Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Ghost tour

I recently read a story on a Utah history site about Grafton, Utah, a ghost town near Zion National Park.

Hmmm....that qualifies as a good excuse for a ride.
I leave on a Monday and ride south to Hurricane, Utah where I stay overnight.

Tuesday morning I ride to Grafton. Grafton was a Mormon community founded in 1859, the population started to decline in 1907 and the last residents left around 1944.

Floods, harsh winters, and Indian attacks led to the towns demise.

This is the church/school/town hall.
and other buildings..

Almost all the buildings were open for wandering through and viewing.

However it is wise to be cautious...this is a ghost town after all!
(ps. they weren't kidding! I tried the knob [without closing the door] and it just spins on the inside, and this door was the only door that wasn't sealed shut...)

The cemetery.
There are numerous stories about visitors hearing a baby crying, or seeing a woman in a calico dress wandering among the headstones. However sadly, (or maybe gladly) I didn't hear or see anything unnatural, mostly the only sound I heard was the traffic noise of nearby SR 9.

The road in/out.

I think this guy is the chairmen of the board...or maybe he is just a  fence sitter..

Wet and dry conditions covered...

The Grafton Bridge.

Then I ride toward Zion NP

The best part about visiting Zion NP during the off season is you can ride up Zion Canyon whereas during the 'on season' you have to ride the Zion NP bus up the canyon. Either way the canyon is a beautiful place.

But....riding up is SOOOO much better!

I ride back down the canyon and
 make my way out of the park via the 1.1 mile tunnel.

After leaving the park I ride to the Paria Township,,,a "Ghost town" that is/was a movie set built by the locals and apparently used in several films.
Unfortunately, in 2006 vandals burned down the entire set.... *sigh*..... so this is all you see today.
However, the 12 mile (round trip) dirt ride is still worth it to see this gorgeous area!

Leaving the Paria township, I ride the 30 or so miles to the Johnson Canyon western movie set....which also has seen better days.

Then I make my way north, homeward bound, and stop overnight in Panguitch.

*Deep voice, thick accent*
"Have you ever seen the moon over Panguitch?"

I leave Panguitch in the chilly (20 degrees) morning and head for home.

I make a comfort stop along the way and see this sticker on a mile marker post...

....Soooo.....what HAAAAVE you done?

About 815 chilly but fun miles.
Utah has a lot more ghost towns I can visit...I need to start planning!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

2018 New Years Death Valley Ride

Its the New Year, so that means its also time for Vegashotwheeler's (aka Mike) annual New Years Death Valley Ride!

Adrian and I leave December 29 and take a leisurely 500 mile round-about ride to Vegas.
Early the next morning we get lost on our way to the ride. We finally make it to the Snow Mt Smoke shop (20 minutes late) and see about 20 bikes and trikes.
We're soon on our way toward Death Valley, stopping for breakfast, then a photo op at the Amargosa Opera House.

My-2-Wheels inmates

A big bonus to this year's ride;
This guy and I have had a Facebook, and motorcycle forum relationship for years....We finally get to meet in person, another Mike, aka Flounder-what an awesome guy!

After the photo op Adrian and I make another photo stop.

 Standing at Dantes viewpoint. I'm pointing to Badwater basin, the lowest point in the U.S. at 282 feet below sea level.
 Then a ride on the beautiful, Artists Palette road.

 A small group of us ride to Panamint Springs resort and had a good (late) lunch and chat while we were being buzzed by a couple of these guys. By the time we were finished it was night time, we left and had a DARK ride 170 miles back to the condo.

Saturday morning Adrian and I set off for home.....sort of; we took a couple days on a wandering route.
We stopped for gas at this place.

Then we spend some time hanging out at the Goldpoint ghost town....which also has several very much alive residents.

A bit further down the road we stop at Goldfield and see some transportation art.

We stop for the day in Tonopah, and leave the next morning for home.

1650 mostly comfortable miles. There were a few cold, and dark miles here and there, but it was a great ride overall!