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High Altitude Camp

This past weekend Enrique and his wife Jessi came to visit and break in their new bikes. We took a trip out the Mirror Lake highway and back down East Canyon and Emigration Canyon, camping two nights. This was the first time Jessi had been on a trip with her bike so it was a learning experience for her…. we threw everything at her all at once and she handled it all like a pro.

The first day we went up Big Cottonwood Canyon and over Guardsman Pass into Midway for brunch. Right off the bat Jessi was thrown into city traffic and then a twisty mountain road.


We stopped at the bottom of Guardsmans to take a break. While sitting I notice my right boot was wet. A little investigation found that it was coolant and I had made a total noob mistake. Recently my radiator cap failed and I had to tear the bike apart and replace the cap and coolant. Well, when I put it back together I forgot to tighten the hose clamp on a radiator hose…..oops! It was just dripping but I am so lucky it didn’t pop off….that would have been a bad day. So I got my tools out, tightened the clamp, noticed how disorganized my tool kit was, made a mental note to fix that, and prayed I didn’t forget anything else. Once I was pretty sure my bike wasn’t going to lose any other fluids I walked around for a minute. While walking I found a twisty road sign that had been knocked over this past winter….I definitely did not go back yesterday with my truck to take it…..nope, definitely didn’t do that. Then we made our way into Midway for brunch and after brunch we headed to Kamas and the start of the Mirror Lake highway.

The Highway goes through national forest all the way to Evanston Wyoming. The coolest part is that it takes you right over a mountain all the way up to 10,700 feet. We made our way up to the top expecting cold temps and maybe a little snow….there is still a lot of snow up there! Obviously we weren’t going to camp in the snow so we headed down the other side of the mountains in search of warmer temps and hopefully somewhere greener to camp.


Just as Jessi was getting comfortable with twisty roads and other people on the road (traffic isn’t a thing where they live) we threw her a curve ball, dirt. We had to take some dirt roads to get out to a place to camp. Of course she did just fine and we made it to one of my favorite campsites for the night.

Enrique made us a beautiful kitchen counter with some straps and skillfully cut branches……it was great!
I promise there’s no filter or color correcting going on here… really was this colorful in the sunset.

I had a lot of fun getting pictures. I haven’t been doing enough of that lately so it was nice to be creative again.

We were having so much fun that we decided to stay in the same spot another night and just nix the rest of the trip. We had plans to drop all the luggage and do some dirt riding the next day……well guess who had other plans for us……the weather. 

I slept great in my hammock as usual but we woke up to an angry looking sky and sure enough it started raining. We didn’t have any cell service so we couldn’t check the weather and we decided to just head towards Evanston and hopefully outrun the clouds. 

We made it to Evanston without issue and checked the radar map……one giant blob of green was covering literally every option we had….there was nothing to do but push on to our next campsite in East Canyon. 

Well if Jessi was going to get familiar with riding we figured now would be the time to just do it and hope for the best. The route forced us to be on I80 for a few miles before we could turn off and get on a smaller back road. It probably wouldn’t have been a big deal on a sunny day. So there we were, pulling out onto the 80MPH highway and it starts raining, and then the headwinds starts, then it changes to a crosswind. I’m pretty sure Jessi was not happy about that. 

Luckily we outran the rain and Jessi killed it on the highway anyway so we made it to campsite number 2. We were in East Canyon while everything was still wet, the scenery and smell reminded me so much of northern California. I was really bizarre. I want to note here something that I thought of on this trip. The weather is inevitable. Sometimes you will beat it but most of the time you have to submit so maybe I should stop wasting time worrying about it and enjoy the adventure for what it is. It’s so easy to get mad when it rains while riding but it’s just part of motorcycling. It’s time to embrace the rainy days, bring good rain gear, and find the good in bad weather.

After our short backtrack to the campground we set up in our sweet campsite right next to the lake.

I wasn’t sure if the camp host would be ok with it so I waited until dark to set up my hammock in the gazebo.

I woke up the next morning well rested but quite cold. Turns out that sleeping next out a body of water makes for lower temps. We wanted to get home early so we packed up as quickly as possible. I was thinking while packing up how much easier breaking down camp is with just a hammock. I really love hammock camping….I highly recommend it.

Once the bikes were packed we started the last leg of the ride back home.


The last thing I’ll say is something I noticed as we got closer to home. The closer you get to town the more impatient people are. It was almost depressing coming down this beautiful road overlooking the valley and having people tailgating us and driving faster\more like jerks. If we could just figure out how to have the same respect for each other and nature at home as we do when out there we might be a lot happier.

2 thoughts on “High Altitude Camp”

  1. Pingback: Headquarters – Some Sort Of Road Trip

  2. Pingback: Headquarters – Some Sort Of Road Trip

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