On a rainy afternoon, I opened to the first page of Edward Abbyey’s book, Desert Solitaire. After reading the first chapter titled “The First Morning”, I knew I had to see The Arches National Park, just outside of Moab, UT.
This landscape has been dubbed as one of the most stunning places in America and it has been a long-time dream of mine to see this place by motorcycle.
My friend Dick West, has been to Moab several times so I knew he would be the go-to man to talk to. We met up for a day of riding and decided over burgers and fries that we would do Moab on dirt bikes. So now, here we are, several months later, ready for our adventure.
We loaded up his van with a week’s worth of the important stuff; you know, red licorice, cookies, potato chips, Cokes, Clif bars and riding gear. Saturday morning we set off with bikes loaded on the rear rack and smiles on our faces.
The longest run of the drive was getting through Nevada. Wow, that state has so much vast open space! It looks the same for about 300 miles. I fell asleep for quite some time, woke up and it looked like we were still in the same spot. We stopped in Lovelock, NV for lunch. I think there’s a prison there and not much else. I wouldn’t recommend a lengthy stay here.
After a bit over 500 miles, we stopped in Wendover (UT side) for the night. We got a nice room with a view of the mountains and settled in for the evening. Not too far up the road are the Bonneville Salt flats, so the next morning we had to stop and check it out before heading out to Moab.
The hotel lobby offered a pour-it-yourself flip iron waffle maker and some juice. Not the best breakfast in the world, but it held me over for a little while. We headed out to the salt flats and found they were flooded, but still beautiful. Someday I will come back here for Speed Week!
After getting some good photos, and checking out the salt, we headed out and back on the road to Moab. About 350 miles left to go, a good stretch of it was long and straight so the speed limit was generous. I don’t think I ever saw it at 80 before.
Pretty soon….I saw this sign and started to get excited:
We pulled into our cute little hotel around 2ish and began the job of unloading gear and bikes. After all that was done, a well-deserved dip in the pool!
I think it was probably more well-deserved for Dick, than me. As the passenger, I felt it was my duty to keep him informed of the outside temperature (thanks weather app). I’m sure he felt it was helpful to know this information every half hour or so for the last 900 miles. He looks a bit more stressed out than I do, don’t you think?
After our swim, we headed to the grocery store and stocked up on some fruits and sandwich makings for the week, then walked around town a bit and had dinner at Eddie McStiff’s–so good! We sat outside and had buffalo burgers and fries with a view of the red rocks.
Back at our hotel for the night, getting gear ready and planning our ride for tomorrow. We’ll head to Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point. Stay tuned for more!