PHOTO GALLERY: Motorcycling Across the West

When our ace shooter takes a long motorcycle trip, we all benefit.

getting dirty connecting the back roads near Stoll Mountain, Colorado

My agenda was simple: Pack light, make few plans and let the map be my inspiration. My only real obligation was to shoot our Project 156 effort at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado Springs. The workweek following the race was short because of the Fourth of July, so I saw it as a good opportunity for some throttle therapy. With race over and photos sent back to Cycle World, I grabbed my Butler Motorcycle map and allowed myself to wander as I headed back to California.

Many times, I found myself not exactly lost but not quite sure where I was, or headed. The endless Western skies and my complete lack of a schedule encouraged exploration. Back roads, lost highways, Indian reservations, dirt roads: I hit them all. Spent some time camping, too, falling asleep to the tranquil sounds of a swift river. But I can skip a shower for just so many days. Then it was time to drift into a funky little mining town, check in to a funky little motel, and saunter over to a funky little saloon. After a few days in the saddle, a couple pints of local brew and a wood-fired pizza is pure heaven.

Traveling on two wheels is true freedom. Enjoy the photos.

finding time for reflection along the Gunnison River, Colorado
State Route 550, “The Million Dollar Highway” between Ouray and Silverton
Slickrock Bike Trail, Moab, Utah

Getting dirty connecting the back roads near Stoll Mountain, Colorado.

Crested Butte, Colorado.

Crested Butte, Colorado.

Finding time for reflection along the Gunnison River, Colorado.

Western Rockies.

State Route 550, ?The Million Dollar Highway? between Ouray and Silverton.

A 300-mph sweeper turn on ?The Million Dollar Highway.?

Exploring roads less traveled near Silverton.

The KTM 1290 Super Adventure poses for the camera at Molas Pass.

Thanks to a tip from a local rider, I was able to find this 50-mile dirt ?short cut.? Montezuma Creek Road, Utah.

?Fins and Things? jeep trail, Moab, Utah.

Slickrock Bike Trail, Moab, Utah.

Papa Joe?s. Prior to opening this fueling station, Joe had a recurring role as a high school tennis coach on The Flintstones.

Crossing the Colorado River on the Bicentennial Highway 95, Utah.

Monument Valley, Utah.

Miles of smiles near Hovenweep National Monument, Utah.

Early morning view at my riverside campground in Almont, Colorado.

Back alley in Silverton, Colorado.

This welcome sign means pints and pizza will soon be consumed.

Main street in charming Silverton, Colorado.

Utah welcoming mat near ?Four Corners.?

Glen Canyon, Highway 95, Utah.

Channeling Ansel Adams in Monument Valley, Utah.

Coffee Pot Rock, Sedona, Arizona.