Day One

The White Rim Trail--Moab, Utah

    After hauling our dualsports to Moab, Utah we unloaded our bikes at our cabin in the KOA campground South of town and rode the famed White Rim Trail just Northwest of Moab. We had decided to do 2 days of riding around Moab to aquaint  us with the terrain. The white rim trail is about 90 miles long, but we ended up with about 140 miles for the day because we rode our dualsports to the White Rim from downtown Moab.

       After breakfast at McDonalds in Moab, we headed North out of town across the Colorado River. Then Southwest into Canyonlands State Park. A nominal $5 fee was needed to enter the park, a small price to pay for the beautiful all day ride. A couple of days later we entered the park 50 miles South of here again, but our $5 fee was still good for a few days. Kenny was free as he had a golden age passport. Kenny is 62 years young and loves riding the backcountry.  Here is Kenny and his DR650 overlooking the Colorado river on the Shafer trail which leads into the White Rim trail. We are just getting started and are overwhelmed at the beauty of Utah. We have done expensive riding in Colorado, but neither of us had done any offroading in Utah. 
         This was a natural arch bridge which could be ridden over with your bike. It was about 8 ft. wide, but neither of us were going to chance riding over it. It was nerve racking enough just walking out on it as it was about 200 ft. to the bottom of the canyon. That water in the puddle puzzled us--as a severe drought  had been going on in Utah for months and would continue into the summer months. 
     Here is the Shafer Trail heading up the hill and onto a ledge trail. You had better get used to riding on ledges in Utah. You'll never make it out here if heights or riding on ledges bothers you. We had overcome this fear long ago riding in Colorado. 
        The Shafer trail intersected the famed "White Rim Trail" which everyone says is "The" trail to ride if you only ride one. It was a great day and here I am coming out of a little canyon. It was a great cool with no humidity. We were having the time of our lives and didn't think it could get better than this---but it did.
       Here is Kenny posing before the Green river and the rock uprising in the background. We grew to love these rocks and were amazed at at the different shapes and colors. We wore some pretty extreme riding gear (moto-cross gear) as falling on the rocks would be very painful of course.
       Me and Kenny had a ball talking to each other with our helmet communicators. It was nice to know if someone had a call to nature, needed help, or wanted to stop and take a picture. They worked very well except at high speeds when the wind made it too noisy. I had always wanted to get a set for me and my son when he was growing up and we road together all the time----however he said that I shouldn't be hearing what he was saying through the rough stuff !!!! Some of them 4-letter words I suppose. 
     We found this horse corral along the way. A lot of the land we were riding on was open grazing for cattle. We rode across 200 cattle guards in the next 10 days I bet.
      Yep-----it's a tightrope---and yes there was a young fellow setting it all up for his "last walk". It was about a 100ft. drop and maybe 150ft. across this canyon. Everyone was just watching him---but I approached him and asked if he was going to do it today and he replied with a weird voice and look "you never know".  There was some cat on the other side (obviously with the tightrope dude) playing some bongos--which were echoing amazingly loud all thru the canyon. Another fellow was over the other side wearing a chinese hat. You know----one of them big metal round looking thingy's. He was working up his courage on a smaller canyon and shorter rope. Someone asked me what he was waiting for-----I replied with a grin "he's waiting for the drugs to kick in"  !!!! Well there's that t-shirt that says "Don't fall off the couch and die".
       This place was beautiful and there was a natural arch right next to the rope which is how he got the rope across I guess. We rode our bikes across the arch on the way out. I wish we had the time to stay and watch-----but "you never know" when he was going to do it.
        Mountain bikers prevail around Moab. We ran across several hundred of them. This fellow had his chain hung up and had been there a long time trying to get it out. One yank and turn of his pedals and I had it right out. He was so grateful. This is a 2-4 day ride on a bicycle. Only the pro's can ride this 90 mile loop in one day. He seemed to be by himself. Most had a chase vehicle (4-wheel drive) with water, food and camping gear. We had a good time meeting and talking to the bikers and never ran into one that was openly irritated about our motorcycles. I am very happy to "share" the trails with other users, but am openly irritated at some who think they should have it to themselves. I better quit talking about this now before the veins start popping out in my head. 
     This is the same canyon that ran into where the tightrope was------and after negotiating some very steep swithcbacks we were down below on the trail you see. Isn't this terrain awesome !!!!
    OK------this is my very good friend Kenny after a hard day on the trail. This grin stayed on his face until we had to go home. We ran into some very difficult situations which you will read about later----but me and Kenny stayed calm and cool (well almost) and soldiered on thru them without the slightest fuss. Kenny was sponsored by "Moose Offroad" by the way !!!!!!
     Here we are back at our little cabin in the KOA campground. It was fun and cozy-----however at $45 a night---- a total rip off. We stayed in a very nice hotel later on for $29. There were only 2 small beds and one duplex electrical outlet in it and this just wasn't enough for my computer, 2 communicator chargers, 2 cell phone chargers, flashlight charger, GPS auxiliary power, and a digital camera charger------geeeeezzzzz---this is the 21st century !!!!!!

    No bathroom and a sand storm filled the cabin and everything in it with sand. But my wife says it's cute !!!! OK----better than sleeping on the rocks. There was a herd of mules across the fence and a very cocky rooster who thought every minute of the day was 5AM. He was a very ambitious character no doubt. 


        A little maintenance for the 650. Kenny had done a lot of mods to the motor and put on many accessories---so he checked everything over to make sure it was right. Kenny's bike had a mild cam, high compression piston, supertrapp exhaust (light, but quiet), heated grips, 5 gallon gas tank, Moose handlebars, Moose fender bag, Moose headlight bag, 2 touratech GPS mounts for his Garmin III+ and Street Pilot. He loves to tinker---and there is that smile again------kind of catchy !!! This bike is impressive----made my BMW look silly in the curvy blacktop mountains of Arkansas last year. Why 2 GPS's you say ???????? There wasn't quite room for 3 he said. 

    Ok---one more day in Moab before we take off for Arizona and the Grand Canyon. 

Day Two    ----the snowy Lasal Mountain pass--well at least we tried !!!!