The beauty that flows between Arizona and Utah was relentless.
The first days were long hauls, today was no exception. If I was going to make it to Colorado while stopping at two national parks my time needed to be spent wisely. I gracefully drove the snaking road through Zion and found a picturesque overlook. I utilized my time by enjoying a bite to eat while admiring the view, a moment I'll appreciate for years to come.
One National Park down, one more to go. I rode into Bryce Canyon as the temperature began to drop. Knowing I had 300 miles to go before arriving in Grand Junction, CO I snuck a quick glimpse of Bryce Canyon, tipped my hat, and continued on my way. I look forward to the day I return to these parks to properly admire them.
Between Bryce Canyon and Grand Junction, there's a long stretch of pavement that twists through beautiful elevated rock formations. This road was one of the most serene throughout my journey but left me having a panic attack.
I filled up my gas tank about 10 miles prior when 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 my gas, and filled two empty gas canisters. The first 40 miles were breathtaking as the sun set over the canyons. At the peak of its 9,000 ft elevation, my Thruxton started sputtering. I knew it wasn't out of gas, 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 at a slightly slower speed of 80 mph. Twenty minutes later, sputter, sputter, sputter. I backed off a little more and was now 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 crying on me. The sun was gone and I was alone in the middle of nowhere, 60 miles from the next town with no cellphone service. I could see the path of the road carving through the desert for miles but there wasn't another car in sight. 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 I 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 came to mind, a tiny fox crossed my path. For some reason, it felt like a positive omen which brought a sense of relief. The Thruxton and I limped our way into Green River, UT.
"Civilization! I made it! Sweet relief!!!
Put kickstand down...kickstand down...kickstand...
"What the fuck?" I look down and my kickstand carved into my tire and it was stuck.
"Seriously? Give me a break."
As I was dealing with the kickstand, I provided comedic relief to a drunken group of friends. I'm not normally bothered by things like this, but with the prior events of the evening, my emotions and guard were heightened. The thought of sleeping on the side of the road alone was less intimidating than being in proximity to these drunk humans. At least I was at a hotel. But wait, the funs not over, the hotel was completely booked. Three hotels later, in a town with approximately 12 hotels, I finally found a place to call home for the night. The relief consumed me and I was emotionally spent.
The previous day was 372 miles filled with emotional highs and lows. I was ready for a reset mentally and mechanically. 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. As for the bike, she was running fine. I decided to head to Denver. Shortly after passing through Grand Junction, Co, the Thruxton tapped out and I was left stranded on the side of the freeway. On a positive note, it was daylight and I had cell phone service! I was exactly 100 miles from Vail. Triple-A to save the day!
Remember the last blog?
I made the BOLD decision to pack my bags without a single tool, not even a.screwdriver...lesson learned
Once I reached Vail, my friend Curtis, back in LA recruited a helping hand for me in Colorado. Not only did his friend invest time, he also drove me to purchase some tools. We spent the night tinkering on the bike but we were at a loss.
Katie to the rescue! Katie from the Tiny Daggers spent her day off driving to Vail to pick me up. (Thanks Katie!!!) We transported my bike to Three Pence in Denver, where we unloaded the bike and it magically started right up for Wes. 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. The Thruxton looked golden, so I spent the rest of the night on the town with Liz from the Tiny Daggers and her friends. It was one of my favorite nights.
The tow into Vail and Denver would be the only mileage I didn't ride throughout my entire cross country trip. Unfortunately, it was a part of the trip I was highly looking forward to.
Enjoy the highs and learn from the lows,
Start Mileage: 36,477
End Mileage: 36,849
Total Miles: 372 mi
Start Location: St. George, UT
End Location: Green River, UT
Start Mileage: 36,849
End Mileage: 36,993
Total Miles: 144 mi
Start Location: Green River, UT
End Location: Parachute, CO
Towed: Parachute, CO - Vail, CO
Start Mileage: 36,993
End Mileage: 36,993
Total Miles: 0 mi
Start Location: Vail, CO
End Location: Denver, CO
Towed: Vail, CO - Denver, CO
Note: Threepence Motorcycle fixed me up and added 15 miles
End Mileage: 37008