NO more Freeway! Day 3


Sept 14

Ryan Park, WY –

Up at 5am to get an early start… was the plan.  Alarm went off and all I could think was NO WAY.   Hit the snooze about 10x and got up around 7am. 

There was light rain in the morning and it was a relaxing sound waking in the tent, knowing that everything inside my cacoon was dry and warm.

The new bag was great.  So much better than my old synthetic bag.  I got a great sleep and didn’t want to leave, but I have places to go.   It was overcast and about 45F.  I didn’t feel like making breakfast so I downed some granola bars and water to get the fire going again.   Yikes,  I feel better than I look.

Ryan Park NF campground, WY (Craig in camp mode)

I geared up and was ready to hit the road around 8:30am.  Decided to head south for some back roads and exploring.  I’ve not been through this area going this direction….   I wanted to head along the CO/ WY border and see if I can find some dirt to get off the beaten path.  It would be slower, but I needed a change.  I’d deal w/ the next day as it comes.

Heading down HWY 70 from Encampment to Baggs, I had a wonderful ride.  I felt like the only one on the planet.  There was zero traffic this morning.  The sun was coming out and warming up.  I soon came to an overlook and it was a perfect place for a snack.

Continental Divide

Continental Divide Map

Half way point on the trail.  This was also about half way on my trip WEST.   3 of us had been in this area in the spring as we followed the Divide South from Alaska. (Alaska Trip 2011)  A little further down on 70 I found the point of the land slide that turned us around.  They had the road fixed to allow one lane to pass, so I was able to continue on 70.

Land Slide from Spring. Great to see they made progress and I can now pass through.

In Colorado the pavement ended  and dirt was soon under my tires.  What a great feeling.  Fast, wide open, and scenic views.  No dust to deal w/ lets just hope this “Road” goes some place.  It looked good on the GPS, but was not on my map.

So much fun on a 950 ADV.


Flip a coin.  I think this way would be best…

Road sign to AdventureHeaded toward Dry Creek.2004 KTM 950 ADV AWD

 Looks wet in the distance,  NO worries.  My KLIM gear would keep me dry.  It’s been heavily tested.

Craig Johnson


CO/ UT border


 This road dumped me onto “318”.  Colorado ends and Utah begins.  Back on dirt. 🙂  These are the best border crossings.

I stopped here to take off a layer as it was getting warm.   Even though the storm was getting closer….


Going to be a wet one.

 I lucked out on this one.  I slipped past with only a few drops.  Enough to clean my visor of the bugs I’d picked up and offered a nice cool off during the mid day heat.   The road was wet with many puddles and offered great traction.  My tire choice was now starting to prove wise.

 I’m headed to Flaming Gorge National Rec Area.  I’ve seen this on the map on past trips flying past in I-80, but never stopped.   This would be my chance to see this area.  I was getting hungry and needed to stoop soon for some lunch, otherwise lunch would turn into dinner.  One of my bad habits is not eating when I’m on a bike trip.  I hate to stop, but I’m getting better.  Lets find a place and make some lunch.

Going over the dam there was more traffic past Dutch John.  Overcast, but no rain.  Lots of RED rock wall all along the water. 

Dam at Flaming Gorge, UT

Great views along this drive “191/44” heading west.  The road has flowing rises and drop as you weave left and right.

Overlook - Flaming Gorge, UT

I ducked into the woods by a dirt path to find a place to boil some water and rest with a hot meal.  Lunch at 3pm.   Hit the road again at 3:45pm needing to make up some ground.  Trying to find a route west by more dirt looked possible, but very time-consuming.  I decided to make my way back to Lyman, WY and I-80.  😦
Doing this would get me to Salt Lake City, UT area by night and find a camp spot.    SLC was a breeze and I zipped through traffic, but it got hot.  Good thing the Vents work on the KLIM Badlands Jacket.  No need to stop and drop layers.  Opened them up on the fly and keep rolling.

Riding into the setting sun past the Salt Flats in UT.

 Need to find a  Campsite, not sure what there is around here and it would be a long ride to a campground at the UT/ NV border.

SLC, UT Sunset

It was well past sunset and very tired.  I turned off to stretch and take the frontage road for a bit.  Maybe I’ll find something or just put the tent up in the ditch.   I lucked out and found an OFF ROAD PARK.  I headed in and found a place next to a sand dune to put the tent up.  It was windy.  Lots of rock, but I found a small patch of soft drifted sand that I could setup on.  It was 9pm.   I put the tent up in the dark, and with the wind it was hard to keep the top fly from blowing away.  The ground was very hard and I needed to get some stakes in the ground to keep the tent from blowing away.  
USMC combat tent setup in Sand “Stealth” mode.
 At 75F, it was much warmer than last nights camp.  Too tired for dinner and not needing a huge meal to keep my warm, I snacked on some trail mix and nuts.  Called it a day at 9:30pm.  I still managed 569 miles.  Long day, but well worth getting off the Freeway.
I love this bike.  Good night.
Camp night, UT

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