Day 3 of my Rockies Gold 2007 ride saw me leaving Bozeman, Mt. and riding East to Billings and then South on US-212 over the Beartooth Pass - one of the highest US Passes in one of the tallest Mountain ranges in the US. It also leads to the Norteast entrance to Yellowstone.
That's Mamoth Hot Springs there in the distance.
A close up of Mamoth. As I turned South on the Western Grand Loop Road the sky's decided to open up. I wound up seeing only a couple buffalo and a couple of bears the whole ride through the park.
The ride out of Yellowstone remained cloudy and sprinkled a lot of rain. The tetons, while visable, were looking a bit gloomy. About 10 miles out of Jackson I was riding along at a pretty fair clip when I felt and saw my trailer fishtailing a bit. So I slowed down and the trailer started to behave. I thought that the problem stemmed from a shifted load. I nursed the bike into town and got checked into my motel by 6:00. I looked the trailer over and didn't see anything out of the ordinary. I figured I'd make it ok. Had dinner that night in the Cowboy Cafe. --Ya gotta do it once.
The Famous Antler Central Park -- and your's truly.
Lest us fair weather visitors to Jackson forget -- This is a major ski destination for the area. Interesting fence!
I was ready to leave Early on Tuesday morning. As i was loading the trailer I noticed there seemed to be a lot more play in the forward and backward movement than I was used to. Upon closer inspection I found that the nut that fits into the ball had come loose and had backed out about 15 threads. I knew instantly what had caused the fishtailing the day before. I tightened it as best as I could and headed out with the plan of stopping in Pinedale to effect permenant repairs to the ball and nut. As I headed South and East out of Jackson. The route was basically to follow 189 to US-191 all of the way into Rocksprings, then hop on UT-530 to Manila where I would turn left onto 144 and pick up US-191 again in Vernal. With a few variations I remained on US-191 all of the way into Moab, Ut.
The day started out with prarie to the left of me -->
And I had prarie to the right of me <---- ----> But there was always something interesting just over the horizon!
The road above led me into Pinedale, Wy. where I was able to purchase a very large crescent wrench with which I was able to effect a full repair to my loose trailer hitch ball.
I've wanted to ride down the Flaming Gorge National Recreation area ever since I first saw the sign on my first motorcycle cross country trip back in 1980. The opportunity presented itself today, as I was ultimately headed to Moab, Ut. for the night.
I have to admit the ride down UT-530 was a little uninspiring, I had hoped for more of the deep red rocks and mountains found in the areas around Cedar City.
It wasn't until I turned onto UT-44 in Manila that the road turned very intersting. So intersting in fact that it was nearly impossible for me to take any pictures at all. After I finally made it to the top I was rewarded with a beautiful pine forest and nice comfortable temps.
Alas all good things must come to an end. And it was only a short while before the signs of "30 switchbacks the next 15 miles" came into view. The highway department actually had signs along the highway counting the switchbacks down. The speed limit remained at a blistering 25. I arrived in Vernal at 3:00 with about 150 miles to go before Moab.
Although it's a little hard to see in the picture if you look closely you can see 191 snakig away below on it's way out of the gorge and into Vernal.
So, day 4 of my Rockies Gold was kind of a long day getting out of Wyoming, cutting across a corner of Colorado and into Utah. It was a hot day too. By the time I got to Moab I was ready for some air conditioning and some food. I was considerably put out when I arrived at my reserved motel at 5:15 and was told my room wasn't ready. And to come back in 30 - 45 minutes. I explained to the desk clerk that Moab, being a tourist town, really had no excuse for not having rooms ready for their guests by check in time, and that the owner of this particular Best Western would be hearing from me. I finally got checked in and unloaded just before this came in ----->.
The reason I wanted to spend the night in Moab was so that I could tour Arches National Park before the final run into Montrose. Day 5 of this 9 day adventure was designated for just that activity. I've never been through the Arches before, so I was duely impressed with the approach and climb up to the plateau where all of the 'action' was.
I thought the park was beautiful on a lot of different levels.
Balancing Rock -->
To the "Delecate Arch" note the Hikers on the ridge.
To the Daylight arch --->
To the steep and windey road to get anywhere --->
This is a fun and beautiful place to visit. After leaving Moab I headed South on US-191 to UT-46 where i turned East. My original plan was to ride through the Colorado National Monument and pick up US-550 into Montrose, but that all changed when my GPS routed me onto Colorado Country Road 2. COR-2 was paved for about 1 mile, then turned to gravel! Not on my bike not today, probably not ever. So after a precarious U-turn I high tailed it back to UT-46 where I reprogrammed my GPS to the fastest way into Montrose. I was satisified with what it put out, as there were many miles of roads just like this ---->
And this ---->
And this too -- It's tomorrows promise! --->
I finally made it into Montrose about 3:30 and got checked into my room at the Red Arrow Best Western. It's a very nice motel, and I'd have no hesitation recommending it to anyone looking for a place to stay while in the area. After getting settled I wandered over to the Red Barn for a bite to eat, then moseyed across the street to kick some tires and tell some lies with everyone. I met a bunch of folks while there, but I'll be danged if I can remember names and faces, so if you see yourself below give me a holler and I'll update this page with names and screen names.
Here we go! --->
Badge distribution --->
Tomorrow --- The Million Dollar Highway - San Juan Skyway - Silverton and who knows what else.
Next Page ----->