TAT Day 14

Start of day: 131

End of day: 17

Total miles today: 256

6:00 am eating breakfast at the hotel and focusing the day ahead. We want to get to Baker, NV today, and hopefully a bit further.

7:30 am Ephraim

132 miles, 2.8 gal

We left town and quickly arrived at the start of a long mountain pass. Parts of the uphill and downhill were freshly graded and loose. Most of it was packed dirt. All of it was scenic and fun. One must be careful on this kind of road though: you never know when you might come around a blind curve and see three cows napping in the middle of the road.

10:30 a.m. Bip went down in heavy crosswinds. He let his mind wander, and wound up in deep gravel at the edge of the road doing about 50mph. He lost control and went over the handlebars. We think he was going about 35 or 40 when he hit the ground, judging from the distance between his bike and himself, and how far the shattered windscreen spread out. He possibly has a broken rib and there is minor damage to the bike. It is ridable.

I neglected to mention that I’ve dropped my bike. Twice on the same day, I think 2 days ago. Both were at near stopped, and once the motor wasn’t even running. Silly events, both of them, but a drop is a drop.

12:38 pm. We escorted Bib to Nephi. This place has gas, hotels, food, a U-haul, a hospital, and it’s on the interstate. We will make sure Bip has a game plan before we split off.

Nephi. 81 miles, 1.68 gal

With Bip situated, we parted ways. The afternoon ride had long sections of dead straight gravel roads which we rode pretty fast. There were crosswinds heavier than what got Bib. Dust devils danced for us.

In the late afternoon, we passed through broad valleys with roads that disappeared to a point 20 or 30 miles away.

Bip checked in. He has a broken rib and a partially collapsed lung. Nothing serious. He’s very lucky he got off that easy and I’m glad for it.

There are big temperature extremes between yesterday’s mountain draws and today’s desert.

Riding along a dirt road that parallels a train track, I spotted a train coming my way. When it was about 50 yards away, I pumped my left arm up and down. The engineer blew his horn for me! 10 year old me laughed and was very pleased.

6:07 Baker, NV.

157 miles, 3.18 gal

Pumps are about 40 feet inside the state line. I bought a bag of ice and strapped it to my bike.

Headed north and found a great primative camp spot in a national forest. It’s at the base of a mountain and elevated from the valley to the east. We took a rough 4 mile jeep road to get here. It was a 1300 foot climb. There is a tiny stream burbling next to us. From this vantage point, it seems like I can see a hundred square miles of land.

I just checked the map and did the math, it’s closer to 1,000 square miles. The valley and the surrounding peaks are about 20 miles wide by 50 long.

First thing upon arriving was to empty one of my side bags. The ice and a 6 pack of beer left over from last night went in the bag. The beer was cold enough to drink by the time I got my tent up. I hate that tent, it takes forever to set up and tear down.

After setting camp and having a few beers, I took a walk up the draw to look at rocks and plants and see if I could spot any animals. I saw about a dozen birds that were the size of half grown chickens, but they were slinder and had long necks. They preferred to stay on the ground and run in the scrub rather than fly. Grouse? There were deer droppings everywhere. I saw a few ant hills too.

It is late dusk now, and a halo of fading light lines the ridge to our west. To the east, a full moon is rising and is already illuminating the valley below. I only hear a soft breeze and some insects trying to get laid.

I peed in several places forming a perimeter around my campsite. Sean says it will discourage coyotes. We’ll see.

Well, another epic day draws to a close. Tomorrow, I look forward to driving, and maybe sleeping, in the middle of the salt flats. That will be a real fine topping to this already amazing adventure.

Categories: Motorcycles, TAT 2018, Trips

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