Friday, November 5, 2010

St. George/Zion NP Nov. 2,3,4 2010

Among the many good people in Southern Utah are Suzi her husband Rob, and Bob. When I mention I'd like to ride some new (to me) roads around St. George they offer to show me around. How can I resist? Time for a ride.

I depart home at 2:30 Tuesday, and because I'm starting so late I have to take the freeway for the entire 299 miles to St George. I fill up at Nephi, and don't touch the ground again until the first stoplight on Bluff Street in St George. 225 miles in the seat, a new record for me (where's the bathroom?!). I go to the condo I have reserved and here is my home sweet home for the next three days.

I took a pic of the second bedroom, closed the door and didn't see it again.
This should have been my bed, but I slept on the couch...old habits and all that..
Having a kitchen saves a lot of $$. Dooo doooo dooo lookin out my back door...

The next morning I ride about 20 minutes that should have been 5 but I left the instructions Suzi gave me on the counter... I finally arrive at the designated place and meet Suzi and Bob, sort of, I think they are trying to ignore me hoping I'll go away...

"Hey look, there's long have you been standing there?"

I'm just kidding of course, both are good friends and GREAT hosts! They pulled out all the stops to show me a super riding day!
If I win the lottery, I'm moving here.
And off we go, taking the back roads to Mesquite, Nv. At rest/photo stops Bob tells the names of the mountains, what animals are where, and so on...where is my tape recorder when I need it?
Suzi shreds the posted speed limits of course!
Some ruins.
Joshua trees, or what's left of them; Bob tells me a range fire went through here a few years ago.
Suzi and her good looking Gixxer.
More charred Joshua trees, the fire was human started.
After a long stretch of road Bob gets confused and thinks we are in Oz...Good job M8!
And now I'm confused, I can't remember if this is Littleton Az, or Bunkerfield Nv. or....? The trailer say's "Beaver Dam Jam".

All the barren brown makes the trees look even better.
Did I mention lots of brown?

No chicken stripes here..
Our lunch destination...The Purple Fez in the Casablanca casino.
MMmmmm good!
Cool place, cool fountain....and me.
Back to Suzi and Rob's place to pick up a couple more riders for the second half of the day's ride. Bob has to prepare for a busy next four days at work and so leaves us.
Gen chillin in the shade.

Off we go; I've followed Rob on this road several times and I STILL can't find it when I'm alone!
Note the people standing on top of the cliff.
" On belay!" And down she goes..
Steve and Allen.

The turn off to Kolob Reservior via Kolob Terrace Road.
Hie to Kolob! It is easy to see why the pioneers would name this canyon after what must be a very beautiful place.

Sunset Canyon Ranch. You can look down upon the ranch from the Kolob road..these pictures just don't do it justice the ranch scenery is stunning!

We've entered Zion NP, and can see the 7,395 ft tall North Guardian Angel (the white peak).

Red roads mean, entering Zion.
5 mph turn.

A Ducati driver enjoying the day.
Allen, Steve, Rob, Suzi, and yours truly.

While we stop at the reservior, Suzi takes Steve's "music to my ears" SV 650 for a spin.
On our way back down Kolob Terrace Road.
The 5 mph turn again.

Next destination is Mesa road. Steve and Allen have to leave us, so now it is Rob, Suzi and I taking on this very curvy goat road.

There is an "Abandoned" airport at the top of this Mesa, but well before we can see it we run into a "No Trespassing" sign where we turn around and go back down the road stopping for pixs along the way.

We lollygag enough that the ride back to St George is in the dark, but no complaints here, this has been a great day! 200 miles of scenic and mostly new roads for me, thanks Suzi, Rob, Bob, Allen and Steve for a super day!
I had planned to take highway 12 through Escalante as a route home, but after seeing the Kolob Terrace Road I wanted to ride it again, and as an added bonus it connects to Cedar City via a 25 mile 'adventure' road, 18 miles of which are dirt. How can I go wrong? So the next morning it's "Hie to Kolob" once again. But first I take a bikers shortcut through;

Then Toquerville, onto SR 9 and hang a left onto the Kolob Terrace Road.
The 'improved road' starts at the reservior.
The dirt road behind...
The dirt road in front..Old cabin..
Closer view..
The red dirt road..

And Cedar City from above..
Exiting onto highway 14, I turn right for highway 89. But first I need to remember this sign in case I want to ride the reverse route next time I'm down here.
And on 89 Yikes hot brakes!

My final pic of the trip. I burned up too much time gawking and picture taking so I need to take SR 20 to the super slab and burn the last 205 miles home. Total miles home, is 452 Total trip miles, 951
I don't know how I'm going to beat this ride.
Life IS good!


Anonymous said...

I got back from work, two days off, and headed back to the "hills" again, same schedule for next three weeks. I sure enjoyed your report!!
Looks like it might be snowing up there!
Take care, Bob

George F said...

Love the pictures but you have to upload bigger pictures so we can see the scenery better. Beautiful area, love all the desert areas :-)

Ken said...

Bob - Brr...sounds cold, but fun! Was great to ride with you Wednesday!

George - I need to learn how to post larger pictures, but in the meantime you can "wheel click" or right click on the picture and open in a new tab. That's what I do on most other blogs I visit.

George F said...

Ken, I know you can right-click or open in a new tab but the picture still comes us small and you have beautiful scenery shots :-)
In the blog they are fine. I upload my pictures full resolution to Picasa so when you see them on a large monitor they are really beautiful. I'm a techie guy, work with computers ;-)

Utah Motorcyclist said...

Looks like a few days of amazing riding! I'm super jealous and wish I could have made it!!

Now that you know where all the good roads are in St. George you'll have to be our guide later in the winter. :)

Brady said...

I know you've got lots of great pictures of great riding, but my favorite bit is the comforter. Where to hotels get those?

Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

Ken said...

Brady that is too funny! From now on when I'm on a trip I be thinking..."must get pic of the comforter, must get pic of the comforter!" :)
Thanks for dropping in!