After initially not planning on seeing too much of of Utah, I’m so glad that we decided to do the extra mileage. We arrived into the state via the casino town of Wendover – or Bendover as we’re reliably informed the locals call it (the Americans sure do like to gamble!!!). We also arrived via a few gravel roads – the sat nav seems to of gone a bit crazy and keeps taking us off the sealed roads (even though it’s set not to!), oh well, it’s good practice for South America 🙂
Our reason for diverting through Wendover on route to Salt Lake City was of course the Bonneville Salt Flats. It was pretty amazing to see the flats and ride a little on them – such a vast flat landscape! And it was pretty cool to think of the records which have been set there and films which have been made since the early 1900’s. We were a few weeks early for ‘Speed Week’ though, which was a shame.
We, unfortunately, did not set any records on the trusty Transalp 🙂
Next stop, Salt Lake City. We had a quick walk around Temple Square to check out the head quarters of the Mormons, which the city is famous for. We also spent a couple of hours in the Family History Library, which was set up by the Mormons and is now the largest genealogy library in the world. I managed to trace a bit of the ‘Timms’ family tree, no scandal uncovered though so nothing exciting to report.
After Salt Lake City we headed down to Moab so that we could check out Arches and Canyonlands National Park’s. The scenery on route was pretty amazing, but nothing like the national parks themselves! Let’s just say we spent a lot of time saying ‘wow’ and ‘look at that!’. I was worried 2,000 photos left on the camera card wouldn’t be enough, haha. We’ve uploaded a few favourites below……
After Moab we headed down towards Monument Valley, via an over night stop in a small town called Blanding. Not usually a stop off that would be worth a mention, except for an interesting meeting with a guy at the motel. We were loading up the bike ready to head off when an American guy came out of his room into the car park and started chatting to us….wearing just a towel. A bit odd I thought because the motel car park was right on the main road through town. He was giving us tips on places to go and good roads to ride as he was a fellow biker. Unfortunately the towels in most motels are pretty small and we could see a bit too much as he stood there chatting away. When we rode off we were both laughing away in our helmets and neither of us had taken in a word he had said…..I hope we didn’t miss too much by not listening 🙂 No photos to follow this paragraph!
Here’s a few shots taken at Monument Valley…..pretty cool views and worth the trip. I apologise that the bike is in so many photos, but after so long on the road, the bike is probably more photogenic than us 🙂
After some research we headed up towards Capitol Reef National Park, via some great roads with spectacular views and hardly any other traffic, just the kind we love. It was a scorching day and the scenery was so breathtaking we could of stopped every few meters to take another pic. The heat always makes it a bit frustrating to stop though as we don’t want to keep taking all of our bike gear off each time we want to stop for a photo, but we still want the photos, so we end up sweating – a lot! You could easily dehydrate in these places.
Yesterday we met an overlander from New Zealand who is travelling a lot of off-road tracks on his way to Canada and also we saw another Transalp, the first one we’ve seen on the road over here – a father and son from Hawaii on holiday. It’s great meeting other bikers who aren’t riding Harley’s or Goldwing’s, there are sooooo many of those over here!!
We’re now down in Southern Utah after more scenic byways and ready to check out Zion National Park. Also, even though we’ve seen a fair few amazing canyons over the past few days, we’ve still got the big one to see……next up Grand Canyon.
We’ve been in the USA for nearly two weeks and I love it for several reasons….
“Gas” (or petrol to you and me) is super cheap. $12 fills the tank. Yanks moan about the rising fuel costs but when you are riding a 600cc bike, its almost a joy to fill up in the mornings!
Huge cans of beer are around $2 each and you can buy them in the service stations – none of that finding a liquor store rubbish like in Canada.
Everything is BIG. Cars, RV’s, Houses, and of course – Food. (The dangerous bit unless you want to end up a fatty)
When travelling through State College, someone recommended that we stop off at the University Creamery. I ordered two single cones and got these. The guy serving saw my surprise and said “This is America maaan!”
Most of it dripped down my arm but I persevered with it then felt sick for a couple of hours.
We hit the road through Lancaster and Intercourse (tehe!). It’s like being in a time warp seeing the Amish people ploughing fields the hard way and travelling by horse and cart. Only the steady stream of cars waiting to overtake them while they straddle the hard shoulder brings you back to the 21st century.
We went back in time again when we arrived in Philadelphia and visited Independence Hall and The Liberty Bell. The Declaration of Independence from Great Britain was signed here. Personally, I think they should give us Brits another chance, we’d be pretty flexible.
Washington DC was next and stayed with old friends in Maryland for a few days.
Did the touristy thing and gave the bike a rest while we walked around the sights and tried some great cupcakes 🙂
Nine tornadoes touched ground while we were in the area so the tent hasn’t been used much lately!
Red Velvet Cup Cakes nom nom…
Chicken – get in the pot!
As I write this, we are staying in a lakeside hotel in Virginia where they filmed Dirty Dancing. (It was Lisa’s idea – honest!). It doesn’t appear to have changed much since they filmed it apart from the lake has mostly drained away so we cannot recreate the scene where he lifts her up in the water. Damn you global warming!
I really should have looked up the rules for Checkers first.
We hit the road again tomorrow along the Blue Ridge Parkway to North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains. Over 400 miles of twisties – Bliss!!!!