The nice thing about KOA campgrounds is the showers, laundry, free WiFi and this time even a pool. We were glad for some down time and Jon was able to soak his sprained ankle in the cool water.
We had a 9:00 AM appointment with Fred at Arrowhead Motorsports for tires so we hurriedly pulled up stakes from the Moab KOA and made our way over to his shop.
New front and rear tires for me and a new front tire for Weston, with this we’ve all had a change of tires along the route and should be good for the rest of the trip.
When we pulled my front tire we found this split in the tube, wow, glad it didn’t blow on the White Rim Trail.
Glad to have new tires we left Moab in the heat of the day on the Gemini Bridges Road. Remember last time we got new tires and got a flat 30 miles later? Well, it happened again except this time we made it about 50 miles.
It wasn’t one of the new tires it was Jon’s relatively new rear tire. We are getting pretty good at the roadside repairs and had it swapped in about 30 minutes.
Back on the road we continued following Sam’s TAT tracks, at one point it was a little unclear which turn to take so we found ourselves on this road.
I was insisting it wasn’t a road but Jon and Weston insisted it was. Eventually dad was proved right but it made for some interesting riding.
It wasn’t long when I come around a corner and Jon is pulled over.
Same back tire. Why does he always have to pick a spot on the hottest time of day with no trees for miles? By now we were low on new tubes so we installed a tube we had patched the night before and hoped it held.
Between our late start and two flats we decided to start looking for camping spots. We saw a place on the map called Goblin Valley State Park and headed that direction. You never now what to expect when randomly picking a state park for camping. We pulled in an quickly realized this place was amazing.
The park ranger recommended a small walk in spot a short ways from the parking lot. Cool, check this out.
This was a great place, I hope I can return with Deby, she would love it.
Jon and Weston collected these bones along the trail and wanted to take them home for their mother but practicality prevailed and we had to leave them behind.
Goblin Valley State park was so cool I declared a late start day so we could relax and explore a little. Did a little rock climbing.
For a view of the park from above.
Back on the road it was more great riding over the San Rafael Reef.
Came across this cool bridge.
It wasn’t long before….. you guessed it. Jon had another flat. In the hottest part of the day on a stretch with out any trees on a long dusty road. We removed the tire and put in another patched tube from the night before. We noticed all the flats were caused by some sort of rubbing on the sidewall of the tire. We inspected the inside of the tire and found a small sidewall split so we removed the whole tire and I applied a patch to the inside of the tire hoping that would help. After an hour we were back on the road but I was worried that the problem would continue and there were no known motorcycle shops for hundreds of miles.
After some more riding we stopped for gas in the really small town of Castle Dale, UT. While filling the bikes I noticed a pickup truck pull in with a Yamaha dirt bike in the back. I asked the guy driving the truck if there was a motorcycle shop in town where I might get a tire. His answer was no but there was a guy who did some work out of his garage. I wasn’t sure but decided to follow him to his friend’s house not really knowing what to expect.
It turns out it was the shop of Doug Jackson of Jackson Racing. Doug greeted us in his shop that was the cleanest most organized and well equipped shop I have ever seen. Doug was a serious motorcycle racer haven raced for Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and most recently for Yamaha. Doug pulled Jon’s tire and confirmed that the insides seemed to be pulling apart and the tire should probably be replaced, no, he didn’t have one.
But…. he called a shop 30 miles down the road and found a Dunlop MX 51 dirt bike tire that would work, never mind that it wasn’t street legal. I didn’t think anyone would check. The store closed in 30 minutes, could we get there in a half hour to pick it up? No problem I said and tasked Weston with making the 60 mile round trip. He returned in record time, I didn’t ask if he broke any laws but the big KTM can go pretty fast.
Doug and his shop.
Jon’s a happy camper with a new rear tire.
It was close to 7:00 PM by the time we left Doug’s, our original intent was to try to make it to Ephraim but we settled for a state park in nearby Huntington.
Not too far from the campground was a Mexican place with the huge mondo burritos.
Total miles for the day was only 100 but we managed to get a new tire and had a great day. Thanks Doug for all your help!
Thursday 9-10-15 …. My Birthday
Ha, somehow the kids managed to surprise me with a birthday cake and card in the morning, wow, really nice. Thanks guys.
What a great start to the day, carrot cake and coffee, breakfast of champs!!!
For a birthday gift they declared that I would ride in front all day and not have any dust, ha, did I score on that deal.
Anxious to make up for lost time we spent the day literally hauling a** over fast dusty roads.
All I saw in my mirrors all day was a huge plume of dust. I couldn’t even see the headlights of the bikes behind me.
We stopped for gas and the kids thought I should have a Red Bull to compliment the coffee and carrot cake I had for breakfast. I think they just wanted me to ride a little faster.
We made tracks over the Wasatch Plateau, San Pitch Mountains and dropped into the Tule Valley. Great roads.
I was really enjoying a dust free day. Weston and Jon were coated with dust.
Towards the end of the day we came to Salt Marsh Lake close to the Nevada border. We couldn’t resist spending time blasting over the dried salt flats. Way too much fun.
Weston took this really cool picture, maybe the best one of the trip.
You can see we were all coated with dust from the day, I was less dirty and really scored having a birthday on the dustiest day yet.
We wrapped up the day riding highway 50, “the loneliest highway” into Baker, NV for the night. We stopped for a lonely highway picture.
It was starting to get dark when we arrived at the Baker Creek Campground inside the Great Basin National Park. When we arrived we saw a sign for an Astronomy festival at the visitor center after dark. What a fun way to wrap up the day. But first dinner.
Since it was my birthday I got to pick the menu. So….
Peanut butter and potato chips! Oh yea, what a day of gourmet food.
After dinner we rode to the visitor center and had a star talk by a ranger and walked around to telescope stations set up by amateur astronomers where they explained various features in the sky. There was no moon, crystal clear sky and we were a hindered miles or more from any civilization. The sky was incredible with the milky way as bright as I’ve ever seen it. What a great way to wrap up my birthday. I checked my odometer and we managed exactly a cool 300 miles for the day. A great TAT day by any measure.
After a long day on Thursday and a late night watching the stars we were tired in the morning but wanted to get going early enough to beat the typical 90 degree heat.
Back on the TAT for the first sections of Nevada it was sandy rutty and dusty right away.
I volunteered to take up the rear to make up for being dust free the day before.
The road was tough all day and I couldn’t not get into any kind of riding groove.
We stopped in this cool canyon for a break in the shade.
We rode 200 dusty, rutty, sandy sections with periods of dry creek bed riding and steep boulder downhill stretches. By 4:00 hot, exhausted and hungry from not even being near a place for lunch we stopped in the tiny town of Lund, NV where we filled up with 87 octane and ate at the Whipple Café.
I think I enjoyed my Peanut Butter and chips dinner the previous night to the BLT from Whipples.
We were hot, dusty and tired after a rough day so we checked with Google and found a KOA campground about 30 miles up the road in Ely, NV where we camped for the night. They had the best hot shower I’ve had on this trip, I’m sure I used my $30 camping fee in hot water usage, ahhhh.
Ok, so time go get going this morning. I’ll try to get another blog post in soon.
Thanks for following, Donn, Jon, Weston.