It was early September. The crisp, autumn air passes through the vents of my KLIM Badlands jacket as I made my way home from a grueling day at the office. I started to remininse about the riding season; Autumn is bitter-sweet. Its fantastic conditions and colorful foliage are breathtaking. On the other hand, this beauty is a narrow window forecasting the onset of winter. Soon the trail-ways that lead to the unique areas which we most thirst for, will soon be covered in a blanket of white, and so I found myself drafting a plan for one last hurrah.
Kevin and Beth Young of 2uptogether both knew of me, but they did not really Know me. You see we follow each other on Instagram. We like each other’s photos, and comment from time to time, but we had never ever met. Nonetheless, I pitched them the idea of hosting me for two days in Southern Utah. I explained to them how I wanted to RIDE | DOCUMENT | SHARE, so that others could enjoy our experience through WIDEOPENADV.COM
With my KTM 1090 Adventure, and enough stuff for 10 days on the road loaded into my VAN, I made my way west. MONUMENT VALLEY | VALLEY OF THE GODS | MOAB UTAH Talk about EPIC!!
LOCATION: SOUTHERN UTAH
Kevin and Beth live in Salt Lake City, UT. However, they consider the wide-open landscapes of Southern Utah to be home. A magical land profuse with geological anomalies, this part of the country will capture the heart and soul of the hardiest adventurer. By my calculations; one could spend an entire life time exploring this area, never would they see all its beauty.
DAY 1: BLUE CORN PANCAKES
Following a restless night’s sleep, in anticipation of my guided tour through the iconic Valley of the Gods, and Monument Valley, I would meet Kevin and Beth for the first time over a stack of Blue Corn Pancakes and Coffee – black. After a short conversation, that felt like a first date, it was kickstands up, and we were off.
With each mile that passed, I was becoming more and more relaxed, and soon felt as if I was just traveling with old friends through what can only be described as a John Wayne Movie set. We navigated our big adventure bikes through the sand tracks and bull dust, snaking through the valley floor stopping every 10 miles or so in complete awe.
I cannot explain the energy surge I felt rushing through my body as we traveled through the red sandstone washed Valley of the Gods. Maybe I had a Navajo Indian Spirit with me, or possibly it was just the excitement from over-landing with new found friends. Either way, it became apparent to me that neither photograph or words could possibly do justice to this enchanting land.
DINNER: 2 UP TOGETHER
After a long day on the bikes, we retired to street clothes, and headed out for a nice dinner at the Peace Tree, a Hippy owned peace-inspired eatery at the edge of town. Kevin would go on to tell me of his first Motorcycle, a 5.5 horsepower Sears mini-bike, and how he would pretend that he was Evil Knievel.
Little did Kevin know, this Sears mini-bike from his youth was the spark that would ignite a fire-fueling, lifelong passion for two wheels.
Kevin continue to speak, but my attention was diverted to Beth, as I observed her perfect poise and well-mannered demeanor. In fact, she was beautiful not at all what I expect when I think of an adventure motorcyclist. With Kevin still carrying on, I began to interview Beth. The more I learned, the more I was shocked that this is the same woman that was partaking in 2 Up jumps earlier in the day.
DAY 2: Onion Creek | Moab, UT
As we approached Moab, UT, I knew we were in for a real treat. Everywhere I looked were off-road enthusiasts loaded for bear. I was like a kid in a candy store.
That morning, we had linked our SENA Bluetooth headsets before departure, which added a great deal of fun, as our conversations would go from very serious explanations of life lessons, to rehearsing lines from Anchor Man, in my best Ron Burgundy voice.
Just a couple weeks earlier, the road we were traveling was several feet under water, making conditions rough - allowing for a good mix of MUD | ROCKS | SAND | BULL DUST | CREEK CROSSINGS. As I watched Kevin and Beth working as a team to pilot a 600-pound motorcycle through deep sand, up rocky climbs, and across muddy tracts, my respect for what they do as ADV riders grew immensely. The SENA Bluetooth played a big role in the process as I could hear Kevin giving Beth instructions as to what was coming up, including jumps. YES THEY JUMP A 600 POUND MOTORCYCLE 2UP!
ACCOLADES: THE MEAT
Kevin and Beth are highly regarded within the ADV community. Popular for their positive attitudes, and never-ending sense of adventure, they have become pillars among their peers. More than 22 THOUSAND followers on Instagram, and 3 THOUSAND followers on Facebook, they have created a strong social media platform, from which, they share their travels. www.2uptogether.com
Adventure Riding through Utah is about as good as it gets. So, load your panniers, top off your tanks, and hit the road.