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As I am writing this well after the fact, I can hint that 2018 was a tough year. It wasn’t a year filled with motorcycle travel, just one long ride. In fact all I did as far as maintenance was mount a fresh set of TKC80’s for a long ride. So, here begins recounting riding for a little more than a month. This will end up being a photo heavy post.

My first night out was to a campground I’d used before in Utah, an out of the way KOA.

That first day was long. I’d ridden from home to Glendale, Utah was a long thirteen hour day thanks to flooding closing routes and roads, not to mention the never-ending freeway construction through Las Vegas. If I never ride through that town again, it will be too soon.

The next morning I chose to ride north to I-70 and take the fastest route to 3 Step Hideaway for the 2018 Alpine Rendezvous. I had to fight the wind and speed on the interstate where nobody seems to drive anywhere as slow as the speed limit of 85mph. The amazing part is the bike returned more than 50 mpg on that leg. I could not believe how well the bike was running.

I had a good time at this meet up. Great bunch of folks to meet, ride with and trade stories with. There was a lot of laughter.

I took the next day as a rest day I was beat. I’d forgotten or lost a charger end so rode up to Moab to get one. While there I had fresh brewed iced tea at a small shop and a pastry.

The next day I rode an easy route to Moab with fellow rider who was up for a light day. We began looking for a trail route that I was not sure I could manage. I’d not ridden any dirt at all, since the Pahrump rally in 2017 other than a tiny bit on my wind-aborted practice day.

We of course had begun the day with an amazing breakfast. Julie is a wonderful chef and host.

Some riding was done and very little in the way of photos were taken. We managed to lose each other in Moab while trying to find fuel and toilets. Toilet first.

We lunched in Moab at a food truck, then once we refueled the bikes headed back to 3 Step and after a little evening conversation, dinner was served.

Scott grilled up some amazing steaks.

That night we were treated to a light show looking sort of northeast out over Colorado.

I missed the sunrise photo the next morning, but took a shot anyway.

Today we would take a buggy ride with Scott piloting. We had rain and flooding and mud galore. What a mess. Great fun too following two expert riders on 500 EXC’s. The views were grand.

Some fun.

The mud and the rain.

The next morning I bid Scott and Julie farewell and headed to Ouray.

I got to the KOA north of Ouray and before setting up camp too a photo of the bike loaded at the campsite.

The Ouray KOA has a small cafe that serves breakfast, not all that early, but early enough. The sun doesn’t show up for a long time thanks to the 14,000 foot peaks surrounding the town and the narrowness of the valley.

I made an early day of it and had a burger and iced tea on the rooftop deck at a local brew-pub.

The next morning I made my own breakfast of coffee and instant oatmeal. Today I would do laundry here at the camp laundromat, get a long shower and mostly relax.

I rode into town to get fuel and some supplies for dinner and managed to lose a clip for my tank bag. I ended up tying it down and would eventually stop by Wolfman Luggage for a replacement. But, that was a few days off. I was headed north and west.

I had not planned much in detail. I had a few places where I planned to be on certain dates, but other than those milestones, I had no concrete plans. As such I called my brother to figure out what my uncles number was and it turned out my aunt and uncle were there at my brother’s a thousand miles away. That plan when in the bin. Next, I figured I’d go camp up the pass from their place. I’d fished up there when I was sixteen, about fifty years earlier. But, I missed the exit thanks to a line of fairly aggressive trucks I was passing. I got to I-70 before I knew it and had no idea how to get where I wanted. I couldn’t remember the name. As I remembered about where the exit off the interstate was I passed it and it was closed. I’d apparently passed the detour earlier. Well, nothing to do but forge ahead. I could not find the free camping at Dotsero/Gypsum. I know where it is now of course. I ended up hot and tired and hungry in Eagle. Found a hotel for too much money and called it a long day.

There was a sports bar three hundred steps from my room my phone told me.

The next morning I needed fuel and breakfast. I figured a light breakfast at Starbucks would work. The guy with the drophead Bentley liked my bike. Nice car, but it was just a car. Today I was headed for section of the COBDR I had ridden parts of before and fished near for decades.

After finishing my coffee and food, I filled the bike and headed west on I-70 to Gypsum and pick up the COBDR route there.

I would follow this route to Steamboat. Then figure out there which way I was going to head. The track changed a good bit as you go along. This wide graded gravel county road would give way eventually to two track.

At the top I stopped for a selfie and some bike shots.

I was alone most of this part of the track before BLM camping just before crossing the highway to Lynx Pass Campground. I saw to guys with chainsaws and side by sides clearing downed trees from the road I was riding. I stopped as they made the last cut and waved me through.

At the Rock Creek crossing I stopped and set up the GoPro on my helmet hoping it would work. An old and tired Hero3.

I had to stop for a shot at the old stage stop.

The day ended at a KOA at Craig Colorado along US40.

I’ll end this part here, because it is getting long and the next bit requires the recounting of a long story. Type II fun style story for sure. At this point, I’m ten days into this ride.

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