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Hot Stuff – Part II

May 15, 2019

NOTE:  This post has been sitting around, half written, for almost two years, just waiting for me to finish up.  I am glad to say that all three of my readers can now read about the second half of a trip I took so long ago that I have forgotten many of the details.  For a reminder, feel free to read Hot Stuff – Part I.  On the bright side, this post should be much shorter than usual…

Day 3

Of the four days that made up this trip, this was, by far, the hottest.  We ended up cutting more than 100 miles off the planned route for the day due to the heat.  Like the day before, we started in Grand Junction.  The plan was to head down to Gateway, Colorado (Never heard of it?  Don’t worry, most people haven’t), then continue south for a while, turn west and ride to Monticello, UT (This is the city closest to the spot where I ran over the dead deer the year before.  See my earlier post, And now, Part II.) From Monticello, we would head north to Moab, ride through the Castle Valley, and then head up to the point where we were done for the day and find a hotel.

While we were packing the gear on the bike, the heat was already building.  I would like to say that we got off to an early start in order to beat the heat we knew was going to greet us.  The problem is, I can’t.  We didn’t get moving until about 10:30 that morning.

Gateway-ButteGateway, Colorado is a small community in far western Colorado.  The only real draw to the place is a little resort  and an impressive butte.  We stopped at the resort, walked around a bit, and then went in to have a great lunch at the Entrada Restaurant. Again, the food was both tasty and expensive. I couldn’t help but notice that the hostess seated us some distance from the other patrons. This could have been because there just weren’t many people eating at that time, or because we may have been exhibiting some of the more, uhhh, aromatic signs of warm-weather motorcycle riding…

With lunch complete, and food comas approaching in our peripheral vision, we climbed back on the Gold Wing to continue our journey.  At that point we both made mental notes to place a towel (or anything, really, just as long as the sun was blocked) over the seat whenever we left the bike in the sun.  Black plastic gets a bit warm in triple-digit heat…

South of the resort is a road that looks like it came straight out of a Roadrunner vs. Wile E. Coyote cartoon.  Colorado State Route 141 parallels the Dolores River through a canyon walled by sheer cliffs.  Again, my writing won’t do it justice, so here is 1213Joycee’s video (thank you) of the route, heading north, accompanied by the Highwaymen’s rendition of The Road Goes on Forever (turn down the volume of you don’t want to hear the music).

As with many of the other fun places we hit on this ride, I have driven through this canyon many times, all for work, and never on a motorcycle, so I was quite happy to finally cross this off my riding wish-list.  wile-e-coyote-cliffDuring each of the previous visits along this route, the same thought jumped into my head – Wile E. Coyote falling from the top of a cliff to a river flowing far below.  We didn’t get any pictures of the canyon but there are some great views between 2:00 and 2:30 (two minutes through two minutes and thirty seconds) of the video above.

I will save you a lot of reading, and skip ahead a few hours, as the landscape gets a lot less interesting after we leave the canyon, and stays that way until we approach Moab, Utah.  The only interesting bits during the skip are that we managed to find a quick rain shower (ahhhhh…) and that our route took us to within five miles of where I ran over the dead deer (mentioned above) when we passed through Monticello, Utah.

Hole n the rockWe stopped at what I consider to be the unofficial southern entrance to Moab, the Hole N” The Rock, about 3:30 that afternoon.  For those that have never been in this area, this is a basic tourist trap that has been built into a cave in the side of a cliff.  It is literally a hole in the rock.  We shuffled around the store for a bit, had something to drink, and then headed on towards Moab.  This time around we remembered to cover the seat.  This was a good thing, because the thermometer on the Gold Wing was showing that the temperature coming off the parking lot’s pavement was 120°F.  Damn-Hot-ThumbnailNot to worry, though, once we got moving, we found the air temperature to be closer to 109°.

We stopped in Moab for dinner, but for the life of me I don’t remember where we ate, what we had, or how expensive it was.  Hell, we may have just blown through after stopping for gas.  This was three years ago, after all…

After we left Moab, but just before crossing the Colorado River, we turned onto Utah Highway 128 and followed the river for most of the way back to Interstate 70.  While we were in this canyon, the air temperature was 115°.  That is warm on a motorcycle…  There was some great scenery along this route.  While the buttes in this area are not quite as impressive as those in Monument Valley, they are still worth seeing and photographing.

Featured

Once we turned onto the interstate the interesting part of the trip was pretty much over.  All that was left for day three was to get to Price, Utah so we could cool off, re-hydrate (we were both feeling like beef jerky at that point), and get some sleep.

Day 3 Map

Day 3:  Grand Junction – Gateway – Moab – Price (333 miles)

Day 4

Day four of the trip was cooler, and consisted of riding from Price, Utah back home.  The only point of interest for day four was that my wife and I were able to meet our brand new (she still had that new-baby smell) grand-daughter, Phoebe.  While not motorcycle related, meeting Phoebe was still one of the high points of this trip.

Day 4

Day 4:  Price – Park City – Rock Springs (282 miles)

All told, the trip covered 1196 miles.  Temperature extremes ranged from the mid 50’s the morning we left home, to 115° outside of Moab.  I don’t remember any close calls on the trip.  The worst problem we had to deal with was dehydration, and we had plenty of water with us (remember, a Gold Wing is basically a two-wheeled motor home, so cargo space is not a problem…).  We visited three states, and reached an elevation of 11018 feet.  Again, I would like to thank my wife for playing photographer, as she took many of the pictures in this post.

As always, thanks for visiting G26 MotoBlog, and thank you for waiting way-too-long for the rest of the story (apologies to Paul Harvey).

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