Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ride to eat, eat to ride...swinging style - p1

We hear about a Steakhouse in Southern Utah called the Swinging Steak Cafe located in Mexican Hat, Utah. 
Google maps tells me Mexican Hat is about 357 miles away (a nice days ride)....and off we go....but we take the 'bikers shortcut' and so we are able to get there in only 476 miles (and two days riding...).

We stop near Price for fuel for the bike and snacks for us, and run into this Minister and his wife. They chatted us up; she shared quite a few stories then eventually they asked if we wanted a bike blessing? "Yes, of course!" I replied.
It was nice of them to take the time to talk to us and leave us (and the bike) with their blessings.

Back on the road, we go east on US 6 which used to be one of the most dangerous roads in the US. But the DOT has made a lot of improvements and now it a nice ride. We make it to Green River and then stay on the freeway past the first Moab exit and go to the Cisco exit then ride to the ghost town of Cisco.

We didn't see any ghosts, so then we follow the beautiful SR 128 to Moab..... Moab we turn left onto US 191 for the ride to Monticello where we have an uninspiring reservation for the night. But the next morning we go to this nearby B&B for a very nice breakfast!
Fat and happy, we leave Monticello intending to ride to Cortez, Colorado - then cut back over to Utah again, but.....on our way I notice the Hovenweep National Monument sign. I realize Beverly hasn't been there (She has been to Cortez) so I turn my head and start to ask if she wants to go to Hovenweep. I say, "Do you wa..." and she says, "Yes!" that's settled. We ride some tiny backroad back into Utah and stop in at the Hovenweep National Monument.
Wikipedia indicates that the Hovenweep Valley was peopled from about 10,000 years ago to about 200 AD. After that several different groups occupied the area, and presumably the structures until the 14 century.
Its a HOT day so we take the shortest hike, a mile loop around the site.

Then on our way again, we grab a bite to eat at the excellent Twin Rocks Restaurant. We've stopped here numerous times and always left happy.

Sufficiently fueled we ride a few miles to the Sand Island Petroglyphs site....and work off some of our lunch looking at the numerous petroglyphs there.
And there are thousands of them, but they are faint and hard to all you get is the sign...

Annnnd on the road again we make it to Mexican Hat about 5:00. We have time to clean up before we go taste test the swinging steak!
The Swingin' steak was delicious....but expensive! We also stayed in the hotel that is part of the cafe and it was clean and quiet. They are seasonal, closing sometime in October..I'm not sure what month they open again.

(Looking south from Mexican Hat.)

(Leaving Mexican Hat in part 2)

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Ride to eat, eat to ride...swinging style - p2

Early the next mid-morning we leave Mexican Hat and go briefly south to this place for breakfast. I originally parked the bike next to that truck and then I looked up....and immediately moved the bike to the other side of the parking lot.

After a pretty good breakfast we ride north, we go over the Moki Dugway, then go to the Bullfrog Marina.

The Moki Dugway is part of SR 261 and includes 3 miles of steep (11% grades) climbs and tight switchbacks. The road is carved on the face of a cliff and raises some 1200 feet in less than the three miles. It was constructed in the 1950s as a way to haul ore from the Happy Jack mine to the mill near Mexican Hat.

At the Bullfrog marina and there is a ferry that goes across Lake Powell to Halls Crossing. The ferry leaves Bullfrog on the even numbered hours...and we get there shortly after 12 noon... Darn it! We have a loooooong wait. Bev goes for a walk whilst I make some shade and take a nap.

We met these guys when we first arrived at Bullfrog. We exchanged names but it was noisy at the time and I didn't catch them. They are from Australia and riding around the western United States. I believe they were on their way back to L.A. to return the bikes and fly home.
The ferry ride is scenic and fun, but was made even more enjoyable by chatting with these three Adventurers. I hope they enjoyed the US and had a great trip!

Two of their bikes.

Off the ferry we stay overnight in Torrey, Utah. The next morning we are riding for home.

Bev hasn't seen the UFOs at Vaughn Reid's home so we make a stop there. We intend to only stop for a few moments and a couple of pictures, but Vaughn and Ellie invite us to come in, which of course we did, and they gave us an incredible tour of their place.
Vaughn is extremely creative, and a master machinist; combine those two talents and you get an amazing yard and house full of one of a kind art.

This old boiler was used to power the belts and pullies in his Dad's sawmill. Vaughn hauled it to his house and uses it for heat in the winter.

A machine that does nothing...  

So much history and art and interesting stories.....

After our tour we sat on the Reid's porch and chatted about anything and everything. But then we finally had to leave...Vaughn and Ellie are amazing, wonderful people!

We rode the few miles into Castle Dale and had lunch at Fatty's, I had a lamb burger and Bev had a Sparten. Both were super! 

And then homeward bound.... Beverly and I both felt like this was one of our better trips and we have had a LOT of super trips!
About 1000 miles of beautiful scenery, good food, and good company!
Now..... I need to get ready for the next trip!