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Author Topic: 2014 May - Mountain State Super Tenere Adventure Ride  (Read 3738 times)
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Kosmic
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« on: May 27, 2014, 10:46:36 PM »

I have returned from a 4000 mile, two week adventure tour of the Mountain States (New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Wyoming) and my hands are still buzzing and ears ringing! The first week of the adventure was spent with a friend on his 102,000 mile BMW RT and the last week was entirely solo, I used a cool phone app called TrackMyTour which allows you to set waypoints on a map and blog your travels and read comments from friends.
Here is the rough outline of my adventure with waypoint created using TrackMyTour:



more to come... ricky
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2014, 07:22:51 PM »

This adventure started as an idea to ride to Seattle since my family is there, but the distance and time were not stacking up in my favor. So when I heard from a buddy that he was going West on his own ride, I asked to join him. He rides in a looser less structured manner than I do. Other than having a few National Park destinations, no actual routes were planned. This turned out to be a good thing for me to experience because I usually over-plan my rides down to the exact road I will take. The sense of adventure and freedom were indeed amplified on this trip because we did not have to be at any particular destination and a particular time.
Here we are having dinner at RDS World Headquarters on the first evening of the trip, its only now that I start to relax after exiting the big city.


We are easily into New Mexico on the first day, as my buddy posts on TrackMyTour


Whoa! What happened to New Mexico? 300 miles of nasty high wind sand storm highway riding! Glad to be out of it!


On our way to Alpine Arizona we stop at a small bar in an even smaller town and down some COLD Pabst Blue Ribbons while conversing with the rugged locals who work the mines. A cool truck outside the bar:


Entering Clifton on the way to Alpine:


Normally I may not have cruised by the historic part of town, again part of the advantage of slowing the pace down and exploring!






« Last Edit: May 28, 2014, 07:26:07 PM by Kosmic » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 09:39:19 PM »

4,000 miles - Wow!

You've been getting some riding done, Kosmic!

Absolutely coolio, and stunning pics again from you...       thumb

 lurk

Rally on,

Stovey
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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 10:08:25 PM »

Thank you Stovey!
Welcome to North America's largest producer of copper. My riding partner took a hike from one of the mine over-looks and found a hillside covered in grave sites marked with primitive crosses...copper at a high cost.


Having passed the Morenci Mine we continued on Hwy 191 to Alpine, this is one of my most favorite roads.
The Super Tenere was shod with new Tourance tires which handled crisply and had plenty of traction. With such wide handle bars the S10 navigated the turns with little effort.


My new AGV helmet fits really well, is light weight, comfortable and highly ventilated. It is not as luxurious as a premium grade touring helmet, for example it does not have pockets in the liner for your ears, and its a bit loud from the buffeting of the windscreen, earplugs are needed and do help a lot.


The Super Tenere's suspension goes a long way towards aiding rider comfort, the bumps, ripples and cattle guards are easily soaked up.


Before going down the other side of the mountains we get to enjoy a nice change of scenery and a respite from the constant 20 mph hairpin turns.


Time for a break!


Time to play with the camera too!






Dinner in Alpine is satisfying and we get a room for a reasonable price, it was a solid day of riding and a good start to our adventure!




« Last Edit: May 28, 2014, 10:15:32 PM by Kosmic » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2014, 10:53:34 PM »

We left Alpine Arizona for Page Arizona in order to see Lake Powell and ended up spending two nights camping at Lone Rock in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
On the way to Page, we stopped for some real coffee and an awesome breakfast.


Passing through Show Low and Winslow, we hopped on secondary Indian Reservation roads to Tuba City and Page.













« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 05:26:14 PM by DoctorXRR » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2014, 04:27:00 PM »

As we got closer to Page, we came across this beauty! My first big coal fired power plant... a few more were to come in Colorado.
Whoo Hooo, at least I can charge my iPhone and take selfies!


Mother Nature and Mankind seem to get along, at least for now.


Funny, I turned the camera a different direction and no more power plant!


Sundown Rider


We figured we should press on in the dark to the campsite, because it sure would be nice to wake up to something other than textured sheet rock and bad art!


Sure enough, it was worth pitching the tents in the dark.


Not half bad! We would spend two nights here, which equaled three swims for me.


The ever faithful bike.


The rock. Which will get a taller windshield for the next big adventure. The dang buffeting was all I could eat.


This lake exists due to a dam which was built (among others) to portion off the water to seven states. The mighty Colorado felt mighty good as I dunked myself in it in the heat of the day.


Even though there were lots of motor homes in the park, they never ran any generators, and I respected that.
It was early in the tourist season, so most people were retired folks, the jet-ski riders were yet to arrive.
That is me in the lower left corner.... the loner.


Dinner AND BEER!


Time for some sunset fun with the camera.






« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 04:31:40 PM by Kosmic » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2014, 05:46:56 PM »

After our two nights at Lone Rock Beach in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, we headed for Zion National Park.

We checked a view of Lake Powell on our way out:


The county decided to name it's self after my riding partner:


Pretty scenery on the way to Zion






















Zion was full to capacity, and we had to camp in an overflow area with multiple tents, but surprisingly everyone around us was mellow and it turned into a beautiful evening. Moon light lit this mountain, so I put the camera on a small tripod, switched it into "Starry Night" mode and took my first night shot, 30 seconds exposure.






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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2014, 10:43:09 PM »

After our stay at Zion National Park, I bid farewell to my riding companion as he headed West to Yosemite and I headed North.
I wanted to stay on a loose schedule that would allow me to ride with no solid destination other than a campsite or motel sometime before dark.
Being weary of going to any more National Parks, due to the crowds and commercialism that surrounds the parks I decided to get to know my Utah Butler Map.
Butler Maps are INCREDIBLE! They are designed completely from a motorcyclist point of view and seemed to click all the right buttons in my mind.
So much pertinent information is presented in such a clear and flexible manner. Recommended paved and gravel roads are marked very clearly and allowed me to experience all of my Super Tenere's capabilities. Butlers synopsis of key roads was especially useful because they outline the scenery, road quality and what type of motorcycle is best suited for the road. I was afraid that a map would "fence me in" - however I discovered Butler Maps to be quite liberating!


Butler steered me to Cedar Breaks, which as promised, was indeed off the usual tourist path.


Plugging in my Tourmaster Electric Jacket Liner made me feel secure as the elevations increased and the temperatures decreased















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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2014, 11:42:41 PM »

Nice work on the photos, Kosmic!  thumb  You have captured enticing slices of the magnificent country that you've traveled through.

Thanks for sharing it...
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Kosmic
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2014, 09:45:33 PM »

Thank you Frostbit, I am glad your enjoying my report!
Leaving Cedar Breaks in the direction of Bryce Canyon National Park, I decided I'd prefer to not spend lots of money to camp in the National Park ($12 park entry plus $16 campsite fee) with lots of people. Instead, while riding I scanned the side roads for this vital symbol:


Normally on such a long ride I would be on a pure road bike and would hesitate to ride a dirt road in the hopes of finding a campsite fairly soon. However, with the Super Tenere I could now very easily turn onto any dirt road and just ride it as long as I felt and not stress out about beating up a road bike while hunting down a campsite.
So when I spotted this road I turned on to it and met a couple guys on Triumph Tigers and verified that there was indeed camping available.


It was a very easy smooth road that went quite a long distance according to my GPS, but since the skies were clear and no sign of rain it was smooth sailing on the Super Tenere.




I ended up at a very nice campgrounds which were half price ($6.00) due to being early in the season, I even had a cell phone connection! Once camp was set I went for a short hike:





My mornings gradually became somewhat ritualistic, with my instant espresso and quite tasty McCann's Instant oatmeal. Talk about easy clean up! Only one spoon and one cup is dirtied! I was very satisfied with this light breakfast, it would last me until the afternoon easily.




Heading out the next morning on my BIG ADV ADVENTURE TOURING ROAD BIKE, I was feeling good!



« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 09:52:49 PM by Kosmic » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2014, 11:03:09 PM »

Leaving my campsite the following morning, I took a quick spin through Bryce Canyon National Park. The park is a dead-end road with very prescribed scenic overlooks, so I quickly got off the bike at each overlook - took pictures and continued to the end of the park.






I was in and out of the park before the tourists had finished breakfast and had the entire road to myself, quite nice!


Off I am in the direction of Capitol Reef National Park, although not certain I wanted to actually visit the Park.


The Hwy 12 to Boulder turned out to be fantastic and just what Dr. Butler ordered!












Arriving in Boulder early in the day with clear skies meant I could contemplate some dirt riding. Butler Maps really shine when it comes to Big Adventure Bike Riding because of their recommended dirt roads.




I decided to do the 153 (Hells Backbone Rd) to the 154 (Posey Lake Scenic Backway) and possibly spend the night in Loa.


The road was fairly smooth when not climbing to rapidly but in the steeper sections around the turns it got fairly washboard like and there were some ruts. I lowered my tire pressures and that made for a much better ride.


The gravel road traveled!


Once I arrived at the bridge over the "Backbone" I took a nice break.












More to come...





« Last Edit: June 03, 2014, 11:06:57 PM by Kosmic » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2014, 10:24:21 PM »

After turning on to the 154, elevation increased to around 9000 ft.


This alpine lake was partially frozen.


Then this happened! I walked into the snow and found myself up to my knees in it. An ATV rode over the 10ft shoulder in the road and hopped around the snow blockage. No way was I going to do that on the Tenere, not to mention that there could be additional blockages.
I turned around and had a great return to Boulder!






Back in Boulder, after my 3 hour dirt detour, I was ready for a treat:


I get a "medium" sized cone from the local burger shack and walk towards a picnic table and see a guy finishing his cone and I proceed to walk by him in a cone toting zombie state. Just then the guy says: "So, I see your wearing yellow. Have a seat." The dude is in his 60's, cool hippie t-shirt and ponytail too. He rides. His last ride was on a 150cc scooter across the USA. We have an awesome conversation for about a half-hour about France, art, traveling and cuisine. Good relaxing company, kind of a neat moment where you meet a total stranger and you feel like your best friends.  Be like the cone my friend.


After my most pleasing break, I set off for Loa and intentionaly skip Capitol Reef National Park.




My motel stay in Loa was kinda pricey but very quiet and comfortable, plus I took an extra long soak in a hot tub!
Daylight was working its magic on the patina of various hulks laying about.


I turned onto Hwy 75 through the mountains, and had an incredibly good ride, the road, scenery and weather combined for many miles for a memorable morning. I am partial to these wide open spaces.






More coal chomping goodness to keep our country electrified.


From Loa, I head to Brown's Park Wildlife Refuge which I had explored a few years ago with my brother, and it is indeed memorable!


On the way to the wildlife refuge a dam must be crossed!



















« Last Edit: June 04, 2014, 10:44:11 PM by Kosmic » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2014, 11:01:08 PM »

In retrospect I should have taken two days in the Flaming Gorge and Browns Park Wildlife Preserve, however I had done about 500 miles that day and was anxious to camp in the Preserve so I flew past the Gorge.
Next time I will plan to ride the Gorge!


Just past the Gorge, I turned on to Brown's Park road which starts out as hard packed dirt, goes to pavement then back to dirt.


Of course the Super Tenere loves these types of roads, the suspension soaks up anything you can throw at it.
I noticed the skies were a bit dark, and not wanting to be caught on the dirt sections in rain, I did not dilly-dally!


Spectacular views of the valley, which I remember from the first time I rode here with my brother a few years ago.


Fantastic!


I think the Yamaha engineers called this place home when designing the Super Tenere.


Swinging suspension bridge and free camping here I come!






Yes this bridge swings easily.


These guys were the size of small dogs and made quite a splash.




Tons of birds too.


This is the most remote camping I did on the trip, AWESOME LOUD PARTY DUDES camped next to me.
They toned it down by 10pm, so it was cool.


This place sucks. Do not come here.




It just gets worse later in the evening. Nothing to see here.




My Super Canary left with out me.


I tried calling her back.


But she is a rolling stone.



« Last Edit: June 05, 2014, 11:06:59 PM by Kosmic » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2014, 12:20:26 AM »

Awesome stuff! Love the pictures of the swinging bridge, I want to go back on a big bike too!
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2014, 04:58:58 PM »

Excellent stuff. Glad you made time to stop along the way to enjoy the trip and take photos.
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« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2014, 11:21:47 PM »

Thank guys, I am glad your enjoying it!
Food and Drink were all over the map on this adventure!

This was not as good as it looks, because we were in a touristy cafe on the VERY touristy route 66.


This was a pretty decent breakfast, but what stood out more was how friendly and chatty the waitress was.


An expensive burger outside of Zion National Park.


THE MOTHERLOAD of deserts! Only in America Man!
The funny thing is that I still managed to sleep that night!




I tried to avoid restaurant food for a while, but the problem is that small rural towns do not have decent grocery stores, no kidding I could NOT GET DECENT VEGETABLES!
I finally settled on humus and packaged carrots, which my cooler kept reasonable fresh with out ice in it.


The packaged salad was a nasty Dole brand, worse than an old buffet salad. Only edible with lime juice and avocado.


Finally a decent quality bunch of greens! I really craved them, again limes are a very simple and tasty dressing!


Chips and salsa were very easy to carry and lasted a while.


UTAH and some COLORADO counties only sell lame 3.5% beer, but in Colorado the liquor stores sell the real deal!
Finally!


My first local brew at a pub in Colorado, I had two!

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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2014, 10:57:16 PM »

From Browns Park Wildlife Refuge, I worked my way to Steamboat Springs:

This mural was on a bicycle shop in Steamboat Springs, next to the pub where I had lunch.


The elevations were pretty high and called for my electric jacket warmer










As I got into the lower elevations it warmed up and I was searching for my favorite road sign (Brown Tent Image) that would lead me to some free camping! Turning onto a small dirt road for camping, these guys were not phased by my appearance at all!


My free camping! A pullout on the river for launching kayaks.
Big bikes are awesome for keeping all your stuff of the dirt.


I also got a free bath!


The next morning's weather was great as I headed for my next National Park.






Two excellent days were spent here!


More to come...

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« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2014, 09:43:24 AM »

Great report ....  thumb

I agree that the stock screen/position on the Tenere is crap...no adjustment?.... I opted to retain the stock screen, but added in a Madstad Bracket.
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« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2014, 10:58:00 PM »

Thank you Obrian! I've heard lots of good reports about the Madstad bracket, I may do that myself, or I may go with the National Cycle screen.
My first visit to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison about 10 years ago was so spectacular that I had to go again, and I am very glad I did! The park seemed more removed from civilization than most, the park rangers are very friendly and helpful, and there is a distinct lack of commercialization as one approaches the park.

The main park road on the South Rim is really great!


However, next time I want to go to the North Rim, which is much more remote and has a 7 mile dirt road through the park.
A bit more planning will be in order to visit the North Rim.


I figured I would hike down the canyon to the river and back.




After filling out a back country permit, which included a mandatory 30 minute instructional speech on how to not get lost, how to survive wildlife encounters, how to stay hydrated, how to spend the night in the canyon and not be rescued until one day later. I started my hike and promised the ranger I would only go half way.
A marathon runner made it down in 1.5 hours and up in 4 hours. I lasted 20 minutes.
It is EXTREMELY steep and difficult!


I thanked the ranger for his time and wondered how many RED FLAGS I missed in his instructions.
Red flags in hand, I humbly jumped on my bike and continued my tour.




















Back at my campsite there were lots of animals to lick my wounds.






More to come...

« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 11:01:28 PM by Kosmic » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2014, 11:27:03 PM »

After an afternoon rest at my campsite, I hopped on my bike with my dinner and camera in the tank bag to chase the sunset!








This fantastic tree is pure art and the sunset was lighting it most favorably!










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« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2014, 10:13:52 PM »

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison was beautiful and touching but my most inspirational moment was not the Canyon itself. It was a fellow hiker dressed head to toe in a swishy, poofy and colorful nylon track suit. As I walked behind the hiker I noticed how quick and steady the pace was and how precisely both high-tech walking poles were being placed. As the hiker slowed, I decided to go around. It was then that I caught a look at her face. She looked to be at least 85 years old. I said hello, and took a moment to say that I was extremely proud of her and that I hoped to be so fortunate as her some day. She smiled and said "Thank you!'.

Leaving The Black Canyon for home, I had a nice parting from Colorado - blessed again with incredibly good weather.
I attempted to take Hwy 550 from Montrose to Durango, however it was closed so I detoured at Telluride.






From Telluride I blasted through a horrifically windy and sandy hell that is Hwy 491:
"U.S. Route 491 (US 491) is a north–south U.S. Highway serving the Four Corners region of the United States. One of the newest designations in the U.S. Highway System, it was created in 2003 as a renumbering of U.S. Route 666 (US 666). With the 666 designation, this road was nicknamed the "Devil's Highway" because of the belief by many Christians that 666 is the Number of the Beast.[1] This Satanic connotation, combined with a high fatality rate along the New Mexico portion, convinced some people the highway was cursed. The problem was compounded by persistent sign theft. These factors led to two efforts to renumber the highway, first by officials in Arizona, later in New Mexico. There have been safety improvement projects in recent years, and fatality rates have subsequently decreased.[3]

The highway runs through Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, as well as the tribal nations of the Navajo Nation and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. The highway passes by two mountains considered sacred by native Americans, Ute Mountain and an extinct volcanic core named Shiprock. Other features along the route include Mesa Verde National Park and Dove Creek, Colorado, the self-proclaimed pinto-bean capital of the world."


Once past US 491, I spent the night near Albuquerque, NM and arrive at our West Texas Paradise, to be met by my friends and brother! It was a great evening together!

The End.
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