Tuesday, March 31, 2015

RIDING ZION–PART TWO

Today leaves me with only 40 Miles to go to reach my first destination in British Columbia, Canada.  And boy am I sure glad of that.  I’m exhausted and am sooooo OVER having to get up everyday and drive the Interstates.

Today was a particularly tiring day as it started out bright and sunny but then I got into some high winds making driving very difficult.  After I got through that, I ran into rain and fog for miles and miles making the visibility very poor.

Tomorrow I cross the Border back into Canada.  **GASP**  **GULP** – will they let me back in !!??

But that is NOW so let’s go back to THEN shall we.

First order of business was to call the Boondockers Police and admit to my CRIME of actually PAYING to dry camp.  I begged and pleaded with them not to take away my Boondockers license and promised NEVER to do it again !!  They agreed to let me of this time.  LOL

The first day riding to the Park I saw three motorcycle riders on the other side of the road and they appeared to be trying to flag us down.  Now I’m going to take full credit here because Joe kept on going – although later he said he was starting to turn around – big fat liar that he is.

They wanted to give us their pass into the Park.  You see the fee is $25.00 per vehicle and I was NOT HAPPY about having to pay that.  Turns out it is $12.00 per person on a motorcycle.  This was March 18th and the pass was good until March 23rd for as many times as you wanted to visit there and was for THREE motorcycle riders – yup that’s us !!

So we had a ton of enjoyment for FREE – and we all know how much I like FREE.

As you enter the little town of Springdale (which you have to go through to get to the Park) they even have the pavement tinged a different colour to reflect the redness in the surrounding rock.

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The first day we rode the switchbacks through Zion National Park and those were the Videos I showed yesterday.  Yes, a Go-Pro Camera sure would be nice to have on those occasions.

They stopped traffic for quite awhile but finally scurried away which one of my videos of yesterday’s post caught.

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Tara takes a video of me riding behind them….

And another short video Tara took:

There are just so many different colours and textures in the rocks.

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Taking a short break….

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It was such a great ride all the way up to the end of the Park and an even better ride coming down.

Monday, March 30, 2015

RIDING ZION - VIDEOS

Likely only interest to fellow riders but the scenery on some of them is spectacular.

The videos range from 6 seconds long to 17 seconds long.

And remember --- I’m trying to take these videos while only holding one of the grips and trying to stay upright !  LOL

I think this one was taken on the way to the Park.

A little shaky but check out the scenery.  That’s Joe & Tara riding in front of me.

 

Oh I DID NOT like going through that tunnel.  It was 1 mile long and seemed to go on forever !  There was NO WAY was I taking a hand off the grips to try for a video.

Here’s a picture of going through the tunnel that Tara took.

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The traffic comes to a halt !  You gotta watch this one.

Here’s a picture just before.  This guy just stood there in front of the car for a long time.

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This one is only blurry for the first 2 seconds.  Abrupt stop to the video when I saw another hairpin curve up ahead.

QUAIL CREEK STATE PARK

I am now a mere 270 Miles from my first destination stop in British Columbia, Canada and so far the trip North has been (mostly) uneventful.  That’s always a VERY good thing !

But that is now so let’s go back to then….

Joe & Tara come by with their rig already hooked up.  They had stayed in an RV Park the previous day (and hated it) so they could scout out the area in their truck for a place to stay for a few days while they explored Zion.

Joe took a look at my tires and said the smoothness is called ‘cupping’ – well at least I think that’s what he said it called – it was soooooo long ago !!

He said it’s quite common and is caused by a slight out of alignment of the tires.  He assured me I could continue to drive and I don’t have to replace these tires immediately.  That sure was a relief to hear.

They told me about this State Park they had booked that was on water……again.  Jeeze, Those two sure have been lucky on their trip South this year with finding places on water.

I figured I needed a few days off the road to settle down from the anxiety that guy gave me regarding having to put out so much money right now for new tires.

I decided to go to the State Park with them.  The cost was $15.00 a night for DRY CAMPING.  Oh Me Nerves !!  I couldn’t believe I was going to PAY to dry camp !  

OMG, Are they going to take away my Boondockers license !!!??

But check this place out !  It was gorgeous.  As with most State Parks, this place sure was not BIG RIG friendly but we managed to find a spot where ‘Da Hulk could get in – once we unhooked Ms. Daisy.

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This is Joe & Tara’s spot just below me.

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The first thing that was going to happen was to get the bike out.  This area is much too awesome not to explore it on the bike.

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Bennie & I relaxing and enjoying the view from our ‘back deck’.

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Finally I got some riding in.  Over the next days we explored Zion and the surrounding areas.  Lots of pictures and videos coming of that.

Here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come……

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

NEW SHOCKS

After parting ways with Joe & Tara and saying “See ya in Harrison” for the umpteenth time, I headed for Wally’s in Mesquite, NV – a whopping 38 Miles !  Don’t want to tax myself by driving too long !!  LOL

I arrived there, rested, had lunch etc. etc. and it was still only NOON !  Plus the parking lot wasn’t that great for RV’s and it was sloped.

I got back behind the wheel and figured I’d go another 38 Miles to the Walmart in St. George, UT.  Only to find out they no longer allow O/N parking.  Signs all over the parking lot.

I rested for awhile and checked to see where the next Walmart was.  Only 7 Miles further.  Great !!

While resting this guy comes to my door – which was open because it was sunny and very warm there.  He is very polite and apologetic for disturbing me but wanted to bring to my attention my front passenger tire which he said is in BAD shape.  He pointed out the smoothness on the outer part.

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Upon further examination he said he saw what caused this – the shocks.  HUH ????

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What do I know about shocks ? Nothing !  But I knew my tires were actually overdue for replacement due to their age and I have been in ‘conversation’ with Newmar about that.  That’s a whole other story.

He suggested I have this dealt with at my next stop – OR – his shop was just up the road and he could take a closer look at things.

Naturally being the calm, lay-back person that I am I went into PANIC MODE !  I immediately got behind the wheel and went to his shop. 

While driving to his shop on I-15 I saw an RV Park and just instinctively glanced over.  OK,  so you’re definitely NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS – I saw Joe & Tara’s rig !!!!

I tried to contact Joe (he being an ex-trucker and all) for his opinion but they had their dang phone turned off !  Me Nerves !!

I gave them the go ahead for the new shocks - $456.56 US or $598.72 CDN – yes, the exchange rate has been a hard hit for us Canadians this year.

He quoted me a price of about $1,500 for two new front tires but I wanted to check with Joe first regarding the tires.

After the shocks were done I went over the Walmart in Washington, UT to spend the night.  I was exhausted and very stressed.

I was finally able to contact Joe and we made arrangements for him to come by the following morning – he was only minutes from where I was.

Next up is a quick and very delightful change of plans.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

4WD’ING AROUND OVERTON

Joe & Tara had not been to the Valley of Fire so they rode their bike there and around the area.  He offered to help me take my bike out but I declined as I had already ridden around there.

Bennie & Milo sure are best buds !!

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But we did do some off roading.  Up trails and down trails – many very steep !  So STEEP that on occasion I held my breath and closed my eyes – and I was driving !!  LOL

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We wanted to see if we could get to the road shown by the arrow.  Trying to find it, we headed down into an area where the trail was often no more than a cow path.

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We ended up back at the boondocking area.  The picture below shows how many rigs hang out there but they are nowhere near as close together as it appears in the picture.

Back down the trail we go.

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We would see a dot or two miles away where folks really wanted their solitude.  And off we would go to see if we could find the ‘road’ to there.  And we did !!

One particular trail took us down, down, down to where apparently a body of water had been just past this sign.  No water there now though.

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The end of this trail gave us a very pleasant surprise though.

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They stared at us so intently.  We were obviously on their turf and they were NOT happy about it.  So they slowly drifted off but never taking their eyes off of us.

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Such gorgeous creatures huh.

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I ended up spending a week in Overton but all good things come to an end.  Joe and Tara wanted to continue on and explore Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.  I am not a ‘touristy’ person so those kind of places don’t interest me.

We parted ways with hugs and “See ya in Harrison.” ………….yes, AGAIN !!  lol

ON TO OVERTON, NEVADA

With still lots of time before we had to even think about heading North, we had hoped to spend more time at Telephone Cove.  But Joe woke up to this…

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The water had risen quite a bit and Joe feared his jacks would sink and he wouldn’t be able to get out of there.  Tara comes over to my spot to tell me the situation and a quick pack up had to be done and we were off.

I was soooo disappointed because I definitely could have spent another few days there.  I was comfortable enough by then to have stayed there on my own.  BUT I was NOT comfortable enough to tackle the 5 Miles of UPHILL to get out of there with the rig and tow.

So I followed Joe UP the hill in the rig and Tara followed me in Ms. Daisy.  Once we got the car hooked up we parted ways with hugs and “See ya in Harrison !”  HEY, haven’t we done this before !!??  LOL

They wanted to spend some time in Vegas and I decided to head to Overton, NV with a brief stop along the way…

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Hey !  I had to get my fix ya know !!

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I like stopping in Overton.  It’s very quiet there and good for a few days.  There’s absolutely NOTHING to do there and the only riding is through Valley of Fire – which I’ve done – plus they charge you $10 every time you go through there.  So I didn’t even bother to take the bike out.

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I wanted to enjoy the warm weather for as long as I could so Overton is a great stop for a few days or a week.  I don’t think I’d want to spend much more time there though.

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I spent a couple of quiet, blissful days boondocking and just generally puttering in the rig.

One afternoon I got up from a wee nap and glanced out the window.  What I saw made my eyes open wide and my jaw drop !!!

Guess who I saw pulling in ??  None other than Joe & Tara !!  I, of course, didn’t know they were even in the area and they, of course, didn’t know I was there.

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I can’t seem to get rid of those guys !  I think they are STALKING me !!  LOL

Next up, more 4WD’ing around Overton.

Friday, March 27, 2015

TELEPHONE COVE- CHRISTMAS TREE PASS

More off roading but first another picture of the Moon reflecting over the water on a different night.  Something I could just sit and stare at forever.

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The day after our 4WD’ing through the areas around Telephone Cove we decided to check out Christmas Tree Pass.  In order to get there we had to come out of the 5 treacherous miles from the Cove.  But of course that was NO PROBLEM for Ms. Daisy.

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“Christmas Tree Pass is a pass that leads over the Newberry Mountains in southern Nevada. The road that crosses the pass is called, appropriately enough, Christmas Tree Pass Road.”

I had not done any research on this little ride (via the Internet) before we started out so therefore didn’t know why it was named as it was or what to expect.

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“This scenic drive is twelve miles in length. The road itself is gravel and is generally in good condition. However, in a few places the road can be a bit rough and steep, particularly right below the pass on the eastern side.”

It was definitely a very scenic drive.

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We figured maybe we’d see actually Christmas Trees as we got further in ??

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“Years ago, some passer-by started a tradition of decorating some of the trees with leftover Christmas decorations and other shiny or colorful items, including beer cans and even underwear. The National Park Service takes a dim view of leaving refuse in areas it administrates, so the debris disappears, only to be persistently replaced.”

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Doesn’t Milo look like he’s taking a POOP in this picture !!

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We were quite amazed at the various trees and scrubs that were decorated. Quite a sight to see in the middle of the desert.

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Obviously something that has been going on for years I would expect.

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This is a sorry little one isn’t it.

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But many were quite lavishly decorated.

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Now while it definitely was a very scenic drive with the various mountain formations and rocks etc. the actual ‘road’ was very well maintained and well………BORING after awhile - We wanted something a little more off roadish.

And we found it.  We turned onto one of the trails to see where it would lead and more importantly IF we could get through to anywhere. 

Many a time we didn’t think we were going to be able to go any further – many rocks and deep holes to get through or over and Ms. Daisy felt like she was going to tip over on several occasions !!

But this gorgeous reward awaited us several miles off the main road.  Again, utter peace and quiet you just held your breath at the beauty and peacefulness.

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This is what Bennie thought of it all !!

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Next up – a very hasty exit from Telephone Cove and I went on to Overton to spend a few days.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

TELEPHONE COVE–4WD’ING

With the 5 Miles all downhill on a very rough, wash boarded, loose gravel, switchback curves etc. etc. I knew there would be NO motorcycle riding while at this stop.  Even Joe agreed and we didn’t even take the bikes out of our garages.

So off roading it was then !  One day we decided to explore some of the trails off the ‘main’ road.

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Through gullies and valleys and canyons we went testing the limits of Ms. Daisy.

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We went as far as we could go.  The utter peace when stopped was indescribable !

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We spent some time just enjoying our surroundings and the quiet.

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Other than in pictures I had never seen the cactus in bloom.

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Then we took another trail…

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This one kept going down down down and we ended up at another much smaller cove where a couple were enjoying a beverage sitting right by the water.  They were camped there and loved it and I can see why.

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Meanwhile back at ‘home’…..

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The next day we decided to explore “Christmas Tree Pass”.