Preparing to leave Colorado…
We woke at 7am at Blue Mesa campground at slowly crawled out of our tent andbegan to pack while Km began to make breakfast. Its porridge again with Yogurt on the side. She makes me eat bananas as well. We don´t have a fridge but its been so cold during the night that keeping things cold has not been any trouble. We are at 6500 feet above sea level so that seems to help. I put on my wool sweater and my long pants and got started. We´re on vacation so there has never been the big rush in getting away. That used to drive our good friend Sonny nuts when we traveled with him in Europe. Two hours later we were sitting on the bike and returned to Hwy 50 west towards the state of Utah. Colorado is just an amazing place to bike through.The mountains and lakes are just a wonder to see.After a few hours of driving we hooked up with I-70 at Grand Junction. From there the scenery quickly began to change. From the Mountainess Colorado with lakes and streams and trees to more or less an ever growing desert. It began to get extremely hot as well.We crossed the border into Utah and stopped about 75 miles into the state at a Tourist Information station at Thompson Springs. We wanted to know what was worth seeing here. We wanted something in the area or something in the direction which we were going.One thing they said we had to see was the town of Helper which was on the way north towards Salt Lake City on hwy 6. This was supposedly one of the best kept Cowboy towns in all of North America. Won a prize a few years back. This was something Km wanted to see so we put it on our list of things to do. Before we did this the man insisted that we had to see Arches National Park since we were so close. He told us that there were people who rode the bus fromDenver, Colorado just to see the park. That was enough for us. We were to drive west to Crescent Junction and then drive the 36miles ( 70kms) south on hwy 163/191. We were pointed in the direction of Moab. This was a city in the middle of nowhere. Well, it wasn´t nowhere. It was again in the middle of the desert. At one point there was a warning sign which said that it was forbidden to stop on the highway the next 6 miles if there was a sand storm. That was nice to know. After about a 45 minute drive, we arrive in Moab. It was an Oasis in the middle of the desert. The most charming town appeared before our eyes. It was sweltering hot still so we checked in at the Inca Motel for a small 65 dollars for a night with air conditioning. Still pretty cheap after Danish standard. The hotel was owned by a Swiss couple who moved to Moab 2 years ago to get away from the Swiss rain.Yes, this was the place. Not sure it has rained here for years. We relaxed a bit and then did a little shopping for dinner. We´ve been eating at the motels for the most. After dinner we decided to take a quick trip up to the Arches National Park in the (cool) evening air to see if we could see the sunset. It was a 15 minute drive from the motel. It was a long road up to the top and when we reached here we were still looking up at the walls of the Canyon. What an awesome place this was. We´ve never seen Grand Canyon but could imagine that this was the bottom of it and we were looking up at all the rock formations. Awesome…We saw the sun go down and then quickly made our way to the bottom again.Just beside our motel was a Mining Store. Yes, here you could buy all sorts of stone, minerals and of course dinosaur bones if you believe that. Karen M bought a couple of stones. I would have been surprised if she didn´t. We got to sleep early that night.We wanted to get up early and head up to Arches again to explore the 35kms of park before it got too warm. We drove into the park at 8:30 am and it was already warm. The sun was shining and there wasn´t a cloud in the sky. The park was simply amazing. I understand now why people drive from so far away to see this magnificent place. We explored the park and did a lot of picture taking as well as video and before we knew it , we were on our way down again. At around 11:30 we left the park and headed north towards one of America's best kept cowboy towns called Helper. As I mentioned before,it won an award for this about 4 years ago the man informed us from the tourist office. We headed northwest on Hwy 6 just after Green River. There was a 60´s song about a Green River and I wondered if it was this town they sung about. Hwy 6 was to be a more scenic route we were told. Much better then the I-15 towards Salt Lake City so we took this.It took a little while before it started to become scenic but it did. We got close to the town and a few kms before Helper, we see a sign that says," Come see the Historic town of Helper". This was going to be good. We turn off the highway and head in the direction of the Historic downtown Helper. Wow !!!!!!Talk about a disappointment. This seems to be a ghost town now. Everything is basically closed and we stop up at a gas station where we see 3 guys standing out front. We ask them about the historic town of Helper and they seen to be confused. They did remember that for 20 years ago there were at least 25 saloons and about 15 brothels but that the town won an award for the historic part, Well that they never heard about. It was a very thriving miners town way back when and theysuggested that we check out the museum at the end of town. This we did. It didn´t cost anything to get in but they did have a donation box and recommended 2dollars/person if we wanted to drop money in the box. Km threw a 5 dollar bill in the glass box and it landed in a model train at the bottom and smack into the trains coal box. They lady then said to Km that she just won a little bag of coal as a prize.Wow… just what we needed. Luckily, we had no room on the bike for it so we thanked her and didn´t take it. We dropped in at the local restaurant for lunch before leaving town.
When we took a better look at the town afterwards, we could imagine that perhaps it could have been an exciting town way back when but that was a long time ago.
With one more experience behind us we continue towards Salt Lake City where 80% of Utah´s population lives. We seemed to drive for an hour along the Salt lake and the traffic on the I-15 through Salt Lake City was very intense. We wanted to get to the other side of town and find a place to rest our weary bones. This was found just north of town at a Motel 6 with a swimming pool which didn´t take long before our bodies were thankfully floating in it. What a pleasure after a long day of driving. We then went to a local shopping center to find something for dinner and then back to the motel.We decided this time to take a chance at not unpack the bike with all our worldly possessions. We just hoped they would be there when we woke up in the morning and they were. This would probably be the start of a good thing. Not unpacking at motels that is.
After breakfast we head north on I-15 looking for exit 362 which lead us east on hwy 89/91 towards our next destination, Yellowstone National Park. This took us towards the Town of Logan where we gassed up, before moving on into the Logan Canyon towards Bear Lake. What a fantastic trip through the canyon. This was one of the better routes we´ve taken. To top it off it ends up at Bear Lake. A little too touristy for us but beautiful it was. I guess that's why the tourists come here. From there it was north towardsMontpellier. They were having a Old Car Show this weekend so we decidedto stop and check it out. A stop well worth it.My brother in law Bill would have loved this so we took lots of pictures.
We continued along route 89 and just outside of town we come to a stop. There is only one lane open and they have just tarredthe road and put some new stones on top. Just what my bike needed. Kind of took the charm away from the route temporarily. At a gas station in the town of Freedom, we run into a guy by the name of James. James Jensen to be exact.Had Danish descendants four generations back.He asked if we minded if he followed us up to Jackson. He was by himself and said it was more fun with company. Before we knew it, we were hand in hand on the road again this time driving through Snake Canyon. Snake Canyon of course follows the Snake River which kind of describes the way the road slithers from left to right.We really got lucky on today´s choice of a route. The canyon was spectacular. We´ve seen so many fantastic places during our ride and you think they can´t get much better and then they do. Right turn or left… Just doesn´t matter. We arrive in Jackson around 3pm. This is where James would meet up with his little woman. He had been to Jackson many times before and this is what I would call a Cowboy Town. It did have the famous and one of the oldest Saloons in Wyoming. This is where some of the old country singers like Willy Nelsen used to sing before he got famous. I wonder if this was the Jackson that Johnny Cash was heading to, to get some thrill. We ourselves have passed through 3 different Jacksons on our travels so it's not sure. There were also a lot of shoot outs in this town. They still reenact the shootouts for the tourists a couple of times a day. Very touristy town but none the less charming.We give James my e-mail and say our goodbyes and then head out towards Yellowstone National Park. He cautions us to keep to the speed limit and keep our eyes open. There are 10 antelope to every person in Wyoming and they´re not fun to hit. The road was pretty good the first part and then we arrive at a sign that says, Work Zone ahead…Motorcyclists use Extreme Caution.There we were for the next 20 kms wishing we were on an off roader instead of a Honda Shadow. It worked out well never the less. They have begun to fix many of the roads in Yellowstone. We arrive at the south entrance of Yellowstone at 5pm and its getting pretty late to find a camping place. I´m not wild about driving around in Yellowstone after dark with the wild roaming Buffulo, bears and whatever else that would like to eat a bald headed Canadian and of course a Danish for desert,but it won´t be necessary. They lady at the gate informs us that all campgrounds in the park are full. We can try the one just two miles back where we came from. By this time I was willing to take anything to have a place to spend the night. We return to Flagg Ranchcamping. We book us in for two days and the man arranges for us to have a Bear Box at our campsite.Couldn´t imagine why we would want to have a bear in a box at our campsite but the man must know what he´s talking about. It apparently was for anything that had some sort of odour that a bear might be interested in. Everything from toothpaste to coffee. There was to be none of this kept in our tent or we would be serving Gevalia coffee to some unexpected guests. (little Danish humour). Who needs bears in the middle of the night, right???
Because of all the restrictions about food and cooking and where to clean up and when, we decide to go up the the lodge beside the campground and have dinner. No Cooking and No Cleaning up. How good was that.We returned to the tent after dinner and due to all the excitement about bears and this region of Yellowstone having a lot of visits fromthem, I thought that it might be a good idea to have our leather clothes and helmets inside the tent just in case. If a bear decided to show up, we could slip our leathers on and then the helmet and then play dead and perhaps he wouldn´t bite us. We both quickly fell asleep and didn´t hear a sound the whole night.
We wake up at 9 am and pull our stuff out of the bear box and have a quick breakfast. I picked up coffee at the lodge to make things easier.We get our clothes on and take our rain pants and jackets with. It did look as though we might be in for some rain. We were now ready to adventure out into the worlds largestNational Park.All 2 million Acres of it.We head north on Hwy 89. It actually goes straight through the park.Our first stop will be Old Faithful.The parks largestof the10,000 Geysers.Here approximately every 92 minutes, it erupts and sends 25,000 liters of hot water some 40 odd meters into the air.And we were there to see it. What did amaze me about Yellowstone was that fact that for 2 million yearsago, Yellowstone was an enormous Volcanic Crater about 45 miles(80kms) in diameter which exploded on three occations and completely wiped out this mountain chain. This formed what they now call the Caldera.There are mountains all around except to the west. This is why Yellowstone is approximately6500 ft above sea level.The nature and animal life in the park is simply beautiful. From forests to valleys to gorges and waterfalls. They have it all. Then out of nowhere, there is a Huge Buffalo standing beside the road and Km snaps a picture of it from 3 meters away. The recommended distance is 40 meters from these wild and unpredictable beasts. I made sure I was in the correct gear before I stopped.Then shortly afterwards the clouds started to send water down to us. We did take our rain gear on but it never really amounted to much.We arrive back at camp after taking the hwy loop clockwise around and its 6 pm. Km reserves a table up at the lodge for 8pm and we relax at the campground until then.By 10pm we are tired and are found in our tent and everything else is in the Bear box.
It was a cold night and we awoke at 7am ready to take on the east side of Yellowstone. We were leaving the park today so everything would be taken with us. Km decides to have a quick trip up to the ladies room and I get the tank bag ready to go. Yesterday I removed the bottom of it so we could use it to put the map in.Today while trying to zip it back on to the bag, it was simply not cooperating.The zipper would not zip correctly and if I didn´t get this to work, we would certainly be in a dilemma. This was the part with the magnets in it that hold it on to the tank. This then attaches the rest of the tank bag to the tank. I brought out the WD-40 and really began to sweat. After about 45minutes and lots of strange words from my mouth, the zipper was closed. I was once again a Happy Camper. The mosquitoes were out in full force this morning and the B-12 vitamin wasn´t really helping keeping them at bay. Perhaps we better double the dosage.Everything was packed and we headed out on our way to view the east side of Yellowstone. The clouds were gone and the sky was blue. This is by far the best way to be riding. We are on our way to see Tower Falls in the very far north corner of Yellowstone.We find the herd of Buffalo again and get a few more pictures. We do find Towers Falls but it wasn´t the spectacular falls which we expected. The surrounding areas on the other hand very beautiful. On the way to the Hot springs we pulled in to see the Petrified tree. This didn´t impress Km so much. She was looking down into the field after wildlife instead. Thanks to me, we have a picture. After you see the picture, you´ll probably understand why Km went to look at nature.We pull into Mammoth Hot Springs for lunch and then on the way out of Yellowstone, we see a beautiful Elk deer grazing on the side of the road and Km hops off the bike to get a picture.He didn´t seem to care that she was so close. She snaps the picture and we leave Yellowstone with fond memories and soon enter the state of Montana on the western side. Picturesque,just like in the cowboy movies.Good bye Yellowstone !!!!