It is Torrey Time. By now most of you know that this is part of the world I go explore 2 times a year to be with friends, ride motorcycles, go back country exploring and just get away from the hassles of real life for a time. This trip is really overdue since the stress is running higher than normal and it is showing some in my behavior. This trip will not have me pulling a bike. Other than my gear in a dry bag in the Jeep (I will get to this in a bit), I am caging it up to Utah this morning.
Leaving Phoenix before dawn, I make my way up to Flagstaff where I get a cup of coffee and top off the tank. From there it is up through Kayenta, Monument Valley and to the Dugway. The jeep likes 70-75. It will do 80 for a bit but it doesn't feel good, so I decide to take the pace a little lighter. The minute I touch the gravel on the Dugway though, it is a different story. It pulls up the hill at a great pace and since I am by myself there is nobody screaming in shear panic as I go up the cliff with no guard rails at 50mph rally style. The traction control works by the way. :)
A view from half way up the Dugway. Notice the full size motor home. It even had German plates on it. Very worthy so far.
The new Jeep near Hite Utah looks at home. It is a 2008 which I bought used. Only has about 3000 miles on it. I still have the Mr. G for now but the 300 is gone. I will miss it, but this is much more Tommy Neumann.
As much as I am enjoying the Jeep, I do wish at this moment I had the GT. The weather today near Hite is PERFECT, the road is in great shape and would love to run this stretch about 10 times before heading to Bobs. But the road waits. I get to Torrey and decide, I better go check on my pal. So Louise and I set off with a bag of celery and carrots.
My man Fletcher is doing really good. And I think he remembers me because he is not near as shy as he is with other folks. Of course it might be the carrots but I think Camels Dig me.
Larry, Louise, John LT and Norah and Russell are already in Torrey and we decide that we are going to have dinner in Boulder. Now you may be thinking that there can’t be any great places to eat in the middle of nowhere Utah, but let me tell you there are some great places that are far off the beaten path but known globally. Tonight we are dining at Hell’s Backbone which has been featured in Gourmet magazines and even by Oprah. And you know what a big fan of Oprah I am.
We drive about 40 minutes from Torrey up over the mountain and Larry takes the time to try out the Jeep. He wants more power but enjoys it. We get to the front door, and find a beautiful cozy place with a table for us. Now it is the end of September, 200 miles from any major city, and on a Wednesday night the place is packed. All the food is organic. I think it is because there is no chemical company willing to go this far out to spray or maybe the bugs got lost finding the fields out here.
Several appetizers are shared including this amazing fondue with local fruit. YUMMMY
The place is both simple, Western and elegant at the same time. I will be making this a regular stop going forward. Oh it isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for.
The company on the hand is priceless. I doubt I could give them away if I tried. You have to ask Bob about the wait staff since he claims to know about them.
PHOTO BY WHIP
We take the ride back down the mountain and it is dark and there are animals about. I am using most of the road since nobody but us is stupid enough to drive on a deer and cow infested mountain at night.
I am up early now and off to take pictures of the morning glow hitting the Aspens. It is about 40 degrees and after a hot summer in Phoenix, it feels great to have the morning chill on my face as I greet the dawn.
The Aspens are in full color this morning and do wonders for reducing the stress level.
But we have more exploring to do so it is off to Bob’s to meet the gang and get back in the saddle for another run into the Canyons.
For the rest of today the front top is going to be off on the jeep. It is so nice to not need AC for a change
First stop is an abandoned Ranch near the end of the scenic loop road in Capitol Reef. It is so pretty here
Ok so it would need a little TLC, but if the market goes South, I know where to go!
The views from the Ranch are fantastic
PHOTO BY “VLAD THE IMPALER”, I love that name more than Russell
The road has some challenges but the Jeep is made for it. There is nothing like knowing that odds are the only way you are going to get stuck is if you get stupid. The Jeep really is the best form of transport for the lifestyle I lead. Now we need to come up with a name.
Icing on the cake is having 3 beautiful ladies on the road as well. Norah, Vicki, and Louise are always fun, and as we bump along the road, we talk about some pretty diverse topics. Some things are better left in the Jeep though
As we climb up Boulder Mountain the vistas become stunning and the group is having a glorious time! I also think more and more that I can’t wait to come explore some of the side roads around here in the future.
The Road is rocky but easily passable and the weather is amazing!
Every angle is beautiful and the Henry’s in the distance also will be explored in the next 12 months if I have anything to say about it!
We decide on a whim to show Norah Fletcher. They get along famously!
So I lose a bet when Fletcher eats a Banana where I thought he wouldn’t . Louise is of course right as usual.
So I like to think I have the Hutzpah to go into the back country and rough it. My man Boney is a true Adventure rider. On his KTM he just takes off by himself and goes to places I just dream about going to. The brother is a great pal and I love getting to see him in Torrey.
Leaving the cabin early I head up to catch the sunrise. It is worth getting up for.
We have now lifted the horse picture ban. They have a nice life I tell ya
You can take the boy out of Detroit…but the Detroit….Louis gets the wheel and Larry and I walk back to the Chuckwagon.
We make a great new friend on the way back. This was just one mondo cool Pooch.
We decide to go take a hike in the park. I want to go out into the back country, but work keeps calling and I need to work some issues. So out here I escape for a bit.
I am loving the wash and the vistas are amazing.
While hiking I come upon a wise man in the desert. This man tells me that I need to beware of Texans and mad men dressed in NEON YELLOW. I thank him and wander on down the trail.
The different erosion patterns are amazing to look at. Earth Science Rocks.
This guy is nice enough to guard the jeep while we hike the area
We then make our way to the Fruita portion of the park where you can see wildlife, and see how the original settlers lived in the area. They also have some of the best pies in the world!
A deer runs through the pear orchards and catches my eye
We get our pie and use this cool ford truck as a picnic table. It is a worthy table don’t you think?
As we drive into Torrey from the park we come upon a real cattle drive.
The cows and cowboy show no fear of me. In fact they seem to be pro models.
As we pull back into the hotel I find a young rider to hang out with. What a fun cool baby,
Stay tuned as I have another tale that will go up this weekend.