Utah together

11 Oct

Great, I’ve got Sam with me now for the homebound part of my adventure. Today was a wonderful day for her to start riding; hot, some high speed long hauling and some very spectacular scenery going through both Lake Mead in Nevada and Zion in Utah, both National Parks. In her first day she has ridden in Nevada, Arizona and Utah. I loved the high-speed section of interstate 15 in NW Arizona climbing up through the narrow Virgin River Gorge hard on the throttle steadily at 75mph plus with some gear changes when passing. Sam calls it the “hang on for dear life” section.
I was appalled that with a cost of $25 per motorcycle or $30 for a car that on a beautiful sunny hot day with many visitors and the parking lots full that the visitor center closed up and locked people out at 5:00pm. We might have just made it in by a minute or so if we hadn’t used the bathroom first. This picture was taken at 5:07 by someone else who was also frustrated by being locked out. Zion is a natural wonder and I was looking forward to some time in the center to learn more about the geological details.

We made 402 km today and at least half was through awesome beautiful scenery and with Sam taking pictures as we ride. We have been able to record many images in locations where it’s impossible to stop along the roadside. Sam is using our small old Nikon Coolpix in case she fumbles and drops it somehow, although it’s on a lanyard. Like the Fuji we can’t post from it without having an SD card reader and computer.

After sending all my camping gear home with Sam’s friends and repacking with our clothes for all weather and conditions, we’re totally stuffed.

I had my first issue with the Vstrom on this trip. We simply fixed what could have been a very serious overheating issue in Zion National Park. The engine began to overheat and the electric radiator fan wasn’t spinning. The fan blades are surrounded by a circular shield that make it nearly impossible to see if it’s working. A couple of years ago I felt this design was a potential problem so had put on a red dot of reflective material that will show up as a blu r seen using a flashlight as the fan spins. Luckily we had a location to pull over and Sammy was able to reach in close against the overheated rad, with her gloved finger, and nudge the fan. I expect that the fan rarely comes on and was just stuck from lack of use. Immediately the engine temperature began to drop to normal and everything seems perfectly fine. The ultimate quick fix along a roadside averted what could have been real trouble.
The dot that I stuck on is at the location #3 shown on this parts detail.

Tomorrow I am going hunting for moqui marbles (thunder balls, rusty lumps) more on that later.

This Guest Lodge we are staying at is perfect for us in every way. Because, for our stay, we have the entire 6,000 sqft to ourselves. We are being spoiled by the hosts Michelle and JC.
I was awake early looking at the spectacular night sky. Orion is my favorite constellation and I can see all of its stars clearly. SkEye version 6.7.0 is a planetarium application on my phone that runs off-line. The planet Venus was clearly visible at dawn.


What a world class backyard, Elkheart Ridge cliffs are coloured Navajo sandstone rock. I aslo saw a planet peaking over the top in the early morning.

Michelle took some pics of us as we we loading and leaving this morning. The driveway is a bit steep, but WOW look at the rock in their yard at the bottom of the drive. image

Big ride this morning to Cedar Breaks and we topped out at 10,670ft above sea level. Sam’s first time riding above 10,000



We’re lunching near Panguitch Lake at BurgerBarn treated by a wonderful cook who made fresh banana bread this morning. Of course we shopped in the General Store for some of our son’s special canned beans and a new pocket knife for Sam.
After lunch we passed through Red Canyon on the way to Bryce Canyon National Park. We cashed in our receipts for other NPs and for about the same cost as the Bryce entry fee we purchased a year pass good forcall National parks and sites.image


DSCF5331ew Bryce Canyon

We made it back to a grocery store close to our lodge and got some groceries for dinner. Most importantly we got to Joe’s Rock shop while it was still open. A miner/rock collector had just brought some large geodes to strike a deal with the shop owner. Obviously, with limited space on the motorcycld they knew that we weren’t there to buy pounds of stones. Graciously the owner cut a small golfball sized Moqui Marble in half, using a large water saw and gave the pieces to me.

I’ve now had two rubber buttons fall out of my Garmin GPS. The first one on the left for setting the mode, at Jacobs house a few days ago which I forgot and had to return to get it on my way to puck up Sammy. I’ve stuck it back in a taped it in place, and hopefully waterproof. I noticed the second button was missing when I climbed aboard in the parking area at Cedar Breaks and we and some helpful others scoured the area but couldn’t find it. The little black rubber button may have bounced and rolled anywhere in the asphalt parking area. So I brought some Goop and am attempting to make a new button that turns the unit on and off. Wish me luck.
Meanwhile I’ve taped over the hole with Gorilla tape.

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One Response to “Utah together”

  1. bikermissus October 13, 2015 at 8:51 am #

    Really good idea about putting a mark on the fan blades, I think I’ll do that myself. My fan doesn’t get much use around here!

    For the past couple of years I’ve been entertaining the idea of a bike trip to the American South West. I think following along on your adventure has cemented it in my five-year plan. Incredible shots!

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