(left to right):
John (Capt. Unbound)
Unbound '05 was a "Best of the West" ride, including some of my favorite sights and roads in Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. The ride originated out of Salt Lake, Utah and covered about 1,850 miles. The ride was dedicated to Gerry Whelan who served as the "Unbound Mule" for Unbound '03. Gerry had hoped to take the reins of the "Unbound Mule" again for Unbound '05, but lost his 5-year battle with cancer on April 25th. I thought of Gerry often as I rode through the beautiful Southwestern scenery and it almost felt like he was with us...
Due to some last-minute cancellations the Unbound '05 ride was an intimate group of just three bikes. It was great to have "Big Dave" join us again -- even though his bike never made the trip as planned (more on that later). And Russ made the trek on his bike all the way from Portland to join us. We wish Susan a speedy recovery who unfortunately broke her foot just before the ride. We hope her and Ian can join us again for a future Unbound ride. We hope Tim's schedule settles down soon so he can join us again too, and our thoughts are with K.P. with all that he has on his plate. It's too bad things didn't come together for Mike M., and we missed the "Porz" and Big Mike again this year too. There's always next year...
It was great to have my brother Dave join me this year again as the "Unbound Mule". This year we also had a back-up mule-driver (Chris), who apparently was more than happy to take the wheel away from Dave -- something about Dave's driving and music CD selection... Big Dave's bike never made it, so he had to settle for a stock outfitted rental. That meant during roadside stops, Big Dave could often be found trying to straighten-out his 6'-8" frame on a big rock. Sometimes, Capt. Unbound would attempt to engage the crew in a game of "Simon says", but the "Mule Team" was not buying it. Even though the route carried us through familiar territory, we took-in some new sights. It was my first time to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon where we stopped and had lunch at the North Rim Lodge overlooking the canyon -- VERY COOL. We also took-in the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde and took a last-minute detour to Four Corners for the obligatory photo-op and souvenirs. Having been to Arches National Park last time through, Russ and I headed for Canyonlands near Moab where the roads and view exceeded our expectations.
Even though it was familiar territory, it was great to be back in Zion and ride through Zion Canyon. We also make stops in Telluride and Silverton, and Monument Valley was just as spectacular as I remembered it. We also got a nice surprise when we stayed in Torrey, UT with a view from every room that took your breath away.
Many thanks to those that contributed to the Unbound "Mule" fund. Of the eight years I've been doing this, I've covered my out-of-pocket costs for the "Mule" once.
Stay tuned for more pictures as they become available and I get time to load them up...