrote:Last night I ended up staying in the Clown Motel, outfitted with clown figurines and pictures in the lobby and every room.
:shock:
2007 R1200GS - "Lucky"
2004 R1150RA - REST IN PIECES
User avatar
Deano
Mildly Retarded Gubmint Worker
 
Posts: 2267
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 7:37 pm
Location: Silver Spring, MD

Re: Helmut's coast to coast trip....kind of....Part5

Postby helmut » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:58 pm

Hi Deano,

are u scared of clowns?
Haven't met me yet, I guess.

Creepy greets
Helmut
hellebauer who?
User avatar
helmut
Newbie
 
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:17 pm


Return to Ride Stories

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron