Bits of the UTBDR

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Southmt, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. Southmt

    Southmt Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    365
    Location:
    NM, USA
    Got a KLR in June, a bucket-list thing. Always knew Dual-Sport was cool, but always put it off. This was my first real DS ride. Previously, I'd taken lots of trips on street bikes and flogged them as far off the highway as I dared, looking for good camping, but this was something new, and way overdue.

    So... son Trevor and I (he on a 'new' WR450) headed for Utah in early September. Had 4 days to goof off, so we decided to do some UTBDR (Utah Backcountry Discovery Route) around Moab.

    Here's the first good picture from the trip


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    We left the Albaturkey area late in the day, we were trailering up to Blanding to park the rig at a friend's house, then ride from there. Stopped at Angel Peak for the night, about 10-15 miles south of Farmington, NM on the main road from Albuquerque to Farmington, I think it's 550 now, used to be 44. It's about 5 miles of good gravel off the highway. Anyway, free BLM campground, clean, potties, scenic, quiet... a regular stop for me.

    Heading out the next morning, stopped at an overlook with a nasty outhouse. Went in, out to get paper, back in, and noticed this guy under the door. Waugh! But he was very mellow, not one rattle out of him/her. I no longer needed to use those facilities. [​IMG]

    So here we are on the road, actually, this is on the way back, but it shows the weird outfit we were in. Honda CRX, 250k+ on the clock, 30-35 mpg with the trailer.
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    Leaving from near Blanding...

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    ... Our friend lives off the grid, no water well, but a fantastic view, you could see for about 1,000 miles. BUT, such a place has packrats. And skwerls. All the vehicle hoods got left open all the time (I can attest to rodent damage in a car). I bet this is the only Prius that lives like this:

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    Onward, we were going to loop around the Abajo Mts. (locally known as 'The Blues') and the UTBDR just sorta crosses over them. So our routes crossed for a few miles. Enter from the south, loop around the west side, drop off to the north, towards Moab.

    Misc. photo, exploring a side road. We'd camp here on the way back.

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    Around the western end of the Abajos, such scenic shots don't begin to do the landscape justice. Those two nubs on the horizon are the 'Bear's Ears'.

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    We were never in danger of getting lost.

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    The roads were good all the way around.

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    After just about 3-4 hours, we were clear around the mountains, and ready to drop off the north side. It's amazing how much ground you can cover on bikes like this.

    But certain... things... called to us. [​IMG]

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    Later on, camp...

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    The road was fine, up on the mountain, with just a couple of these.

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    I see now why some roads are designated 'impassable when wet". Ok, they might be passable, but it would take you a week. :knary

    Here's Trev, we're winding our way off the mountain, going to go down the valley behind him. This is looking north, towards Moab.

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    The road was great, then we hit 4 stream crossings in quick succession. Then the road took off right up the streambed. Turned out not to be too bad, not muddy and slippery, only one little hole...

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    They'd had a lot of rain recently. We ran into this, and the warning signs were in the bushes, so we put them back up.

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    So we got off the mountain into the Canyon Country, this is a UTBDR 'alternate' route for experts only. Here's one sketchy place, Trev shows how to do it. :thumb

    I did it a different way. :p3rry

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    Photo opportunity. I couldn't pass up that rock.

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    The Jeep People did a lot of road work. That's ok with me, being the packhorse of the trip.

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    Nice hardrock riding...

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    Made it to the river! Or at least close.

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    A couple more photos. I wanna be back there. These pictures keep me semi-sane in my cave at work, beating on a 'pooter.

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    We made it up over Hurrah Pass, and were running a bit low on H20... nice spring.

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    But it was getting late, so we hurried on towards the Promised Land of Moab.

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    Camp, just 5 or 10 minutes out of town. Them Senior Passes are great! :gerg

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    Artsy thing, Trev's a professional photographer, so he had to goof around with my new camera. That's me, walking past with a headlamp on.

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    This is a cool place. Trev knew about it by mountain biking around there. They have a big trough where people are invited to fill up their water jugs, free, no more gas station hoses. They have all the outdoor gear you could want... I bought some great maps and a couple dried meals, and a small frying pan, which we very much needed (more on that later). (Ok, Gearheads, you can send the check now). :D

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    Onward, northeast to the La Sal's. (We'd start in the Abajos, do canyons to Moab, loop through the La Sal's, then back to the Abajos.)

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    Here's Trevor and Mt. Peale. I don't do that on the KLR. At least not on purpose.

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    Looping around the La Sal's, we camped before we went off the mountain into the drylands/private lands.

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    Deer were all over. This one wasn't 50 yds. away, pretty unconcerned until we paid it attention.

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    Here's why I take Trevor along. Kale sauteed in bacon and garlic, with a dash of vinegar on top. Steak to go with it. He's a great cook. And that was in our new frying pan.

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    Off the hill, through farm/scrub land, Trev saw this eagle, went back to try and sneak up on it.

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    I kept going. Our method was that I'd plod along, and he'd wait up for me (or catch up) later. His WR doesn't have a fan, so it's like a shark, has to keep moving. Fast. I rode it once, like an old geezer, made it boil.

    There were some really sketchy roads (as in "Is this what they mean? It's kinda going in the right direction...") until we got back onto the northern slope of the Abajo's, on the UTBDR route.

    We went to Fry Lake, where Trev had been before with his Sweetie, there was one trout that had dissed him, he wanted it! So he tried to get it, I ran into Monticello and got Provisions and a couple great burgers at PJ's (?) on the east end of town. Went back, and Trev was empty-handed, but drowned his sorrows in the burger.

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    It's amazing that we were over in the La Sal's that morning.

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    More deer, they were everywhere!

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    An avalanche chute... those toothpicks at the bottom are big trees. Would've been something to see!

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    An aspen cathedral. I love aspens.

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    Last camp, at a place frequented by rock climbers. I was thinking that bears oughta be around there....

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    Sure enough, the next morning there were bear prints a couple hundred yards down the road.

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    That's it, all the rest was heading back home....

    The KLR was great, just like I thought it'd be. Pretzeled a clutch lever in Lockhart Basin, hally-looya! it didn't break. Barkbusters are on order. Had a 13t front sprocket, it would've been a LOT harder with the stock 15. Anyway, the WR and the KLR were both comfortable at 50 or so on the paved roads, pretty well matched.
    #1
  2. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    May 29, 2002
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    sweet!
    #2
  3. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    Only N flowin river emptying in an ocean
    All good stuff
    #3
  4. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Looks like an awesome time. You can't beat Southern Utah. Thanks for sharing.
    #4
  5. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    That is an awesome report and great photos Bob! Thanks so much for sharing and posting!! :clap:clap:clap
    #5
  6. Gordy

    Gordy Team Listo

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    Dec 30, 2001
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    Nice Bob! :thumb

    I look forward to many more of these reports from you. Story well told!! :clap
    #6
  7. Matt

    Matt Dirt Virgin

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    Apr 11, 2007
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    Location:
    Newtown,Sydney
    Gotta get over there soon - looks like an amazing place to ride.

    Thanks for the RR.
    #7
  8. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Love this pic Bob!! :eek1


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    #8