Daily mileage: 160 miles
Overall average 20
I kinda made plans to ride the white rim trail with Newner and friends but I overslept by 20 minutes so I texted him and wished upon them a fantastic ride.
I spent most of the morning pecking these massive ride reports on my iPhone. Thats how I'm gonna roll from now on.
Some pictures from the morning ride
Today was tough. I got totally and completely lost at mile 192 of Utah. It is the section, where you turn off I-70, open a gate and proceed to the road next to black dragon wash. Someones gotta give the dl on the section. Maybe it's not as difficult when it's dry, but there were so many bowling ball size rocks throughout the trail on top of big boulders, I thought I was riding erzberg enduro. It was smooth in areas but then I would hit a massive rock garden every so often. I wasn't even sure it was the right path. I got off and walked ahead to check several times just to take a breather and to let my clutch cool off. I swore I could smelled something burning. I dropped the bike 4-5 times. There was one section where I got the back wheel stuck behind a rock and almost endoed the wrr from slipping clutch. *I made it maybe half mile through all of this and the trail just ends at the canyon wall. Arghhhhhh. Turned around and at this point I had had enough. Going back was easier than going forward since I sorta knew what to expect. Got back to the black dragon wash sign and tried to figure out where I went wrong. After consulting with the roll chart i couldn't figure it out. Every road going in the general track direction led that canyon, which I might add was freaky and claustrophobic. Throughout that whole section I was afraid I might get stuck. After backtracking, I just decided to take interstate and pick up the trail a bit later on.
Pictures of the aforementioned freaky deaky canyon
Rocks, rocks and more rocks. Big ones!
The trail ends in a canyon wall. WTF!
Eventually I did catch it at the next exit, but I wasted so much time figuring out that section, that next section of canyons I hit, I entered at around 6pm. It was a fun section, but the light was falling, and thanks to a motorcycle track that had been there maybe a day ago, I was somewhat confident I was going where other motorcycles had gone before. The trail also is starting to become very sandy.
A picture we've all seen before of the Interstate overpass, except that these pictures usually are taken during the mid afternoon.
At around 7:15 I started getting worried since it was obvious there wouldn't be signs of life forawhile. The TAT as I have come to experience it so far is an adventure ride that takes you into the sticks and out in sections. There are paved sections (or sections close to pavement) that connect all these together. Well I looked on map and the next connector (gas stop) was about 28 physical miles away which meant closer to 40 miles when you add in the curves of the trail. If I were to continue on I wouldn't hit civilization until 9pm at the earliest. Very troubling as I remember Sam warning us not to get caught in the backcountry after dark.
As I ride on in hopes of maybe finding a suitable camping area, I make a turn over a hilly rocky section which opens up into what looks like a baby grand canyon. Bingo this is where I will camp. The view is amazing and though I don't think you are allowed to camp, I had no other choice. The other option would be wrought with unnecessary risk.
Luckily I filled up both my platypus water bottles and camelbak before heading out. Dragonwash took away my whole camelbak and then some, so for dinner and water for the rest of the evening, I made sure to ration away at least 1 liter for the ride out.
I set up camp before dark and prepare dinner via jetboil and a pack of mountain house food. I have the gratifying feeling of preparedness as I brush and floss after dinner.*
It's is 10pm and I am typing this as I stand on the of the canyon. The moon is 3/4 full and delicately illuminating the canyon's features. *I don't use my headlamp because the moon is so bright. Glad its not the new moon. It's incredibly peaceful and only the sound of insects permeate through this gigantic crevice. no coyotes or mountain lions, and for sure, no bears. Knock on wood.