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Discussion Starter #1
Just after sunrise on the morning of June 9th, Kenley Steck, the proprietor of Notom Ranch B&B in rural Notom Utah, heard a knock at his door. Upon opening the door, he found an unlikely visitor with swollen knees and ankles, seeking a ride into town. He quickly greeted the needy stranger with water, ice-packs and vitamin-I (ibuprofen). After hearing the story of his harrowing 13 mile walk out of the desert the night before (due to his foolish decision to ride alone off road, and get into terrain above his skill level), Mr. Steck drove him 30 miles into Torrey, dropping him off at Tracy and Wendy Potter's Wonderland RV park and campground. There, kind Strom-troopers Andreas, Jude and Steven recovered his bike and got him to the medical clinic in neighboring Bicknell. [end 1940's narrator voice]

Details and pics in post 278 and following of this thread: http://www.stromtrooper.com/events/334714-4th-annual-cache-rally-2017-june-9-11-a-28.html

So after arriving late to the party in Torrey due to an interesting detour in the desert, followed by towing bills, medical bills and a flight home for two months of physical therapy, I arrived in Vegas this past Saturday AM to pick up my bike. Prior to storing the bike I added "Startron" fuel additive to help with stabilize the fuel, since it had ethanol in it. I gave the bike a T-CLOCS pre-ride check and noticed a dry blue spot on the garage floor below the radiator about the 1-1/4" in diameter. It was some of the Suzuki long life coolant. I didn't see any place on the bike evidencing the source of the coolant leak but will continue to watch it. All of the fluid levels were fine, everything on the bike worked, but both front and rear tires were about 5 psi low. After inflating the tires to the right levels for a near max load (33 psi front / 41 psi rear), I rolled the bike out of the garage. It started right up like it had only sat overnight rather than for two months.

The next morning, I left for Phoenix before sunrise to enjoy a beautiful ride with the temps in the 80's until The last hour and a half into Phoenix.

I "disparage the 650 for power (and economy)" in post 148 of this thread. http://www.stromtrooper.com/dl650a-2012-2016/374921-why-does-everyone-disparage-650-power-15.html

My route back to Alabama will take me through Payson in the mountains east of Phoenix and up to Hwys 555 and 50 in Colorado before heading east back across Kansas and through the Ozarks in southern Missouri / northern Arkansas. I may be able to fit in a ride on the Talimena Skyway before my last leg home.

Pics to follow.
 

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Enjoy your ride! I'm looking forward to more pix.
 

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Yo, KD70, I saw a great road around the canyon lands area on the F-G650GS forum.
The White Rim Road. Right up your taste on off pavement byways. Worth a gander!
It is so close to Torrey too!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Jeez dude, I went over and read your tale. You sir are a blessed man.
Hopefully I'll need a little less "blessing" on the trip back. :grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yo, KD70, I saw a great road around the canyon lands area on the F-G650GS forum.

The White Rim Road. Right up your taste on off pavement byways. Worth a gander!

It is so close to Torrey too!


I'd love to take it, but it doesn't look like I'll have enough time to route back through southern Utah.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Phoenix to Durango, CO

I left Mesa at 9:00 AM. It was already 95F, which would turn out to be the hottest part of the ride today. I filled my 2 liter water bladder (built in to my Olympia Motoquest Jacket) with ice and about 8 oz of Gatorade. It stayed cool until it was time for gas. At each gas fill up, I refill it with ice, but don't add any liquid. It melts faster than I can drink it, and stays cold for as long as I can ride. Typically 3 ice ups a day.

The stuff I like best about the west is the great, wide open spaces, which don't translate well into roadside cell phone photos, but I'll upload my roadside cell phone photos anyhow.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Northern NM - Phoenix to Durango

After crossing through NE Arizona, I got into Northern New Mexico and spent a fair amount of time on roads through the Navajo nation. This was the second warmest part of the day - in the high 80's.

At the 2500 mile mark of the trip, I pulled over and shot a photo of whatever was there, which was open desert.

Later, I saw this beautiful Badlands-like formation. The road, which was otherwise straight, snaked through this area mostly over the top.

The large cliff with the tractor trailer in front of it was on Navajo land. There were numerous large cliff formations similar to this one, but each a work of art in its own right. The worst part about my return home, is that each area that I spent minutes in, would be worth spending hours or days exploring, to try to really appreciate the beauty. It was food for the soul. The natural beauty, the history and the culture is why I like to travel.
 

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I was impressed with those big views when I started riding my bike to Oklahoma in the 80's. Seeing the signs for the trading posts piqued my interest. There used to be Stuckeys along the way too.
Lots of that has disappeared as HWY 40 bypassed the towns and 66 was reduced to a byway.
Still, there is so much if you don't slab ride.
Glad you are enjoying the return home. Stay safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Durango Food

I left Phoenix around 9AM and arrived in Durango at about 8PM. On the way out of town on US550, I saw a sign that said "Serious Texas BBQ". The place was hip and trendy, in a Durango - Colorado - mountainy sort of way, the service was quick and the brisket was excellent.

They also recognized one of the two most important teams in college football.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Durango Lodging

When I was on my way out to Torrey, I had the privilege of paying $167 to for a room in a family oriented hotel chain in Durango. This time, I did a little online research and found the Durango Riverside Resort about 10 minutes north of town. They have numerous cabins right on the river, RV sites and tent sites. It is very clean and well kept, and a cabin away from the river with a full sized bed and a bunk bed was $65. I will gladly stay there again.

There was a porch swing, a fire pit in front of the cabin and parking for 3 or 4 bikes right next to the cabin. The cabin itself has swing open windows front and back with screens for ventilation, a heater inside, lighting and the all important 115v outlets for recharging electronic gizmos. There were shower stalls and bathrooms 75 yards away. As well as a building for doing laundry, and a gift shop/ general store. They were nice folks, but you can only reach them during the day. They do return calls though, and didn't mess up my billing or reservation. The cabin is lockable too.

The photos were taken in the morning so there are harsh shadows.
 

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Nice! I'll make a note of this place.
I stayed a a place in Choteau MT the last couple of years in a cabin that looked exactly like that. It was an old KOA now run by a family. Cowboys, Cowgirls and good old fiddle music. About the same $
Choteau Mountain Campground
Are you home yet? Having a good trip?
 
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Had a great ride back but then there was work. I'll get the rest of the pics up shortly.

Love your jokes in the other post btw. I'm going to plagiarize them and tell them in the first person about my trip.


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Discussion Starter #18
US 550 - Durango to Silverton

It was a comfortable 74 degrees when I left the Durango Riverside Resort 2800 miles from home. Though there were plenty of RV's and people at the resort, it was surprisingly peaceful. As I was pulling out of the resort onto US 550, the Durango & Silverton steam locomotive was chugging by, parallel to the highway. Almost everywhere I have spent hours on this trip, I wish I could spend days. I'd love to take a ride on that train one day.

Minutes after I got moving, I had to stop for a picture. From Durango to Ouray, I took more pictures than any other part of my trip. This is due, at least in part, to my absence during the beautiful rides the folks at the Cache Ralley took. Throughout the day I was struck by the beauty of the Aspens, and the glory of the rugged landscape.
 

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Durango to Silverton 2

Beautiful mountain meadows, and 10,000 ft passes with breathtaking vistas, and a cute couple taking selfies next to their Jeep.
 

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Almost to Silverton

Another pass and meadow just before Silverton. For those from the east, the photos do not do justice to the vastness or the beauty of the area. Not pictured are the tantalizing number of forest roads that turn off from US 550.

In the meadow photo there are a few people with their dog coming up the trail.

I could never get over the luminous beauty of the Aspens. Their leaves glow in the sunlight and their white bark adds to the seemingly supernatural brightness.

The area had numerous mountain lakes. This one, was pretty from the uphill side of the road, but I couldn't pull off there.
 

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