David & Jean Explore Torrey, Utah--- Dirt and All!

By Jean and David Hanson

The story really starts about 2 weeks before the trip. Friends we have met over the last 3 years over the internet and have ridden with to unrallies and Bib (g) Bend events keep impressing upon us to come to Torrey, Utah.  A group of friends gather together twice a year in Torrey to ride the streets and the dirt and to just fellowship. We had decided that it was too far and we just didn’t have enough time and David had just gotten a new Yamaha WR250R that he wanted to spend some time on, so we pushed the trip off until next year.

On September 18th our friends from San Antonio called and asked what it would take to get us to Torrey?For every reason we had not to go they had a better one convincing us to come.  On September 19th we started a search for a trailer of our own knowing full well this may not be our only trip to Torrey, we found a good deal on an enclosed trailer and Saturday was spent rigging it  for the upcoming trip. On September 22nd, we, our bikes and our trailer headed off to Gallup, New Mexico, finally arriving at about 10 p.m. Before we shut it down for the night I made note of what the GPS was doing. This is important for the next morning departure.

September 23rd started the morning at a decent hour, don’t have much further to go to get to Torrey. Hop in the truck after a continental breakfast and head out. GPS is angry we didn’t start out the way she wanted. I mentioned to David that we actually went past our turn to get to the reasonable priced motel. But going back to the east was out of the question so David and Mrs GPS person finally came to an agreement. Got to see part of Arizona yippee!! Made it to Torrey about 2:00 in the afternoon. Our friends from San Antonio had been running up and down watching for us because apparently the dirt riding had already started. One of the board members at www.bmwsporttouring.com lives in Torrey with a nice sized garage. A lot of the regulars to this Torrey event leave their dirt bikes in his garage for this occasion. So our San Antonio friend Larry rides up to the truck as we pull in and says can you get that bike out of the back of the truck pretty quick so we can go ride. David says well there is that Trailer back there I really need to unhook first. So within I would say 10 minutes tops the trailer is unhooked and the bike was off the truck and all I saw was dust in the wind.

David Interjects:
I had been driving since 6am and got on the dirt bike around 3pm for nearly 2 hours of hard but FUN riding. Just getting to know the WR, I was very conservative at first but soon warmed up to it and we bonded. I could squeeze the sweat out of my helmet every time we stopped for a breather and lookout from the edge of a cliff! Suspension and power was perfect for me, and I quickly found that standing with bent knees let the bike work as intended.

Back to Jean:
September 24th woke up to cold and windy, but just gorgeous weather. By 9:00 the wind had died down and the group was gathering for sweeper madness. David and I had geared up got the GS and Tiger ready. The roads are very well kept and with the low population not very many other vehicles on the road. The ride was just excellent saw lots of red rock and mountains and then the Aspens started and they were just changing colors, that was a beautiful sight words can not describe it! Elk and mule deer hunters were camped all over the mountain, but the roads were us alone, and a few cows!

September 25th was also cold, windy and beautiful. By 9:00 the wind had died down and the group is gathering again. Today we do scenic hwy 12 and down to Burr Trail and then over Devil’s backbone. Burr Trail is what I would describe as a mountain with a road hanging off the side for those adventurous souls who are just too lazy to hike! It used to be a dirt road that they paved to try to attract more vacationers.

When you go at a decent pace on it then it is kind of serene and majestic. But since it was technical and we had another 28 miles to go in the opposite direction of the hotel I chose to park my bike and double up with David. I found during that last 28 miles that I really like riding my own bike. Anyway, on to Devil’s Backbone, not sure I can describe this. Let's see, picture being on top of the Empire State Building for about 1 mile with only a path big enough for 2 people to pass with no guardrails and a really treacherous rocky drop off. No sides to the path just the path and drop off. You bobble, you die.

David here, I will inject that this ride was, shall we say spirited with me trying to keep my friend Whip in sight on the front, he was riding a R1150GS with tourance tires, very quick rider to say the least!

September 26th woke up to cold and windy, etc etc. Today is the dirt bike and jeep ride day. Started out really well, got to visit and meet some of the crew I had not met before. Very nice group! I am in one of the support vehicles David is on his new to him Yamaha bike, which kicked butt that day! We headed up hwy 24 and into Capital Reef National Park. About 7 miles into the trip one of the group fell and broke his leg. We had a combat nurse and fireman handy to prep the leg and then the fun began looking for a hospital. He wound up in Provo, Utah, he had a plate and pins installed and will be selling a bike (DRZ400). He is okay and will be back up and going soon. Since I was in a support vehicle I didn’t get the whole tour of Capital Reef National Park. Guess we will have to go back. Oh well, that will be another ride report someday I’m sure!

David here, I really enjoyed the DS ride, total of 135 miles, of which about 65 on dirt. Lots of technical stuff, dry wash talcum powder deep, rock exposed drains every ¼ mile or so, hilly parts had lots of rock to miss. I ran all day right behind the tour guide which was on a XR650 honda I believe. My quads were quite sore the next day from all the standing and horseing the bike, MUCH FUN! I carried extra water in my dirt bagz panniers, 3 others had bladders and back packs. Whip’s WR450F ran out of gas despite having a safari tank. I pulled out my 1 qt MSR bottle and got him to the next station about 10 miles. TORREY lived up to the hype, we will be back. Oh, on pull home, I vowed to find another way than 69, 380, 287 (TOO much traffic). I took 82 off 287, came in from Vivian, no interstate till 220 loop, yeehaaa!

David and Jean:
Great place to visit!

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