“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert
Day 3: If I wasn't humbled already the surroundings in Utah were a reminder that I was just one small part of a bigger picture. The natural beauty that flows from Arizona to Utah was breathtaking and relentless; it just kept coming.
The first couple of days were long hauls, today was no exception. I knew I had to keep an eye on the time if I was going to make it to Colorado and stop at two national parks, but I also wanted to take in the sites. I found this beautiful overlook and decided to take a minute for a quick bite to eat and photo op. These are moments that I remember clearly and will appreciate for years to come.
Bryce Canyon National Park was my next destination. I was only able to take a quick spin through as it was getting colder and I still had about 300 miles to go before arriving in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Between Bryce Canyon and Grand Junction there's a long stretch of pavement that twists and turns through beautiful elevated rock formations. This road was one of the most serene throughout my journey, but left me having a panic attack.
I just filled up my gas tank about 10 miles prior. Then I came across a sign that read "110 mi, no cellphone service, no bull". I decided if there wasn't service there was a good chance there wouldn't be gas. I pulled over, topped off and filled my two empty gas canisters. The first 40 miles were breathtaking as the sun set over the canyons. Then at the peak of it's 9,000 ft elevation my Thruxton started sputtering. I knew it wasn't out of gas so I figured the carbs were having a rough go with the altitude. I backed off the throttle and continued to cruise. The bike seemed to be ok and we continued on at a slightly slower speed of 80 mph. Twenty minutes later, sputter, sputter, sputter. I backed off a little more and was no cruising around 70 mph. I continued on and only a few minutes later, in unison, the bike coughed and the sky opened up, drops of rain started coming down. The sun was gone, and I was alone in the middle of no where, 60 miles from the next town and with no cellphone service. Visibly, I could see the roads path carving through the desert for miles, but I couldn't see another car in site. The panic swept over me and for a brief moment I felt as if I was going to be sick. I let myself have that minute of panic. Then started planning what to do if the bike broke down. "I have a sleeping bag, I'll find a rock to shelter myself, it will be ok". As soon as the thought crossed my mind, a tiny little fox crossed my path. For some reason it brought me a sense of relief, and the Thruxton and I limped our way into Green River, UT.
"I made it! Sweet relief!!! Put kickstand down...kickstand down...kickstand...
What the fuck?" I look down and my kickstand was carved into my tire. As the rubber on the tire cooled the kickstand got stuck. "Seriously? Give me a break."
At least I was at a hotel. But wait...the hotel was completely booked. Three hotels later, I finally found a place to call home for the night. The relief consumed me and I was emotionally spent.
Day 4: After a humbling 372 mile journey the previous day, I was ready for a reset. I woke up and found a local garage that helped jimmy rig a stop on my kickstand so it wouldn't carve into my tire any more. As for the bike she was running fine so i figured I'd head to Denver and find a shop to give the bike a once over before continuing on.
Not too long after Grand Junction, Co, the Thruxton was shot and I was left stranded on the side of the freeway. I was exactly 100 miles from Vail. Triple A to save the day! I caught a tow into Vail From this point to Denver would be the only mileage I didn't ride throughout my trip. Unfortunately, it was a part of the trip I was highly looking forward to. Once I reached Vail, my friend Curtis who was back in LA recruited a helping hand for me out in Colorado. We spent the night tinkering bike, but were at a loss.
Day 5: Katie to the rescue! Katie from the Tiny Daggers spent her day off driving to Vail to pick me up. (Thanks Katie!!!) We transported the bike to Three Pence in Denver, where we unloaded the bike and Wes started it right up. The frustration I felt is unexplainable, but it was also comical. Wes was nice enough to do a once over, clean my air filter, and take the bike for a spin. We looked golden, so I spent the rest of the night on the town with Liz from the Tiny Daggers and some friends. It was one of my favorite nights. Denver, I'm coming back for a redo sooner or later!
Enjoy the journey, Katy
Day 3 Date: 5/18/16 Start Mileage: 36,477 End Mileage: 36,849 Total Miles: 372 mi Start Location: St. George, UT End Location: Green River, UT
Day 4 Date: 5/19/16 Start Mileage: 36,849 End Mileage: 36,993 Total Miles: 144 mi Start Location: Green River, UT End Location: Parachute, CO