This was our last day on the motorcycles. We had originally planned to spend more time in Utah visiting Arches and Canyon lands national parks. The government shutdown had put an end to that and even thought it was very disappointing it worked out for the better int he end.

We spent the next 3 days running ahead of a huge snow storm. Everywhere we stopped, it snowed shortly after we left. If we had not brought the truck and trailer we would have surely been trapped for a week or so before we could ride our bikes home.

The rest of the report deals after Day 13 with that trip home

Day 13 Price to Jackson - Rock Springs

"WiFi made me fat" true because in our travels the only strong WiFi signal we could find was at McDonalds! Even the night we stayed at a place with a wireless network without a password we got crappy reception and the kicker is that the network was called Speedlink! In order for Garth to see what the forecasted storm system was doing we stopped and had lunch at McD's.

The forecast for Jackson was not looking good. By 4 o'clock rain and with below 0 temps snow overnight. We roared our way up to Jackson and the sky got darker and darker and we climbed up in elevation. One thing missing from that miserable day was the wind because we had a tail wind and that was great! It was amazing how much the fall colours in the trees and shrubs had changed in the 10 days that we were gone.

The mountainsides now looked like they were covered by a multi-coloured carpet, reds, oranges, yellows and greens, just gorgeous! We motored along the Salt River and then the Snake River. It hadn't started to rain yet and even though the skies were cloudy it was a very pretty and enjoyable ride.

We stopped for gas in Afton, 1 hour away from Jackson, and G encouraged me to put my Frog Toggs jacket on ... thank goodness because almost on cue the rain started and man did it rain! We pulled into the storage place where our truck was and took everything off the bikes threw it all into the back and cab of the truck and still in the pouring rain loaded the bikes onto the trailer and secured them down.

We then found a KMart bought some warm clothes found a Starbucks for some good hot coffee and got the hell out of there. We had to pick our route carefully because we had to go through some mountain passes and it was now after 530 and it was getting colder (it was 3 degrees). For every thousand feet the temp drops 3 degrees and we had a pass of 7900 ft to go through. By the time we got there it was snowing and dark. The snow was accumulating on the trees, shrubs and ground but thank goodness not the highway. We pushed through to Rock Springs WY and crashed for the night .... what a day!

Day 14 Rock Springs WY to Faith SD

The forecast was for rain turning to snow for the entire area. We needed a big push day to stay ahead of the snow and also to get over and away from the mountain ranges. Pretty flat farm and ranch land and in the rain even more boring. I just kept thinking how thankful I was that we had the truck because this storm would have stranded us somewhere for a couple of days if we had been on motorcycles.

This was our mega road snack day! Everything from buffalo and beef jerky to English Toffee Popcorn!

Three or four times during the day AT & T delivered blizzard warning texts to my cell phone. The first time it happened we didn't know what the hell was going on because it was a siren-sounding alarm that we had not ever heard before! We started checking our seat belts and Garth was looking at the dashboard wondering what the hell is that all about! Finally I picked up my cell and there was a flashing message. Crazy! So that sparked some cell phone jealousy! Garth's cell didn't get that message. "Well", he says "that's because I haven't used my phone yet" so he texted me (from across the truck) and I answered him back and then we waited and .... nothing! LOL! When we stopped for the night he was quick to pick up my phone and figure out what I had that he didn't!

We thought that we could make Aberdeen SD before stopping for the night but by 8pm we were still hours away so we pulled into Faith and found a small motel. This had been a very long day ... over 900 kilometers travelled. The wind howled and banged tree limbs against everything all night. At 10 pm the town siren blared and caused us to jump out of bed, looking at each other like "what now"? A tornado siren, a severe weather siren? We never did find out. When the alarm went off at 6 we were scared to look outside. But it was still 4 degrees and just rain. Rapid City which was only 20 - 30 miles southwest of us got a foot of snow, closed down the highway and shut schools and businesses.

Day 15 Faith SD to Morris MB

Rain rain and more rain.

Add to that though a howling north wind! This is our steady attempt to stay ahead of this massive storm! We stopped at Eagle Butte for breakfast and heard that the power was out as far north as Faith (the place we had just left).
We decided to head for the border. At Gettysburg (the place where the war didn't happen) we sought out a coffee place called "The Coffee Bean" in the hopes of finding a good cup of coffee! That is the thing we miss a lot when travelling in the US because they make crappy coffee!

At Aberdeen we stopped for lunch at Perkins and then up highway 11 to Ellendale. At 3pm we had been in the rain for 48 hours! From Ellendale we made the decision to keep going north to catch I94 into Fargo and then north again to Winnipeg ... yahoo Canada! Another 900+ kilometer day.

Finally just as we were crossing the border back into Canada we saw a beautiful sunset once again

The next day we dropped the bikes off at the dealer as they were both due for service and then headed home.

It was a trip I had planned for almost a full year and it did not disappoint. I would go back again in a heartbeat but there are so many places I want to go it will have to wait until i start doing rides over again.

Here are the ride stats

Distance 5500 km
Moving time 63 hrs
stopped time 16 hrs
moving average 87 kph
overall average spd 70 kph

Distance 3831 km
Moving time 48 hrs
stopped time 27 hrs
average moving speed 80 kph
average overall speed 51 kph
Max elevation 10639 ft
Min elevation 1428 ft