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Old 08-20-2013, 12:10 PM   #91
CBAT
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My Great Divide Ride 2009
Great Divide Part 2
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Old 08-20-2013, 03:04 PM   #92
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Day 6 continued...

Cliffhanger over ...


We roll up on the scene, and it’s probably one of the last things any one of us expected to see out here .



A boat… In a ditch… In the desert (yeah, I know we are near Lake Powell, but there aren’t any boat ramps around here!)

When I thought I was turning my GoPro on to get some good video of the carnage, I was actually turning it off, so I only have these crumby pics of the boat when it was actually in the ditch.



We shut of the bikes, and go over to offer some sort of assistance. It appeared that we were dealing with The Griswold’s here…



Just replace the station wagon with a suburban…

The scene was strikingly similar.

But seriously… It was a husband and wife, some of their kids, and their kid’s friends. The husbands stress level was cranked up to 11, and had his face smeared white with sunscreen - this event had just turned epic for him .

Apparently they didn’t swing out far enough in the corner. One tire on the trailer got off the road and caused the trailer to start sliding down. The angle created from that was enough to cause the top heavy boat (loaded to the gills with *stuff*, and not strapped down to the trailer) to flip off the trailer and down to the bottom of the ditch – ejecting most of their stuff out of the boat. By the time we had pulled up on them, they had retrieved their stuff from the bottom and carried it up, and Pa' Griswold was trying to figure out how he was going to get the boat out. Figuring we could use all the Karma points we could get (jb welded radiator fan, unknown route ahead, etc.. ), we jumped into help them out . We grabbed one of our webbing tow straps and attached it to the ass of the boat. We put just about everybody on that line, and 1,2,3-1,2,3 –heave-hoe’d that thing back up to the road .



Then we got Ma’ Griswold to get the trailer backed up near the boat, and once again we heave-hoe’d the hell out of the boat to get it back on the trailer.

[IMG][/IMG]

Then we helped pile everything back into their boat.



Lawson did some fancy rope tying to semi-secure the boat to the trailer, and we got back on our way.



Waving goodbye .



I hope that they had the sense to turn around and get the hell out of there. Papa Griswold had acted like he knew the area, and he had been going to that area occasionally for years, but the direction they were headed, there was only desert, and the route from that point was even less trailer friendly.



Shortly after we left the Griswold’s (and I only refer to them as that lovingly), we officially started “The Connection” between Blue Notch Rd and Red Canyon Rd.



The navigation through here was pretty straight forward…





And the scenery/terrain was spectacular as well.







This is one of the only pictures on the whole trip of all three of the players in this game:



Back below the high water mark again.



We are approaching the steep cutbank that we need to drop down to get into the wash.



This was the point that I was really unsure about. I didn’t know how steep the cutbanks were, or even how tall – I just knew they existed.



The spot where we dropped down was steep and sandy, but not too terribly bad...



(although I could see going up to be an issue)

And from here, we would traverse the wash through for a couple of miles until the connection was complete and we hit Red Canyon Rd.



Most of the wash was nice and firm – no quicksand today!



Just amazing riding through here. You really got the sense that not too many people have been here, or seen this area – heck a lot of it was under water for 30 years.



And we climb out of the wash and complete the connection!



I was stoked that it worked – no backtracking today !

We still had about 25 more miles to go, but we were officially back on a “road” on the gps (Red Canyon Rd).



Even though we still had a good bit of wash to navigate.

It was funny through here because you would climb out of the wash and have this perfectly graded road…



And then bam . Back into the wash.



There is an art to navigating a wash, and it’s something you should get used to if you plan on really getting off the beaten path .

Rule #1. Avoid the larger rocks – you’ve got the whole wash, so pick the prettiest line (i.e. don’t follow my line ).



Rule #2. Don’t miss your exits out of the wash. Many times the road will go into the wash, but immediately come back out:



And sometimes you’re in the wash for a half mile. Keep an eye on the banks, and look for the obvious track.



Rule #3. Don’t go into these places if it’s raining or rain is immanent. Flash flooding is a real concern.



Eventually we climb out of the wash for the final time, and wind our way through Red Canyon.





Heading out to Hwy 276.

Next up, we’re going to swing by Natural Bridges, so when we reach Hwy 276 we head East.








And 30 minutes later we reached Natural Bridges National Monument, and rode the loop, and snapped some photos of the Bridges.





And they were very impressive, but almost a little to easy to access. I’m sure it was because we were feeling pretty smug at that point... We had ridden in the shadow of, or at the foot of other very similar natural formations all throughout our route over the previous week. And now here we were at this place that had paved roads, sidewalks, and handrails... Maybe it's just not the same if you don't have to work for it ?

We were starving when we left the Natural Bridges, so we hustled some pavement South to Mexican Hat for some lunch.



Dropping down the Moki Dugway.



When we got to Mexican Hat we stopped in a Café for lunch, and all 3 of us went for the Indian Taco .



After the late lunch, we headed back out of town, making a quick stop at the gas station for fuel. Apparently someone had set the furnace to full blast outside, so a few Gatorades were in order too .

Then we had to backtrack our route a bit. First we headed into The Valley of the Gods.





Which was super dusty, so we spread out a pretty good ways.



And just strolled through…



Appreciating any clouds that would shield us from time to time from the sun.



Then we buzzed back up the Moki Dugway. At the top of the dugway we stopped and discussed camping there at Muley Point. Richard and Lawson had camped there on their previous year’s ride of the UTBDR and it was spectacular, but it was still a bit early in the day, so we pushed on a bit further.



We figured we would grab a spot somewhere off of Snow Flat Rd – right before the elevation started to drop back down the Cedar Mesa.

Running down Snow Flat Rd (I think Sand Flat seems like a more appropriate name)…




We run down a short road off of Snow Flat Rd, and find a primitive spot amongst the scrub. Not the most visually stunning camp of the trip, but it would do.



We actually had a ton of time to set-up and actually relax a bit, which was nice, after all of the long days we have had.



Tomorrow is our last day on the trail. We are back following the UTBDR, and it will take us into Monticello, UT – where we originally started. It may seem like it’s going to be an uneventful day, but I’m sure one of us will find a way to spice it up . Right?



Jordan
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:14 PM   #93
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Dang---------I was hoping you guys ended up at Muley Point so I could see that place.

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Old 08-20-2013, 07:19 PM   #94
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Awsome RR Jordan! Thanks
Getting my WR set up for Baja this winter.. your trip inspires.
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:38 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDogAdventures.com View Post
Dang---------I was hoping you guys ended up at Muley Point so I could see that place.

BigDog
Here is a couple of shots I have of Muley point from 2012, we were a few hundred feet past the end of the road at the cliff edge. It was about to rain so scenery is pretty grey.



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Old 08-20-2013, 08:16 PM   #96
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That connection you made was very very cool. Thanks for the report.
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Old 08-20-2013, 09:43 PM   #97
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Great ride and great report. Thanks for sharing and showing us how it is done.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:31 AM   #98
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Here is the Video Wrap for Day 6 :











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Old 08-21-2013, 04:29 PM   #99
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Day 7 – Snow Flat Rd to Monticello, UT (Final Day)

We anticipated a fairly short day today. We should be able to make it back to the truck in Monticello by early afternoon. Rain was pretty much all around us, so we broke camp pretty quickly after we got up and around.

Then we headed back out to Snow Flat Rd…





And start working our way down through the Cedar Mesa.





Fun riding through here





At the bottom of the Cedar Mesa, the road smooths out a bit, and becomes a bit more sandy.




If you have downloaded the tracks for this ride (UUAR), or even the UTBDR tracks, you will find a waypoint on Snow Flat Road that warns you of the “deep silt”. I asked Richard over the intercom if we were getting close to that waypoint yet (I guess I was being too lazy to look at my own gps). He said he thought it was coming up, but his memory from riding this section last year was that the silt was worse before you actually got to the waypoint.

Lawson was in lead at that point, with Richard riding in the middle...



I was lagging slightly back – trying to miss the dust clouds. I see a huge dust cloud billowing up in front of me, and at the same time I hear Richard on the intercom say what basically amounted to “uh-oh” . I thought it would be good, so I turned the GoPro on, and just caught the end of his pretty spectacular sand wipeout .





Richard instantly said he was okay over the intercom, and Lawson and I both got stopped, and headed over to Richard.



He was indeed OK (as in alive - still breathing), but his right ankle was hurting him pretty bad. The bike had kind of kicked up, and landed right on his ankle. It didn’t feel real good to stand on, so we figured he had sprained it. We took some time to let him shake off the sand, and straighten up his handlebars .



Once everything was in order, we continued on…

And finished up Snow Flat Rd.

At the junction with the Hwy, we asked if Richard wanted to bail out on the Pavement and haul it back to Monticello.



He said no! His ankle was hurting, and the last thing he wanted to do was ride 60 miles of boring pavement – he needed some good riding to take his mind off the injury. So with Lawson and I having done our due diligence, in at least offering to take the pavement, we continued along the planned route .

Which actually was the Hwy, for about 2 minutes…



Before heading onto Butler Wash Rd.



(Richard got out of gate duty for the day )



And it’s possible that we approached any areas of deep silt/sand a little more cautiously



So far this morning, we were staying just far enough behind the rain to keep dry.



Some shots through Butler Wash:








The next real change of scenery (in typical Utah fashion) is when you get into the Abajo Mountains.



From desert to forest – or visa versa… Either way it felt like Déjà vu !







Even though Richards ankle was hurt, we still were having a good time, and finding stuff to laugh about .



The end of the trip hangover is something that happens no matter what, but it really helps to have this awesome scenery to keep you from bumming out on it.



Vista here…



Vista there…



And just meandering through the Abajo’s.



One final climb:



Before we drop out of the mountains, and hit some pavement.



We leave the Manti-La Sal NF as we head into Monticello. We were starving by the time we got into Monticello ! We figured whatever was wrong with Richard’s ankle was still, most likely, going to be that way when we were finished eating . So, we pulled in to the same place we ate at a week earlier.



It was a Grill… I forget the name of it, but we had a nice waitress named Stormy both times we were in. When I heard her name the first time, I checked the floor for glitter – I wasn’t quite sure what kind of place we were at . Just kidding… She was very nice, as were pretty much all the other locals we had encountered on the trip !

After the late lunch, we motored the short distance over to where we had left the truck.



That’s when we realized the extent of Richard’s injury. The second he took his foot out of the boot, he knew his ankle was broke .



The good thing about a small town is that everything is close, and typically, things aren’t real busy. We benefitted from both of these things as the Hospital was just a hop and a skip away, and there was no wait! They tended to Richard while Lawson and I loaded up the bikes. After we were all loaded up, we went to fetch Richard and see what the X-ray had revealed.





He had indeed broken his ankle/leg/whatever you want to call it. He was fitted with one of those awesome Velcro boots by a kinda hulked out male nurse, who had no problem grabbing Richard’s somewhat ripened, stinky, dusty, foot .




Everything got squared up, and we were sent on our way with a prescription for some narcotics to be picked up on our way out of town .



And that was how our trip ended. Richard broke his ankle, and then rode about 130 more miles to finish the route – that’s pretty tough. Lawson was also pretty visually beaten up by the trail as well. He had one knee that 50% larger than the other, and a pretty nice bruised and swollen ankle. I smashed a toe… I know, I know, but it hurt real bad .


All in all, The Ultimate Utah Adventure Route (UUAR) was everything I was hoping it would be when I was drawing it up. We rode 7 days, 1280 miles, and there is no telling how many thousands of feet we climbed and descended over those 7 days. Richard and Lawson were great to have out on the trail with me. They never hesitated to help out when my bike would end up at the bottom of somewhere it shouldn’t have been. Bones heal, but memories last a lifetime! Right folks ?


Jordan
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:43 PM   #100
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Awesome trip and thanks for the great report. On my bucket list for sure,,, umm,,, hopefully without all the bruising and swelling!
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:58 PM   #101
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Great job. Enjoyed every minute of it. Hope there is a next year!
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:04 PM   #102
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That was an excellent RR....I feel almost stupid doing a 6 day ride through New Brunswick next week on mostly dirt logging roads, double-track and motels and you guys are doing some serious stuff out there with no backup. Just learning the dual sport rope so maybe next year we'll do some serious camping further north into Canada.

Congrats!!!
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scottbed screwed with this post 08-21-2013 at 06:13 PM
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:21 PM   #103
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Thansk for taking the time to share with us. Gives me some ideas
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Old 08-21-2013, 06:30 PM   #104
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Yes----great !!!
You just didn't do what everybody else is doing----totally.
You made it your own.

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Old 08-21-2013, 07:22 PM   #105
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nice!

Great read! Thanks for sharing!!!
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