2 Weeks In The West – Day 12

In Travel by Abhi0 Comments

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June 28th, 2016 – Salt Lake City, Utah to Arches National Park, Utah ~ 230 miles.

Missed Day 11? I finally get the chance to see Rick Van Vooren’s shop and learn more about his passion for small vintage Hondas.

Before I went to get the brake pads sorted out, I dropped Vy off at City Creek Center so that she could catch up with an old high school friend of hers. With the girlfriend out of the picture, I went to go find some reasonably-priced hotties. (I still have no idea what this sign is referring to).

When someone does me a favor, my default currency of tipping is beer. Conveniently, Red Rock Brewery has a company store just a block away from the shop. I grabbed a few bombers (one for myself) and then made my way over to the BMW mechanic.

Said BMW mechanic is Ron Schmidt, the man behind Bavarian Motorcycle Workshop.

Knowing that I was in a rush, Ron kindly put all his other projects on hold and immediately got to work on the GS:

While Ron was tooling away, I took a walk around his shop. It’s full of consumer advice, several Iron Butt certifications, and excellent BMW posters:

I wish BMW would bring back Battle of the Legends. Here’s a nice story about it in the March/April 2014 issue of AHRMA’s Vintage Views. If you were in charge of bringing it back, which bike would you use? The S1000RR is too obvious – I’d love to see the RnineT, the F800R, or the R1200R duke it out. Hell, make them use the new G310R!

Not all the wall art was BMW-specific. Ron and his buddies are big off-road enthusiasts:

The bike was ready within a few minutes. I was very impressed with Ron – he was clearly knowledgeable and his prices were reasonable. Most importantly, he seems like a mechanic you can trust and be friendly with, and I’d argue that’s just about priceless. But my budding bromance was short lived as Vy and I wanted to get to Arches before sunset to try a hike. We hit the road, ready to cover some miles on the freeway.

A couple was enjoying the weather on their matching Goldwing trikes:

I don’t know why this sign amused me so much. If you go around to the other side, you’ll learn about Francis Marion Ewell and “the sturdy pioneers who settled here.”

Vy decided today was another good day to hide a motorcycle toy. If you don’t remember what I’m talking about (and I wouldn’t blame you, it’s taken me forever to get these posts up), Vy and I hid 3 little dirtbike toys. During the trip we hid them all in spots that we found interesting for one reason or another. If you find the toy first and take a photo of yourself with the toy, I’ll send you a Bike-urious t-shirt. If you find it first and take a photo of yourself while you’re already wearing a Bike-urious t-shirt, I’ll send you something much nicer! If you need a refresher, reader Gary K snapped up the first one I hid on Route 14 in New Mexico within a couple of days.

So, here’s a couple of visual hints for you to find the second toy. Near the town of Royal, there’s a stone wall off the side of Route 6.

If you follow Vy’s line of sight, you’ll see what remains of a room.

Next to the door is a pile of rocks…

…and in those rocks you’ll find true happiness a cheap plastic motorcycle. Find it and send me a photo!

Here’s a bonus insect we saw – though I don’t think it’s going to help you find the toy…

While we were on the road, this billboard caught our attention. Vy’s very particular about bathroom cleanliness so we pondered stopping here just to fact check.

By the time I had exited for gas, I had actually completely forgotten about the billboard. I ended up pulling in to a gas station across the street and when Vy and I saw the Sinclair, we felt it was destiny, so we had to go check out the clean bathroom. Vy’s report was that the bathroom was “just OK” and that the “World’s Friendliest Cashier” wasn’t in that day. All in all, we were a little disappointed.

While Vy was researching, a pickup truck loaded with two R1200GS’ pulled in. I had to investigate.

Turns out it was two Mexican nationals who were driving up to Seattle. Their plan was to hop on the bikes right before the Canadian border and then ride up to Alaska. Here’s hoping they had a successful trip!

We continued on and I was sorely tempted to take this dirt road down to a Dinosaur Quarry. Unfortunately, the sun was on its way down and we still had plenty of distance to cover before we got to Arches National Park.

We got to Arches and Vy wanted us to hike to the famous Delicate Arch before it got too dark. You have to go through over half the park to get to the trailhead for Delicate Arch, and in the process you’ll pass through notable landmarks like Balanced Rock:

As we approached the trailhead parking lot, a fellow moto-traveler was heading out.

The only reason I ever end up hiking is because Vy loves it. I can’t complain too much, because she drags me along to see some beautiful stuff.

The trail for Delicate Arch is 3 miles round trip. But the route TO the arch is uphill, so it took longer than I expected. Because of that, the sun was setting before we made it to the arch.

I was a bit disappointed with our timing, since I had a feeling Delicate Arch would have been absolutely gorgeous with the light of the setting sun. Baby Jack still enjoyed the twilight view.

For scale, here’s Vy and I under the arch.

As it was getting dark, we headed back to our motel. Earlier in the day, Vy had received an email from one of her agents who forgot that we were on vacation. They had scheduled her for an audition, which Vy obviously would not be able to attend. They asked for her to send a “self-tape”, so we improvised and turned this table/chair combo into a tripod:

After yesterday’s horrible motel encounter, I have to give special props to our lodging tonight. The Bowen Motel was priced fairly (I always expect to get ripped off with lodging prices near national parks) and the staff was excellent. There’s a lot of options near Arches, and I highly recommend this one. If you can get a room in the extension, do so!

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