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Old 03-09-2010, 01:30 PM   #1
Rut Runner OP
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Another Utah Ride Report

This is a write-up of my trip to Utah in November of 2009. There are many Utah ride reports on ADVRider, but I guess no one minds as long as the pictures are okay! I hauled my XR650R down on my pickup and drove to each riding location. As ADVRider is orientated towards adventure touring bikes, I will mention whenever a trail is suitable for those bikes.

The drive down from Toronto was uneventful except for the border crossing. I was grilled by the border guard and then directed to secondary inspection. I was told to park my vehicle, leave my keys and cell phone in the car and go inside. Looking back at my vehicle, I could see four border guards, one in each door of my pickup, start to go through my stuff. Further disquieting were all the socket sets, pry bars and crow bars all neatly laid out in the inspection area! I was interviewed by a border person who asked exactly the same questions as the first guard. After being photographed I was free to leave. The contents of my car were fine. I asked why all the security this time, and they said that they were overstaffed that day, so they do more secondary inspections!

The trip down followed a pattern I have used before: Leave work at 4:00 pm on Friday in Toronto, drive continously with the odd nap, and arrive 3000km later at 8:30 Sunday morning in Rabbit Valley.

Day 1 Rabbit Valley

Located off I70 at the Colorado/Utah border, it is the closest desert riding if you're coming from the east. There's lots of singletrack here iwth many trails running along the rims of cliffs. I started out on the Zion Curtain singletrack and moved over to the Overlook Trail. I don't have pictures to prove it, but the Zion Curtain is strictly one way!

My only mishap was a broken rear fender. I had to muscle my bike over an obstacle-but I grabbed the fender too far back and it snapped. Nothing like trashing your bike on the first day out! I decided to head back to my car as I wasn't sure if the fender was integral with the airbox.



Overlook Trail


Day 2 Potash Road

I checked in with Fred Hinks at Aroowhead Motorsports in Moab to order a new rear fender. Delivery time- 2 days!

I did a brief spin on Hells Revenge Trail-this is one of my favourites as I like the big expanses of slickrock. After a couple of hours I headed over to the Potash Plant and did a big loop starting on the Potash Road, into Canyonlands and then down Long Canyon Road.

This route is ideally suited to Adventure Touring Bikes. These are the pics from the second day:


Myself on the Hells Revenge Trail



















To be continued...
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:37 PM   #2
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Yay!! Moab!!
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:54 PM   #3
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desert ride report AND a XRR, sweet!

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Old 03-09-2010, 02:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael S





To be continued...

How the??
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Old 03-09-2010, 03:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael S

Myself on the Hells Revenge Trail
Is this with the self timer? If it is, you got pretty far in ten seconds, hitting the button, mounting the bike and tearing off.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:39 PM   #6
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Wow sceneries....
Thanks
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:22 PM   #7
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I'm in. Love the pics. Did the family thing a few years back in 03 and loved it. Don't get out west too often. We took a Hummer ride over the slickrock. My wife and older boy were terrified. My younger son loved it. Can't wait to get back. I'd love to do it on my bike.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:15 PM   #8
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its starting to warm up here in Utah----------- time to start riding again

great pics so far-----I did some of the same rides last fall
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:32 PM   #9
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Excellant Photography

What camera do you use? Very nice quality from the camera, and stellar composition on your part. Although I have seen many of the same locations in other ride reports, you did and extra fine job of capturing more of the essence and feel of the spot.

I will be riding the same area this June, and will try to pay more attention to composition because the results are worth the extra time and effort. I will be using my Nikkon D60 SLR. Any suggestions on lenses, settings, etc?
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:34 AM   #10
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RR cont'd

Thanks for the positive comments.

I apologize for the picture of the arch, that was from a different trail on a different day.

Most of the pics were taken with a Canon SD1100. I wear it on a lanyard around my neck, under my jacket. The pic on Hells Revenge was done with the self-timer; Canons come with a self timer that can be programmed up to 30 seconds and up to 10 shots. If the flash is set it increases the delay between shots to 5 seconds, so really it's possible to get shots up to 80 seconds from pressing the shutter. Canon's have a Vivid mode which I use, it tends to bring out the red colors more.

I also pack a Sony DSC H9 in my knapsack. It has a much larger lens and 15X zoom, but in many cases I can't tell the difference in picture quality between the two. I would love to get a DSLR, just have to save up more money! I do use some image editing software-I've often found that on overcast days the pics often need more contrast.

Day 3 Beef Basin Area

I had last been in the Needles area 2 years ago, and wanted to explore more. After parking just outside Canyonlands on hwy 211, I took the Bridger Jack Mesa trail south. This ATV trail climbs steadily, skirting the boundary of Canyonlands NP. It joins a bladed dirt road and a spur from there took me out to Big Pocket Overlook. This spot has amazing panoramic views into Canyonlands. The spur is 2 miles off the dirt road, and is doable on a big bike with some patience.

From there I took the dirt road back towards 211 and explored some of the spurs trails off of it.


Bridger Jack Mesa Trail




Big Pocket Overlook


Big Pocket Overlook


Cottonwood Canyon overlook


Day 4 Cameo Cliffs

The Cameo Cliffs is a trail system abouot 30 miles south of Moab. The write-up in an ATV guidebook soounded okay, so I decided to give it a try. Scenery wasn't as spectacular as other Maob trails, but still nice. Trail surfaces were hard-packed dirt with the odd bit of slickrock. One trail was particularly enjoyable. I forgot the trail name but it had lots of rollercoaster ldoubletrack leading into a slickrock canyon.


Wilson Arch Overlook Trail


There is a group of riders on the slickrock dome.


One of the riders dropped their bike on the slockrock.

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Old 03-10-2010, 03:26 PM   #11
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Nice Timer Tweek

Quote:
If the flash is set it increases the delay between shots to 5 seconds, so really it's possible to get shots up to 80 seconds from pressing the shutter.
So how many pics untill it took the "money shot"? I am going to carry an extra battery and try to get 3 or 4 "action" shots like that this summer.

Also, did you notice if dispersed (free) camping is available at any of those locations outside Canyonlands?

Thanks for the great pictures, and useful information!
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Old 03-10-2010, 05:38 PM   #12
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I never get tired of pics of Utah, especially when they are as good as yours. Thanks for posting
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:40 PM   #13
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Going to Moab in July,your RR is making wish it was late June
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:40 AM   #14
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great pics, man, and a great ride aswell


thanks for sharing
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Old 03-11-2010, 07:26 AM   #15
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Great pics. Where and what is the big round balanced rock that looks like it could fall on your bike? Does it have a name?
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