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Old 11-04-2013, 01:35 PM   #31
NCD OP
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Tuesday PM

Tuesday nights original plan was to camp out on Muley Point, or at Natural Bridges. But there was heavy storms forecast for the night – so I figured Muley Point was out cause:

a. It’s totally exposed and I don’t want lightning all up in my junk, and
b. The one and only road was already damp, and I could get stuck out there for who knows how long with 1L of water and 2 Clif Bars.

So, off to Natural Bridges it was. Or so I thought. The campground there is very weird for tents. You know how some developed campgrounds have raised ‘tent pads’ made from a perimeter of wood or poured cement, filled with dirt and small stone? Well, these had the perimeter – but empty. WTF? If it rained hard that night, your tent would just be in a tub full of water. Maybe they were working on them or something? Any other open area was in a low spot that was clearly a runoff zone, so strike that idea.

So I booked over to Blanding to find a cheap hotel, and scored. Bizarre, but it was right behind a corner establishment that was 1. A gas station 2. A convenience store 3. A bowling alley,and 4. A fast food drive thru. I had to go in and look around – cause it was such a train wreck!

Anyway – back to riding.

Wednesday Shreddin’

Great roads back out to Natural Bridges. One takes you right through a notch in a rock wall barricade.





Someone phucked this corner up pretty well… nice skid! Not me BTW.







Natural Bridges is a nice moto stop, there are just short walks to viewpoints of the main bridges.

Sipapu Bridge:



And backed out to put it in scale:



Food Chain Moment! So I’m walking down to the next bridge viewpoint, and this little guy pops out of the weeds – stops and takes one look back at me – shits himself – and then runs for cover! One look at the raw smashing power of the size 15 Sidi Crossfires before him must have been terrifying. I ruled this encounter. Remember this. Karma is a bitch.



Kachina Bridge:



Back that thang up:



Beautiful canyon, bottomed with muddy bright orange water.



Owachomo Bridge:





Even the loop road around the park was pretty fun. But we’re gonna leave the pavement for a while soon. The UTBDR awaits.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:41 PM   #32
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Loving the RR. I've backpacked, climbed, biked or 4x4'ed most of the places in that junk drawer of yours over the years. Thanks for reminding me that I need to go back out and explore them in a new way.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:28 AM   #33
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Loving the RR. I've backpacked, climbed, biked or 4x4'ed most of the places in that junk drawer of yours over the years. Thanks for reminding me that I need to go back out and explore them in a new way.
I think once I've exhausted my need to ride a gazillion miles of this stuff - I would go back and do some hiking using the bike to get you to the better base points. But for now, I just want to ride!
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:35 AM   #34
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Wednesday, Part Dos



The plan: Pick up the UTBDR from near Natural Bridges, and head North to Moab. A quick look at Google Earth led me to believe it was going to be graded gravel, probably avg 45MPH or so. As I turned off the pavement, it took about 200 yards for me to realize I was wrong.







It swapped from good to bad – and was a lot of fun. But I was making horrible time. And it was HOT. And my Camelbak was already feeling a bit light. Uh oh.

More evidence of Ivo being through just a few days earlier. Arches NP had flooded I guess.









Like a lot of ride reports, there are never pictures of the worst stuff. I guess when it rears its head, you are more concerned with making it through instead of photo journalizing it. Some of the washes needed grooming before I could get through. I had to get off and knock down the silt ledges on both sides in order to avoid a big drop in and subsequent mini-wall on the opposite bank.

It was hot, and I just wanted to keep moving.
But I eventually linked up with the expected gravel – and things sped up a lot.





But I had lost a lot of time that morning in the ruff stuff. I put the camera away and just ripped for a while. I did run out of water, but I waved down a truck heading toward me and scored some from them. Cold, too. What a relief. I still had a fair distance to cover. But the road began to gain elevation, and naturally the temperature dropped – aided by the tree cover not present down lower.

That made it lunchtime on the UTBDR.





Onward and upward toward Moab. You are headed across that scar across the face in the background.



Looking back at the lunch spot in the valley:





Now we’re on the scar pointed out before. Cool and crisp, a welcome relief from the heat.



Whoo! Headed down some fast switchbacks!



And out onto pavement. But first:

Food Chain Moment #2! I roll out on the paved road, pull through first gear, head for second >> and I come upon a large bear in the road ahead of me. I panic a bit, cause it stops and looks right at me. I coast to a slow stop, clicking it into first gear – idling as we stare at each other. It’s maybe 30 yards away. I’m shitting my pants, cause the bear is large and brown. And it’s not running away.

Do I turn around? Should I back away? Honk? Is it a light colored black bear, or a grizzly? Crap!

This is all just moments, but it felt like a long time. And then it just bolts for the woods. Whew. But like a moron, what do I do? Of course – I’m going to take a picture for the god damn internet!



Took me a bit to work through the adrenaline – but one thing is for sure. When you see this sign heading down to Newspaper Rock – get on the gas! Yeeeeow! Fun times ahead!



That paved section of the route is shredtastic.

A obligatory stop at Newspaper Rock. Scary, but this is what the internet is going to seem like to people 2000 years in the future. Think about that.





And finally, the day finishes in Moab. Best place to camp (if you don’t want full on primitive) is Moab Rim Campark. Grassy tent sites, shade, showers – all of the things you need after baking in near 100 degree heat all day ATGATT. 1 mile from town and the Moab Brewery.

Campmates include a nice guy with a tastefully modded Rubicon that looked like fun, and a lady well versed in offroad travel with this thing:



A 1960 Land Rover Dormobile. Pretty unique vehicle. That website on the side tells you all about it. We all shared some beers I picked up from the brewery, and shot the shit for a while.

All in all, a superb day of motorcycling.

NCD screwed with this post 11-05-2013 at 06:07 PM
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:54 PM   #35
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And work on a Trans Lab adventure!
Sounds like the start of a plan for an excellent adventure! You'll have to write the ride report though.

Quote:
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A 1960 Land Rover Dormobile. Pretty unique vehicle. That website on the side tells you all about it. We all shared some beers I picked up from the brewery, and shot the shit for a while.

All in all, a superb day of motorcycling.
Nice Rover too.
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Old 11-05-2013, 06:09 PM   #36
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Sounds like the start of a plan for an excellent adventure! You'll have to write the ride report though.
Deal. I have the trip like 95% planned, as it was what I was supposed to do instead of this trip. I need to get over my Rockies lust. I can't help it!

But the Trans Lab is getting paved - and fast. Need to get up there before every dum dum can do it.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:39 AM   #37
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Turdsday

Last time I left Moab, I just went North up to the Interstate, and headed home from there. Not this time. A little interwebz searching found me a cool alternate route out of Moab to the East. It was sorta hard to nail down, as it goes by different names. John Brown Canyon Road and Gateway Road. I found the tracks for it HERE on a 4x4 site.

It starts as a paved scenic road ride out of Moab.





A nice, peaceful way to begin the morning.







The pavement ends. Lots of road work going on to repair the damage, but most everything was fine.



Awwwwww yeah…….so nice to see the route ahead like this!





The beginning and end of this road were just fine. But the middle was a mess.







I did begin to wonder at times if I would have to turn back. This was getting a little more remote, and gooey in spots. But the worst spots were just good enough to get through (no pics of course!)



But it clears up as you cross boundaries (I think the rough middle section is private?) and it goes back to well maintained.



And then it goes NUCLEAR!







Beginning the descent into the canyon:



Road is dead center bottom of the picture:



Couple tight turns and drops take you down.







The last big icon of Utah I will see this year



And just like that, you are back in Colorado.

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Old 11-08-2013, 08:24 AM   #38
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Turdsday again

Continuing on thru Colorado – up 65 to and through the Grand Mesa region. Nice bypass of all the busy roads. Long sweeping corners, and the elevation dropped the steamy temps down to 60. I found it on one of those Best Motorcycle Roads websites.



Well, we’re entering – not leaving. Back of the sign and all.





I’ve said it before. Make motorcycle noises when looking at this….











To and through Meeker, and on to CR8 and the Flat Tops Wilderness Area for a peaceful nights sleep.



Another long day in the saddle, and a huge change in scenery and temperature. The end of a day like this is always rewarding. You settle down in your tent – your body and mind slowly winding down from the vigorous day. Your bike just a few feet away, doing the same. The hot parts cooling off, clicking and ticking as they contract against each other. It’s tough on both of you, but you’re still a long way from home.
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:36 PM   #39
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That trail out of Moab looks like a real gem.
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:10 PM   #40
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Great RR and the Junk Drawer Theme is perfect
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:15 AM   #41
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That trail out of Moab looks like a real gem.
It really was. But avoid it if bad weather is upon you! Using that and the road across the Uncompagre Plateau would make some great routes back and forth from central CO.

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Great RR and the Junk Drawer Theme is perfect
Thanks!
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Old 11-09-2013, 06:49 AM   #42
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Friday – last day of fun before we gotta go home.

Woke up to a crisp, clear morning. Time to finish the Flat Tops Scenic Byway.



Official PR, found here:

Connecting the towns of Meeker & Yampa, the Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway showcases the White River National Forest’s long history of multiple-use land management and remains a “working byway” providing access to public lands as well as rangeland for local sheep and cattle ranchers. The 82 mile drive is accessible with any passenger vehicle (during summer) and is an ideal location to view pristine scenery and wildlife. The Byway is the backbone of access to the Flat Tops Wilderness and over 350,000 acres of public land managed by the US Forest Service (Blanco Ranger District). The White River National Forest is the country’s foremost Forest for recreation, offering visitors a wide variety of outdoor activities.

It’s not paved – but it’s a fully groomed gravel autobahn of sorts!





And definitely a better alternative to I70 East – that’s for damn sure.





The pine beetles are really devastating the Rockies. Makes me sad.







The sign in the lower right alerts you that the fun continues!



You can see the route ahead based on the twisty tree line in the hillside.





Yep. I totally followed all posted speed limits. I swear!



Next: Rocky Mountain National Park
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:06 AM   #43
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Great stuff!!! Looking forward to the rest of the story!
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Old 11-09-2013, 01:58 PM   #44
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Great stuff!!! Looking forward to the rest of the story!
Here you go...
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Old 11-09-2013, 02:04 PM   #45
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Friday continues – but the end is near.

Bummer. Last of the Junk Drawer tidbits.



Headed up from the West on Trail Ridge Road.





Almost to the top. Trees are becoming scarce.



Up at the visitor center in the afternoon – and the weather is looking pretty bad. I calculate that I have about 30 minutes until all hell breaks loose up here. Storms are near, and lightning is visible just a few peaks away. Everyone is like ‘oooh’ and ‘aaaah’ and I’m like – ummmm….that’s gonna be here any minute! It’s not so cool when it’s on top of you!



Thankfully, it’s clear to the East!







It’s just sooo badass that we are allowed to ride/drive up here.









Alpine Tundra – at least that is what I read. Seems logical.



I did the good old “let all the cars creep ahead so you can totally haul ass down the mountain” thing – and it worked well as always. But I came upon a corner where I could tell there was an undue amount of traffic. WTF? I can’t be at the gate already – why is everyone slowing down?



This big guy is why. Holy crap it was gigantic! I killed the bike and coasted into a great viewing spot on the narrow shoulder. Bikes rule! Time passed as more and more people gathered to watch this creature – totally unaffected by all the attention. Absolutely awesome – and a superb treat on my exit from the park.









I must have been there 20+ minutes just mesmerized. But…
People can be such idiots sometimes. Big RV’s would stop in the middle of the road, and that would cause others to get all fussy and honk their horn. Cursing at each other. Fingers. Jeez, what the hell? And then…

The master of all asswipes. Guy and passenger on a *cough* major brand of popular American motorcycle pulls up behind a stopped car and can’t immediately keep going or get around. Loud ass pipes, radio fucking blaring. Neither one even glances over at the glimpse of nature off to his right. I cringe – cause he’s such an a-wad – and I’m the only other guy on a cycle there. I just shake my head so all are aware I’m NOT cool with this display either.

He’s revving the living crap out of it. Why, why, why? He sees a gap – guns it – with all the blaaaaaaaaaat sounds echoing through the woods. Soon, the radio and exhaust sound pollution drift off. I hate to hate. But I hate.

I feel as though I hogging my good spot too long. I start it up, and finish my journey down the mountain. What a week. I stop at a small pizza/deli in Estes Park near a stream, and enjoy my last peaceful moments before I’m back on the big roads.



So, I’m heading East out toward the highway, and see a sign for Fort Collins. Hmmm. Why does that city sound familiar? YES! That’s where New Belgium Brewery is! Side Trip!







I remount, and accept my fate. It’s off to Fort Morgan for the night. And then the obligatory 2 day slog back home on the interstate.

Almost done. Just a few last details to bring your way. Thanks for hanging out with me so far.
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