CA to UT. Dirt, desert, and dead cows

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by boney, May 23, 2007.

  1. MeefZah

    MeefZah Curmudgeonly

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,213
    Location:
    Lost Coast, Cali
    Very nice so far! :clap
    #21
  2. Kaneman

    Kaneman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    949
    Great job man!! You guys are hardcore for sure, it was great hanging out with you in Torrey. Perhaps our paths will cross again one day...
    #22
  3. Kaneman

    Kaneman Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    949
    Great job man!! You guys are hardcore for sure, it was great hanging out with you in Torrey. Perhaps our paths will cross again one day...
    #23
  4. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,672
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Day 5- Thursday.


    We're only a few hours from Torrey, and we have three different routes available.
    Route one is up and over- there's a high plateau south of Torrey, but the a ranger said it was still snowed in.
    Route two is sortof around. It takes pavement up to the town of Antimony, then up and over the hills- but not as high as route one. We have been warned that it is difficult- a rider on a big GS had to turn back.
    Route three is pavement.

    We left Panguitch and crossed through the forest:
    [​IMG]

    Yes, there are some trees off in the distance.


    There was not a hint of snow to be seen
    [​IMG]

    so we decided to see if it had all melted since two weeks ago when Tom talked to the ranger.

    We climbed up high
    [​IMG]


    A little trailside maintainance..... hmmmm.... it's got a slide carb jetted for sea level, we're at 10,000 feet and it's running like crap. Maybe the air filter is dirty. There are way to many picures of me fussing with my bike in this report. And no, this isn't the last one, dammit.
    [​IMG]

    Nope, air filter's cleaner than it ought to be. Now what's that under the trees over there?

    One mile later, and we are denied:
    [​IMG]

    The first snow was about a foot deep, and we crossed it without too much trouble. This one was six feet deep, and there were more further down the road. Too pile on the insult, the clouds dropped some half-inch hailstones on us. Looks like it's time for plan B.

    We backtracked to the paved road, and took it up to Antimony. It was pretty nice pavement- namely there was no other traffic. At Antimony we turned off and went up some nice steep and rocky switchbacks until we got to a lower plateau. We found out later that the GS rider who was turned back was two-up at the time.

    An accidental landscape at the top of the plateau:
    [​IMG]

    A few uneventful miles later, and we're in Torrey.
    We have a burger at the local burger joint then head back to Bob's place where we have a campsite reserved (on his back lawn). No one's around, so we find the wine and settle on the front porch.
    Time to celebrate:freaky
    [​IMG]
    #24
  5. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,672
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Day 6: Two little rides


    Alright, so the best news is that Bob's lawn is really soft- makes for a great night's sleep even on a thin mattress. Almost as good is the fact that none of the five or so other people camped on the lawn snore too badly. It's a bmwst rally, so there are around 160 riders in a town of 300.

    Tom and I took a short ride out to Capitol Reef NP. Bob suggested the route to us. We started with the official senic drive
    [​IMG]

    Then headed up a dirt road into a canyon
    [​IMG]

    The bikes handle so much better without the luggage.

    The road turned to a track in a wash which we followed for a couple of miles, then the trail went uphill and turned rocky. On one section with some stair steps I got my first ever pinch flat.
    [​IMG]


    Oh joy. The tire had 20 psi in it, I though that was supposed to be enough.
    I had a patch kit and pump with me, so it would have been an easy enough fix except that I found out the hard way pinch flats come in pairs. Tube back off, and stick on another patch. Let's try 25 psi this time.
    [​IMG]

    Enjoy the flowers while the patch is drying
    [​IMG]



    With the tire fixed, we followed the road out of the park into the Dixie National Forest

    [​IMG]

    We came out of the dirt on Highway 12, which we took back to Torrey.

    After lunch, we took a quick spin up to the OHV area north of town. We rode around, got a little lost, and had a great time.
    Here's a rocky climb:
    [​IMG]

    A rainbow, after getting ourselves unlost:
    [​IMG]


    Sand Flat (if it's not, we never found it)
    [​IMG]

    and a rocky descent:
    [​IMG]

    And a parting flower shot:
    [​IMG]

    In the evening we socialized with the rest of the rally folks but took no pictures. Kaneman did a great job of covering it, though.
    #25
  6. ktmnate

    ktmnate Long timer

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,091
    Location:
    Somewhere
    Very nice guys :thumb


    Nate

    ps -you wouldn't hapen to have the track logs from the GPS?
    #26
  7. GregPoole

    GregPoole Gnarly Coot

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    345
    Location:
    Longmont, Colorado
    Nice post! I stumbled on it today during lunch at work, and I thought, hmmm those two guys look awfully familiar. We met you two and your friend (I guess) on a WeeStrom at Brink's Burgers in Torrey on Friday afternoon. My wife & I rode up on that big-ass GS all loaded down. You said you'd been "riding around" the area. Some ride...
    #27
  8. haggeo

    haggeo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    946
    Location:
    oakland, ca
    are you going to post your gps tracks?
    #28
  9. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,672
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Day 7, Saturday.
    Let's face it though, by Wednesday the date was pretty hazy. Good thing the camera keeps track of it.

    Today was going to be a big organized day- the rally was in full swing.

    First we (all 160 some participants) went up to the top of Hwy 72 for a short memorial. The original driving force behind the Torrey rally was Gleno, who was killed in traffic earlier this year. By all acounts, a top-notch guy.
    [​IMG]

    After, a few of us formed up for a dualsport ride to Cathedral Valley

    [​IMG]

    Hmmm. a gaggle of V-stroms and GSs piloted by dirt noobs, two KTMs and a KLR. All being lead by a guy on a Honda 450x. That's got potential. :pot

    Everyone rode up to a parking lot, where Tom and I took off to explore some side roads while everyone regrouped. We made it up to some snow before turning back. It turns out that if we had kept going, we would have ended up where we were riding yesterday afternoon.
    [​IMG]

    After about 45 minutes, we got back to where we turned off from the original route and figured that everyone else had to be ahead of us, so we headed down to the valley. It is gorgeous down there, and once we got down off the gravel, the road was really fun too.

    [​IMG]

    At this point, we were way past where the rest of the group should have been. The GPS suggested that there was another road up to where we started, so we followed it.
    [​IMG]

    A few miles up the road through some rather nasty mud, we met Bob (the ride leader on the 450) and Jonathan, a dirt noob on an 1150GS. It turned out that the group had spent an hour and a half at the parking lot looking at an oil leak, and eventually all but these two had turned back.

    We headed back down the hill and south through the valley
    [​IMG]



    Looking down another valley:
    [​IMG]

    Bob spinning a yarn about the park to Tom and Jonathan:
    [​IMG]


    Wandering around to the south
    [​IMG]

    Talk about an 'almost' picture. Should've aimed just a little higher.
    [​IMG]


    Standing under the Temple of the Moon
    [​IMG]

    Road through the slick rock hills
    [​IMG]

    The cactii were blooming:
    [​IMG]

    And off into some bluish green hills. Since when is dry rock blue-green?
    [​IMG]


    The rest of the day was slab back to Torrey. We split up on the way back, but saw Bob sneaking off a dirt road later and followed him into town.
    #29
  10. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,398
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Great report!:D
    #30
  11. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19,486
    Location:
    New Hampshah
    Top notch, guys. Keep it coming! :lurk
    #31
  12. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,672
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Here's the GPX file. It's got the route and waypoints we started with. It's more useful than the track because it has a couple of alternate routes and fuel/camping marked on it. As you can see by the track we ended up following it pretty closely. It's hard for me to read though, so you might want to save different copies and delete the things you don't want to see.

    Here's the track on GPS exchange- it's pretty neat overlaid on the arial images. http://www.gpsxchange.com/phpBB2/download2.php?id=1017
    It's off Tom's GPS, so it has all the day trip tracks as well.

    Attached Files:

    #32
  13. contacterich

    contacterich Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    173
    Location:
    California
    :clap - awesome ride and photography!
    #33
  14. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,672
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    The end.
    It's 800 and some miles from Torrey to home. We have a couple of days to do it in, and the combination of my homemade luggage and repeated bottoming of the suspension has done a number on my subframe. Tom's bike is fine even though he's carried more weight- the HB rack braces on the footpeg mounts to take the leverage off the end of the subframe, my rack doesn't. I'll buy one of those, even if I don't use it for hard bags.
    All this adds up to a lot of slab. I've done this before- my first ride on this bike was home to CA from Seattle where I bought it. The planned route is Highways 50, 80, 12. In anticipation of this Tom bought some o-rings which we jammed between the throttle grips and handguards. This opens up a whole new world of rested wrists, understandings of bike dynamics and unsafe photography.

    Let's set the scene:
    [​IMG]

    The bike vibrates excessively above 70mph, so we don't go 70. Our sight distance is measured in minutes, there is no traffic and the roads are as straight as can be. Every couple of hours, we get to a mountain range with turns and stuff, but basically we have a lot of empty time.

    Riding no-handed in a crosswind is interesting. The bike actually falls into the wind. Riding no-hands, this is not subtle at all. I have to lean all the way to the left when a strong wind comes from the right. I figure it's because the wind catches the mudguard and countersteering tips the bike.

    Like I said, lots of empty time. I also found that the seat's tall enough that I can do the chicken dance in my seat without dragging my feet on the pavement.

    To cut down on wind noise, we removed the visors from our helmets (Arai XD's) Big improvement, although with the wrong visor sideplates they make an awful whistle that is fortunately completely masked with earplugs.


    At the motel in Austin, NV. Do you suppose it's running a little rich?
    [​IMG]


    The rest of the ride home was interrupted by a small forest fire on the CA/NV boarder. Traffic on I80 was sent back to Reno. We wanted none of this, so Tom took a look at the GPS and pointed up the hill. Excellent. From Verdi, we went up over the hill to the west, then south to Boca Lake.

    Scenic I-80 detour:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Then it was back to I80. Traffic was pleasent all the way to Auburn thanks to the closure. The rest- well, lets just say the most dangerous part of the trip (and probably any trip) passed safely with no surprises.
    #34
  15. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,672
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Pretty soon, I'd expect, if your little ride takes you out to the west coast.
    Good meeting you too!
    #35
  16. Doug Matson

    Doug Matson Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,047
    Location:
    Torrance, Ca.
    Great report Luke, made me wish I would have taken the 950 to Torrey the way you guys did it. You guys going to Torrey in September?
    #36
  17. Luke

    Luke GPoET&P

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,672
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR

    The 950 would have worked fine for this trip. Maybe carry a little extra gas for the one long stretch.

    I don't know what's up in the fall. Tom was talking about taking his RT, but I don't know if I'll still be in the state at that point.
    #37
  18. Doug Matson

    Doug Matson Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,047
    Location:
    Torrance, Ca.
    Thanks again for the report I know they are a lot of work. Again, it was good to meet you guys in Torrey.
    #38
  19. Hayduke

    Hayduke ///SAFETY THIRD/// Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    45,740
    Location:
    Salida, coloRADo

    I know exactly where you are coming from.

    First class report. :thumb Thanks!
    #39
  20. GillaFunk

    GillaFunk I use profanities

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,372
    Location:
    Penngrove, California (Sonoma County)
    :cry :cry :cry
    Now I want a smaller dirt bike so I can do that toooo.

    What an AWESOME report. Kudos!

    Luke, your local. We should meet up sometime. However....you obviously WAY better in the dirt that I
    #40