Monday, July 19, 2010

BMW Rally 2010 - Day 11

This morning we awoke to the sound of an alarm clock. While it's not my preferred method of waking up we wanted to get an early start so we could minimize the time spent in the heat. We packed up the bikes, ate a quick breakfast downstairs and left the parking lot by 6:30 am. A quick stop by the nearby Chevron for gas and then we were heading out of town.

The first part of the route was on I-80 east toward Pocatello, then we headed south on I-15. When we turned east on US 30 we stopped at the Flyin' J in McCammon, Idaho for gas and a break. Then it was back on the road. We followed US 30 east and south to I-80 and stopped at Little America, Wyoming for gas and a break. We'd gone 184 miles since the Flyin' J and Reagan still had 1.5 gallons left in her tank. It was nice to see such great mileage out of both bikes. After sitting in the shade on a patch of cool, green grass we mounted the bikes and headed east on I-80 to Grand River.

At Grand River we headed south on 530 toward the Flaming Gorge. We'd ridden this road last year but it was such a great route into Vernal that we decided to do it again. As we headed south I could see dark rain clouds over the pass that I knew we were going to go over. The only question was how wet we'd get.

When we reached the Utah state line, the road changed to Hwy 43 into Manilla. We then headed south on Hwy 44 and started climbing into the mountains. This was the part of the route that I was looking forward to. There were plenty of twisties with ascending and descending corners. I was very happy. Along the way the clouds started to spit on us but nothing worth putting on rain gear or even zipping up. By the time we got to the south side of the pass where there are 10 great switchbacks we were getting into traffic. I did manage to get around some traffic and enjoy 2 or 3 tight switchbacks before getting behind a long 10 or 12 vehicle traffic jam going down the road.

Once we got back down to the flat land, the semis picked up their speed and we all got into town without much excitement. Reagan and I detoured by the True Value hardware store to get some parts for her tail light and then headed over to the Econolodge. Check in was a snap, we had parking right outside our door and the room was nice. Oh and it was $45 less than the Best Western next door. Econolodge is becoming my new favorite inexpensive hotel.

Since we got to the hotel just after 3, I was able to get a nap in this afternoon. Then we watched a little TV before walking down to the 7-11 Ranch Restaurant just down the street. Dinner was great and service was good.

Today we travelled 459 miles in 8.5 hours, enjoyed a nice break under the shade of a tree and found some fun twisties. Tomorrow we are heading down through Durango to stay in Pagosa Springs, only a few miles of the route are on interstate the rest is backroads. Tomorrow the plan is the same, up early, leave early, beat the heat.

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