Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Lucin Sun Tunnels

I'm on my way to see the Lucin Sun Tunnels which are in northern Utah, near the Nevada border. I ride west toward Wendover.

Along the way I make a comfort stop and see this helmet sitting on the jersey barrier, as I ride away I realize that I didn't check inside the helmet to see if there was a head in it.

I pass Wendover Will..

A few miles after Wendover I leave the pavement and start on the dirt portion. After about 35 miles of dirt I come to this place; Area 52 aka Horseshoe Flats.

..........and there is the UFO...
 I pass this memorial...

and then stop for an excellent BLT at this place in Montello, Nevada. Some locals give me super directions on how to find the Sun Tunnels.

On my way to the Sun Tunnels I see these ruins from and old mine.

These are some tunnels.... but not the right ones..

And here are the right ones; 

The Sun Tunnels were created by Nancy Holt, and completed in 1976. There are four tunnels, one for Dracus, Perseus, Columba, and Capricorn. There are holes drilled in the concrete tunnel to correspond with certain celestial constellations.

The tunnels line up with the rising and setting sun on Summer and Winter Solstices.

As you can see the Sun Tunnels are in the middle of nowhere...but the peace and quiet was very nice. I wished I had more time to enjoy the feeling of the place.

I snap some pictures then.... I'm on my way home. 
A nice day of riding. About 425 miles total, 90 of that on dirt roads.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

5 National Parks tour, aka Scenic overload! (day 1,2)

Bev and I take a tour of Utah's five National Parks.
The NPs are very scenic, but the roads we will ride getting to each NP are almost as jaw-dropping...more so in some cases. We didn't do any hiking in the parks...we only had 5 days to do this ride, to fully explore the parks would take weeks, if not months. So we mostly rode and snapped pics.
The five National Parks (in the order of our visit) are;
1 - Canyonlands
2 - Arches
3 - Capital Reef
4 - Bryce Canyon
5 - Zion
Anyway, here is our 5 NP tour;

We ride toward Moab.....

......but first make a stop at Canyonlands NP.....

Green River overlook.

Grandview overlook.

We exit Canyonlands NP and cross the street to Arches NP......
I'm such a rebel!!
Devils Garden.
Photo ops everywhere...

We leave Arches and ride to Moab where we will stay overnight.
The next morning we ride the excellent SR 128..... the equally excellent La Sal Loop road.
We're riding toward a snow storm...and soon enough we're riding IN snow... didn't get any pictures of the snow covered road...
After the La Sal Loop we ride the SR 211 to Newspaper Rock...
Then we take a seldom used shortcut to Monticello....and run into more rain, sleet, and snow.
We finally reach our destination for the night, the Stone Lizard Motel in Blanding. They have a very nice garden to sit in and reflect on your day.....
.......including a stone alter but we couldn't find a virgin to sacrifice...
So we just go to bed..
Day 3 and 4 in the next post.

5 National Parks tour, aka Scenic overload! (day 3,4)

We leave The Stone Lizard and hit the road via the beautiful SR 95

"Comfort" break at Hite marina.

Back on SR 95
The bridge over the Colorado River.

Gas station/convenience store built into a mountain.
It's unlikely I'll ever get to Petra, Jordan so this will have to do...

NP # 3
Then over Boulder Mountain, up to 9600 feet....brrrrrrrrrrr....

We stop at the Burr Trail Grill for a delicious lunch.
Then on the road again... we take Bel, our Yamaha touring bike on the Hell's Backbone road. A 44 mile scenic dirt road...

I want to show Bev the Hell's Backbone Bridge... and here it is.
(they don't want vehicles sliding off the road for a several hundred feet drop, so the bridge portion is paved)

After the third muddy bog we decided to turn around and go back to pavement.
The bridge again..

.........and after only 30 miles of the Devils Backbone, we're back on SR 12

We stay overnight in Escalante then hit the road the next morning for Bryce Canyon.

NP #4

On our way again, SR 12

NP #5

We go back to US 89 and north to Junction where we stay the night in a........... ahem.... quaint..........motel. I won't name it but we won't be staying there again! (there aren't that many motels in Junction....ymmv.)

On our way home, we stop for a super breakfast in Elsinore at this little hole in the wall.  Worth the stop!

And home again....1181 miles of  incredible scenic roads...hard to beat that!
A great ride.