Saturday, August 16, 2014
Ahead of us is Moab! Clothes washed, batteries charged, bodies showered, and bikes re-packed we headed out, but not before breakfast. We enjoyed a nice, quiet breakfast at the Peace Tree Cafe in Monticello, Utah.
Just before hopping onto our bikes, a couple and their son approached us. As it turns out, Jarrett, Robyn, and Marshall Mathews just finished the TAT and were on their way home to Texas. They gave us some fantastic condition reports and advice regarding our BMW F800GSs vs their KTMs on the roads we would soon encounter. Thanks a million for the advice, as it helped us plan out our coming days.
North out of Monticello we rode on the TAT. At first we were taking those zig-zag PLSS roads east, then north, then east, then north, then west, etc. Then, things started to get more interested as we passed through the town of La Sal, then up and over La Sal Mountain as it winds its way into the red rock canyons south and east of Moab.
As we were riding down the pleasant and not-so-technical roads towards Moab, around the corner was this nice little black bear alongside the road. Radio collared and not freaked out by our presence, it wandered back into the scrub oak almost as if we weren’t even there.
Those red hillsides and roads that took us down into Moab, were the perfect introduction of what we would be seeing over the next day or so.
By noontime, we had arrived in Moab and found Milt’s Stop N’ Eat for fast service, great buffalo burgers, fries, and shakes/malts. We’ll definitely return to Milt’s the next time we’re in Moab.
The technical level of the TAT increases north of Moab on the road to Gemini Bridges. The road starts out climbing the face of a sandstone canyon wall, then transitions into navigating through washes up and around the plateau until we reached Gemini Bridges. Temperatures were in the mid 90s and fortunately the heat was dry, so shade makes a huge difference in comfort level.
The day wouldn’t be uneventful without someone finding a reason to drop their bike. This time, it was Scott in deep sand. Again, this is the price you pay to be the leader… ;>).
A minute or two later (maybe five), we’re back traveling towards our night’s destination, Green River. The TAT leaves the red sandy terrain, to lighter colored buff rocks that follow powerline corriders. The roads are mostly straight with a couple of turns, so sand, and mud spot avoidance skills.
Around 5:00pm, we arrived in Green River and took Jarrett, Robyn, and Marshall’s advice to stay at Green River State Park. This was a great suggestion, as the campsites had perfect grass for tents, clean washrooms/showers, and room for us!
Before dark, we knocked out some redneck laundry, rollchart updating, showers, and dinner.
The night was warm and we fell to sleep as crickets sang a loud chorus around us.