Sunday, June 5, 2011

A sunny weekend ride.

Every year in SLC there is a MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Awareness) ride from SLC to Wendover Nevada. It is a great cause and a worthy fundraiser; but upwards of 5000 bikes participate each year and it can get a little crowded.

Cruiser buddies, Kenny and Brent set up a ride for this weekend that takes the long way to Wendover where we will watch the bikes come in on Sunday.

Time for a ride!

We leave Saturday morning and meet in Stansbury, then motor another few miles down the road for breakfast at the Stocton Miners Cafe. You can tell it's a "Minors" cafe by the brews they serve...
Interesting decor.

On our way again, Kenny and Jan.

Scott and Melanie.

Brent and Julie. Julie is waving, that's her thumb you see....

We get onto westbound Highway 50, billed as the "Loneliest Highway in America" and go on our way to Great Basin National Park. We ride through Delta Ut and into Nevada.

At a fuel stop in Nevada we meet this friendly couple who are from North Carolina and on a four week wandering ride to Alaska.

Just after entering Nevada my odo says this...

And we make it...none of us have been here before so all of us are excited to see the park.

We have lunch in the park, the big chip is pointing at where we are, the little chip is pointing to where we are going next - the Wheeler Peak Lookout at 9886 feet. The actual Wheeler Peak is 13,063 feet. There are 13 peaks in this NP that are above 11,000 feet.

At the Wheeler Peak Lookout...still plenty of snow.

The group.

An old car with what appears to be a ghost at the wheel.

Back onto the Loneliest Highway and on our way to Ely where we will spend the night. There is a good reason this is called the "Loneliest Highway"!

Dinner in Ely at the Jail.

Six more riders meet us in Ely and have dinner with us.

Jan and Beverly in front of a cool mural. The man in the image is a Basque and the father of the man who owns this building.

The next morning we leave Ely and ride North passing through McGill, Nevada.

Entering McGill.

About midway through town.

Leaving McGill.

Wendover is about 110 miles to the North. We had eaten a big breakfast with lots of orange juice and coffee, so on the way we pull into at a rest stop to use the bathrooms...but the bathrooms are locked up! What?! There is nothing between McGill and Wendover but sand, short sagebrush, and this one rest stop with closed bathrooms. No wonder this guy was in a hurry! We jumped on our bikes and followed him to Wendover and to open/working bathrooms!

Phew! We make it! Even though the MDA ride has not arrived there are lots of bikes already in Wendover. The stage in the background where the band will play.

Lots of different types of bikes, and a lot of people showing off their inner rebel and what makes them unique.

Some cool, unique cars too.



Custom paint jobs..

Something for everyone.

We have obligations at home so we leave before the party really gets going. Wendover sits on the Utah/Nevada border. Here is a Utah State Trooper talking to a Nevada State Po while they wait for the main group to arrive. We jump on I-80 east bound for home. We can look across to the other side of the freeway and see the riders coming to Wendover.

Here comes some of them.

Here is another chopper....but you have to look close, and by the furthest street light. It is the Utah Highway Patrol helicopter flying escort with the lead bikes of the MDA ride.

After we pass the main group they start to get strung out can get lonely here too!

Somebody is having a bad day. A UHP motor cop and some riders.

Yet another chopper, this one a two blade job hovering above I-80. Sorry for the lousy pic, but we didn't want to stop on the freeway and snapped it on the fly. ("fly"....) :)

The Utah tree.

And we make it home just as our guests start to arrive. Good timing eh?

It was a nice weekend ride - 570 miles, some new roads, new sights, good folks, and really a good time!


Bluekat said...

Nice post and photos of your trip! There was some wonderful scenery on your ride.

Tarsnakes Down Under said...

Ken, I really enjoyed this post - especially the pics of the bikes in motion.

We plan to visit the USA again in 2 years time & hope to see some of that wide open country.

Cheers Jules.

Roger said...

Cool right up Ken, I too enjoyed the "Bikes in motion" pics. THe road doesnt look to exciting though, does if have many corners?

Ken said...

Roger, you are right. "Exciting" might be the last word you would use for the stretch of I-80 between SLC and Wendover. But...Wendover is a better place to have a biker party than Salt Lake so the MDA rides goes there every year.

Eastern Nevada actually has some curvy roads unfortuantly they are short and connected by long straight roads. :)

GF said...

Lovely pictures, brings back memories of my cross country trip last year, Ely, Wendover, Hwy 50, all so beautiful. Nice moving pics.
Check my pics here:
Look at day 6 and 7 when we crossed Ely.

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Ken:

Your pictures trigger some crazy spirit in me. I haave to get out there to ride around those endless horizons. What great pictures... Wht amazing emotions they evoke.

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Ken said...

C'mon out Jack, I'll show you and your crazy spirit around!

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Ken:

Next year.... I swear... Next year.

Fondest regards,
Jack / reep
Twisted Roads

BeemerGirl said...

A friend just gave me Neil Peart's Ghost Rider book. And I am currently working my way through the Nevada, Utah, Arizona portion. The book and your pictures are just making me homesick for the salt flats and sagebrush. I'm with year...


GF said...

How about a bloggers convention in West Wendover next year? The west side has the casinos, I'm in :-)
There's lots of nice places to visit and ride and Salt LC is nearby too.

BeemerGirl said...

GeorgeF...I'm digging the idea!

Ken said...

Lori, I keep hearing about it but haven't read it, I need to get that book!

George, Brilliant idea! I'm in.