This is for you, Bart!

This blog, and the adventure it describes, are dedicated to my friend, co-worker and fellow adventure lover, Bart.
Bart would prefer to be riding his Moto Guzzi down a scenic road,
but unfortunately he is limited by health issues.

My hat (helmet) is off to you, my friend, and I hope you will get some enjoyment from
reading about my little adventure until you are well enough to get back to planning your own.



Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.

- Helen Keller

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
but I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep.

- Robert Frost


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Monument Valley

The snow storm did as was predicted - it snowed all day.
But by the end of the day, the temperature had risen to the high 30's, and the snow began to thaw faster than it was falling. By Monday morning, the skies were clear again, and the roads were dry.
My next stop was Capitol Reef N.P. while working my way south toward Monument Valley on the Arizona border.
After passing through Capitol Reef, I came to Glen Canyon. An awesome overlook.
In the lower left is the bridge I’ll be crossing after the descent:
I planned to camp for the night at Mexican Hat, Utah – the last town before Monument Valley. When I stopped for fuel and asked a few questions, the friendly local folks told me of a place that most people never find called Muley Point overlook. He said it was just before the “Moki Dugway”.
What in the world is a Moki Dugway? Or any other “Dugway”?
Utah Rt 261 heads south to Mexican Hat, but in order to get from the high mesa to the valley floor 1200 feet below, it drops you quickly with steep grades and sharp switchbacks.
On gravel.
So first, I took the road to Muley Point to see what was ahead. Five miles of rough dirt each way, but the views were breathtaking. You can see the huge difference from the mesa where I’m standing to the valley floor, but look at the drop from the floor into the canyon below that!
Yes, that’s a road far below.  J
Here are a few shots of the descent on the Moki dugway.
Once I got off the mesa, I went to Gooseneck State Park to camp. It sits on the valley floor at the rim of the river canyon in the photos above.
If you can zoom in on this photo, you can see the RV’s camping along the rim, as well as the rafters camping in the bottom of the canyon on the San Juan River.
This is why it’s called Gooseneck:
I was finally able to get a campsite away from everybody else. I had this part of the rim all to myself!
Unfortunately, places with a view usually have plenty of wind, and this was no exception. I wasn’t sure if I was pitching a tent or flying a kite. I was glad I was far enough from the RV’s that they couldn’t watch and laugh at the idiot with the streamer…
Monument Valley at last!

They told me this is the spot where Forrest Gump stopped running. It’s actually a bit crowded there now. Everybody wants to pull off the road and take this photo. People were standing in the middle of the road with telephoto lenses trying to capture the view.
There was a busload of Japanese tourists there as I was setting up my camera on a tripod for a drive-by video. They seemed very interested in the GoPro camera on my helmet, and what I was doing. Once I got the camera all set up and running, I went back a quarter mile and rode by it toward the valley.
But when I got back to the camera spot, there was a crowd of Japanese tourists grinning wildly, photographing ME as I rode by!   ROFL!
I rode to the bottom of the valley and then came back to pick up the camera, and they were still photographing me! They were talking and smiling, and then wanted to pose next to me and the bike while the others took photos. You can hear their excitement as one of them tells the others that I’m coming…
There is a dirt road that winds through Monument Valley, but it was in poor condition with ruts and deep sand, and they had warnings posted that it was unsuitable for RV’s and motorcycles.
I can take a hint. I don’t want to have to pick up this bike again.
These are called “The Mittens”.
I’m in New Mexico now, with a route planned to a meeting with a ‘Big Texan’ in Amarillo tomorrow evening.
When I was younger, I had the misfortune of riding a horse that had a… defect.
He was all gentle and obedient while you rode away from the farm, but once you turned him around to go back, he went totally bonkers and stampeded for the barn. Well, I’m starting to get that feeling. Now that I’ve seen what I came to see, and checked off the western states on my bucket list, I’m starting to get “Barn Fever”. After a stop in Amarillo, I may start pounding I-40, and try to be home sometime this weekend. I have a grandson coming soon (Benjamin Cade Fox), and I haven’t finished the bedroom suite. I’m itching to get back on that project.


  1. Awesome update today - I was trying to zoom in to see what kind of place you were camping in - now I know why it looked so was!! :-) If you decide to try the steak challenge at the Big Texan, shoot me a text - we'll watch you throw up on the webcam :-)

  2. You are probably hurting from all that steak and iced tea by now:-)

  3. Awwww Benjamin Cade!!! I love it!