In the last few weeks there has been a lot of this (here oil and misc engine work):
And some more of this (wheel cylinders):
And even some fuel work (the worst), fuel work- I HATE the smell of gas and the odoriferous residue to leave on your skin, so I'm not In a good mood here as the paparazzi snaps a photo:
Liberty has a special connection to the bus- she was born in it while we were living in it and driving the country in 2001. Yes, this is Eden, she often gets greasy and helps out- they all do at times, but high fashion was the order for the day:
This then leads me here: JH Community Radio, KHOL- the coolest and relatively new user supported radio station here in JH. They were having a ticket give away for a pair of tickets to the Desert Rocks Concert in Moab. We called and entered but didn't win. I was bummed.
Things in my life always just kinda work out... Soooo, the next morning the station manager called to say the original winner couldn't take the tickets and they were mine. The bus was ready to go, lubed, fueled, new brakes, lots of fuel system work, lots of TLC. Bam! I got tickets and time!
Mrs. Skiing in Jackson, being the excellent and wonderful wife she is, urged me to go solo and not take one of the kids. Solo time is pretty valuable for a guy like me, so while hesitant at first, I jumped at the opportunity.
Being alone in the most awesome vehicle to ever hit asphalt is a memorable experience. This is a break in the driving for coffee and a break. The bus will drive from JH to anywhere on the planet, but you had better be in the slow lane the whole time- it doesn't like to be driven hard. Here, South of Rock Springs in the early AM:
Wild horses in the road. They are everywhere in the Southern part of the state.
Now we're getting to the good stuff.
There is no quick way to Moab, especially when you're driving 52 MPH. Lots of stops only make things better! However, one of my favorite roads is this. With pit stops and breaks it took me a few hours to drive this road. It is one of the most desolate roads I've ever been on. I was driving it for two hours before I saw another car. A steep mountain pass has to be crossed and the road up and down is sh!tty. I can't remember the road # but here it is. Full awesomeness.
There are lots of things to see and do, here, petroglyphs along the side of the road. There are four or five major sites to see them along the road:
Where is the Road Runner and Coyote when you need them?
Here is the Bus in all it's glory, bringing the good times to me. Here, I'm just over the pass on said lonely road:
The view commanded a pit stop:
The bus hates interstates. At maximum warp speed, to power generator only will deliver new sights @ 62 MPH. I had to drive on I-70 to for about two hours. What a drag. Trucks and cars were passing me at probably 90-100 MPH. Two hours on the interstate- not one cop. Traffic was FLYING- maybe the fastest traffic I've ever been in. Numerous cars and semis passed me like I was standing still- at times easily twice my speed. Interstates suck. I hate 'em.
Now we break out the good stuff:
Colorado River and the La Sal Mountains in the background. Route 128 into Moab from the Northeast.
Another Bus shot. The Bus hates cold weather and while we have used it as a daily driver for several winters in the past, it really shines in the desert. You can't really tell, but the whole front of the vehicle is a giant radiator. It purrs like a kitten when the temps are above 90F. It doesn't even run well until the temp is above 80F. Hotter the better. Once we drove it in a traffic jam in 110+F temps once and while other cars were dropping like flies, the Bus ran like a dream.
Fischer Towers area. Several climbs in the famous book by Steck and Roper, Fifty Classic Climbs in North America (published in the sixties) are in this area. When Christy and I were dating, we took a trip to Moab and hiked all around this area. Truly amazing beautiful.
Here same shot with some technical data. I think this application, Theodolite, was written by a fellow bear:
Here is where I was able to camp for a few days when I got to the concert venue about 15 miles south of Moab. I had to drive this awful road for about 4 miles to get here:
The concert was a full time hippie freak show- and while I can fit pretty well into that environment, the solo quality time is what I was looking for. Sure I had a great time, but the concerts weren't the main gig. The bands get rolling around two in the afternoon and play until the sun comes up- really. The stages were set on a rock stage just over the ridge. The sound was great, so I didn't really have to go down there to hear the music. I'd walk down and see who was playing then come up and leisure at the Bus. It was great, people were just camped all over the floor of the desert- it was a fiesta of epic proportions.
I got in some great rides on the Redline. This bike is badass. It will go anywhere. Yes my skiing friends, it is a single speed set up with 2.3 tires and a 32 x 22 drive train. Man, it is fun to ride. Climbs steeps like an escalator.
I was taking a break and wanted to get a picture of the cliff below me and laid my bike down to show the scale. There was a two or three hundred foot cliff below and when I put my bike down, the pedals rotated and by bike almost slipped over the side. My heart stopped- it really did.
It was nice to come back to this after riding:
That's really it for the good pics, just more of the same. Six days of FUN!
And my return shown here in time and place on top of Teton Pass:
Yeah the shows were great, but for a guy like me to get to take a trip like this was amazing. Sure I get to go to conferences and take business trips without the gang, but this was different.
I only broke down once. That was in the rain on Malad Pass north of SLC. I changed a fuel filter in the rain on the side of the road. I was up and running in around 15 minutes. Covered in gas (one of my favorite things /rolleyes), I went to the Flying J Truck Stop and took a trucker's shower. Usually I have the solar shower ready to roll, but that morning was rainy and cold- and I was pretty grimy. On the road, a trucker's shower at Flying J costs $10 and is worth every penny.
The rhythmic sound of a 1.9L wasserboxer does the soul good. I highly recommend it.
Thanks for reading!