My good buddy Zuo in Zion National Park
Let’s see, like the title says, we’ve been on the road for 4 days now…and here’s a quick recap:
Joshua Tree National Park: Check
Grand Canyon National Park: Check
Zion National Park: Check
Bryce National Park: Check
Capitol Reef National Park: Check
We’ve done a bit over a thousand miles and the bikes are percolating. They are awesome. I checked my mileage on two tanks, and on one I did 70.3 mpg, and on another I did 74.2. I’ve got close to 5000 miles on my RX3 as of today, and the rear tire is just starting to show a little wear. I think I’ll get a good 6000 miles or so out of that tire.
Back to the ride…we’ve seen deer, elk, and a herd of bighorn sheep. They were awesome, especially the bighorn sheep.
We’ve seen roads that are beyond incredible. More on that later. If not tonight, then tomorrow.
Okay, I’ll back up a bit and start where I left off on the last blog post. I already told you about the Grand Canyon. It was awesome, and because the elevation was up a bit, the temperatures were down to where it was comfortable. That first day through Joshua Tree and Amboy was brutal, but as we climbed into the Arizona mountains the oppressive heat left us with more comfortable riding condition.
Our next stop was Zion National Park. That’s where I grabbed that shot of my good buddy Zuo at the start of this blog. Zion is one of the jewels of the National Park system. Utah seems to have the market cornered in that department (more on that later, too). I wanted to post about Zion yesterday, but our hotel in Panguitch had poor Internet service and I was beat.
I haven’t been taking as many photos as I normally would, mostly because working a tour like this is almost a full-time job. Baja John has been enormously helpful, as has Intrepid John, our chase truck driver and part-time motorcycle rider (we’ve got a couple of extra bikes in the truck for demo rides, and Intrepid John has one of those out for his use every time we park the truck). Both of these guys are awesome. And I have to put in a plug for my good buddy Hugo. The guys back in Chongqing read this blog, and here’s the message…you picked a great guy to represent Zongshen on this ride. I am really enjoying my time with Hugo.
Good buddy Hugo angling for the perfect shot in Zion
But they’re not the only awesome guys on this trip…all of riders from China and Colombia are a lot of fun to be around.
The restaurant and the little town of Panguitch sure were fun last night. We had a dinner in the best barbeque place ever…
Dinner at the Cowboy…good times and good food!
Lester’s RX3…in the fastest color!
Tony and his mascot Ma Ma…that little pup has traveled all over the world with Tony!
That brings us to this morning. You know, it’s interesting to view the world through the eyes of our Chinese and Colombian friends. These guys are blown away by everything they are seeing. The portion sizes in our American restaurants are really getting their attention. Hugo ordered a short stack of pancakes this morning because he feels he is eating too much here in the USA. Well, he got a short stack all right. Just two pancakes. They were about 14 inches in diameter and maybe a half-inch thick each. The look on his face was a combination of surprise and terror. Funny stuff.
You know, sometimes I see things and I don’t have a camera in my hands to capture the moment, but the images are, as the saying goes, indelibly etched in my mind. We stopped somewhere on the road in Utah so I could check my map yesterday, and it we parked directly in front of the drive-through window at a Subway sandwich shop. Two young Asian women opened the window, thinking we wanted to order. They were amazed when the guys started taking off their helmets. The conversations (and obvious delight on the faces of these young ladies) was a Kodak moment if ever there was one. The young women are Chinese exchange students. To make a small world even smaller, Hugo worked at a Subway shop in China when he was a student. Fun times. I missed the photo, but I’ll remember that moment forever.
We topped off the tanks early today, and let me use a photo I grabbed there to showcase another good buddy, Joe Gresh, of Motorcyclist magazine…
Good buddy Joe Gresh
This morning we visited Bryce National Park. Juan Carlos told me that we could spend a week in any of the places we have visited so far. That’s quite true. This is America, speed-dating style. I wish I could spend more time with these guys in each location, but we’ve got a lot of miles to cover. The parks and other sights are nice, and so are the roads. And the riding, my friends, is a big part of what this Western America Adventure Ride is all about.
I managed to grab a few photos in Bryce…
The view at Paria Point
John grabbing a selfie
Tony and Kyle
And there’s more (especially about Capitol Reef and Highways 12 and 24), but the hour is late and I need to get some sleep. I may get up early tomorrow and post, if not, I’ll post again tomorrow night. We’re headed to Steamboat Springs tomorrow, and for those of you who want to meet up with us and ride the RX3, we’re staying at the Nordic Lodge at 1036 Lincoln Avenue, Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We hope to see you there!