A few weeks ago on the Nebo Loop, the fall colors were just starting. I've been hearing rumor that everything is in full swing up in the fishlake basin. I have the weekend off, so I figured it would be a good time to go up through Fishlake to Interstate 70 and back home.
All Week I've been watching the weather, and by this morning it was a 20 to 30 percent chance on the rain. That was about the same chance when I did the boulder loop with clear skies all the way. Maybe my luck would hold again.
I let a group of people I ride with know when and where I was going to be leaving from and that the point of the ride was to take pictures.
As I left solo from the gas station I figured a) They don't like a ride to take pictures. b) it was a short notice ride (send out a groupwide e-mail thursday) c) they knew something about the weather I didn't.
Just over the mountain, I could tell that as I got higher, the color would be better. (and the clouds were a little concerning.)
Then the turn off to head up over the mountin
At the overlook to Fishlake, I knew it was going to be an interesting ride. Yes the tree's had changed. But . . . umm . . . the road I was going to take headed strait into a storm. With any luck, picture stops will keep me behind the storm.
When I left, I had figured I'd be cutting it close on fuel, and WAS going to top off the tank at the Marina. The nearly $5 a gallon fuel made me think I could make it to civilization and under $4 a gallon Fuel.
Had to get one of the bike with fishlake in the background.
Mom nature sure knows what she is doing this time of year.
North of Fishlake, the road drops down into pines and no color, then it's round Johnson Resivour. Another nice little overlook down the Fishlake valley.
And a look back at where I just went through
Just up over the ridge, another overlook. About this point I decided I was probably going to get wet. Put the rain suit on, and put the rain cover over the tail bag.
It was a nice place to stop though.
This section of the road going down the valley from the overlook is much more fun when the roads arn't wet (Hey the rain has alrady come through here, maybe I'm just putting on the rain gear for nothing . . . . think so?)
About that storm. I don't think it moved from the time I left the over look. At the bottom of the valley it was a turn to the North. It's a section of road I've never been on. Have a general idea of where it goes. A few turns and it would look like I was going to miss the storm. Over a couple of small ridgelines . . . and I realized I was going to go right through the middle of the storm.
I'm looking up ahead, and see almost a wall across the road. My side I'm getting a few drops on the helmet. Other side of the wall, complete downpour. How bad could it be?
A few hundred feet past the wall, I realize not only is it rain, but pea sized hail too. That ping, ping, ping on the helmt is LOUD. Not only that through the rain gear, the leather jacket, a long sleave shirt, and a t-shirt those things HURT.
Look down at the trip meter. If I turn back, I'll definitly have to pay the $5 a gallon gas to get home. How much of this storm will I ride in if I keep going. Turned out about 10 miles. Outran the storm and pulled off at the summit.
Looking to the west of the summit pullout.
And the summit sign.
This couple told me I had dry roads to the interstate, I let them know they were headed into a hail storm. Well that and just down the road some ranchers were moving a couple hundred head of cattle to winter range.
I left the rain gear on, once I hit I70, I'll turn back West. The storm was moving almost directly North. I have a feeling I'll see that storm again. Roll up the road a half mile and saw what kind of road awaits (and it's dry!)
Not many pictures down the back side, left the quakies and headed into pine. At the rest area on the interstate, took a chance and removed the rain gear. Just before Salina, saw the tunnels on the "old road". Check the trip meter to see how far from the next exit they are. Start figuring in my head, and realize it's a dirt road and doubling back would most likely put me into reserve as I rolled into Salina -- IF I didn't run into any trouble.
Have to go back to them another day.
Here's a look at the storm about 10 miles from home.
Looking South toward home . . . Might just need that rain gear that I've stowed away. Na . . . . it's not that far . . . . . . ..
Total miles: 146
Total Time: 4hrs
GPS died on this trip, and it looks like its DOA. Maybe santa will be good to me this year.
Wha . . . .Who me . . . Was him.
2004 Vulcan 800
1986 Interstate 1200 Sold