2012 UT/ID/OR 2300mi 11d Outback Ride via UTBDR, T2, OBDR

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by dvwalker, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    824
    Location:
    Oregon
    Pre-log
    As a long time forum RR lurker, this will be my first attempt at a ride report. As will be obvious, I’m not a professional blogger or vendor sponsored rider, just a normal working stiff that loves to ride dirt and has been inspired by several inmates on this forum.

    During winter of 2011, I learned about Touratech’s plan to conceive a 800 mile Utah Backcountry Discovery Route, known as the UTBDR. The red rock formations of southern Utah have always held a special place in my heart growing up watching the old american westerns. Following a Washington Backcountry Discovery (WABDR) ride the previous fall, I was immediately interested and began spending spare winter hours in Garmin Basecamp and Google Earth drafting out an interesting one-way off road route from southern Utah back to Portland, OR.

    The primary planned route segments would be comprised of available tracks from Touratech’s UTBDR and Martin’s Tour of Idaho’s T2 and ORBDR. I also wanted to include visits to the B-24 crash site near Denio Jct NV (inspired by Hodakaguy), and various hotspring's in OR. Now, I just needed to join the segments with interesting connectors, side trips, gas, camping, etc

    The Plan:
    • Sept 10th 2012 start (after the kids are back in school, desert heat has cooled, and bugs are less plenty)
    • 11 days
    • 2300 + miles (Mexican Hat Utah to Portland OR)
    • 2 bikes
    • Possible tire change in Pocatello ID
    • split camping and hoteling

    The Route Map: (GPS file download instructions in post #5)
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    #1
  2. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    824
    Location:
    Oregon
    [​IMG] Dale (aka dvwalker)
    [​IMG] Tom (aka BackCountryCruizer)


    When I pitched this route idea to my ridding buddy Tom (BackCountryCruizer) in Winter of 2011, he was onboard from our first email exchange. Over the winter, I shared countless route versions containing new side trips and interesting sites along the way.

    I first rode with Tom back in the mid 90’s on dirt bike day rides in the Oregon coast range with mutual riding friends. I was a newbie dirt rider at the time and Tom was old seasoned trials rider. I was grasshopper and he was the master, cat like in this riding prowess, I quickly learned to watch and observe. Over many years of riding, my comfort and skill level for dirt riding begin to narrow with his. Our common bond is the love of riding which has stayed constant till present day.

    In 2009 we rode much of BigDogAdventures.com published CDR track over a 2wk period. This was our first multi-day trip and we learned a ton. What to pack and what not to pack, GPS navigation, ride spacing, mutual trust, communication, establishing our daily rhythm of unpacking/packing, gas, food and shelter. We had a great time. Also learned the limitations of the bigger heavy bikes on technical terrain, I was on a bmw f800gs and Tom on a ktm 950. On our way back home to Portland OR, we entered a dualsport event by Bend Dualsport staged at Diamond Lake Resort, near Crater lake OR. As we began to meet the other event riders, we noticed all the other bikes were light weight plated dirt bikes. Turns out we did okay on the big ~400+lb bikes, primarily because we were both in excellent riding condition at that point in time…

    After returning back to Portland in fall of 2009, we both sold the big bikes for lighter go anywhere variants.

    In 2010, we completed a 7day 1000mi loop trip from Bend OR combining route sections using the western OBDR and NV/OR TAT. This route was a lot more technically challenging than the CDR, and in the end fed our hunger for even more of this style of riding.

    In 2011, our adventure riding had to be downsized into two 3 day short trips. We completed a 3 day trip of the eastern/central ORBDR, and a 3 day ride of the WABDR. Primarily, due to limited vacation time and family demands.
    #2
  3. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    824
    Location:
    Oregon
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    The bike I will be riding is the 09 Yamaha WR250R. Like many others on this forum, BigDogAdventures.com inspired me to buy this amazing little bike. I tossed around riding my newest steed, a new KTM 350exc, but common sense finally prevailed. The Yamaha was the perfect ride choice for this type of trip (for me).

    WR250R mod highlights are:
    • Rebuilt front/rear shocks to match rider/load weight and more technical terrain
    • Seat by Seat Concepts
    • Dunlop D606 front, Pirelli MT21 front
    • Safari Gas Tank (3.5 US gal, ~225 mile range)
    • HDB cockpit/hand guards with 2 ½ risers and 12v powerlet
    • Direct powered Montana GPS
    • Heated grips
    • Giant Loop Coyote luggage
    • Double-take mirrors
    • Ricochet skid plate
    • Weight reduction diet (removing unwanted OEM bits)
    • New front/rear sealed wheel bearings
    • Lots of other small bits…
    Unlike my KTM, the WR250R comes with good night time driving light and high output stator (~350w) from the factory.


    Tom will be riding a 2010 KTM 690r. Very short list of mods (other bike build bits he can share):
    • Lynx fairing and HID lights from Britannia composities
    • Direct powered Montana GPS
    • Seat by Seat Concepts
    • Skid plate
    • Jerican fuel bladder (1.8 US gal)
    • Giant Loop Coyote luggage
    • Wolfman tank bag

    Tom’s bike had an estimated range of approx. 170 miles, 120 miles with the factory tank plus an extra 50 miles with the fuel bladder. This is conservative miles to minimize running the FI pump dry. Tom’s 690r is the weak link in the gas range department, but range wouldn't be an issue on this trip.
    #3
  4. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    824
    Location:
    Oregon
    Lots of last minute bike and packing prep.

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    Finally on morning of Sat Sept 8th, I road my loaded bike the short 30 mile distance over to Tom’s house, near Canby OR, where we placed the bikes and luggage onto a small tow trailer, and started making our way in Tom’s truck towards our route start point at Goosenecks Start Park in southern Utah.

    We decided to layover near Salt Lake City for a good night’s rest, and plus I had access to a fancy timeshare on the cheap. This would provide a final good dose of luxury pampering for the sleepy vehicle occupants.

    Tom’s sister (Sally) and friend (Kim) were along for the ride and volunteered to drive the vehicle back to Portland. Their plan was to take two weeks for the return and car camp their way back home on the cheap. This was a win-win situation, so Tom and I split the round trip vehicle petrol bill (~$900), small price to pay for an epic 11days on the trail.

    Sunday (Sept 9th) morning we left Salt Lake for the final vehicle leg to Goosenecks Start Park. As we got closer to southern Utah and begin seeing red rock formations everyone got jazzed and started to awake from their highway haze. We pulled into Goosenecks around 5pm full of vigor and setup our overnight camp.

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    setting up camp goosenecks
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    San Juan River
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    As destiny and fate would have it, these French maidens joined our camp shortly after arriving for security, and would help provide good fortune on our trip. In broken English and my poor French, we learned one was a doctor in training and the other a physical therapist fresh off a plane from France. These adventuress souls were starting a four week car camping tourist trip of the southwest.
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    Next up day 1…
    #4
  5. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    824
    Location:
    Oregon
    GPS file for this ride

    Is here: http://dvwalker.fastmail.us/public/gpsfiles
    Right click on the correct file----and click "Save Link As"----and save it to your computer--then you can open it up.

    If you have trouble with this--------email me and I'll send it to you. No PM's for this---email is much easier.
    dvwalker@fastmail.us

    It has separate unfiltered track logs for each days riding.

    BigDogs patented waypoint legend:
    G is gas
    F is food
    L is lodging
    #5
  6. Baja Ho

    Baja Ho Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    798
    Location:
    Central Coast, CA. USA & Cabo San Lucas, Baja Sur
    Looks like a good one, standing by for more. :lurk
    #6
  7. BackCountryCruizer

    BackCountryCruizer Gnarled Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Willamette Valley
    Tom will be riding a 2010 KTM 690r. Very short list of mods (other bike build bits he can share):
    • Lynx fairing and HID lights
    • Direct powered Montana GPS
    • Seat by Seat Concepts
    • Skid plate
    • Rotopax 1gal extra tank
    • Giant Loop Coyote luggage
    • Wolfman tank bag
    FMF Q4 slip-on
    Twin Air filter


    Tom’s bike had an estimated range of approx. 150 miles, 120 miles with the factory tank plus an extra 30 miles with the rotopax. This is conservative miles to minimize running the FI pump dry. Tom’s 690r is the weak link in the gas range department.[/QUOTE]
    #7
  8. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    20,880
    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    This looks like a great ride. Looking forward to your report.
    #8
  9. refokus

    refokus Just Learning

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,559
    Location:
    North Phoenix
    I'm ready for the report, this should be good.
    #9
  10. Blaise W

    Blaise W Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    681
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    :deal Bring it on!
    #10
  11. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    824
    Location:
    Oregon
    Goosenecks State Park UT to Buckboard campground UT – 195 miles

    Very windy camp night exposed out on the rim of the Goosenecks. Tents were shaking and rattling, all kinds of fabric noises, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Finally, the morning light rescued each of the tent occupants. Still windy even at 6am.

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    After our normal routine of morning coffee and instant oat meal, Tom and I dove into our final packing. Each successive packing day seems to get exponentially easier, the bits fall into place and find their niche in the packs, but on day one it’s always a bit of struggle to get reacquainted.

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    GPS’s online, bikes ready, set go….The detailed plan included head north, enjoy the amazing scenery, find a place to eat lunch, get gas, then figure out a camp or lodging spot later in the evening. repeat...

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    #11
  12. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
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    Location:
    Vagabond Hippie
    In.
    #12
  13. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    824
    Location:
    Oregon
    From Goosenecks park we headed up hwy 163 a couple of miles to the Valley of the Gods turn off. Not too far after, the Seven Sailors and other formations were waiting…Good way to start out a morning

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    I believe these are called Setting Hen. I really like this pic of Tom.

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    lots of picture taking thru this section

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    The valley of the gods has an excellent graded road that goes between hwy 163 to the east and hwy 261 to the west. Halfway in between, we ran into a couple gents from Tennessee on a long road bike ride. These guys were a kick to chat with, sorry no pics..


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    The vast expanse, tired of red yet?

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    #13
  14. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
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    824
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    Oregon
    I recall one of the locals talking about Moki Dugway during a food/gas stop in Blanding, and how they wouldn’t be caught out after dark driving this road. Tom and I had no idea what they were talking about at the time.

    Leaving the valley of the gods road, you’re dumped out on this harmless looking pavement. The sign is a giveaway that something a little bit different looms ahead…

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    Apparently this jewel of a graded gravel road was built in 1958 for trucks hauling uranium ore according to the USGS website

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    Next up, morning sand...
    #14
  15. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    824
    Location:
    Oregon
    After a casual and relaxing morning stroll thru the valley of the gods and putting up to Moki Dugway overlook, we were not quite ready for what was coming next.

    We soon found ourselves going south east on Snow Flats rd.

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    Finding small easy steps, hard rock base and overlooks along the way

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    Then bam, about 4 or 5 miles before snow flats meets US 191, it turns to sand. Tom and I had a quick re-introduction trying to get our riding legs working again with fully loaded bikes. No drops, but definitely in first day survival mode, a couple gopro images. Also have some video, but will wait and post that up later in day 1.

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    Next up Butler Wash...
    #15
  16. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    sweet!
    #16
  17. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    824
    Location:
    Oregon
    After a short US 191 connector from Snow Flats rd, we turn off heading north onto Butler Wash Rd.

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    Starts out hard packed, but then gets soft again. Not as deep as the last section on Snow Flats.

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    As we move north and closer to our afternoon gas/lunch stop in Blanding, we notice the clouds beginning to thicken over the peaks in the Manti-la Sal NF.

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    At the Blanding turnoff, W Water rd, we stop and discuss whether or not to keep going on route or stop. We decide to drive into Blanding for gas, food and a quick break. The sand and heat were taking a toll. Any temp over 70f is hot for person from the NW.

    After the gas stop, we head over to the Homestead Steak house for a bite. Then drive over to the Blanding City Park to kickoff our boots for a spell under a shade tree and get a pulse on the town. And let lunch settle. Ah, the cool green grass.

    Next up Manti-la Sal (where the clouds were forming)
    #17
  18. 3866jeff

    3866jeff n00b

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    I'm really looking forward to the rest of your ride report. We just got back from a week of riding around Moab.I am just fascinated with that whole area. Keep it coming!!:ear
    #18
  19. dvwalker

    dvwalker Working to ride

    Joined:
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    824
    Location:
    Oregon
    After our short rest break in Blanding City Park, BackCountryCruizer and I put our boots back on around 2pm, and headed west on the same graded gravel we came into town on (W Water rd). Chatting over our Scala headsets, we were a bit concerned with the darkening clouds over the dark canyon wilderness peaks. As most know, roads can really goto crap quick...fingers crossed...

    W Water Rd turns into Elk Mountain, then onto Gooseberry rd. All nice graded gravel. At around 8K feet the landscape turns into forest with green bunch grasses.

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    At around 8500ft, you begin to see the Aspen groves. Fall colors were just starting to show a hint of the transition.

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    Big pines

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    Near the Devils Causeway

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    Aspen groves stretching up Mt Linnaeus (~11K ft). Separated young bovine

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    Nearing twins peaks, tons of deer in this area. Also saw a black bear. Wild country.

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    One of the twin peaks, very pretty area...notice the white dots? Utility comm trucks coming/going to a near by microwave comm tower. Long ways from the main road.

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    We had a waypoint to Buckboard CG , so decided to check it out. Didn't find a soul, except lots of deer, so setup camp in the monster group site. Top notch place with good water, cement floor outhouse, nothing but 5 star tent spots for these travelers. Cell phones even worked :(:...

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    After a hot meal, the night air cooled very quickly. Big puffy clouds were still threatening in the area, so we made sure camp and tents were secure before climbing into bed.

    This was an incredible and diverse day of riding. 10 more to go...

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    Day 1 conclusion 195 miles

    Next up Canyon lands and Lockhard basin
    #19
  20. oregonlmd

    oregonlmd Dirt,street,its all good.

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    251
    Location:
    Western Oregon
    Oooooohhhhh man, keep this one coming! This is gettin' me motivated to do the UTBDR
    #20