Douglas Arizona is where this post starts, this was after riding around the area with friends Steve and Mark for more than a week. ( see my earlier blog post ) US 191 starts at the historic US 80 and parts of it was once numbered 666 but it was changed years ago, read more about that here . The first loop off of US 191 was the National Black Hills back Country Biway, a rocky and twisty gravel road with huge views.
The biway ends just before the town of Clifton and the Morenci mine then heads up to Alpine for 100 miles of some of the best motorcycle pavement in the US. ( but watch out for the livestock in the road)
North of Alpine the scenery drastically changes to very flat and straight but as you approach the Utah border, rock formations start appearing as you get into the “Monument valley” area. Or put another way “Where Forest Gump stopped Running” ( that’s not actually US 191 in the movie but only a few miles west on US 163)
I pulled into Bluff Utah for a night just so I could go ride the Moki Dugway and see the “Mexican Hat” again, Having done it on the 1200 Super Tenere in 2018, I wanted to revisit it on the T-7.
From there it was out to the ferry across Lake Powell to the Bullfrog Marina in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. With the lake so low, you really need to call and check if the ferry is running, I got real lucky but still drug the hitch carrier on my way off the boat in Bullfrog because of the angle of the bank.
This side trip off US 191 was to do the Burr Trail from just outside the Bullfrog Marina on Lake Powell to Utah 12 in Boulder. I was told it’s about the perfect mix of twisty pavement, gravel and dirt switchbacks, so I needed to go check it out and wasn’t disappointed, all the tales were true!😍
After the Burr trail – Boulder- Torrey- Capital Reef NP -Old Notom Rd loop, I loaded back up and headed to US191 the long way around through the Glen Canyon. It’s over 100 miles with the first 50 or so riding through the steep walled canyon before crossing the Colorado River.
Onward to Moab to meet up with my sister Sarah and brother-in-law Jimmy whom are also full time #vanlifers in their class C. It was so cool to meet up with them! They were waiting on their reservation to get into Zion a few days later.
The original goal of going back through Moab for me was to ride and complete Longs Canyon Rd and “Pucker Pass”. A road I didn’t finish my last time through in 2018 on the Super Tenere. This was as far as I made it because just past this boulder, it climbs 600’ in only a hundred yards or so. Hence the name “pucker pass”.
I decided to first try to see what it looked like if I were to start at the top and work my way down. Here was my view at the switchback about 600’ up in elevation from the big boulder (down on the left just out of view). It was also too steep for me on my T-700 , if I’d have had a Yamaha TW-200, then I might have tried it😉
So from that spot, I decided to go back all the way around on the pavement and come up Longs Canyon Rd. The scenery is breathtaking!
After a couple nights with Sarah and Jimmy, I continued north through Vernal. Near there, is a turn off to “9 mile canyon” I’ll be returning there after the summer to explore that area on my way to Arkansas. That night was spent in Rock Springs Wyoming after going through the Flaming Gorge area, where more scenic vistas awaited. I stayed with former veteran and current game warden Andy Roosa. Thanks Andy for letting me park in the driveway for the night.
North across western Wyoming is pretty boring until you stop for an ice cream at the Farson Mercantile, order the baby scoop, your blood sugar will thank you.
That night I hung out with old friend and classmate (since kindergarten) Jen Holmes and her daughter Melanie in Pinedale . Always good to catch up with old friends!
On the road early continuing north through Jackson was the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks with beautiful blue skies and quiet impressive scenery.
On the north side of the park there were a few bison in the road, then more and more came sauntering down the pavement not giving a care in the world about the vehicles. Slowly making our way past them, in the other lane, was a line of cars heading south that was 3-4 miles long at a dead stop. Wouldn’t want to have been stuck there, that’s for sure!
Rolling through the town of Big sky Montana, I noted it was aptly named…
Not much farther was the end of my journey north in the town of Bozeman. There I hopped on Interstate 90 west to Washington after a “Bunk a biker” stay with Dutch and Shirley. Thanks guys for the great steak!
Not sure how many miles it was and I lost track of the days it took so I oddly don’t have those numbers because I was really enjoying the entire ride up. The parts I did on the bike were excellent and view from behind the windshield were just as spectacular. This one highway stretching across the country has to be one of the most scenic! Get out and make your own adventure!