Tuesday, August 19, 2008

(Day 17) Railroad crossings, canyons, tunnels and a lot of blood…

Sunday, July 20th, 2008
Day 17
Green River, UT to Richfield, UT

Up and moving at 7:38am, I was glad to get out of Green River, UT and to start moving to the next town. The first hurdle of the day was right outside of town:

My GPS route (still a little screwy) ran right over the tracks at this point. I had already seen reports of this little speed bump in previous TAT reports, so I wasn’t surprised, but still unprepared. By looking at the tracks, you could tell the railway was fairly active. So, however I decided to get my bike over would have to be swift. The laws of physics would probably allow me to simply hit this track head on in 2nd or 3rd gear and I’d make it over just fine. But, for some reason, this didn’t seem like a good idea. After a few minutes of taking my time to plan this out, I figured it out pretty easily. The Tugger straps I installed before the trip would pay for themselves and then some. Facing parallel with the tracks, I picked one end of the bike up and the tire would slide right over. After repeating this four times I was on the other side and ready to rock and roll again. I was pretty proud of myself for coming up with an efficient plan and not wearing myself out like I usually do. And, oh yeah, not getting hit by a train.

Anyway, I get my westbound trajectory on and start one of many I-70 crossings, this time, we’ll go under:

Not long afterwards, I would make a wrong turn (due primarily to my screw GPS routes) and come up on this… err, road?

I kept climbing this thing and eventually came to a 3-sided cliff. It’s hard to see the front side of the drop-off, but you can see where it drops off on the sides:

I drove too far up this thing and didn’t leave myself much room to turn around. The rocks were loose and made it sound like I was walking on broken glass. But again, I just took my time and got her turned in a more favorable direction.

All of that happened right before entering my first canyon ride:

I really can’t describe it better than the pictures:

It was fun, no doubt. Then, after exiting the canyon, I got a great view of the landscape. It’s nothing spectacular; it’s just something I’ve never imagined before. Tall grass, plateaus and mountains in the background, I liked this view very much, just wish I had a better camera and a clearer day:

This looked like Mt. Rushmore, Planet of the Apes style:

Like I said before, I would zig-zag back and forth along I-70 for the majority of the day, here is where the trail runs alongside the interstate:

And here are the tunnels that run right through the mountain:

I highly recommend revving it up a bit in here, it’s not the same as revving up in a concrete tunnel:

Then a lot of this:

…before I roll into Salina, UT for lunch. These bikes were different:

But, if there was a bike that was the exact opposite of what I like, this is it.

The gas station attendant directs me to Mom’s Café for lunch. Wearing full dirt bike gear into a small café at 12:30pm on a Sunday afternoon in small town Utah is pretty ballsy. But I guess I don’t mind people staring at me so long as I can get some good local food. I put my order in for the special, a Malibu Chicken Sandwich, and hit the john… while washing my hands in this particularly small mens/womens bathroom, my nose starts to bleed profusely. Dang it. I do a pretty good job of cleaning all the blood up from the sink and my face, but it takes about 5 or 6 minutes before I can stop it and walk back out. Luckily, no one was waiting on me and I eat my lunch staring at the ceiling to keep the read sea at bay. If I didn’t look weird to begin with, I’m pretty sure I was looking weird now. The Chicken Sandwich was great though.

Richfield wasn’t far away and this is my only picture between the two towns:

I roll into Richfield and find a room at the Appletree Inn. The town looked really nice (at least, compared to where I’ve stayed the past two nights), but I guess being Sunday, it was like a ghost town. I ate at the only place I could find that was open, the Little Wonder Café. I change my oil, upload pictures, download GPS tracks, prep for tomorrow and hit the sack:

Up next, Nevada and Great Basin National Park.

Total mileage: 3453
Daily mileage: 165
Wildlife observed: Snake, jack-rabbits, magpies, chipmunks
Favorite Sight: The contrast between red and white dirt
Favorite Scent: Sagebrush
Favorite Sound: Revving up in tunnel
Favorite Taste: Most definitely the Malibu Chicken Sandwich from Mom’s café.
Favorite Feel: Learning to stay on top of the bike in the loose stuff. Still breaking the habits of street biking.
Ailments: A cut seems to be infected on my hand, oh well. Overall just plain tuckered out.

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