XT660R Heaven

XT660R Heaven
Life on the road is fab...

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Utah - Black Dragon Canyon & a shunt up the arse!!

Another day of thrills & spills on the TAT... We set off at 6am this morning, another quick breakfast stood around a bin on a garage forecourt, then off onto our first part of the day, belting along the I70. Matt left us heading north & we headed into Black Dragon Canyon, this was a great little twisty off road section with some fairly technical riding, a few sand pits, some good rocky steps & of course some beautiful scenery...

The canyon opened up into some lovely rolling hills that were filled with Juniper trees, there was no water anywhere in sight for the majority of the day, so the desert ruled. The colours seemed to change each time we went round a corner, from red to grey, black to green then back to red again... the trails were always engaging. (Again we've done a load of GoPro footage but the internet is shite here again, so same as before we'll upload it when we find somewhere with a decent internet).

YouTube Vids
Black Dragon Canyon 1
Black Dragon Canyon 2
Black Dragon Canyon 3

We opted for the first time on the trip to miss out a section. 26 miles of desert were marked up with the warning of 'If you are on a big heavy bike you should take the bypass, This is to avoid deep sand, big rocks & a nasty uphill climb!'. We took the advice & instead headed back onto the I70 to a junction which then ha us back on a gravel road parallelling the interstate, but through some great little tunnels cut out of the limestone & up into the hills that ran alongside the main road.

This eventually took us to Salina where we found a little gem of a cafe called Mom's Cafe... a bunch of middle aged women cooking some great food for the locals... & now us... including a dish called Steve's McMuffin which actually turned out to be a bacon & egg sandwich!!

From here the fun started which impacted on the rest of the day... whilst looking for the next turn off to head back into the hills I managed to hit Geoff in the back of his bike, this dropped it on the deck & did a bit of damage to both bikes... WARNING: don't be looking at the GPS when your mates stop in front of you!!

New Lights needed here...

Oooh found one!!

Plumbers tape works as good as Duct tape it seems!

Nowhere to mount the GoPro now!!
Once we'd patched both bikes up enough to ride, we headed via the road into our planned stop for the night, Richfield. This turned out to be a big & busy place which was great for us as we could get some more permanent repairs done & Brian could get an oil change on his bike too at the KTM dealership.

Geoff & myself got away with just a scrape on our elbows so no harm done there which was the best news of the day, the bikes now look a bit battered around the gills & my jacket is sporting a new feature to its left sleeve... 

What a pillock!!

So another day finished, some more dinner & beer consumed, a lot of good riding experienced & another lesson in the fickleness of fate...  Tomorrow we should get to the end of the Utah section & start heading into Nevada... from here we may have to do a few re-routes, which we'll post onto the FB TAT page as we're one of the first teams going through that area since the reports have come out about the floods & fires etc... more to come...

Have fun!