Day 19 – 2018 Western States Tour


Day’s distance: 300 miles (odometer)
Total trip distance: 3,679 miles


It was another windy day with reported gusts to 45mph this afternoon. Temperatures ranged from a low of 60 to the high 70s. The skies were hazy and a bit cloudy but predicted showers did not materialize, for me anyway.

None of today’s route was new to me, though I haven’t ridden west along it, so it was a bit different feeling.

I left Blanding at 8:30 feeling well rested. I expected the road surface of Hwy 95 to be full of slippery tar snakes but was pleasantly surprised at the good quality of all of today’s road surfaces.

The views were great right from the start.


My readers might be tired of these “disappearing roads into the distance” photos, but they are great at highlighting both the roads I travel and the scale of the vistas.  🙂


I have mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating. America’s Scenic Highways are very often very scenic and lightly traveled, making them superb choices for motorcycle touring.

I’m getting close to the Colorado River flowing beneath this bridge. Today’s ride was full of non-technical gentle sweepers. Finding a flow was easy, especially when it felt like I had the road to myself.


This was a unique gas station market built inside the mountainside. It is in Hanksville, where I would turn west on Hwy 24.


A section of Hwy 24 near Capitol Reef National Park was fun but today the park was crowded with cars, trucks and motorhomes. You would think it was summer already.

I stopped in Torrey for lunch before turning onto Hwy 12, one of my favorite roads.


A section of Hwy 12 is nicknamed The Hogsback.

The Hogsback is a portion of Highway 12 that travels over the narrow spine of a mesa with canyons on either side created by Boulder Creek and Calf Creek.

It’s hard to imagine how these two creeks could create this. I’m impressed. 🙂

I have ridden this once before, from west to east. This time, it would be the other direction. To make it more challenging, nature threw in some very strong crosswinds.


Here’s a video I recorded in 2014 when I rode The Hogsback. There were no winds that day.


I could never tire of the combination of good roads and great views. It is no wonder Hwy 12 is usually included in various top-10 motorcycle road lists.


The view of Hwy 12 from a vista point. A close look reveals the snake-like shape of the road from left to right.


When traveling through popular motorcycle areas, you tend to see the same guys over and over. The two on the left were from Switzerland, the right two were German. I first saw all of them in Torrey, when they were topping off the tanks of their rented Harleys.


There are many national parks in this area, but today was just about the ride. I arrived at my motel in Panguitch a little after 4pm.

My housemate was born here in Panguitch. At his recommendation, I ate dinner across the street at the Cowboy’s Smokehouse Cafe where I sampled the brisket, baked beans, coleslaw and cobbler.


Everything was excellent!

I had time to see a movie also across the street from my motel at the GEM theater.

Tomorrow, I’m going to make a mostly-interstate run to Twin Falls, Idaho to set up my ride to Missoula through the Sawtooth, Salmon-Chalis and Bitterroot National Forests.

I feel I have to say I live a charmed life.



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