Morning came like a cool, sharp knife into my consciousness. While the 0-degree down bad certainly muffled the morning desert cool, I was acutely aware that this was not the time to wake up.
This morning introduces two new characters into the story. Bean (the hang-loose gentleman on the yellow 1150GS), and Jefe (looking lonely behind the black KLR 650). Bean and Jefe are masters of the luxurious camp. High-speed espresso and a breaky of scrambled eggs, sausage and peppers over propane stoves.
Today was to planned to be a bit of a “rest” day, to do some exploration and get used to the desert.
We stopped at Newspaper Rock to get our fill of popular petroglyphs. We watched a bunch of folk depart from large air-conditioned RV’s and other massive land-yachts before deciding to go somewhere less… accessible.
We bounced down into Canyonlands N.P. on some sweet roads with ugly tar-snakes. Pretty scenery through the canyon floor though!
Along the way, we saw signs for a place called “Beef Basin”. With a name like that, and some buttery dirt roads, we couldn’t rightly continue on. We detoured for a little exploration, and found this picturesque road through the basin.
Deeper in, the road turned more into some of the desert peanut-butter I was expecting. Jefe’s KLR sits real low with those big boxes he rolls around with, and a bit of rock bashed up his kickstand switch. Bean and I circled, providing bad advice in a smug relaxed demeanor (after all, it wasn’t the BMW’s breaking down for once) while Jefe sweat it out with some bad pliers I lent him.
The sun was at its height, and we decided to stop mucking about in the basin of beef, and get some air through our jackets. We hit the road to the needles overlook for a bit of slack-jawing and staged photos.
The overlook did not disappoint. Mind-exploding views of the canyon below.
You could see some pretty awesome looking trails and roads on the canyon floor snaking around the inner rim. Who’s got two thumbs and wants to come back on a smaller bike for more detailed exploration? You guessed it.
Cameras full of some mind-blowing scenery, we zoomed back to our campsite for an relaxed evening.
I mentioned before that Bean and Jefe are world class masters of luxurious camping. This is a great example of the after-ride activities. Camp Bocce in an idyllic campsite with 16oz of fermented barley in tow. Life is good.
Some more sips and an early turn in. Tomorrow is the big ride, around the White Rim Road.