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Sunday, June 28, 2009

cool monuments, but basically just heading east as fast as i can

June 28th

So Beast (the bike) is really starting to show some wear. the motor runs well and sounds better since i dinged up the pipes, but there's oil starting to come from between the jugs. just a bit, but enough to be a minor concern for now. hell, some old harleys piss oil and keep running, so i'm not too worried right now.

I've also popped a PIAA light i think. the left one doesn't work, which is annoying and it's keeping me from riding at night, which is a good thing i guess.

the other two problems are a little more major. The right fork tube is leaking fork oil. i've busted the seal a day or two ago and it's leaking. not much, but it's leaking all over my front brakes, so that's a problem.

The other big problem is the wear on my back tire. I don't want to have to go hunting for a shop and i hope i can make it back on the same tire. i really don't have the time as i'm trying to make it back for work for the 2nd. time is ticking in a big way. if i have to go to a shop, i'll lose at least a day.

I looked at the forcast and it said these 4 states (colorado, utah, new mexico and arizona) were under a thunderstorm watch. time to head north and get away from that. i don't mind rain, and i'll ride in heavy rains, but lightning and bikes don't mix very well.

a pic from Dinosaur looking back towards Utah.

Dinosaur National Monument. i didn't want to waste to much time so i just did a quick flyby inside the park. i wanted to see if it's worth coming back in the future.a view from the road. neato

the view from the first lookout back towards the utah/colorado border
more views
I liked that mesa... i think it's a mesa... heh.The day use area was surrounded by bushes and trees. it was so different walking around that, when a few weeks ago i was walking around the arctic. heh.

Different views. blocked by the woods, but i was not geared for a hike. i could see through the trees and there were some amazing views. this is only 1/2 way up the monument road. i didn't even go to the end or on the many hiking trails they have along the way. I'd like to go back one day and go hiking there. a few problems. i'm out of shape and never hiked in my life. heh. guess i gotta learn some day.

I went back to the visitor center for a smoke break and struck up a conversation with Sandy. I told her and her friend/husband (didn't get his name) my route, and all that. people think i'm nuts when i tell them that. nuts in a good way though. I liked her dog, solomon(sp?) she said that if i needed anything that i could contact her in steamboat (a town nearby)
people are cool wherever you go. sandy, if you're reading this, it was nice meeting ya!

yes, i know the pictures look repetitious, but they were taken 15 mins apart. heh. it's always a little different and there's always something to look at so i wasn't bored. music and playing with the gps helps.
I stopped at the next town (Craig), where the GPS said i had to turn north. I hadn't eaten anything but a gas station cherry danish (which wasn't good) so i was hungry.
nothing looked interesting so i went to the El Ranchero 'authentic' mexican restaurant.

I walked in and saw into the kitchen. mexicans.(i assume) that's a good sign. at some of the tables there were a group of spanish looking guys. while looking over the menu, more mexicans walked in. heh. if spanish speaking mexican looking people are eating here... that's a good sign.

the standard chips and salsa. the salsa was cold, yet it burned my mouth. it was awesome. not from a jar. i think the chips came from a bag, nothing special.

I ordered the El Ranchero. it said beef pork and chicken. i didn't know it was a whole steak, a whole pork chop and two breasts of chicken. came with refried beans, rice, guac and small shells.
the plate was massive. i repeat. massive. it was all very good too. way too much food though.

Off north i went, to avoid the thunderstorms and essentially to get back home. I crossed into wyoming, but since i was on a secondary route, there were no big signs saying so.
I took a picture from where the Overland trail cut from east to west at this point in 1860s. this is the trail they used for emigration across the land. ie: it was the highway. this picture is looking south. i took another picture looking west, but couldn't make out the trail. i'll have to zoom in and look closer as they say you can still see it.
pic while riding. safe. I just passed the continental divide around heremore of wyoming

I took this shot without realizing what was in it. if you look at the white object you'll see the cow skull. how cool is that. i thought that was only in the movies.

Another monument.The upgraded wagons that they used.

Independance rock. want more info on it? go there or go online. i'm not your teacher. hah.
The rock itself. you can go hiking and people were walking all over it. i was running out of time so i didn't go walk on the rock. that's my excuse anyway.
I spotted this bird riding the thermals. It's wingspan was huge and it was really far away and i had to zoom in with the camera just to get this shot.
And zooming in digitally with the wonders of technology, we see this. looks like a buzzard or vulture or something, don't it? i think it's a vulture. neato.over the shoulder shot. no time to stop to take pictures. I was losing light fast.
again, i'm heading east and the sun was heading west. going faster on the bike wasn't helping. heh.

seeing this in person was cool. a reservoir that has a dam at one end, with a marina in use. the colors in person were neat.
I stopped for the night in lusk. I was worried there wouldn't be internet access at any other motels down the road and gas stations might be closed in the smaller towns. didn't want to risk being stranded in the dark in backcountry wyoming.

I got a room at the covered wagon inn. really nice place but pricy. didn't want to go to the cheaper looking motels though... you get what you pay for sometimes.

I spoke to the girl at the counter and said that i might as well hole up for the night (8:30) since i noticed so many deer along the road. ever since i entered wyoming, if i didn't see steer, i was seeing deer. there were many. i must have spotted at least 40 or so. there were many.

the girl said that up north, there are a lot more deer than down south(i didn't know that), and they come out more at dusk(which i knew). good thing. i wouldn't want to be whipping through wyoming and WHAM! a deer.

I unloaded the bike and went to the outpost cafe for lunch. it's the only thing open at this time of night and i was hungry. got a grilled cheese, a cup of soup and a salad. trying to eat better but i eat so much. hah.

another reason was that my shoulders were killing me. damn handlebars.
something just popped in my head. i haven't met any assholes so far on this trip.

many look at me funny though, since i'm in my full suit. pants, jacket, boots, gloves, helmet... and barely anyone i've run across has a helmet. no jackets or gloves. tshirt and jeans for the most part.

to any who think i'm crazy riding in this heat with all my gear. i've already had a crash on this trip and i'm certain my gear saved me some road rash (i found a small tear in my jacket) and i'm sure that my helmet is doing a good job keeping the bugs out of my face. yes, i'm warm, but it's mesh, so it's keeping me cool. i've got two bands on my wrists where my jacket doesn't meet. they are blood red. i wonder what all these tshirt people are doing.

1 comment:

  1. just a heads up - In this area we are suppose to be getting some scattered T-Storms from Monday to Wednesday going from est to west so don't pack your rain gear to far in the bags. Hopefully you'll skip it. good luck