OK, here's the rest of the trip: Early Wednesday morning, we awoke to very threatening skies, and the promise of more rain. We ate a very nice breakfast at the Prospector Inn in Escalante, and headed to the gas station. It was about 8:30 AM, and as soon as we fueled up, it started to rain.........Hard. We headed out, and soon the rain subsided, but we hit more, on and off, the rest of the day. Our destination was Torrey, UT via Boulder, UT on SR 12. A few miles out of Escalante we encountered some of the neatest slick rock country I've ever seen!
We stopped at this overlook:
And took a few pics, that's the Boulder Mountain in the distance with the big storm over it, we'd be headed over that later in the day:
Then we descended into a labyrinth of canyons and curvy roads that was amazing:
The stretch of twisties through this stretch was awesome, but one had to be very cautiousl as the highway crews had done a lot of "cold patching" of the asphalt which resulted in gravel patches everywhere. This coupled with the rain necessitated slow travel, which was fine as the scenery was good! I assume the highway department will sweep the gravel off this road soon.
We then came into Boulder, UT which was incredibly scenic, and although I should have taken pics of the town and it's surroundings, I didn't! Boulder was isolated due to the topography, and mules delivered mail until the early 1940's, and electricity was not available until 1948. We did stop at the Anasazi State Park Visitor Center, which recounted the history of Indian tribes in this area, and took the self guided tour of the ruins excavated here. This is definitely a place to stop if you visit this area.
A pit house:
It rained again while we were in the Visitor Center, and we figured we'd better head north over the Boulder Mountain. This part of the trip involved climbing up to over 9k ft ASL, and the road was very good, lots of sweeping curves, beautiful conifer, aspen, meadow, and oak habitats with great views. We stopped at this overlook.
I took this pic, those are the Henry Mountains in the background.
Unfortunately, we didn't take many pics on this stretch, as again the wind picked up and here comes another big storm! We descended into Torrey, UT and got a room at the Sandstone Inn, the wind was really howling now, and this huge flag on the biggest flagpole I've ever seen illustrates the wind velocity.
Here's a pic looking back south from the hotel of the storm descending on the area we just rode through.
Torrey sits at an elevation of about 6900 feet ASL, and due to the cold weather we actually had to turn the heater on in the room. Unusual for this time of year. After a relaxing afternoon, and a good night we started out for Capitol Reef, which is just a few miles east of Torrey on SR 24. This was the best morning of riding on the whole trip, no wind, partly sunny skies, twisty roads, and great views!
We stopped by the visitor center, bought another pin, and took the scenic 10 mile tour starting here, I'm scratching my head trying to decide if I should pay the fee to ride down the road, we did, and it was worth it:
and ending here:
We drove through the townsite of Fruita, avoiding the tame deer along the road, but will save the walking tour for another trip. We then drove back out to SR 24 and headed east toward Hanksville to the eastern border of the park, very nice ride. Then we headed back to Torrey, then west to Bicknell, and Loa, intending to do a loop around Fish Lake, but the T Storms returned. We put on our rain gear again, and headed east on SR 24, then south down SR 62 to Otter Creek Reservoir. This was an exciting part of the trip as the wind was really howling, and it was raining. We decided to head south down through Antimony on county road 16. This was very scenic, but due to the condition of the pavement, etc.. we kept expecting the road to turn to gravel. It didn't, and we avoided the storms by taking this very scenic road.
Anyway, we ended up back in Panguitch, and stayed over, it was 38º F when we left! We retraced our steps in the morning back over to Cedar City, and finally home. This was the one day it didn't rain!!
This was my wife's first road trip via motorcycle, and obviously it wasn't an "iron butt" ride. We took it easy, stopped at most of the roadside attractions, and had a very enjoyable time!! We're already planning the next one, to eastern UT, western CO, stopping at Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
Both bikes performed flawlessly. I was especially thankful for my Vario Screen modification, which I learned about on the Versys UK forum. This really made the bike a better tourer, much reduced wind noise and bug count! The Givi luggage worked great, the KTM handguards helped repel the wind and rain, the Corbin seat was comfy, and Speedy's peg lowering kit certainly reduced knee strain!