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WilliamArcher

Eclipse Ride: San Diego to Grand Teton

17 posts in this topic

I'm getting tired of riding Baja. It's time to head north.

The original plan was a road trip by car to see the eclipse, but my buddy ended up having to go to a wedding at the same time. I don't want to drive up there alone, so I'm going to ride up alone instead. I would love to do this trip on my WR250R and take as much dirt as possible, but there just isn't time. Due to my work schedule, I'll only have two days to get to Jackson. Rather than flog the 250 on the highway, I went to Craigslist and picked up a decent Versys 650.

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I'll have five days to get back, so I want to take a more scenic route, heading south to visit friends in Denver and then across southern Utah. I'm looking for route suggestions. Does anyone know some good roads to take on the way back?

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I'm starting to get excited for the trip. I have a rough route sketched out: google maps link. Looks like it's going to be about 3,000 miles, so I'll average about 300 miles per day.

I bought a 12v outlet and some saddlebags for the Versys (no need for racks since the exhaust is under the bike), and I'm welding up some brackets for highway pegs. I'm going to change the final drive this weekend since the original chain and sprockets have 15k+ miles on them, and the front sprocket is visibly hooked. Aside from that and an oil change, it should be ready to roll.

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Cool...looking forward to tracking your trip...safe/fun travels! :good:

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Have a good ride/trip........I hope to be out in the middle of Lake Mojave between 10am - 1pm on Monday the 21st........mid eclipse is around 11:30am in AZ........~65%  coverage when viewed in AZ......

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3 hours ago, Dress4Less said:

Cool...looking forward to tracking your trip...safe/fun travels! :good:

Thanks. I'll try to update as I go, but I might just end up doing the write-up after.

3 hours ago, Crawdaddy said:

Have a good ride/trip........I hope to be out in the middle of Lake Mojave between 10am - 1pm on Monday the 21st........mid eclipse is around 11:30am in AZ........~65%  coverage when viewed in AZ......

Thanks. You should be able to see it pretty well from there with a pinhole projector or some eclipse glasses.

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I made it back in one piece.

Getting up there went quicker than expected. I scooted up the 15 and with an early start was past Las Vegas before noon. I made it to central Utah and found a good campsite above an abandoned mine in Fish Lake National Forest the first night.

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The next day I passed Salt Lake City in the morning, up through Idaho Falls, through Victor and over the pass into Jackson Hole. I spent four days in Jackson, visiting friends, watching the eclipse, rafting the Snake River a few times, shooting clays, and making the rounds of nearby national parks.

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Then I headed to Denver via the Wind River Reservation to visit some other friends. I rode up Mount Evans and crossed Guanella Pass then met some friends riding out from Kentucky and went up Pike's Peak with them.

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I parted company with my Kentuckian friends and headed across Colorado via Salida and over Monarch Pass to Gunnison. I found another good campsite in Gunnison National Forest.

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The next morning I passed through Montrose and then through the San Juan Mountains, past Four Corners and into Monument Valley.

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I kept riding through the Navajo Nation, crossed Glenn Canyon Dam then headed up past Kanab Utah and camped in Dixie National Forest. There are lots of good campsites on public land in the West.

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The next morning I rode through Zion National Park at dawn. It's a jaw dropping ride from the top of the canyon to the bottom at first light. I can't recommend it highly enough.

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At this point you may have noticed that I picked up a guitar in Wyoming. I had to leave this guitar in Africa a few years ago, and a friend recently recovered it for me and brought it back to the States as far as Jackson. I had the guitar strapped to the back of the bike for about half the trip.

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After Zion, I hit the 15 South and pounded it home to San Diego. Riding the 15 was an uneventful slog notable only for the high temperatures crossing the Mojave (126F between Las Vegas and Barstow).

Overall it was a good trip. The total eclipse far exceeded my expectations, I met up with a lot of old friends, saw a lot of the Southwest, recovered my favorite guitar, and the Versys never gave me a single problem over 3,600 miles despite extended high speeds, extreme heat, elevations over 14,000 feet, snow, rain, dirt, sand and gravel. I spent a total of $480 on the 11 day trip, and over half of that was on gasoline and beer.

 

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Quite a ride and nice pictures. Did you just pick up the camp sites on the fly or had you routed them, had routed and reserved?

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1 hour ago, Greenhorn said:

Quite a ride and nice pictures. Did you just pick up the camp sites on the fly or had you routed them, had routed and reserved?

Thanks. I didn't plan or reserve anything. When the sun started getting close to the horizon I kept an eye out for a sign for national forests, and then I would ride down an access road until I found a good spot. I didn't stay in campgrounds or anything like that.

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       Golly!   Now that is an example of the possibilities this West has to offer.  Just get off the sofa an goooo.  One would think after Africa and seeing how people live there,  it is clear we have an easy route to Adventure.  William, an example to us all. Thanks for the report.

           Now I plan to turn down the air conditioning and watch College Football Weekend     B)

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In Yellowstone, I saw a couple of Swiss-plated WR250Rs in a café parking lot. I was hoping whoever owned them would come back before I finished my coffee and headed on, but they didn't, and I headed on. I later found their ride report on ADVrider. It's ironic that I deliberately left my WR250R at home because of how long the trip was, and they chose the same bike for a longer trip. Pity we didn't get a chance to chat.

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I found a few more pictures on my other camera.

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The Teton Range.

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Monument Valley.

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Mount Evans.

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Zion National Park.

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Glenn Canyon Dam.

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Gunnison National Forest. (The rear tire was starting to get pretty bald at this point.)

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Clouds over the Tetons.

 

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