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"Head East"

September 4, 2016

After the guys at Jorgensen’s KTM fixed up Katie, I wheeled back to the hotel to pack up and head east. I’m really torn about the events of the last few hours. I’m crushed mentally because I’m technically not finishing the TransAmerica Trail, but yet I feel like I’ve ridden in places, seen things, met people and had experiences that I will NEVER be able to replace. I’ve ridden to a level that I never thought I could when I left Tennessee. I’ve overcome things that most people could never imagine, both physically and mentally. Yet, I’m really sad for point my bike toward the east and start riding. I miss my daughter more than words can describe and phone calls just don’t cut it. I miss my companion Rocky. Yes, he’s just a dog but he’s been by my side day and night for 4 years. It’ll be good to be back with them again, but the return trip is long. Riding back is hard, because it never seems to go by as fast as the trip out.

 

As I start riding, I start feeling better immediately. The landscape is amazing! I missed SO much the night before in the dark. Capital Reel National Park is jaw dropping! I’ve never really heard about it but the canyons and rock formations are unbelievable. I was SO happy I could take my time and stop to enjoy this incredible scenery. Then the road leads right into Glen Canyon Nation Park. The views on the right overlooking Lake Powell are breathtaking. I snapped a ton of pics and ran both GoPros until they were full!

 

I rode basically the same route as we came in on until I got to the small town of Blanding. I spotted the Devil’s Canyon State Park camping area and headed there. It was awesome! A beautiful campsite on the ridge overlooking the canyon. Quiet, cool and clean. Perfect primitive campsite. I got camp set up before dark and had a yummy Backcountry freeze dried meal of Chicken and dumplings. I actually slept pretty good, cooked up some coffee and headed out by 8:30am refreshed and ready for another 8 hours of riding!

 

I made my way through eastern Utah and set sights on the Rockies. I went through Dove Creek, Cortez, Durango and Pagosa Springs Colorado. I'm treated to another surprise as my route leads up and over the legendary Wolf Creek Pass. It's all I can do NOT to sing the CW McCall song from the late 70's as I cruise up the pass! I targeted a KOA in Alamosa Colorado and kept moving despite my A$$ really starting to hurt! Making miles on the road is A LOT more difficult than riding offroad. At least offroad you’re standing most of the time. As I approach Alamosa, I notice really cool hot rod and street rod cars and trucks EVERYWHERE!! I pull into the KOA and see a “FULL” sign in the window. Undeterred, I still go in and ask and the clerk doesn’t even let me get the words out of my mouth...”We’re completely full, even tent camping”. UGH! Now what??? She says there’s another campsite 30 more miles up the road. So I mount up and head east again. The campground ends up being a dive (like a lot of the ones we found along the way) and so I take a chance and try the local motel called The Lodge. It’s a quaint little roadside motel that’s made of raw wood looking like a true camping “lodge”. The lady at the desk is super nice and offers me a room for … $40!!! What, only $40??? Where were you this entire trip??? I jump on the deal and check in. The room is super clean and nice!! Wow, I might stay a few days..LOL. Bonus, across the street is a place called the Silver Sage Steakhouse. The owner (a humorous old fellow) seats me and I order up a Ribeye. I know I’m hungry, but SEREIOUSLY, this was the best steak I’ve had in years!! The prices are stupid cheap and I’m a happy guy. Full, happy and sleepy, I head the “lodge” to finish up the blog post and get some ZZZ”S.

 

Tomorrow may be my last interesting day as I get out of Colorado and head into Kansas and/or Oklahoma. I wish I could click my heals and be home from here. Hmmmm, maybe I’ll stop in at the Wildcat Café in Liberal KS?? I also have a best buddy I’ve not seen in years who lives in Wichita.

 

Cheers!

Bradley

 

 

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