Moab, Utah was a great experience on this trip.There are many roads around the area that make for a great ride and the scenery is phenomenal. We stayed here for 2 full days after arriving so we could visit Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park which is known to have some of the most stunning sunset vistas in America.
We paid for a guided tour by a Park Ranger in Arches National Park called the Fiery Furnace. The hike is considered one of the most extreme guided tours the park offers and along with that came some great scenery, history, and science. We also made sure to ride out to Dead Horse Point to capture a sunset.
We spent some time in Moab on Main Street during the heat of the afternoon visiting local shops, eating at the local restaurants, and seeing the museum. This gave us some down time to relax while the heat was at its highest to keep us cool yet active.
We left Moab, Utah to begin our journey home. This would take us through Grand Junction, Co and to the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway which would take us to an elevation of over 11k feet above sea level. As we neared the highest elevations snow covered the ground and the temperature plunged. It was quite a day of riding to think we left Moab with the temperature at over 100 to ride into the mountains and have snow. We stopped in Cedar Edge, Co where we had reservations at a lodge for the night. This would be the last day of our trip where we were taking our time on back roads and spending extended time at various sites along the way.
There were still great roads along the way home though. US-92 and US-50 took us through some fantastic mountain scenery, lakes, and winding roads. CO-114 followed a river through a valley with tall walls on both sides and then out to some incredible high plains views and cool air at higher elevations. We also stopped at the Great Continental Divide at over 10K foot above sea level on CO-114 to take pictures since we don’t have a Continental Divide where we live. During this part of the ride Margaret was suffering from a touch of food poisoning from a place we ate at in Cedar Edge. We would pull over at every road side stopping area so she could empty out. At one quiet place in the river valley while she was in the restroom I was wandering around looking at the scenery and saw a small paper bag on the ground. I figured I would be a good Samaritan and pick it up to throw it away to keep the place clean. To my amazement the bag was filled with rolling papers and a green medicine bottle that contained half an ounce of prescription marijauna! Funny to think we were in Colorado where its legal and just happen to find that. I’m sure whoever lost it wasn’t happy about it though. I emptied the herb into some bushes and threw the rest of the stuff away. I didn’t want it to possibly fall into the hands of children who may stop at that rest area later on.
It took 2 full days to get home from Cedar Edge Colorado. The first day was very cool for the entire day. The mountainous roads were cool and there was a good chance of rain for most of the day which kept it overcast. We only got rained on once for about half an hour so it turned out to be a nice day of riding. The second day however was grueling. As we came back into Texas the heat climbed back up and by the time we got home we were exhausted.
This was the first trip on my new FLHXS and the bike did well. There were a few issues though which can be expected since it only had 1100 miles on it when we left. Again I took tools as always and was able to repair everything along the way. This video: Tools for the Road will help if your interested in keeping a decent set of tools while saving space. The trip button stopped working during our stay in Cortez, NM and I think it was due to dust getting into the control housing from the dirt road we had to ride on every day to get to the places we wanted to visit. I pulled the housing apart one evening and cleaned it out well, pulled the ECM and battery leads to reset it and it began working again. The infotainment center blacked out completely one time. I didn’t do anything to fix that. We stopped to eat, came out, it came back up and has been working ever since. The forward shift linkage came loose and was almost spinning on the shift shaft. I found that in Moab when we were washing clothes and our bikes. I hit it with the pressure sprayer and it flopped around. At the same time I found my rear brake pedal was also loose on the shaft so I was able to tighten both up. The last problem I had was the rubber mount for the exhaust under the saddlebag slid out and the exhaust began rattling in the bracket. The rubber fitting had been put in backwards from the factory so I repaired that along the way and haven’t had any problems with it since then. Not too bad for a new bike on its first trip with such low mileage and hardly any real break in or road time.