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My wife and I test ride retirement

Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,877
Location
Bryan, TX
My wife and I went on a test ride of retirement. For the last 40 years we have gone on short vacations together or slightly longer vacations with other couples. We’ve also gone on vacations without the other going at all. We are contemplating retirement and subsequent travel. Would we continue to be compatible? Would we enjoy each other’s company for an extended period of time without the company of close friends as referees? We’ve been married for nearly 39 years, but we’ve never been alone together for more than a week at a time. Work has always separated us for at least 8 hours a day even when we weren’t on vacation. We also wanted time alone to discuss retirement and what it would mean to our relationship and to our lifestyle.

This post involves a van, a camper, a DRZ400 and the relationship between 2 people and may be in the wrong forum. If so, moderators feel free to switch without offending me.

The van: Tow vehicle for the camper. 13 years old and fairly high mileage. I wanted to buy a new vehicle, an F-150 ecoboost, but the LOML wanted to wait a little longer so we can pay cash without compromising our liquidity. An argument ensued and we haven’t even packed. Agreement: If ANYTHING happens to the van we will unload the bike and ride to the nearest dealership and buy a new vehicle on the spot. By anything, I’m thinking flat tire and she’s probably thinking rods and pistons strewn along the highway.

The Camper: We’ve always tent camped with the exception of a few vacations where we have stayed in motels. I like to hike. My wife likes to hike less than I do. My retirement plans include lots of hiking. She’s tired of staying in a tent waiting for me. A hard sided tent is in our future. We buy a used 16’ Casita from a co-worker as our first camper, with the intention of buying a new one if we (she) likes the experience.

The bike: 2005 DRZ400SM, bought 4 years ago with 12 miles on the odometer, now 15,000. My sometimes transportation to work. Our play bike. The one bike I would own if I could only have one. One of her favorite bikes ever since we got the $200 Seat Concepts seat. Chris, you owe me $200 for letting her know that there were options other than the stock seat.

The relationship: You only get the portion that I share in this post and past posts. I will share more than she would like.:trust:

Now the test ride begins. At day 2 of driving west. You know you’re close to the Navaho nation when you see signs for fry bread. As a nation, we confined the Navaho Indians to a small arid area with little game and gave them flour and lard. They invented fry bread and I’m glad they did. Also, our first indication that things are going to get interesting.
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The roads get long out west.
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Having a camper allows one to stop anywhere for a toilet break, even when traveling with a woman. This sure beats the view of an Exxon station.
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I believe it was Texas T that suggested we stop at the Navaho bridge and I suggest you do also if you’re ever in the area. I wonder what the penalty is for jumping and who pays the fine.
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The old, now pedestrian, bridge on the left and the new traffic bridge on the right.
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Floaters were slowly coming down the river.
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We made it to the north rim of the Grand Canyon before sundown on the 2nd day. This is about 100 feet from our campsite. Our original plan did not include the Grand Canyon but, the routes suggested by fellow TWTers took us within 45 miles and we couldn’t resist even though we had both been there before.
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My wife, standing between me and “the edge”. Witnesses are taking pictures.
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The next morning. Taken from near the visitor center at the north rim.
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There are lots of jeep roads on the north rim and we explore a few.
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Taken from Sublime Point. There is nothing Sublime about it. Normally, I would rate the road to Sublime as a 4, similar to Engineer pass in Colorado, which we have ridden several times, except without the switchbacks. It’s steep and rocky. On this ride, I rate it a 5 because of the 6” of newly applied gravel on the first 2 miles. Also, the next 2 miles had been recently graded to fill in deep ruts. The sand filled the ruts, but also hid them from view. The wife walked about 100 yards on this ride, about the same amount that she walks on Engineer pass.
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She says, “I’ll stand out here, but I won’t look down.
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The steed close to the edge.
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We took a different route back to try to avoid the gravel and sand. It’s a little over twice as far but the second half is graded road like this. We stopped to add layers and admire the aspen.
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Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,877
Location
Bryan, TX
We put around 3500 miles on the van, 600 miles on the DRZ and 40 miles on our shoes. Gas ranged from 3.49 to 4.19 per gallon.

Zion, Bryce, Highway 12 and Natural bridges to come. Also, retirement decisions, christening the Casita and falling in the canyons.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
1,453
Location
Huffman
Your test ride mentality for all of this seems very sensible.


I support letting the air out of the van tire in the middle of the night to expedite the eco boost transition. They're pretty freakin awesome (I don't own one but have driven one). The other argument for it would be "what is the mileage like on the van?"

Oh, and more pics!!
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,877
Location
Bryan, TX
Your test ride mentality for all of this seems very sensible.


I support letting the air out of the van tire in the middle of the night to expedite the eco boost transition. They're pretty freakin awesome (I don't own one but have driven one). The other argument for it would be "what is the mileage like on the van?"
Oh, and more pics!!
Slightly over 10 miles per gallon on the van. Not good.

Zion is next. Not as big, but just as dramatic.
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Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
2,302
Location
Bryan-sort of-Texas
Wow! Beautiful pictures!

Wife and I are darkening that same threshold - retirement. I'll be watching with great interest about this new truck shenanigans.
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2003
Messages
10,479
Location
Ft Worth, TX
Nice pics. Keep the story coming.

As for the van situation - Consider a used Sprinter diesel. We are in the same situation minus retirement. We looked at Casitas but ended up with a 08 TADA. We pull it with the 06 sprinter and get about 18-19. MPG when not towing it is about 22-23 with the van partially loaded. Ramp and chock allows the scooter to ride in the van. Shelving on one side (thanks to Ed29's help) allows us plenty of storage to keep the small trailer relatively uncluttered.

Oh yeah, have fun.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2011
Messages
177
Location
Houston
Thanks for making this thread. My wife and I are also beginning to think about retirement. She is in a management job and she's getting burned out. I got out of the management rat race and I'm back doing technical work, and I'm still having fun most days.

Our vision of retirement probably won't include lots of travel. Instead, it will be hobbies and volunteer work that keep us busy. But I'll be most interested to hear comments from you (and others, of course) about keeping your days full and being happy in retirement.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,877
Location
Bryan, TX
Thanks for making this thread. My wife and I are also beginning to think about retirement. She is in a management job and she's getting burned out. I got out of the management rat race and I'm back doing technical work, and I'm still having fun most days.
Our vision of retirement probably won't include lots of travel. Instead, it will be hobbies and volunteer work that keep us busy. But I'll be most interested to hear comments from you (and others, of course) about keeping your days full and being happy in retirement.
Describes us to a T except she's not getting burned out.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,877
Location
Bryan, TX
great thread. Amazing pics. You're blessed to have a wife that will ride dirt with you.
You both look to be in remarkable shape for "retirement age" or did your ship come in early?
We're both past the "retirement age". Old pictures.
 

Tracker

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Dec 25, 2005
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down in a holler, Catawba County, NC
Hopefully, not too much of a hijack, but a financial planner recently asked, "you have 7 days/week and basically morning, afternoon and evening. How do you think you want to fill those 21 timeslots with retirement?"
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
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Location
Bryan, TX
We spent 3 days at the Grand Canyon. 2 nights spent in the organized campsite and 1 night spent in the woods. Total cost $19 not counting the Polygamy Porter (Don’t have just one, take some home to the wives) beer, but it does include 2 pay to use showers.
More on beer and park costs at a later date.

On the way to Zion we saw a sign and decided to U-turn and investigate.
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The Mormons found a spring in the desert and since nobody had built a house over it, they decided to do so. The Paiute Indians were very peaceful and since wildlife couldn’t get water and the natural “crops” that the Paiute relied on didn’t get water, the Indians turned into peaceful beggars.
Sewing machine, ecologically powered.
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The Mormon settlers had enough cows to justify making cheese and taking it to California. At least that’s what the ranger said. Anyway, they had a cheese press.
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Ironing wasn’t quite as simple in those days. Why do it at all?
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Rope bed: Instead of wooden slats, some beds had ropes woven under the padding. If the ropes were tight, the people didn’t roll to the middle and get cozy. That’s supposedly where the term “sleep tight” came from and it seems reasonable.
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Our next camper.
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Typical Paiute dwelling back in the day.
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Onward to the main attraction, Zion and here is our 4th campsite, and what a beautiful setting. The Virgin river runs right through the park. That’s our little Casita looking out of place just over the bed of the 4X4 pickup.
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The first day we decided to hike up to Angels Landing. Supposedly, when angels visit the earth, they land here first. Sounds reasonable to me.

Very early in the hike up. That’s the Virgin flowing down below. She’s responsible for all this beauty.
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A little higher up and looking the other direction
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A view of the path leading up. Yes, its paved but steep. The paved part changes, the steep part does not.
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The road and the river far below. I think you can see why falling is the most likely cause of death in The Grand Canyon, Zion, and Bryce. As a matter of fact, a hiker fell in the Subway the day we arrived. We met the 2 guy that found him hanging. Hiking the Subway was crossed off our list. Another time, at least for me.
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Looking the other way
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Nearing the top. It gets a little scarier here.
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The trail up, assisted by chains. Children and adults with minimal upper body strength are discouraged.
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Looking back across the ridge we just walked across.
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The valley below as seen by angels
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This lady carried a chair up to this point and opted out of going to the top. For some reason she didn’t approve of me taking her picture.
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Looking down stream from the top of Angels Landing. Those rangers pictured and several others behind me are there to remove graffiti scratched into the sandstone over the years. At least, judging by the quantity, I hope it was over many years.
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Last look over the edge
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This 10” diameter tree has been living in this rock for so many years that the rock has eroded away from the roots. I could stick my hand between the roots and the rock in some places.
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This hill is along the main highway that runs through the park. I believe it is called Checkerboard Hill. If not, it should be.
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My 2 honeys.
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More Zion to come. We hiked up the river for 4 miles to the Narrows. Also,did a ride around the park, about 250 miles, ½ dirt and ½ highway.
 
Joined
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The next day we decided to hike up the Virgin past the Temple of Sinawava to the Narrows. For some reason, that sentence seems obscene. Anyway, the only way to get into Zion canyon is by trolley, tour bus or, if you are staying at the lodge, by car. We rode the trolley to the end of the road which is the Temple of Sinawava.
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The first section is a paved path for about a ½ mile, maybe a little more. Here I am either demonstrating my strength, showing you how light sandstone is, or being a jerk.
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As this fat fellow can vouch, the pinon trees are loaded this year.
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The end of the sidewalk and the start of the river walk, not the same as the river walk in San Antonio. The water temperature is around 55 degrees F. It never gets much over knee deep, at least not for us. We saw several hikers that fell and were totally wet.
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You have to walk through this ugly part to get to the good stuff.;-) The park guide says 90% river and 10% sand bar. I think it was closer to 70/30. We exchanged taking pictures of each other for the entire 4 miles of river walking.
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A welcome sand bar. Every long sand bar seemed to have people on it, as though they were waiting for the river to recede before going further.
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It gets skinny before you get to the narrows
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I’m definitely having fun
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Close to the end of the narrows. Notice the decreased water flow. The canyon splits about ½ mile behind me and this is the smaller of the 2 rivers. From this point on, I didn’t take any pictures. Just around the corner there is a chock stone that must be scrambled over if one wishes to continue. My wife chose to fall and hurt her hip while climbing over it. Tomorrow she will rest while I utilize my dual sport motorcycle in the manner in which it was intended to be used.
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In the TWT tradition, I had pie with dinner. Wifey had a bite.
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Joined
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Like I said earlier, I went on a ride without Linda. I forgot the card for my camera and had to drive into Hurricane to buy a new one. I needed a higher quality one anyway. Back on the road I view a glimpse of things to come.
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I follow Mesa road from highway 9 west of Zion until it intersects Kolob terrace road.
The start. It gets better.
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I told you it gets better.
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The dirt starts out smooth and progressively gets nicer. I rate this road as a 2. I wouldn’t want to drive a Toyota Corolla on it but I think I could make it.
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I believe this is the only 5 MPH curve I have ever seen on a paved road. Going the opposite direction it isn’t marked.
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This is along Kolob reservoir road, after the lake.
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A grove of aspen.
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As I get close to Hwy 14, I see lots of these trees turning colors. They look like small oak trees and may be.
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Going south on North Road, I saw this sign.
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The arrow points to this camper.
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Everything will be green and suddenly around a corner you see this.
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I rode about 250 miles, about 1/2 dirt and 1/2 pavement, and rode right past Cedar Breaks. I will go back. When I got back to camp, my supposedly invalid wife had gone back into Zion canyon and hiked to the emerald lakes.

We go to Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon next.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2008
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560
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CYPRESS,TEXAS
Bringing back good memories, that is almost the exact route that I ran last year only in reverse. Love that area and you are getting me thinking about retirement.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
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Bryan, TX
Quote myself: "We spent 3 days at the Grand Canyon. 2 nights spent in the organized campsite and 1 night spent in the woods. Total cost $19 not counting the Polygamy Porter (Don’t have just one, take some home to the wives) beer, but it does include 2 pay to use showers.
More on beer and park costs at a later date."

Beer cost less than sodas at the north rim campground store. I bought a six pack of beer call Polygamy Porter (Why have just one? Take some home to the wives). It's brewed by the Washach Brew Pub. http://www.wasatchbeers.com/beers.html Anyway, I liked it so I went back and bought a six pack of First Amendment Lager (Give me liberty and give me a cold one), and a six pack of Evolution Amber Ale (no moto!! :giveup:) with the intentions of saving 1 of each for my three buddies I meet for beer on the first monday of every month. I drank all of the First Amendment and 3 each of the others. My buddies got to sample the 2 lesser beers. All were good beer, especiallly the First Amendment.

Quote myself: "We spent 3 days at the Grand Canyon. 2 nights spent in the organized campsite and 1 night spent in the woods. Total cost $19 not counting the Polygamy Porter (Don’t have just one, take some home to the wives) beer, but it does include 2 pay to use showers.
More on beer and park costs at a later date."

And now a rant.
As I said earlier, entrance fees into the Grand Canyon, 2 days camping and 2 showers cost $19. Why so cheap you might wonder. The campground just outside the park charges $49 and it was nearly full. Every national park that we tried to get reservations for was full. We were able to stay in the parks because of cancellations. Well, it seems that a person over the age of 62 can buy a lifetime pass that allows them to get into any federal fee area for free. Key word=lifetime. Camping is 1/2 price. Anyone in the car with them also gets in free. I bought one of the passes several years ago because the park ranger suggested it. The cost for a LIFETIME free pass, $10. WHAT!!! $10. That ridiculous.

Now, our parks are hurting. Money is short. Services are being cut. Areas are being closed because there isn't enough money to hire personnel to repair damage cause by visitors. My contention is, if someone can afford a camper and gas money to get to the park, they can afford $25 for entrance fees. Also, if the private sector can get $49 per night why can't the park system/government see that people are willing to pay more. There were diesel pushers that cost over $200,000 getting in free. We paid two times just because I thought we should. The problem is, me paying will not put a dent in the need. If everyone paid, the problem would be solved.

Rant over. Bryce coming up
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
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RIO DELL, CA
FWIW, sounds ike your wife is a trooper and a good sport to boot. A big plus when on a rather small bike CAMPING. kUDOS TO YOU both!!
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
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She certainly is a trooper. I know that I wouldn't want to be on the back of a bike riding some of the roads that we have ridden, especially some of the Jeep roads. I ask and she seldom turns me down. I am one lucky husband.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
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Bryan, TX
On to Red Rock Canyon and Bryce
We traveled on highway 9 and highway 12 to Bryce. It should be a crime to travel 12 in a van with a perfectly good motorcycle inside. Luckily, we have both been down it before so we will remain out of jail.

It doesn’t have to be curvy to be a great motorcycle road. Talking about great motorcycle roads, we used Butler maps for this trip and I want to put in a plug for them. They are great. If the map says the road is a G1 then it is everything a motorcyclist would ever want. All the G1s we saw were curvy and scenic with elevation changes. I think they should also have “S” rated roads which may be flat, straight or both with excellent scenery.
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Red Rock Canyon. The van has maintained all integrity with nearly 2000 miles on this trip. I’m praying for a U-joint failure or something simple like that.
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A short tunnel in the canyon. By the way, Zion has a tunnel over a mile long with about 5 windows opening into the canyon. No stopping allowed.
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Our $7.50/night campsite in Bryce due to another cancellation. I would have stayed in the national forest for free except the campground is so convenient to Bryce Canyon.
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Bryce defies description and no picture that I have seen does it justice. I took about 350 pictures, the most for any area that we visited. I’m going to post more than you probably want to see, so just skip through if you get tired of red rocks.
In the beginning it rained and created a small gully. It rained again and again and the gully got bigger until the owner said, “This is a **** of a place to lose a cow.” Then he gave it to us.
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I like it!!
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Now, just pictures
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A giant carne field, like anyone could get lost on that trail.
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My wife’s addition
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How long will it stand? Maybe thousands of years. It may fall tomorrow. Geology happens NOW.
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Natural Bridge. It’s really not a bridge, but an arch since it wasn’t formed by flowing water. At least not flowing water like a creek.
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Thor’s hammer
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Early morning shot
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Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,877
Location
Bryan, TX
We've now been on vacation together longer than we've ever been on vacation together without other people along. Everything's going great. I think we could travel together indefinitely without a murder commited. We "christened" the Casita in a small roadside turnout between The Grand Canyon and Zion. Her new name is Shaky. We've discussed retirement briefly. I say briefly because I have been going to bed every night around 8:00, shortly after eating dinner. The discussion turns one sided when I snore. We have a couple of shorter days planned so we should have time to talk.

New subject: I made a list of things to see and do on this 2 week trip. The list has 70+ entries. I'll go ahead and tell you that the trip is over as I type this and we crossed off 7 lines!!! My planning way exceeds my doing.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
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Bryan, TX
Natural Bridges, Lake Powell, Gooseneck State Park, and Moki Dugway coming up. Check your local listings for times. More motorcycle riding in the near future.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
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RIO DELL, CA
Retirement or not, quality time is what its all about. My bride of 11 years STILL MOTORCYCLE CAMPS with me........and loves it[and me too-snicker, snicker]. I asked one time about a small camp trailer such as yours. She said "why spend the money, we do just fine in a tent". So the money saved keeps the bike in tires and gas. And yes, some campgrounds have electricity and cable TV!!!! Quality time,mmmmmmmmm
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
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Bryan, TX
We met lots of Australians, Germans, Japanese, Swiss, and French people. A few other sprinkled in also. It always amazes me to see 30 to 40% of the visitors are foreign. For me, it only seems to happen in the arid west.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Messages
1,877
Location
Bryan, TX
Sorry it's taken so long. I had to rebuild my race bike engine this weekend. Final race of the season coming up this next weekend and my team is in the lead for the overall championship. If it happens, it will be the first time an F7 bike has won overall.

We had planned to hike a couple of extreme slot canyons which require one to either turn sideways to get through or to crawl (the bottom of some slots are wider than 3 to 4 feet up), but it rained and there was a threat of more rain. Since the fear of drowning was stronger than the expected thrill of hiking an extreme slot, we motored on to Natural Bridges National Monument. Our route took us through Escalante and Capitol Reef National Parks, but since our plans in those places included dirt roads, we decided to come back to them at a later date. Most of the dirt roads we had picked were labeled, “impassable when wet.” Our route was 12, 24 and 95.

The scenery was great, just driving through on the main roads. I have found that the further I get from the main highways, the better the scenery. It’s not always true but I believe it is true in Escalante and Capitol Reef. Not everything in Utah is red.

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In some areas the aspen were totally yellow.
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I had to holler at these deer to get them to look up at me. They were totally ignoring me. Not in a national park either.
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Butler maps should rate this road as an S1 road, very scenic.
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Everything turns back to red as we approach Lake Powell. That motor home coming around the bend is a rental. We have been trading the lead with him for miles. On any down hill road, he rides the brakes constantly. We can smell the brakes sometimes before we see the truck. The only reason he hasn’t crashed is because he stops so often to take pictures. That time allows the brakes to cool.
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Lake Powell.
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Classic picture of lake Powell with the bridge in the background. There wasn’t a shoulder to park on so we had to walk back up the hill to get this shot.
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Moki Dugway and Muley point
We ride to Muley Point, overlooking Gooseneck State Park. This is a short ride that can be done on any bike, except for the last ½ mile which gets a little rough. Probably a class 3.
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My klutz of a wife. It is amazing that she hasn’t fallen off a cliff yet.
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The road below goes to Gooseneck State Park.
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It’s amazing what water and time can do.
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Juniper tree that has seen a hard life.
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This strip of bark, about 3” wide is all that sustains the tree.
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The world famous MOKI DUGWAY. What a let down!!!! I was expecting something challenging after reading what other bikers had written.
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The highway below that goes to Mexican Hat, the town and the formation.
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The famous Dugway. I looked down in one of the slowest turns and I was going 15 MPH.
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We ate lunch in a café right next to the bridge. I don’t remember the name, but it was very interesting. Many movies have been made near Mexican hat. Monument Valley is the name of the area. Anyway, the owner of the café acts as taxi driver for the stars.
Recognize this one?
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Café décor. This saw had wicked teeth.
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This is a corn planter. The metal hopper on the left holds the corn seeds. By pushing the handles together a seed is deposited in one of the metal cross members and then dropped down the tube between the 2 wooden uprights. Poke the point in the ground, bring the handles together and then back apart. Viola, a corn seed is planted.
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Old revolver that has seen better days.
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The reason they named the town Mexican Hat. Will they change the town name when it falls? It’s much larger than the picture shows it. This was taken about a half mile away with a telephoto lens.
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Next up, Natural Bridges National Monument
 
Joined
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Bryan, TX
Our first glimpse of one of the bridges. This is a fairly new bridge, geologically speaking. While we were walking down the trail, a very large rock came crashing off the canyon wall on the opposite side of the canyon. It sounded like lightening had struck right next to us. This one is Sipapu which means “Place of Emergence.”
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Taken from about ½ way down into the canyon. Pay attention to the largest tree in the bridge opening. We’ll get back to it later for scale.
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This desert plant has leaves that look like stems or stems that look like leaves.
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Nearly there
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Again, look at the tree.
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Linda is standing beside that same tree.
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This is Kachina bridge. We didn’t have time to hike down to it.
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On the way down to the oldest bridge in the monument.
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On the way to Hall’s Ferry to cross Lake Powell and see if it’s dry enough to ride some of The Burr Trail and Notum Bullfrog.
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It’s a pay to get in area.

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At least they tell you the ferry is closed before you put your money in the self pay box.
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On the way back. Even the sand is prettier in Utah.
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And the road is not bad either.
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When’s the last time you saw this? $4.19.9/gallon, our highest.
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We have not seen or done a fraction of the things that we wanted to see and do in Utah and Arizona. I called my boss and told him, “I quit.” His response was, “All quitting has to be done person to person.” We packed up and headed home. A VERY good trip. 2 weeks together and we still wanted more so I guess more traveling is in our future.

We talked about retirement on the way home. My wife has never mentioned wanting to retire. I guess I just assumed that she was as ready as me. On the way home she said that she wanted to continue to work. We also talked about what we would do if we did retire and the consensus was that I would lay on the couch and watch reruns of Lucy while eating Cheetos and getting fat. I’m not lazy, I procrastinate and I like Cheetos. The ideal situation would be to travel, but to do it full time would take more money than we have unless everything worked out perfectly. We both know that is not going to happen. We have been very lucky so far, but we both know that age is coming and eventually sickness. We want to have enough money to cover expenses as they occur and the list of motorcycles that I wish to own keeps getting longer. Also, I don’t want to get much bigger. In a year or 2 we’ll see what’s happening. Maybe work part time. I mentioned that idea to a local motorcycle shop owner and he said I was welcome at any time, just bring my tool box when I get ready. Who knows? I do know that my bucket list of traveling gets longer every year.

The van purred like a kitten getting her back rubbed. I guess praying for car trouble doesn’t always work. We’ll still get the Ecoboost in the near future. In the meantime, while we were loading the DRZ into the van, Linda mentioned that a shorter bike would be easier to load. When I agreed, she said I should look into getting one. WooHoo, an FZ1 is shorter isn’t it? I can’t think of a better dual sport bike than an FZ1, right? I could even sell my aging Superhawk.:trust: That’s what I said when I bought my Mille. Might as well keep the DRZ. It’ll be easy to load into the Ecoboost.:rider:
 
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Nice pix. I haven't been to Zion in many years, never to Angels Landing. And after looking at that last ridge, I probably won't. I've walked the Grand Canyon - probably harder, but a lot less scary.
 
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I agree with you on Bryce Canyon, that place is hard to believe while you are standing there looking at it. Agree to on the Moki. It's not that difficult but the way to go to Or come from Mexican hat. We rode it on a Goldwing, a VTX , a HD Road King and a BMW RT. No prob. Iwas concered with the run from Mexican Hat to Hanksville. 167 miles between towns and the gas lite on the X comes on at 120! thank goodness the Marina was open. Paid $4.50 a gal and was glad to do it. Beautiful report, can't wait to go back. My avitar is just outside of Monument Valley.
 
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Nice pix. I haven't been to Zion in many years, never to Angels Landing. And after looking at that last ridge, I probably won't. I've walked the Grand Canyon - probably harder, but a lot less scary.
Walking the Grand Canyon is on my BL. Angels landing is mainly like Pikes peak. Do it because everyone else did it. The views from the West Rim Trail are essentially the same and no ridge or chains.
 
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I agree with you on Bryce Canyon, that place is hard to believe while you are standing there looking at it. Agree to on the Moki. It's not that difficult but the way to go to Or come from Mexican hat. We rode it on a Goldwing, a VTX , a HD Road King and a BMW RT. No prob. Iwas concered with the run from Mexican Hat to Hanksville. 167 miles between towns and the gas lite on the X comes on at 120! thank goodness the Marina was open. Paid $4.50 a gal and was glad to do it. Beautiful report, can't wait to go back. My avitar is just outside of Monument Valley.
Moki is doable on a stretched out hardtail chopper if you're a good rider. There used to be a gas station between Hanksville and Mexican Hat at a place called Fry Canyon. I noticed that it looked deserted. We bought gas in Hanksville and the price was 4.19/gal, the highest we paid on the trip. It was also a pump first then pay kind of place. I guess at 4.19 you can afford a few drive offs.:-P
 
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Walking the Grand Canyon is on my BL. Angels landing is mainly like Pikes peak. Do it because everyone else did it. The views from the West Rim Trail are essentially the same and no ridge or chains.
Go for it. It's hard, but it's perfectly doable. To do it and enjoy it, it's all about research and preparation. You'll see all sorts of flabby, ill prepared people close to the river and the vast majority of them somehow make it out under their own power. For the rest, the mule trains always have a couple of spare animals along, to carry the "drag-outs", as they call them - for a price, of course.

I trained for a year - which is how far in advance I had to make reservations to spend the night at the Phantom Ranch. I'm a runner anyway, and I work on the theory that if I can run 10 miles on flat ground, I can walk 10 miles up a steep hill.

The Bright Angel Trail is like the interstate highway - carries over 90% of all the traffic from the South Rim. I went down the South Kaibab - 7 miles and pretty step, but the views are spectacular - and, the next morning, came up the Bright Angel. Going down, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Coming up, there was a steady stream of people. There are other, less used trails, but they're definitely not for amateurs like me.

BTW, I do want to try it again before I'm 65.
 
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... an FZ1 is shorter isn’t it? I can’t think of a better dual sport bike than an FZ1, right? I could even sell my aging Superhawk.:trust: That’s what I said when I bought my Mille. Might as well keep the DRZ. It’ll be easy to load into the Ecoboost.:rider:
We can always compare size the next time I see you...
 
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I can't do that.:mrgreen: I did walk the Colorado Trail 10 years ago. At least most of it, I ran out of time and skipped the part from Salida to Lake City.
Good for you! That's something I had always wanted to do at retirement. But instead, life happened and I won't have the time anytime soon.

How long did that take?
 
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Like I said, I skipped the part from Salida to Spring Creek Pass between Lake City and Creede, that's 100 miles. Also, the first 25 miles was a burned out area due to some jilted ranger lady burning love letters and starting a forest fire and I skipped that, another 25 miles. I ran out of vacation when I got to Molas Pass and had to go home. The last 70 miles would have to wait. The math doesn't add up. 195 miles skipped from 478 miles total trail distance is 283 and I walked 335 miles. I got lost, twice. I walked the lost distance so I counted it. I did not count the distance I walked to towns to resupply. I have since gone back and walked 70 miles and plan to walk the 100 mile section from Salida to Spring Creek Pass. I probably won't walk the 1st 25 miles near Denver.

Total vacation was 30 days. 2 days to get there, 2 days to get home, 1 day to get aclimated at 10,000' (Kenosha Pass campground) and 1 off trail day when I hitched a ride from Salida to Lake City. I got a ride with Gudy, the matriarch of the Colorado trail. That was only 1 of the amazing things that happened during my walk. 24 days of backpacking, averaging 14 miles per day. My shortest, and hardest, day was 8 miles and my longest was 22.

I resupplied in Copper Mountain, Twin Lakes and Salida. The best way to resupply is to send yourself packages. Joe Blow, General Delivery, Copper Mountain. The post offices will keep the package for a month or more.

I met 12 other backpackers and I was the slowest by far. My notes for day 13 say, "I got lost today and found the Continental Divide Trail which branches off a jeep road. I should have gotten out the trail guide instead of relying on the trailside data book, but I had already walked 18 miles and was in a big hurry. No big deal. I was trying to get to the post office in Twin Lakes grocery before it closed. In this small town they will let you pick up packages on Sunday. I met a guy that started the trail in Denver 4 days after I started. He has hiked 25 miles farther in 4 less days." Note: the post office in Twin Lakes is in the grocery store and the store owner is the postmaster.

Everyone was faster, even the 70 year old woman that put on her pack by laying down on it, putting on the straps, turning over on all fours, and using hiking poles to help her stand. She took off and 20 minutes later was out of sight.
 

SL350

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I enjoy all of this. Not sure 2 up on a DR400 is my cup of tea but the rest of it rocks.
 
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