The Great White North - Day 2 - "Short Sleeve Button Downs and Bicycle Helmets"

By: Kevin JohnsonSep 26, 2019

Day 2 (7/12/19)

You guessed it, we were off to Salt Lake City!  …well, Ogden UT just a little bit north of there, close enough.  What the hell were we doing in the featured image of this day?  I don’t even remember, maybe some sort of selfie inception?  Looks like we too should have been in our helmets.

Heading out of Grand Junction we didn’t have to stay on the highway very long until we were turning off and taking the road over Douglass Pass (CO-139) toward Rangely.  I hunt just a little bit west of this area, and so I though I knew what to expect, but I was still in for an eyegasm treat!  It was beautiful cruising up through the mountains and then back down the other side of the pass.  At one point we passed a truck that looked to be decked out for the apocalypse.  It was pretty sweet but a bit unnecessary as it looked to weigh 10 tons.  Maybe they were out recreating Twister?  “You’ll ride a black tornado ‘cross the western sky.  Rope an old Blue Norther’ and milk it till it’s dry.  Bulldog the Mississippi, pin its ears down flat.  Long before you take this cowboy’s hat”  -CL

We got down the back side of the pass, into Rangely, then into Dinosaur before hitting our first new state on the trip.  Once we were off the pass there wasn’t much of a view for a while but it was pretty cool riding into Utah from the west because you could see a whole new set of mountains off in the distance.  I was surprised how impressive the Utah mountains looked, having never been in this part of the state and being used to how they look in Colorado it was cool to check out something new.

We cruised for a while down Highway 40 until it was time for a rest, fuel, and a snack.  It was another hot day and that tends to take it out of us despite just sitting around checking out the scenery.  We made it to a town called Ballard and realized the place we stopped had a restaurant called Beto’s which is a crappy nickname our friend Gabe gave to Bob (Robert > Beto) so it warranted a picture while we were standing there.  Notice how flat and hot looking it is in this picture.  It was.  BUT LET ME JUST SAY!  The snacks that I packed were coming in super handy!  Every time we stopped we didn’t need to rest for too long and waste time going in and figuring out what to get, etc.  I could just pop open a Clif bar or a bag of nuts or some jerky and be fully ready to carry on.  Also having an insulated water bottle in the tank bag was a nice addition to wash it all down with.  Of course I carried a back up 320z Nalgene that was less accessible but got used more often than I though.

So down the road we went some more, starting to hit some better scenery around Strawberry Reservoir and pretty much all the way until we hit SLC.  It was very pretty along highway 189 and even going down the mountain on highway 80.  It reminded me a lot of coming down 70 into Denver, just the opposite direction.  Had I been paying attention I would have bypassed SLC altogether and gone 65 to 66 and then taken highway 84 into Ogden, but I wasn’t really watching that closely and equally was still learning the GPS that I’d recently acquired for the trip.  So instead we were on I-15 all the way up in gridlocked traffic, the temperature reaching 104F.  We’ll just chalk that up to another learning experience.

Getting to the hotel in Ogden felt wonderful, being able to strip down out of the riding gear.  The hotel and room were really nice, except for some reason the pool was being worked on so we couldn’t cool off in there so the shower had to suffice.  This was the second hot day in a row the pool was having a bad attitude which was making me equally grumpy but sometimes that the way she goes.  Plus I can’t complain too much since a friend hooked us up with his Marriott discount and we were saving lots of cash on lodging.

Downtown Ogden is a pretty cool little spot.  Little being a key word there, but it was still fun to wander around and check things out.  There was a concert going on at this amphitheater too, but based on how the crowds were dressed it didn’t look like it would be anyone we might like.  We had some dinner at Roosters Brewing which was quite tasty and also had good beer.  Bob was so happy to be having his picture taken again!  This Roosters Brewery would also be my the start of my “credit card roulette” downfall.  Let’s start adding it up – this one was about a $60 tab.

After the brewery our server recommended this Beatles themed bar just across the street so we popped in over there for a few.  It was way more than just Beatles themed…there was shit EVERYWHERE!  I’m not a huge Beatles fan but it was still pretty cool to see all the different stuff they’d collected and had up on the walls.  After that we headed back to the hotel to get a good night’s rest in preparation for the third leg of the trip, which was going to be a long one at about 400 miles.


Kevin Johnson
Kevin was destined to ride motorcycles from a young age since bikes are a family pastime.  Only recently did Kevin become an internet motorcycle influencer and change the lives of no one while blogging about his exploits, both on and off the road.  He is currently (and constantly) thinking about the next places two wheels might take him, much to the dismay of his wife, so stay tuned for what's to come!