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Old 08-18-2013, 09:47 AM   #76
jglow OP
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Originally Posted by Motokirby View Post
ME ME, I know the answer! It was one of the blue WRR's . This trip is even better the 2nd time through.

I'm sorry, but for your answer to be counted, you needed to use this guy:

more day 5 coming up

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Old 08-18-2013, 10:38 AM   #77
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Day 5 continued...

So, where were we??? Oh yeah... JB Weld Radiator Repair V1.0 failed !

And not a tree in sight, so Lawson goes ahead to find some shade, while Richard and I wait and let the bike cool .

Lawson returns, quickly, and has found a tree a little ways up in a wash .

So we head to it, and get to working on the bike. Richard's Prognosis:

Sure enough, the fan blade rotor is off of the motor.

First order of business after the bike has been taken apart was to Instagram a pic. I dubbed this photo “Broke down in the desert”.

I’m glad I had my priorities straight!

When everything was disassembled, it was clear that the JB Weld just hadn’t held. I figured this was for a couple reasons. 1. My fan was working too hard - Every time I stopped, my fan was running. When I asked Lawson and Richard if their fans were on too, rarely did they say yes. 2. I put a ton of emphasis on the rotor blade spinning flat (against the motor), but didn’t take enough care to ensure the rotor blade was properly centered on the fan motor shaft. This created a sort of oblong shaped spin, which probably over-stressed the repair. 3. I just didn’t use enough JB Weld to make the repair. All of these seemed to be viable hypotheses (?), but the nagging questions in my head were still: 1. Why did the fan poobah out anyways. 2. Why (when fixed Version 1.0) was the fan running all the time anyhow? There may have been obvious answers at that point, but I wasn’t seeing them. So, instead I did the only logical thing, and repaired the fan rotor blade again. Only this time I used twice as much JB weld, and made sure to get the fan rotor centered (relatively) on the motor.

Repair V2.0:

We went ahead and had some lunch in the shade while the repair was being made, and allowed to cure.

And take a few more pics of what's around.

Then we buttoned the ol’ girl back up, and headed towards the Henry Mountains.

Back rolling…

While we rode on, in my head I was going through possible “better” repair options in case the fan decided to totally melt down. What was my proximity to any towns? What were my options in those towns? I was building a bank of possible “B”, “C”, and “D” options, but for now, the radiator fan repair V2.0 was working!

I was starting to get low on my camelback water, and just in case I got stuck out in the desert, I figured it was wise to at least have a full camelback. There was a BLM campsite about 8-10 miles up the road (along our route), so we would swing in there and fill up on water.

But then we came to a split in the trail. My tracks had us follow one way (to the right), but the signage at the split indicated that the route to McMillan Springs Campsite was to the left. The problem was that the trail to the left was an Intermediate difficulty OHV trail, and my track took us on an Easy route. Wanting to save the bike from working harder than it had to at this point, I opted for us to stay on our original track, as it would take us to McMillan Springs Campground too.

A few miles into our track, we come to an open gate, but a big sign saying “No trespassing” and “Private Property”. I was already stressing enough, and I know that those signs were most likely referring to the property not the road, (as in – “stay on the road through here”), but it really made me nervous as hell. 2 miles into the road, and we approach the homestead area… If we encountered someone, I was hoping I would at least get to explain my situation before I was shot at .

But, no one was home, and just a few hundred yards up the road we passed through the open gate on the other end. And then I took breath .

Signage posted said that we had passed through King Ranch. While I was building our route on the computer at home, I had tried to check the entire route against Forest Service MVUM maps and BLM travel maps to make sure everything was legit, but still, when you encounter unwelcoming stuff like that on the trail, it can be unnerving.

With the current drama over, we continue on…

And finally start climbing into the Henry’s

A little info on the Henry Mountains… They were actually the last mountain range in the U.S. to be mapped, and for a long time they were referred to as the “Unknown Mountains”. Spooky .

I thought it would be fun to route us over the Henry’s – We would avoid a good stretch of pavement, and would likely give us some cooler temps for the time that we were at the higher elevations.

I was starting to regret that decision when I looked down and noticed the engine temp light was back on again . We had barely started to climb, and had several thousand more feet to climb before we would even begin to descened.

I stopped to check the fan. It was still attached, and spinning. So why was this damn temp light on ? I told the guys over the intercom that I was going to have to slow down a bit, and try to nurse the bike up the climbs. If I wasn’t too hard on the throttle, I could manage to keep the temp light off. The moment I grabbed too much throttle, or let it idle at a stand still, the engine temp light was back on.

Slowly, we made it up to the McMillan Springs campground, and I was able to refill the water in my camelback. While the bike cooled down, I made a plan to re-route us back North, and hit Hanksville, UT. I thought there might be a chance that there was an auto parts store in town, and I would be able to get a fan for a little foreign car, and rig it up to work – even though I was still wondering why my repaired fan (which appeared to be working normally) wasn’t adequately cooling down the bike.

So we continued up through the Henry’s…

Climbing up to about 10,500’ at Bull Creek Pass.

And revealing this awesome Vista of the Desert below.

The rest of the way down and out of the Henry’s was a nice descent, which kept the temp light on the bike off.

Within about an hour or so of clearing Bull Creek Pass, we had made it into Hanksville. Which had gas, food, and lodging, but no ATV parts or Auto Parts – that I could find. We went ahead and filled up on gas, and went to have lunch while we discussed what our realistic options were for the remainder of the trip with my bike being in it’s current state. During lunch, I called the Yamaha place in Moab to see if they had a fan in stock – they did not. All of our options seemed not to be panning out, and it just did not seem smart to dive further, and deeper into the desert with my bike ready to overheat. The next sections we would hit were not going to be good roads to tow somebody out on. So, the decision was made to hit the pavement here in Hanksville (Hwy 95) and start heading back to the truck. I was pretty sure that my bike wouldn't even be able to do that without overheating, but that was the plan. The trip was over . We had had an amazing ride up until that point, and I guess this would leave us some unfinished business to come back to. We finish up lunch, and walk out to the bikes to saddle up and head out. For some reason, before getting on the bike, I decide I will check the fluid level in the radiator – one last-ditch effort. I remove the cap, and there is no fluid visible in the radiator. WTF!?! Richard looks at the reservoir – bone dry! Well, it is a little concerning that the fluid is missing, but this was what I was looking for – something other that the fan to be wrong with the cooling system. I skip on down to the gas station, and was more than happy to pay way too much for this jug of Coolant .

Glug, glug, glug... the radiator and reservoir were full. We started the bike and checked for leaks in the coolant system. Everything held tight – at least for now. I think we might actually be back in business! TRIP WAS BACK ON!!!

the rest of Day 5 in a bit...


jglow screwed with this post 08-18-2013 at 05:23 PM
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:27 AM   #78
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Good stuff Jordan. Looks like you boys had quite the time.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:16 PM   #79
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:01 AM   #80
One day at a time!
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Thanks for a very cool ride report with lots and lots of interesting and entertaining incidents. The photos were lots of fun to scan over too. Stay safe on your travels...

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Old 08-19-2013, 05:19 AM   #81
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Finishing up Day 5....

So, we were totally ready to bail out on the trip, but then discovered the bike was just low on coolant .

So what was the problem with the cooling system to begin with?? Well, it took me a while to put it all together but it goes something like this: Back a few days earlier, when my bike took a tumble down the slope on the Strawberry OHV Single Track, and we had to bushwhack a bit to get back on the trail. Well, at some point during the bushwhacking a small tree branch got wedged into the fan blade, and kept it from spinning – I remember hearing a weird noise when that was happening, but I was focused on getting the bike out, so I didn’t worry about it. So, that stick being wedged stripped the fan blade off of the motor. The bike didn’t overheat for the next 2 days, because we were in the cool temps of the upper elevations. When the bike finally got hot enough to overheat a few days later, and the fan was broke, the radiator boiled over - and that's where my coolant went. After that was the first time I noticed the temp light on, and also noticed the fan blade was broke. I never noticed the coolant boiling over because the overflow tube routes the coolant right on to the skid plate, and when I saw it, I just assumed it was water from a puddle – I never smelled coolant. So it was no wonder why the repaired fan V1.0 and V2.0 weren’t working to keep the bike cool – it didn’t have hardly any coolant in it. I felt like a dummy for not checking the first thing you should check when a water cooled engine is running hot .

Anyhow, the trip was now back on, and we had to burn some pavement miles to meet back up with our route at the entrance to Poison Springs Wash.

Just to be safe, I filled up a Gatorade bottle with some more coolant, and left the remaining coolant for someone in need.

If you know anything about Poison Springs Wash Trail, you probably know about the Dirty Devil River Crossing. It’s a legit river crossing, and is often times impassible due to high water levels – especially this time of year. You can call the BLM office in Hanksville, UT and typically they will be able to tell you if the river is passible or not. We didn’t check ahead of time – we were going to ride Poison Springs Wash Trail no matter if we could make the crossing or not.

And we had 15 epic miles of wash and canyon riding before we would find out.

Probably one of the coolest places I have ever rode through .

Of course, not somewhere you would want to be in a flash flood , but today was beautiful!

Keep in mind that we have beat Lawson up pretty good thus far on the trip, but he is taking it all in stride, and riding this stuff really well. I knew he was getting pretty tired, so I withheld the fact that Garfield County rates Poison Springs Wash Trail as “Extreme Difficulty” – he doesn’t need to know that right now .

Being in places like this makes the effort totally worth it .

We reach an overlook where we can just kind of see the Dirty Devil River.

And a few minutes later, we reach it.

And it’s wide, and it’s moving swiftly.

The water level was obviously up, and you could see how high it had recently been. I suppose the flash flooding in the area over the previous few days has something to do with it. I find a stick to measure the depth, and wade out into the river a bit.

I don’t get even a ¼ of the way in before the water is already nearly 18”-24” deep. On top of that my feet are really sinking into the quick sand on the river bottom, and my boots are getting suction-stuck in the muck.

We scope out other approaches, but it’s obvious that this is the only way, and it’s just not going to happen for us today. We briefly talked about striping down and walking the bikes across, but I was pretty sure that the bike would end up sinking, and getting suction locked in the quick sand muck, then fall over and get flooded out with water. I couldn’t manage to walk a couple of feet into the river, how did we expect to get 3 bikes all the way across?

So we made the call to turn around and backtrack the 15 miles back to Hwy 95. Our only option once we reached Hwy 95 would be to follow it down South to Hite, UT. We figured we could camp on Lake Powell in Hite, so that is what we did.

*Just a route note: Since we couldn't make the Dirty Devil Crossing, we had to bypass a nice section that takes us through Glen Canyon National Rec Area.

With the sun going down, we reached Hite, which is not much more than a gas station (24 hour pay at the pump) and a National Park Station.

Not much else there…. Not even water. Lake Powell is so low that this area of the lake is bone dry, and it appears to have been that way for a while.

I like the sign that says “Launch at own risk”

(The white ring on the back wall of the rock is the old "bathtub ring" and indicated where the water level once was.)

There was, however, camping available, and with the sun setting on us, we really didn’t have many better options, so we settled on having a hot, uncomfortable night, on former Lake Powell.

What a day today had turned out to be. We were so close to calling it quits for the whole trip. It’s amazing what a little coolant can do, and how quickly your confidence can be restored in your machine!

We may have ended the day on a bit of a downer, with not being able to make the Dirty Devil River Crossing, but Poison Springs Wash was pretty amazing.

Tomorrow we will use these low water levels on Lake Powell to our advantage, as we try to connect two roads by using some old mining roads that were once submerged when Lake Powell was created. It will prove to be a memorable experience .

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Old 08-19-2013, 08:57 AM   #82
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I hear Lake Powell is about 100 feet down right now from a local. I am headed down there right now on a family vacation. I worked there in 1995 at Wahweap when the lake was near full pool. Back then there was a marina at Hite. It got moved down to Bullfrog.

Good stuff. Can't wait to hear what happens next!
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:16 PM   #83
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And here is the Video for Day 5

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Old 08-19-2013, 05:10 PM   #84
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Great trip

Thanks again for the insight, and prerunning alot of these roads. Can not wait the two weeks until I am out there riding as well. Picked up many pointers from this and other reports, but love your videos the best. Great moving music, captures the moment.
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Old 08-19-2013, 10:12 PM   #85
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Very cool RR.
As you get older get a slower dog.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:40 AM   #86
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Day 6 – Hite, UT to Snow Flat Rd

Last night was a pretty hot night – just as we anticipated. It eventually cooled off (very relative term) around 2am-3am, and I think we were all able to snag at least a few hours of quality sleep.

Today was the day I was most concerned about the route actually existing, and the real life condition of it.

Let me explain…

Back in March/April/May, when I was looking at maps and drawing up the route for this section I noticed these two roads on my Glen Canyon NRA map – “Blue Notch Rd” and “Red Canyon Rd” (look just South of Hite).

I immediately noticed how close those roads came to connecting to each other, and how sweet it would be if you could connect them , and avoid a long stretch of Hwy 95. A little Googling found that due to the ultra low water level in Lake Powell, it was now possible to connect Blue Notch Rd to Red Canyon Rd via old mining roads that existed prior to creation of the lake . The low lake had exposed the once submerged connection route!

All the information I had on “The Connection” came from 4X4 guys , so I wasn’t sure how well the route would translate for Dual Sport MC use – 4X4 guys have winches you know ...

Another concern I had was due in part to what we had run into yesterday at the Dirty Devil River Crossing. There are areas of The Connection that are known to have quicksand, and if this area had also had a lot of rain or flooding recently, then that could be a concern.

I guess what it boiled down to was that I was shouldering a lot of responsibility for this section of the route working. Although Epic events are fun in hindsight (mostly), I just really didn't want to drag these guys deep in the desert and get stuck somewhere, spend a lot of time and energy, only to ultimately have to back track .

I laid this out to the guys, and there was never a moment’s doubt with them– we would try and make The Connection !

So, we get the heck out of Hite early, and top off on water (they have self service drinking water at the gas station), and head for Blue Notch Rd.

Heading down Blue Notch…

The road twists, and climbs,

And at the top we get our first glimpse of Lake Powell.

Blue Notch Rd seems to be kept in good condition.

There is a Primitive Camp Spot at the end of the road (at Good Hope Bay), and that’s where we had wanted to get to last night, but just ran out of time.

We drop into the first section of road that was under water at some point (not technically “The Connection” yet)

And get lost for a minute – there are tons of dead end tracks around here .

But we get back on the right path, and glance over at Good Hope Bay.

Lawson is in the lead. He disappears around the corner, and then says over the intercom, “uh-oh…. Guys, I think these people might need some help”

Got to head to work.... More Day 6 later ...

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Old 08-20-2013, 08:32 AM   #87
dirt is just better
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Pissed Aargh! Cliff Hanger!

What do you mean you have to get to work? What nonsense. What can possibly be more important than finishing your story? Is it Little Nell on the railroad tracks? Is it? You've got to tell us!
Leave tracks, take photos, mind the gate.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:47 AM   #88
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It's almost as if you did that on purpose.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:21 AM   #89
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Damn a cliffhanger!!
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:13 AM   #90
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What's that lassie? Jimmie fell in a well?
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