Friday, September 28, 2012

The Big Trip of 2012 - July 26-29, 2012

Although we had had hopes of more camping trips in 2012 than we actually accomplished, this wasn't to be as the engine re-build took a lot out of the summer.

Still, we did get one large long weekend trip in - from Utah to Lake George, CO, over 1000 miles in total!

The trip was to a meet-up for the Adventure Rider motorcycle website, so I rode my 2008 Kawasaki KLR650, and Gininda drove Harvee with the dogs. We started out on the Thursday evening after Gininda got home from work, but with both of us tired and me a little stressed, we only got as far as a pull-off halfway up Provo Canyon, rather than Green River that we had hoped to reach.

First night sleeping in Harvee though!

We were pretty loaded, so had to put the spare wheel and loungers underneath him to allow room for the bed to fold out, but with an air bed on top, we had a reasonable night's sleep, even with a Shih-Tzu and a Dalmatian sharing the bed with us!

The next morning we got going, heading down through Price and Wellington to I-70, and then the long haul along the freeway towards Frisco, CO, where would turn off to head south.  The ride/drive was fine to start with, sunny and hot, but as we got close to Vail, CO, the skies started looking more ominous....

The heavens opened!

Thinking it was going to be a short rain storm, I didn't stop to put on my waterproof layers, but it wasn't short, and I started getting wet..... and cold! I pulled over and got my waterproof jacket and pants on and then continued, but boy was it cold! It was still raining after we created Vail Summit at 10,662 feet, and it continued wet and cold all the way into Frisco!  When we pulled over at a gas station there, Gininda told me that it was cold enough for the dogs' breath to condense!

We had some hot chocolate in the gas station, filled up, and then continued south on CO 9 through Breckenridge and over Hoosier Pass (peaking at 11,539 feet) with rain and now low cloud to contend with, plus all the hairpins going up the pass!

We got to the campsite late on Friday night - the joys of a camper over a tent is the lack of setup required, especially in the dark! We set up, and basically collapsed into bed.

The next day dawned bright and sunny, so I got to go on an all-day ride on the roads around Lake George, while Gininda stayed with Harvee and the dogs in camp, relaxing with a good book.  A good day for both of us, although the rain closed in again as the evening progressed, putting a dampener on much socializing.

We worked out that, when the weather is OK, the best place to set up the camp stove is over the engine as it's at a good height and away from the dogs, and we had some great meals at camp.

We knew that we had a long day on Sunday to get home that day, including meeting our friends Hethyr and Erich (and their boys Kaeden and Izaak), over 500 miles in one day, so we started out with a stop every 100 miles or so, like we did on the journey out, but as my shoulder muscles started aching, we stretched the breaks out to every 2-3 hours and put some miles on - traveling at 55-65mph does mean long days!

Loki did seem to enjoy her ride in a swing, though!

We came down Provo Canyon as the sun started to set, and then hit traffic on I-15 just outside American Fork - not what I wanted on the bike as I was tired and ready to get into bed! Eventually, the traffic freed up and we headed home - getting in just after 8pm at night.

In all, it was 1,253 miles, climbing and descending 52,000 feet each in total.

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