Our 12th day on the road started with a congratulatory pat on our backs as we finally left before 9 AM. Feeling good about ourselves, we began our trek from Vernal to Flaming Gorge. The rise in elevation was enough to keep us at around 25 mph - slow enough for even a Smart Car to pass us.
One of the byproducts of this trip thus far is that I've had to relinquish this idea that I NEED to go fast. It's really easy to get caught up in trying to keep up with traffic but with the Ural, that's not even an option.
We kept climbing into the park until it became quite apparent that we needed to either change the spark plugs or at least clean them, so I pulled over and did a little work. As I was doing so, Kristen spotted a red sidecar rig going by and we both hoped we would run into them before leaving the park. Unfortunately, we got held up by a very nice (but super talkative) man who only let us out of his grasp after nearly half an hour. We continued on towards the dam and pulled into a parking lot there to find the red sidecar!
A 1989 Moto Guzzi from Switzerland traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles for their Honeymoon. Some of the nicest people we've come across and I wished we had more time with them. Such a good thing for the soul to be with people that have a similar desire to explore. Godspeed.
We left them to check out one of the scenic viewpoints, which I can't remember but it was one of the more spectacular places in the park.
The landscapes of Flaming Gorge are otherworldly. So glad that we rode through the park.
After leaving the park and entering Green River, we decided to try and make a run for Jackson, WY, before dark even though it was early afternoon. It was about 200 miles and so we saddled up and got ready for a sprint. Unfortunately, southwest Wyoming is pretty flat and the day was particularly windy. We had a strong headwind nearly the entire way and struggled a bit to keep up speed.
Then, after hitting La Barge on 189, I suddenly realized that we were in serious danger of getting caught in the dark - which was something I really wanted to avoid. Especially since a man at the gas station there told us the valley before Jackson was filled with wildlife that constantly crossed the road at night.
We hoped on the bike, feeling a bit anxious, when she provided us with a moment of Zen. For the last 115 kms, our Russian steed did not leave 4th gear. She purred forward at 55 and 60 mph through hills that she was no designed to climb at speed. She darted through corners as nimbly as any bike on the road. Her sweet putter was replaced with a roar that we had not heard before. And before we knew it, we were in Jackson while the sun had yet to set.
We spent the night in this cabin and seeing as everything else in town was super expensive (the front desk guy at the Best Western scoffed at my face when I was shocked at the $270 pricetag for one night), and we could not find a tent camping spot ANYWHERE. I'm pretty sure everyone in Wyoming is currently camping in Jackson Hole.
Kristen liked it and Jackson so much that we decided to stay another night which was good cause I needed to do a few things for the bike.
I cleaned out the air filter, replaced the plugs (again) and decided to put my spare on the pusher and my pusher on the hack because of some unusual wear. I never knew the hack tire would wear like this. Is it because of the weight the sidecar is hauling?
Anyway, today we head off for Grand Tetons and Yellowstone - Kristen is feeling inspired!