Monday, June 27, 2011

Cedar City Utah to Silt Colorado

We left Cedar City headed north on I-15 just before 8:00 AM. After fueling at a truck stop in Parowan, where they had every fuse except 10 amp mini-spades but Sandy got a pair of sunglasses and a Jeffrey Deaver book, we were good to go for the day. Imagine our surprise when we saw an 80 MPH speed limit sign, the first I can remember seeing on a US highway. It didn't do us much good in the motorhome but I do like higher limits when I'm in or on a smaller vehicle. We soon found that this was a twenty mile test section and we found one other before we got to I-70. That didn't stop the Highway Patrol from pulling over a limousine that passed us at Warp Speed.

The road was fairly flat until we turned east on I-70. Then it started up and down. Severely up and down in some cases, over summit after summit. Travelling on I-70 across Utah, we passed through three distinct regions. The first was a series of tree covered mountains. The second was a series of red rock ridges. The third was flat land bordered at some distance by multi-coloured cliffs. The final descent consisted of several miles at 6% through some reduced speed curves, which I took in lower gears at 45 MPH, as we dropped from over 7,000 feet to 4,300. The panoramic scenery was spectacular, reaffirming my belief that Utah has some of the most awesome vistas in the world.

Utah also has a big campaign against drowsy drivers, with signs urging them to pull over at regular intervals. A tired driver is every bit as dangerous as a drunk one and, while I have been guilty of this bad habit on many occasions, I appreciated the intitiative because it made me think about it.

Nearing Colorado, we got into a long stretch of single lane construction but never saw a single person working on our side of the highway. Then it was into Colorado where I noticed the wind was out of the east. I don't know why I can never seem to find the prevailing westerly winds when I return from the west but such is my lot in life.

Approaching Grand Junction, we were passed by a group of bikes led by a GL1800. But not just any GoldWing. It was a Japan-built 2012 model easily identifiable by its modified fairing lowers and revised rear saddlebag and signal light layout. There was an older white Wing trike, a 2005 silver model like ours, a touring Spyder and trailer and then another 2012 model. Finally, apparently riding to catch up, was one more 2012. These new Wings aren't in distribution yet as far as I know so my suspicion is that it was some sort of media or promotional trip. I hoped we would see them stopped somewhere so we could stop and ask, but no such luck.

We stopped for gas at a small truck stop and found that 'someone' had forgotten to turn the fridge back on after our last gas stop. Again. So much for the last of the ice cream sandwiches in today's 100 degree heat. New policy. Don't turn the fridge off when we are refueling. Sherm says he doesn't and he hasn't blown up. Yet.

The Colorado River was flowing just as heavily as when we were here a few weeks ago. As we wound through De Beque Canyon, we could see it raging as it tried to overflow its banks, succeeding in some areas. We arrived at Mal and Yvette's and, although I had warned him I might not be able to ride tomorrow due to continued problems with my left hand, I decided I could give it a try. Mal cooked a great supper and we played with dogs Tink and Ringo until they tired us out. Then we turned in early so we could get a jump on our ride to Gateway tomorrow.

Today's Photos

80 MPH Speed Limit Test Area on I-15 in Utah

Limousine didn't realize the 80 MPH test zone had ended

Beautiful patchwork scenery

And the limo is off and running again

Snowcapped peaks

Typical rock formations

The long and winding road.....

Looks like a burn area

The layers of old sea beds

And more sedimentary strata

And more with the usual red layer

Pretty girl at a rest area

We have nothing to fear at RV speeds

I'm thinking Madonna

Just another severe downgrade

A grey accent piece among all the other colours

Buttes abound

This one was a little suggestive

Awesome panorama

And strange shapes

The desert sure is green this year

More sentinals

Utah has a real campaign going against tired driving

Amazing textures

The camera doesn't do it justice

6% down for six miles - this was one nasty hill

Don't get distracted by the scenery

Or you might end up here

Still going down at 6%

And now we're at the bottom

La Sal Mountains near Moab Utah

And ten miles of orange barrels with no workers in evidence

One state closer to home

The Colorado River is still running high

Grand Mesa

A 2012 GoldWing

A silver 2005  GoldWing looks familiar

Another 2012

And one more - who were these people?

The Book Cliffs

And in the valley, they grow things

A rough spot on the Colorado River

Following the Colorado River through the big canyon

Small hydro-electric dam

Sandy says she was photographing the dog

The river is over its banks in spots

And flowing fast

Today's Route (405 motorhome miles):

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