Trip to Utah

By Mike Hoppe

After departing Tucson about 2pm Wednesday, September 20, 2006 and having to do a dirt detour around Strawberry (north of Payson) due to an accident, we got into Flagstaff just as the last light in the sky was disappearing.  A 6am departure this morning found us in full winter gear as Flagstaff was at 30 degrees…thermal shock! 

Coffee in Page and then headed 20 miles west to pick up route 400, a spectacular 50 mile dirt track thru cottonwood canyon.  Jeff’s first official dirt ride on his new ’07 (fresh from Ironhorse – thanks John!) 1200GS was a resounding success.  Two hours after finishing the dirt track we were carving the asphalt red rock canyons and climbing to 9700 feet thru the aspen groves.  We landed in Moab, Utah this evening having experienced one of the most diverse rides that can be done in a day!  Enjoy the pics!

Final Report (more photos below)

Jeff and I had decided to do Arches National Park first thing Friday morning (best light) before heading south to Springerville.  Jeff had never been to Arches so we were anticipating a great morning adventure to warm us up for the ride south…the adventure actually started in the parking lot at dawn…we opened the hotel door to a total downpour and 44 degrees!  We scrapped the plans for Arches and prepared for the nasty weather. 

The forecast had been for cold, but perfect sunny days and since Jeff’s jesse bags had not arrived in time for the trip, (his new 2007 1200GS – w/ no servo brakes! 6 days old) he was traveling with minimal gear, including no rain gear.  Fortunately his Jacket was gore-tex, but his pants were not…interesting phenomenon of physics…when pants get wet enough they drain into your gore-tex boots – from the top!    

Anyway, we had a momentary break in the downpour to pack the bikes and grab some coffee where we were informed by the hotel owner (Adventure Inn – Moab…where I always stay) that the road south went up and was typically 15 degrees cooler!  We spent about 45 minutes riding thru a driving BLIZZARD about 30 miles south of Moab, same Place Don Hastings and I ran into the same conditions in October of 2004…you’d think I’d learn my now!  Other than having to wipe the accumulating snow off of our faceshields every 8 seconds (yes, I actually counted at one point), and the fact that it was 33 degrees, it was an uneventful part of the ride J.

We pulled into Springerville later that afternoon and to hang out and recover from the 90 mile an hour crosswind we were fighting south of I-40.  Set up for a leisurely ride thru New Mexico (Glenwood, Mule Creek), we launched out into a beautiful Saturday morning for the big sweepers over to Alpine.  Jeff, on one of his favorite and familiar sections of road, decides to let the R1200 motor sing (it now has 2000 miles on it) and pushes the hyper-space button.  Me, I’m just cruisin’ hoping to see some elk in the fields or along the many sections of water.  Next scene: We are at the pull out just beyond the reservoir accompanied by a highway patrolman who has pulled ME over…after telling me that Jeff went by him so fast he could not get his radar gun up fast enough!  It worked out ok though, he was a nice guy and just gave me a warning…but wouldn’t even look at Jeff! 

The ride home was uneventful save for a few extra passes of mule creek…pics attached.  Ready to go again tomorrow!  

By the way, Jeff won the impulse buying contest when we made or first stop back into Tucson at Ironhorse…a new GIVI windscreen…which we installed in the parking lot…Ironhorse just got a shipment in…they are in stock and really nice, $160 compete versus $500 to upgrade to the 1200 Adventure screen…they are going fast…see pic – both 1200’s in the picture have the GIVI windscreens…the second one is Roy’s who just moved to Sierra Vista from Oregon…


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