Sunday, September 21, 2014

Great-grampa's Tombstone

I've posted before about my great-grandfather being buried in southern Utah in an unmarked grave. We (children, siblings, cousins,etc) all pitched in and bought a headstone (...Tombstone...) for great-grandfather's resting place.

Hyrum Jackson Whetstone's headstone/tombstone is finally placed, so Beverly and I take a ride south to see how it looks. We could easily drive down and back in two days, but where's the fun in that? So instead, we take the Royal Star for a three day ride.

Friday morning we are off, eventually stopping at Marysvale for lunch at 'The Garage'. I had a bacon chicken sandwich...DELICIOUS! They don't have hamburgers at the garage, but it is still a worthy destination for a foodie on a 'burger run'....

A couple miles after our lunch, we are on U.S. 89, a two lane road and at this point only about 2 feet between the outside white line and the shoulder of the road, speed limit 65 mph. As we round a right-hand sweeper I see a car, and a pickup pulling a trailer coming in the opposite lane.....and then I see a pickup pulling a car hauler size trailer trying to pass the other two and coming at us in OUR lane! 
Obviously it all turned out fine, but it was close, and Beverly and I both had our adrenaline pumped up for a while...
And on to Mt Carmel Junction where we spent the night in the Golden Hills Motel; inexpensive, and clean.
Saturday morning we breakfast here; at the home of the 'Ho Made Pies'.
In 2008 Honda used this same place for a Goldwing advert.
Next up is Zion National Park.

From the recent storms there the roads are sandy, some places all the way across the road.

Traffic was surprisingly heavy for a non-summer month.
And then the reason for the trip. We go to New Harmony to see the new headstone.
To have the headstone placed I had to get approval from the New Harmony Mayor, Joel Webster.  Joel is a good man and dealing with him had been a treat for me so, before this trip I had called the town office and left a message telling Joel we would be coming to see the headstone and invited him to join us if he would like.

Upon arriving, as Joel and I were walking toward Hyrum's grave I noted all the U.S. flags spaced evenly around the cemetery border and asked Joel what was the occasion?
He pointed to Hyrum's grave and said, "Right there; he was a veteran so we are honoring him today".

Thank you Mr. Mayor, Councilman Curtis Hadley, and his son, Calvin Hadley for putting up the flags to Honor my Great-grandfather!

Joel Webster on the left, your's truly on the right.

After a nice visit with Joel, we ride north. On our way to Milford where we will spend the night, we pass Parawon Gap. The Gap has numerous native American petrogylphs.
We didn't stay long as the rain was starting to fall.

We finally make it to Milford and about two hours later find out the road had been closed behind us due to the heavy rain.

We leave Milford the next morning and it is still raining. This area is normally quite dry, but today you can see the puddled water on the side of the road.
The ride home is a WET one!
We arrive home soaked, but happy. 697 miles of good times!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Southern Utah rain.

We've invited Kenny and Jan, and Brent and Julie to join us on a weekend ride to southern  Utah.

Friday, we will ride to Torrey, and stay at the Broken Spur where we have reservations for two nights. On Saturday we will ride a loop from Torrey to Bryce Canyon, Escalante, do a side trip on the Burr Trail, and back to Torrey. Sunday we'll ride home.

Getting ready to leave Friday morning.
 We stop for a snack at Nephi and just in time too! Minutes after we park the skies open up. We wait out the rain then resume our ride.
 After leaving Nephi, we had very little traffic for the rest of our trip. We mostly stayed to the back roads. 

State road 72
 From the parking lot of our hotel.
 We make it to Torrey around 4 pm.
For dinner we go to this place. I've been here several times and its always good. Also it is fun to walk around the store and read the funny signs they have posted.
In the men's room..

Saturday morning we're getting ready for our loop ride.
 Bryce NP the end of the road; Rainbow Point. 
 Leaving Bryce
 We've been riding in the rain for several miles before we can find a good place to stop and don our rain gear.
Finally we stop at the Escalante visitor center.

 On the "Hogsback" on highway 12. This picture doesn't do the road justice, the Hogsback is a narrow two lane strip with drop off of 1000 feet or more on both sides. 
Here is a video someone took while driving there vintage Datsun over the Hogsback.

Then we ride the "Burr Trail". 
Many times when I see someone post a list of "Top Ten Motorcycle Roads in America", I'll check it out and usually I've ridden most of those roads.
Highway 12 is often on those lists, and it is a great motorcycle road, but the Burr Trail is better, but sadly, much shorter. The Burr Trail is only paved for about 18 miles...being on cruisers we only rode to the end of the pavement then retraced back to highway 12.

Following are several pix of the Burr Trail.

 Then back to Torrey we go here for dinner. I've eaten there before and wanted to return. Very good food, excellent atmosphere!
The next morning (Sunday) we head for the barn. Kenny is excited to get home, and we kept telling him to slow down.......I can only imagine what Jan is thinking as she watches. It's a good thing we could scrap up enough money for bail.

And it was a SUPER weekend of riding. About 800 miles of idyllic, lonely, and scenic roads. Can't beat that!
Our lodging, the Broken Spur was very nice.
Thanks to Kenny and Jan, Brent and Julie, and Beverly for a great time.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Beverly tells me it would be easier for her to go on rides if the pillion seat wasn't so high. My V-Strom is a tall guess if I HAVE TO I'll get another bike that has a lower seat. 

Sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do..."

So we get a 'new to us' Yamaha Royal Star Tour Deluxe!

Of course now that we have it, we have to try it out. 
We've planned a trip to Mt Rushmore, and points in between.
We leave Saturday morning and arrange to meet Brother-in-law, Bruce, and Niece, Camille in Montpelier, Idaho.

I didn't plan very well and they had to wait an hour and a half for us. Luckily they are both still speaking to me, and we ride together to Alpine, Wyoming and have a great lunch.

Beverly, Bruce, and Camille.

After lunch we split up at Palisades reservoir, they go back to Idaho Falls, we press on to Jackson, Wyoming where we stay the night.

The Tetons. 
The next morning we off to Yellowstone..
This is the Smith Mansion, it sits between Yellowstone NP and Cody, Wyoming.
Francis Smith started building in 1973, and sadly died while working on it in 1992
His daughter, who grew up in the mansion (sans running water and electricity), is trying to continue her Father's work and complete the building.
It stands 75 feet tall, and is in the exact center of the valley.

We stay overnight in Gillette, Wyoming and are off the next day to see Devils Tower. The desk clerk at our hotel is excited we are going to Devils Tower, she tells us, "its not just a big stump"...and she's right. We are glad we made this side trip.
Having seen the Big Stump, we point to bike towards Mt Rushmore.
Had a mushroom burger here.....delish!

Then on to Mt Rushmore
We stay overnight in Hill City, South Dakota.
We spend a very forgettable night in Wheatland, Wyoming. The Motel 8 was filthy, other guests were overly loud, all in all, our worst night. Oh well, off to Idaho Springs, Colorado the next day. We ride via Estes Park on wonderful twisty roads.

It's hard to eat healthy on the road, but Beverly finds a way. We would stop at a grocery store for the food then find a shady spot at the local park to stop and enjoy it.
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And our lodging in Idaho Springs, Colorado - an excellent B&B!

We stop at our room long enough to unload our bags and then we're off for a wet, and cold ride up Mt Evans - "North Americas highest auto road"

A restful night at the Miners Pick then off to Green River, Utah - staying at the River Terrace Inn... I really like this place. It was so quiet and peaceful and had some cool waterfalls.
Also a serene place to sit and watch the river meander by.
Dinner here, if you are passing through Green River and want something different and good, this is the place to go to.
Saturday morning we donn our rain gear for the wet ride home.

After seven days, and 2100 miles we are home-sweet-home.
It was a super trip, Beverly appreciated the lower seat, and we both had a very nice time. When we started the trip I liked the bike, but the time we got home I LOVED the bike....
Some times a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.