Part 1. Nov 2, 2018.
Gloriously written by Blair.
By the end of this story, you’ll be asking “what the fuck is wrong with those guys”. And this is only part 1 of this stupid story.
Depression is setting in deep and hard as Summer is officially over. We here at the ol' Grim Parts Co have a very real hatred for winter and cold weather, so naturally, we decided to do one last run before we really start getting fucked by old man Winter.
This trip was actually Eric’s idea. I claim zero responsibility for what almost happened, and what did happen. As usual, we’re late to leave. The brakes on the truck were dead so we spent 2 hours on that.
Around 10:30 we hit the road. The I-15 to Hwy6. First stop is Wellington for fuel and a little thaw.
Sean and I were up front – completely ignoring the fact that Eric’s GS tops out right around 85, and this was pretty much the inaugural run for Van’s GS . And Roy, well, decided to not be an asshole and he kept along with Eric and Van. Naturally Sean and I found ourselves about 5 minutes ahead of the group.
Anybody who’s made the journey from Salt Lake to Moab has seen this sketchy jerky stop. The jerky is decent and the guy is cool enough.
Roy, Van, and Eric cruised past – didn’t even have a single thought about stopping so we took our sweet ass time and then averaged about 95 to catch up with the group at I-70.
Next stop Moab for a gross lunch, beers, provisions, and fuckery at a relatively shitty eating establishment. As a side note – food in Moab sucks dick, for reals. Moab is rad for outdoors stuff – everything else sucks. Moab is comparable to Sedona, other than food in Moab is shit, and there’s way more rednecks.
The best food in Moab is the free breakfast that you get at every hotel in town - and that food even kinda sucks. Seriously, you don't go to Moab for the food.
As we head out of town the sun is starting to set and some lady in a truck is giving us the bird – for absolutely no reason at all. No clue who she is. (maybe it's Cat).
Moab is at 4,000 feet elevation. The 191 down to Valley of the Gods goes through Monticello (7,000 feet), Blanding (6,100 feet), Bluff (4,300 feet), and then out to the 261, which is still at 4,400 feet. The elevation isn’t the problem. It was cold, but that wasn’t the problem either.
The real problem is that we screwed around for about 2 hours longer than we really should have in Moab– making our journey from Moab down to the Valley of the Gods pitch black dark in an area where the wildlife is substantially more abundant than the cars, trucks, and bikes – and we’re all hanging out on the same god damned road.
There is a lot of wildlife out here. I mean, a shitload. Rolling into Blanding a car just ahead of us did us a nice favor by decimating an enormous buck that had our names on it. There were also a lot of highway patrol out. So here's a hearty thanks to the fucking assholes who had already pulled people over and decided to take a break from their ticket writing to actively spotlight us directly in the face while we pass them at 5 under the speed limit avoiding bambi and bullwinkle in the middle of the night. pricks.
As a side note - If you don't have heated gear you're making a big riding mistake. Call the shop and get some on order. A good set of heat is going to cost you some decent money, but heated gear may be the absolutely best investments you'll make in motorcycles.
Normally in the cold we just crank up the heat and haul ass through it – but the whole cop thing and the countless deers in the headlights thing really threw a damper on our speed. Moab to the 261 is about 120 miles – normally that’s just over an hour. We spent nearly 3 hours on this stretch.
The last gas on this leg is in Bluff at 37.282758, -109.558980. The next gas is about 150 miles in Hanksville. Most of us have about 130 mile range, so we filled up in bluff and blissfully headed back out into the dark.
Hwy 191 heads east just south of Bluff, but the road continues south as hwy 163. About 5 minutes south of Bluff the road cuts down a pretty good height plateau, at that point the temperature went from the high 20’s up into the high 40’s and basically stayed there all night. Anybody who rides in the cold knows there’s a huge difference between the 30’s and 40’s. 40 degrees is easy to ride in. Most of us run heated gear – which is a huge game changer, but when temps dip into the 20’s its just fucking cold no matter how good your heat is.
Valley of the Gods road heads west off the 163 at 37.234993, -109.814456. Right at the beginning of the road there’s a creek crossing. Only a fucking idiot would cross this thing when its flowing – so we crossed.
There are plenty of camp spots along the road. We rolled in around 8:30 in the dark, but found a spot about 2 miles in at 37.264164, -109.811619.
Valley Of the Gods road is 17 miles of dirt. Some years it’s a sloppy rutted mess. Other times it’s perfect. We lucked out and the road is in good shape.
Due to the nature of our riding (which involves higher speeds and usually some dirt roads), The Fabulous Mr. Glover decided not to join on this trip, I set up the frame of the Helinox for him, but I left the actual seat up to him to put on.
None of this happened.
We headed back to the highway to make the full dirt run in the day. What ensued was ridiculous.
We spent about an hour playing in the creek.