Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Who's There? U.S. 191 – Utah By Kiara Wilson of Motorcycle House

Photo © freerepublic.com
While it may not be the first state that comes to mind when you hear the words “wild west,” Utah is certainly a very definitive region in the history and richness of the terminology. For motorcycle riders wishing to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life, Utah affords many great roads in order to open up and feel the power beneath your legs. U.S. 191 covers the entire North-South route of the Eastern segment of the state, allowing riders to move between Arizona and Wyoming on a day's journey. Although it totals 404 miles, dedicated and experienced riders can knock this out in a day's time.

Photo © Navajotax.org
Upon entering Utah from Arizona, U.S. 191 places riders in Navajo Nation, a desolate stretch of land that is closer to a desert through lack of vegetation. However, unlike a desert, there are many small and well-recognized communities and natural features that make this ride extremely familiar. For those of us who grew up watching Looney Tunes every Saturday, the scenes of Wile E Coyote and the Roadrunner are all too fresh in our memories, however long it's been. Though it's heavily argued that inspiration for these desert-chasing cartoons took place in both Arizona and Utah, the point is irrelevant. Once riders gaze out upon the open roads and see giant, naturally-forming rock sculptures atop one another, it's hard not to recall the Chuck Jones cartoon from yesteryear. This area seems almost too unreal to be real, and the roads that U.S. 191 follow mimics that particular dream-like state.

Photo © The Traveller
Don't become too comfortable with admiring the surroundings, because U.S. 191 does have a few sharp, dangerous turns that you'll want to fully focus on nailing. Moab is one such city that lies along the U.S. 191 stretch in Utah, and this might be a great resting point for travelers. Over the years, Moab has become sort of a backcountry, desert playground for big boys with big toys. Whether it's freestyle mountain biking, motocross or rock crawling, thousands of travelers descend upon Moab ever year to test out the latest in off-road technology. If you plan your motorcycle trip just right, you could find yourself enjoying the friendly competition of one of these sports!

Photo © Trail of The Ancients.com

But there's much more to U.S. 191 than just Moab and off road recreations, as the road itself travels through some really strange lands. There are three scenic byways that are located along 191: Trail of the Ancients, Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway and the Flaming Gorge-Uintas Scenic Byway. Likewise, there are three sections of U.S. 191 that place restrictions on vehicle limits, although motorcycle riders surely do not need to worry about this particular aspect.

If you plan on traveling U.S. 191 in the winter, you'll want to bundle up and wear a nice weatherproof jacket to avoid heavy snowfall ruining your expedition. Icon's Patrol works wonders in this department, but what about the spring and summer months? Viking Cycle does well at crafting genuine leather vests, chaps, pants and jackets in order to best serve the motorcycling community, especially for Utah-bound rides through the desert. No matter what you choose on your journey, remember that U.S. 191 can be unforgiving and dangerous to wildlife at times, so always ride with a friend!

About the Author: Kiara Wilson works in the marketing department for Motorcycle House. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter!


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