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  • Writer's pictureRay Lamb

The People We Meet.

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

“I’m just a scout. I’II only show ya the highlights.” (Gary the Tour Guide)

I was in Torrey, UT at a convenience store getting something to eat and to make sure I was going in the right direction. I was coming off the 12 and wanted to make sure I was on the 24 now. Hwy's 12/24 thru Utah are supposed to be epic! 12 was for sure and I was looking forward to the 24. At the pumps was a BMW GS. There are lots of those things out here. 95 % of the ADV bikes seem to be German of some sort. I was pouring over my Google map when the GS rider roared up. He had a Remus pipe on the thing and it sounded pretty darned cool. (I would get to know the sound of that thing on the pipe a lot in the next couple of days.). His name was Gary. He was older and by the looks of the bike, he rode the thing! (little did I know at the time). Gary sat down and started to talk. He was full of information on the riding in the area. I was surprised to hear he was from Cali. I knew a lot about him from the short time we sat together. He had ridden from north of LA...the day before! Whoa! That's a ways to push for one day. He asked about my route next and I told him my plan.

"You ever been down the Shafer Trail in Moab? Are you going to Moab?" Nope, to the first. I hadn't even heard about that one. I wanted to hit Moab and camp along the Colorado River off the 128. BEAUTIFUL area and I wanted to do it.

"Well we could do Moab and I could show you the Shafer Trail." He showed me on the map what he was talking about and OH MY! I had heard of this, but I was calling it Dead Horse Point. I had no idea it was the Shafer. This was my plan B. My plan A was Moki Dugway and to camp on Muley Point just up from Mexican Hat. Ok, I now have a tour guide to the Shafer, Capital reef, Island in the Sky! Plan B is now in effect! The Shafer Trail (really its Shafer Road), Arches and eventually the 550 thru Oaray and Black Canyon in CO. Wow! He didn't like lots of people - they made him nervous -, so he was an early riser to beat the crowds and the tolls the early riser gets to avoid. Perfect? Define early? "On the rode by 0630? How does that sound?" Yeah, I can do that. So, we hopped back on the bikes and off we! The dude had no SA and he went when he wanted and wherever he wanted. I kinda needed to make up time, so I stuck with a point. I can't afford a ticket or to die, so I dialed it back a bit and he respectfully lowered his Saturn 8 pace and we still covered a ton of ground fast. The next few days would be some of the most epic and challenging of the trip! I pushed my limits and bank account. (He could afford motels and was too broken to camp). We parted company in Durango, CO and he truly seemed to be saddened by our parting. I don't think many people can keep the pace he can, so he rides alone and hard. And, I need to get my personal MoJo (motorcycle Journey) back. Riding with someone takes compromise and I had been free and alone for days, now. But, I can't thank him enough for the lessons and the sights I might never have seen if it hadn't been for Gary the Scout. Thanks Gary.

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