VERNAL UT TO KEMMERER WY (DAY 6)

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Another wet ride today. Rained all the way over the  Mountains and then subsided  once i reached the lower elevations. Again missed  a lot of good picture opportunities due to the inclement weather. I feel sorry for the guys on the bikes getting wet yet again. They are hardy guys and seem to just shrug it off. When they come in the bikes are covered in mud. I went thru Flaming Gorge today and got some pictures despite the bad weather. Tomorrow is our last day.  (DonS)

Left Vernal under very cloudy skies and we got a little spotty rain.  We went through Grouse Canyon in Diamond Mountain Wilderness.  Beautiful red rock walls and colorful yellow hardwoods near the creek along the road.  We cross a very cool suspension bridge and back on the gravel autobahn, bouncing back and forth along the boarders of Utah, Colorado and Wyoming.  We stop at Dutch John for gas and snacks and go to the Flaming Gorge overlook for our nourishment. Rain chases up out and back on the road.  We leave the asphalt and get on a beautiful section of graded road which offers great traction and spectacular aspen color.  It is still early, but very good example of what a week or two will bring.  After an hour or two of this terrain the rain sets in with serious intent.  I am flagged down by a sopping wet girl, in bare feet and rags for clothing standing in the mud and holding a gas can.  We are in the middle of no where.  WTF??  Her three companions, look just as hopeless.  We are low on gas anyway and their rusted out P.O.S. International Scout looks like it is there to stay for the duration.  Tuff luck honey, though I was really worried they could have been Charlie Manson followers, Ms Piggy left her characteristic trench as I fled.  We are soaked and race to get out from under this cloud.  Thinking the end is near, our track takes into some great two track with big puddles and greasy conditions.  It’s a character building experience keeping Ms Piggy upright.  No traction and tire tread full of mud in sections.  They have had an incredible amount of rain.  After a couple hours we reach our destination, 257 miles today, Kemmerer.  Say that three times….  Dan

Day six,
America is beautiful! Today we rode through some of the most stunning scenery  I have ever seen. All day we captured naturally landscaped valleys and canyons. The ride was breathtaking, almost every turn showed us many beautiful shapes and views. I stopped many times to take pictures, which I usually do not do. I like to ride hard and rarely look up, but all this week, I have slowed down to soak up the natural beauty of our great country. Tomorrow is the last day of our 7 day riding tour chasing down the byways of the great north west. We are hoping for a clear day after dodging rain most of the week. Larry

Today we saw some of the most spectacular scenery: grouse canyon, aspens beginning to turn colors in the high country, flaming gorge.  It was also the day of mud.  Not usual the mud that we easily pass thru, but scary bottomless tire clogging, bike sucking clay mud.  I admit I am not a good mud rider.  My big red bike with the huge Sahara gas tank weighing it down finally met its match in the mud.  In all of my years of riding dirt bikes I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t get thru an obstacle but that is what happened today. The  course was laid out for dry weather and the 500 year deluge has been happening this week.  The very last section, when we were all a bit weary looked easy..you could have just run up the highway to the finish…a simple graveled road up a canyon paralleling the paved road…why not take that in to the finish?  As it turned out, that road which looked easy,  turned into a very different thing after a few miles…and I fell down in the mud, it stuck to the bike tenaciously in big globs, it stuck to my boots…inches thick under the soles, it was hard to stand up, let alone lift a heavy motorcycle which had many pounds of mud sticking to it and blocking the rotation of the front tire.  When a dirtbike gets clogged with this type of mud,  the back wheel will still turn because it is powered, but the front wheel won’t turn because the mud packs up between the fork and the tire so the bike  just wants to spin around and fall onto the ground.  That is what happened repeatedly.  Dan came over to help me get the thing upright and pointed in the right direction and with a lot of clutch slipping in second gear I got the mud encrusted pig and man to some more firm ground.  I reasoned that this was likely NOT the last of these mud pits and elected to return the way I had come and go up the highway.  What a good choice.  I worried about the guys getting stuck way out there where even a 4WD truck would be unable to retrieve a stuck bike…but when I pulled into the hotel parking lot there were some really muddy bikes there…Yay!  We all got in one way or another and  headed down to the car wash and put well over 5 bucks per bike to get the mud off the bikes and our boots and clothing.  I’m sorry I did not get photos of the bike in the mudfield, or Dan and I pressure washing each other at the “spray ’em off” carwash.  I put all the wet gear into the drier and we went out for Chinese food.  So ended day #6.  Ryk

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