Day 3 of the trip sees us moving away from the City of Salt Lake to Tollgate Canyon.
We now have our saddle bags slung across our luggage and realise the necessity of having extra carrying capacity as we are most definitely going to need to keep our water supplies stocked high. Everybody we meet tells us that in this Western summer heat (which is hot and dry) we MUST stay hydrated and sure enough we are understanding this.
Our 3rd accommodation is in Tollgate Canyon 8000m up in the mountains. We rode there via the back roads and then joined the interstate highway. Although we intend to miss out the interstate highways for the most of our journeys, there are times when we probably have no choice but to use them. With that in mind, we thought that now would be a good opportunity to give it a go to get to Tollgate Canyon, besides, it was inevitable that we would have to join it for at least a few miles to get to the junction.
Our host Stephanie met us at the bottom of the 2 mile steep and winding 'washboard' road to escort us up and show us the way. 'Washboard' is the term our American cousins use for uneven, dusty, stony and rocky road surface. The Himalayans, now fully loaded, found they were on familiar terrain on the 'washboard' surface and had fun getting up the 2 mile road. Stephanie's husband Tom was there at the top with 2 bottles of water at hand to greet us. All good! Two nights of peaceful bliss in an A-frame mountain cabin with generous hosts and their dog and cat.
So good to be away from the city. We returned to SLC in the morning to do the first service on the Himalayans and then got back to the peace and quiet of the mountains as rapidly as we could.
Later in the day as we were attempting to book further accommodation for our next stops, we were encountering technical 'issues' and beginning to get to frustrated as time ticked by. Just as I was about to reach boiling point, Andrew pointed out that we had a visitor. I stood up and there below our window was a young bull moose stopping by to browse on the sparse vegetation in front of the cabin. At that point, everything else evaporated and we were completely blown away by this visitation and absorbed in the beauty and grace of the natural world. The bull nonchalantly browsed away and I got within a few metres of him to capture some shots. He turned around at one point and looked, but was unperturbed by our human presence. Eventually he went on his way. Magical and literally breathtaking.
This is why we are here. Moments like this are hopefully going to be plentiful and it is the true heart and spirit of America we have come to seek. Moose magic!
Andrew "AJ" Jackson of Eurorider Training.
AJ's Check List
*Motorcycles x 2
*All weather clothing/boots - windproof, rainproof as well as cool and warm layers.
*Panniers for carrying extra loads.
* Friction straps and bungees - multiple & spares.
* Chain oil and lube
* Acquired jump leads
* Puncture repair - fix a flat in a can
* Lots of monies
* A ball of string
* Rucksack for daytime carrying capacity
* Flexible attitude to life and journey
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