Introduction note: I (Joe) took this ride with my friends Brad Munroe of Park City, UT and Kirk Moushegian of SLC, UT. It was a precursor to a gathering with Christine and others at Bryce and Zion Canyons. It had been raining the days preceding the trip and was still raining for our planned departure. Itching for a ride, we went anyway as the weather lightened that afternoon. We made our way southeast from Park City to Moab, UT. Kirk's 1985 BMW R100 didn't have quite the same range as the bikes Brad and I rode. He ended up running out of gas in the middle of nowhere, so I pulled up along side him and placed my right foot against his left engine guard and pushed him along at 45 mph for the next fourteen miles, two of which were on I-70. Riding with our handlebars nearly touching was harrowing, but we pulled it off without incident. He bought me a beer for the effort, but I really needed a massage after that.
We pulled into Moab just before dark only to learn that there was nary a room in town. Who would have thought that Moab in October would be bursting at the seems? There were several events taking place in the area, and with the heavy rains people had escaped the flashfloods of the backcountry and booked rooms in town. We snatched what may have been the very last room in town. The room was a nasty reject in a fleabag motel, but it saved us from a two-hour ride out of the way in the dark to Grand Junction, CO just to sleep in a bed.
The rain came through in waves all through the evening and into the night, but we awoke to clearing skies in the morning. We took a long circuitous route toward Zion passing through a 5-minute rain shower from a remnant of the previous night's storm. We went south through Blanding and then west across the Colorado River at Glen Canyon before reaching a detour in Hanksville. There were several muddy washouts across the road on our route, but we learned at Hanksville that the road west was completely gone. The detour involved a long route north back to I-70 and on from there.
We were making good time until a gas stop revealed that Brad's rear tire was showing steel belts. The sustained triple-digit speeds and hard acceleration really ate up the rubber. We dialed it back from there and arrived a little late for our rendezvous with my wife and friends near Zion. Brad got new tires over the weekend in Cedar City. After a long weekend visiting the National Parks with my wife and friends, Brad and I again fought the weather on a return trip. We awoke to our bikes covered in snow. The roads were merely wet, but the ride home was very cold most of the day. I love trips like this. They make for such great memories.