Broventure Update – Day One: Getting Where You’re Going

09/05/2013 @ 10:52 am, by Jensen Beeler10 COMMENTS

Broventure Update   Day One: Getting Where Youre Going image 635x476

Day One is in the bag, and as expected it was a long and brutal ride. Tim and I knew that the first leg of our journey was going to be one of our toughest — since both of us were keen to get into the motorcycling playground, that is also known as Utah, as quickly as possible.

We had hoped to leave Santa Barbara as early as possible, which meant 10am, as Tim had one last conference call with his work before he was officially on vacation. As we finished tying up all the loose ends though, 10am rapidly became noon, and we were already sweating under the cool coastal sunshine — this of course meant that it was already well into the 100′s further inland.

Though it wasn’t originally a part of our plan, Tim and I figured that we should begin this 2,000 mile quest with a proper commencement, and thus we elected to start this great journey on our old Sunday morning riding route: HWY 150 to Ojai, and then HWY 33 to Lockwood Valley. The ride was epic, as usual, though it put us even further behind in our schedule, and that meant even more time in the blistering sun.

Riding down HWY 5, and then HWY 138, we began our trial of miles (or was it our miles of trials?). If we have any goals for this trip, it is to see some of America’s great scenery, and for the most part we mean by that the national parks that we will be visiting along our route through Utah. However, in many ways this big “travel day” at the start of our trip has already given us a glimpse of the beauty we seek, as the Mojave Desert, while not as sought after as Zion or Moab, has a certain appreciable aesthetic all to its own. I am fairly confident that had we not been under pressure to make it to Las Vegas by nightfall, and under the extreme still-summer-heat of the locale, we would have been just as content with the terrain at our viewing disposal as anywhere else.

With a gallon of water already in, and out, of our bodies, we made our way up HWY 14, and onto HWY 15 for the final leg to our destination for the night: Las Vegas. With the bikes registering 104 degrees on the thermostat, I am pretty sure both Tim and I would have traded many things for a dip in a cool pool, or even for a quick cooling breeze to come coursing through the vents of our gear. Instead, the only pool was the sweat on our brow, and the only breeze was the oven-like wafts of heat as the wind whipped by us at highway speed.

As if hearing our calls, Mother Nature provided us with an interesting glimpse: rain on the horizon, maybe just 10 miles from where we were. It was an ominous sighting though, with the dark skies beginning to fill our field of vision with the even darker striations of downpouring rain clearly visible. In those shades of gray though, were white swirls of sand vortexes — a byproduct of the cold rain-air mixing with the hot desert heat.

No sooner did the first refreshing drops of water hit our visors did the first gusts of wind blast us from the side. What coastal dwellers need to realize is that rain near the ocean, and rain further inland, can be two very different affairs. Here in the high-desert, rain falls in thick drops, so thick in fact I thought we were being pelted by hail instead of drops of water. The road quickly turned to a greasy sheen, as the oils from countless vehicles began to rise out of the macadam’s surface. Combined with lane-changing gusts of wind, we both quickly regretted all those miles where we had hoped for relief from the heat. The sun was unbearably hot, but at the least, it wasn’t trying to Wizard of Oz us.

Like all desert squalls, the wind and rain lasted only a matter of miles and minutes — bar-clenching miles and minutes, but a fleeting affair nonetheless. We would ride with the sun for another hour or two, before the heat of the day finally had to give way to the night’s sky. It took several hours of dusk and night before we saw the heat relent though, but as we made our way in Las Vegas at 9pm, it was a tolerable 85 degrees.

Sin City has welcomes us with a well-deserved air-conditioned hotel room, complete with a shower and restaurant meal. It’s a small luxury for the 385 miles we rode in the heat, though we will be under the stars for the rest of our evenings (maybe not in Grand Canyon, we’ll see). Thursday’s plans are two hours of highway riding to St. George, and then enter the twisties of Utah, as they guide us through Zion, Dixie, and ultimately Bryce Canyon. Stops for photos will be a must.

Photo: © 2013 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. BikerDad says:

    Do yourselves a favor: head out to Lake Mead via Lake Mead DRIVE (not Boulevard although that will also work). Once you reach the lake, turn left, and go all the way up to Overton, then west to Glendale to jump on I-15. Up I-15 to Littlefield, AZ, then, if you have ridden through the Virgin River Gorge before, take the “old” highway from Littlefield to Santa Clara, UT.

    Longer ride, yes. Much twisties and upsie-downsies to be had.

    One other thing: Please, please use the correct designations for the highways along your route. It is INTERSTATE 15 (I-15), not HIGHWAY 15 (HWY 15). Have Rand McNally or MapQuest or GoogleMaps do a routing for your morning trip, and you’ll see the appropriate usage for Interstates, US (which does not mean “United States”) highways, state highways and county routes/roads. Take a look at “highway 95″ along the lower Colorado River and you can see why being concise matters.

    Enjoy your rides, and if you can spend a night at the campground in Capitol Reef NP.

  2. Gabe says:

    “One other thing: Please, please use the correct designations for the highways along your route. It is INTERSTATE 15 (I-15), not HIGHWAY 15 (HWY 15). Have Rand McNally or MapQuest or GoogleMaps do a routing for your morning trip, and you’ll see the appropriate usage for Interstates, US (which does not mean “United States”) highways, state highways and county routes/roads. Take a look at “highway 95″ along the lower Colorado River and you can see why being concise matters.”

    so pedantic. It’s an ADVENTURE trip.

  3. paulus - Thailand says:

    Off-road guidelines for future incidents
    It’s not a crash if the bar did not touch down :)

    great updates… looking forward to more

    enjoy your time

  4. johnc says:

    hey jensen,

    more pics … or it didn’t happen.

    seriously, i hope you will be publishing pics of the broventure.

  5. Paul McM says:

    That red thing has got to be the largest duffle bag I’ve ever seen. Reminds me of the on-deck containers for a 6-man life-raft. Looks like you’ve packed for every contingency… and then some. In all seriousness, ride safe and keep up the Broventure reports as time permists….

  6. Paulo says:

    More about your two bikes! How did you like or dislike your steeds as first impressions can change by the end of ones journey.

    Enjoy the journey!!! When you get to Moab look up Chicken Corners………go to the very end, it’s a good challenge on those bikes and will give you an appreciation for them and your skills.

  7. Pack light, like a backpacker. Travel faster and farther with less effort. When you get off road it is even more imoprtant.

    Yes pictures are required, dont tease us with a trip and not post pictures

  8. Jake F. says:

    “It’s her royal highness’ matched luggage!”

    http://tropes.wikia.com/wiki/Spaceballs

  9. Bikerdad says:

    Gabe Said: “so pedantic. It’s an ADVENTURE trip.”

    It is, and I’ve got no worries or concerns about whether or not they get lost. I simply don’t think that anybody else should get lost on account of potentially ambiguous descriptions.

  10. “US (which does not mean “United States”) highways”

    Actually, it does mean United States. These are part of the official “United States Numbered Highways” system and are marked by the U.S. Route Shield.