I have no problem always getting up early on Torrey Trip Day. Sleeping at all is really the challenge since this is my favorite Holiday of the year. While other get all excited for Thanksgiving, Christmas or Arbor Day, I live for leaving my house and going to Utah. It is even better knowing that about 70 of my fellow Hoons are also thinking the same thing this week.
This trip is not any different from the past ones other then I am taking 2 motorcycles and the Mr. G. This will also be Mr. G’s first real test at towing something. Mr. G has had some health issues as some of you love to remind me about. But the shocks are tight, the transmission is full, oil is there so I am ready to moto on up.
From the house it is only a short 542 miles up to Torrey and looking outside I am happy to see that it is cloudy out. Since I am taking the Mr. G. and not riding the GT, I don’t bother to check the weather. What could happen? So as the clock strikes 5am (6am Torrey Time) I crank up the Mr. G, turn the Ipod onto the Grateful Dead’s Box of Rain (a Torrey Tradition) and head North!
First Stop is Anthem for Gas. The wind as usual is coming from straight ahead from the North and it is blowing hard. I even think I see some rain in the distance. Not to fear though, as the Mr. G has a roof and working wipers! I am not happy with gas prices and with a 22 gallon tank; he is not going to be a cheap date.
Traffic is light and I am making good time up the hill towards Flagstaff . As I get into the Verde Valley I start to realize that the weather is getting almost cold. Not to worry as all I need to do is turn on the heater that is a standard option.
Ah Houston , maybe I should have talked to the Weather Officer after all. It has to be a scare tactic by the Sedona Chamber of Commerce to get people to not bypass the exit ahead for Crystal Ville. I of course laugh at this little subterfuge and drive on oblivious to any real threat of weather!
I know a lot of Hollywood people live in Sedona but these special effects are really almost lifelike. There is at least a foot of snow! I find a snow plow and duck in behind. Mr. G is doing fine towing but we are seeing gas mileage at almost the single digit range.
Up ahead as I get into Utah I come across a pair of Harleys and a Motor home. Now I know some of you folks ride the Hogs of Heaven and drink the Milwaukee Kool-Aid. For the most part I have no disdain for the bike and will probably even own one once I get past the need for speed. But as I pass them AND the motor home in a 15 year old V6 Isuzu towing 2 motos, my devilish streak gets the best of me and I give them the big thumbs up. They do not look pleased with my friendly gesture. No worries soon enough I will be miles ahead of them
Yup still handsome as ever
Time for a nice lunch as I roll into the Eastern part of ZION but I settle for a small hotdog and water once I see that the Mr. G will be having Surf and Turf at $4.00 a gallon
As I roll up highway 89 towards Torrey, I am getting more and more views like this one out the car. This road is a gem and to be honest slightly below average of what I will be seeing in the coming days but I am in Utah . Say what you want about the “Utah Stigma” but it is without a doubt one of the most gloriously beautiful places on the planet. And I have seen a lot of this planet.
Sing it with me! “They call me the Breeze; I keep rolling down the road”. Whoohoo! Less then a hundred miles to go and the last 400 seemed to have just slipped on by! We are coming into familiar territory
It is comforting to me to truly know that there is still room for the “Big Deep Bend” out here.
Nothing like a big Bovine in the road to slow down traffic which I suspect is what UDOT is trying to do to save money on radar enforcement. Deer also seem to be in the pilot program but they work the overnight shift.
Only 10 miles to go and I am already feeling the world’s problems lifting off my shoulders. This ride up is easy even if it takes over 10 hours.
Yes! I am here. No more work to deal with, I know Calvin No Socks is here and odds are they have already started Happy Hour.
Life will be good once I get a beer and find the hammock. I am sure Bob is ready to go too.
WHAT!?! He is working!!? After who knows how many years of being my hero who decided to stick it to the man, move to paradise and just explore he now starts to mumble about needing money. Well if he wants to play that game…..
So can I!
At least Calvin is ready for a beer. We wait till 7 before heading to the Rim Rock for Dinner since Larry and Louise are coming in from Texas and should arrive about then. Larry calls me from Blanding to confirm and we meet. Life is good as I go to bed knowing that my friends are safe and we are about to have several grand adventures.
Morning in Torrey is always so peaceful. The dawn is cool but with some clouds in the area not too cold. I get a coffee at the Chuck wagon and Calvin and I decide to head out and see what is happening about town.
Just up the street we find these ladies enjoying a free farmer’ breakfast which I am sure is about as pleasing to the farmer as a plague of locust.
This young fellow has got to be happy with all the ladies swooning over him in the field.
Down the road we find some other ferocious animals to photograph. This is quickly turning into an exotic animal shoot. I better head back and get Reinforcements!
Calvin doesn’t really have heavy weapons but he has no fear.
Sometimes you have to call in the big guns!
As we have breakfast the fact that we may have a real monster out there in the wilds of Torrey. The natives speak of a creature that towers over all others and spits vile things at all who get too close. Of course we all believe this must be true since Torrey is magical.
So off we go on a quest for the Monster named Fletcher.
Our first sighting is rather timid and reveals little hard evidence of a monster.
Knowing that Larry deals with shady characters every day in San Antonio , he and Calvin interrogate a “person of interest” in the parking lot. It is obvious Calvin thinks this guy who calls himself “Marty” knows more then he lets on.
We move on to local barns….searching for the creature. In our search we get a tip that Fletcher is out beyond the Red River Lodge. We rush out only to find
A buffalo and his bodyguard.
Man o man we have to find this beast before it gets dark. We set off bending a few No Trespassing rules in the name of science. Jacqueline all of sudden starts to get all excited. Calvin being the calm one of the group tells her to calm down and point out what she sees. He then gets all giddy as we see about 500 meters away the following….
We need to get closer but it takes forever to find the way into the valley.
There is no way I am going to be able to scale this cliff to get a better picture.
The daunting fast flowing Fremont River with its giant rapids also will be tough to cross.
We then find the secret route. Calvin gets out because well I can’t blame a man to be afraid of the unknown. We won’t even mention it amigo.
We get down and then we see him....but are we safe?
As I turn the corner. Fletcher moves in…..will he be friendly to me and the girls….or………….
The best way to deal with a savage creature is to appeal to its stomach. I mean it always works on me. Let it be known that Fletcher likes Carrots, Celery but is no fan of broccoli.
It also amazes me that Jacqueline never has issues dealing with big dumb animals.
At the end of the day we have a new pal.