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The Shakedown Ride

Day 2 - June 26, 2006

We get up early, and grab some breakfast at the Prospector Inn Restaurant out back - pretty good food. Then we hit the road; we're on our way towards Capitol Reef National Park. Now I'd been to Zion and Bryce before and therefore knew what to expect as far as scenery, but had never taken the roads east of Escalante on Highway 12 through the edges of Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. What a surprise!

The first several miles provide some pretty neat twisty roads, and the scenery is awesome. I think I enjoyed the views in the Grand Staircase area as much as Zion or Bryce - it's just beautiful country.

Just outside of Escalante

Probably didn't take enough pictures of this amazing desert scenery. Need to make a mental note to visit this area again, and plan on hitting some dirt roads next time. After about 40 miles, Highway 12 then heads into the edges of the Dixie National Forest.

Dixie National Forest

Still on the way to Capitol Reef, we have about another 60 miles or so to go. As we ride through the Dixie National Forest, we're constantly dodging the little quail families crossing the road. A few more hours of riding, and we cross into Capitol Reef National Park - more beautiful desert scenery.

Capitol Reef National Park

We explore some of the roads and dirt trails, and remain awed by the beauty of the terrain.

If you want to see more pics of Capitol Reef National Park, click here.

Capitol Reef National Monument

From Capitol Reef, we're on our way to Page, Arizona. We have about 325 miles to go. It's basically desert terrain, and nice riding country - a little desolate in places though. Taking Highway 95 south, we come to the Dirty Devil River, a tributary of the Colorado River.

Dirty Devil River

Still on the way south, we skirt a thunderstorm on the way, getting just a few minutes of rain. 

We decide to take a bit of a shortcut to Mexican Hat by taking Highway 261. It has a nice twisty section of dirt road that drops about a 1000 feet in just a few miles. Should have taken pictures of the road, but didn't. Below are views from the top of this area, the Valley of the Gods. The road is basically a steep set of dirt road switchbacks called the Moki Dugway that head down to the bottom of the valley. It was a lot of fun on the GS. Pete went a little slower on the Ultra Classic, but made it just fine.

Valley of the Gods

We're up here, and need to get down there!

We stopped in Mexican Hat for lunch, and then continue on Highway 163 south towards Arizona. We finally end up on Highway 98 heading east into Page. Another day, another 400 miles. We get a room at a Motel 8 in Page, grab some dinner at an oriental restaurant, and look forward to another night's sleep.

Day 3 - June 27, 2006

This morning, we pack up and head back towards Vegas. I need to get the bike into Las Vegas BMW for its 600 mile service (of course, with now over 1000 miles on the bike). We didn't stop to take any pictures this day except at a gas stop on the way.

Gas Stop in Kanab

 I arrive at Las Vegas BMW just after noon, and leave the (rather dirty) bike for it's service. I'm actually a little surprised when I pick it up later in the afternoon to find that they've washed it for me!

The next morning (Wednesday), I leave bright and early for the 1500 mile ride to Edmonton. I didn't take any pictures on the way to Edmonton, so no trip report - just rode the miles. Made it to Pocatello the first night, crossed the Canadian border and made to to Lethbridge the second night, and then a short ride into Edmonton on Friday morning.


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