"Crazy Europeans" tour Utah on a KTM 990

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jadedillusion, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    8/9/2011

    Day 1 - Zion

    Why the name “Crazy Europeans tour Utah”? Well we aren’t European. I was born and raised in NJ, transplanted into Arizona. Mike was born in Mississippi and raised near several Navy yards, also transplanted to Arizona. So why crazy Europeans? You’ll have to read along to find out.

    We are in Utah though. :wink:

    The hubby (bronco3738) and I decided to head back to Utah this summer because we loved it that much on the honeymoon. This trip will consist of Zion, Bryce, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Capitol Reef and Glen Canyon. We also decided to truck the bike up to Utah for a variety of reasons; it's hotter than hell in southern Arizona right now and we had no intentions of sight seeing until we got into Utah.

    Mike loaded the Space Shuttle 990 (named a few months back by our "little bike" riding friends) last night, so all we had to do this morning was leave. And, we left the house late, as usual. It ended up working in our favor, as we missed rush hour traffic through Phoenix. We stopped at The Good Egg for breakfast just south of Anthem, AZ. It was...okay.

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    We pit stopped at the Navajo Bridge to see WATER!!

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    Isn't she sad in the truck??

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    We made great time. We hit Utah mid afternoon and buzzed into Zion National Park. Prior to hitting the park, we stopped at a buffalo farm to look at the great beasts.

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    And the baby chicks.

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    Oh god! Put me down, put me down!
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    Onto the park. Unfortunately we were both under the assumption that it was a low key, large park with dirt tracks and whatnot. Apparently not. The park was packed. Tons of RV's, buses, and all around annoying tourists. Mike doesn't do tourists, crowds, or pavement. The bike stayed in the truck throughout our trek through the park. The campgrounds were packed, and he was miserable. I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery.

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    We lucked out and met a couple riding around in a AEV Jeep, with a prototype roof tent. We're all about Overlanding, and will be setting the truck up: roof tent, fridge, etc.. They oogled the bike, while we oogled the Jeep. One thing the KTM has done is open up a lot of conversation with all types of people.

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    We walked down to the Virgin River and soaked our feet in the cold mountain water, then left the park to find camping, or a place to stay. By this point we just wanted a place to stay, so the local Best Western it was.

    Originally we were going to spend tomorrow in Zion, but we are desperately looking for the secluded travel experience that we had in Moab. I think we're going to forgo the crowds in Zion for Bryce. The best part about these vacations is making decisions on the fly.
    #1
  2. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    The day started as any other in Zion, with an expensive Cafe breakfast. We were into the park again by 10am. I think we needed to rest, because we both seemed to enjoy the park more on the way back through. We stopped to dip our toes in the Virgin River again. Nope, it did not have restoring qualities, but it was ice cold. We did a brief casual walk and played around with a small waterfall.

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    Zion isn't for those looking for off road fun, but the scenery is amazing. I also spotted long horned sheep and we were "one of those tourists" who stopped in the middle of the road to take pictures of them. I didn&#8217;t find out until several days later that they were wiped out of the area in the early 20<sup>th</sup> century, and only reintroduced back into the wild. Apparently we lucked out with our sighting.
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    We boogied out of the park and headed towards Bryce Canyon in hopes of better riding. On the way to Panguitch we had to stop at a junk yard so Mike could drool over the cars he can't have.
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    We made it to Panguitch and got a motel room. Mostly because we needed to find a place to park the truck for the remainder of the week. Once unloaded, we headed off on the Space Shuttle 990 towards dirt roads.:lol3


    On our way to Bryce Canyon, we spotted it - a brown sign that said Loosee Canyon, pointing directly at a dirt road. Sorry Bryce, you can wait. We headed off into the Dixie National Forest and found an ATV road! No vehicles over 50" allowed. PERFECT!
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    The Space Shuttle was taking us down a wash, through red spires indicative of Bryce. It - Was - Amazing! :clap
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    We zoomed by a couple taking a break next to their ATV and got a puzzled look. I couldn't get over the beauty; how lucky were we to have this whole area to ourselves. The weather was perfect, the riding technical - absolute joy. Just what we needed after yesterday.

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    Oh, and we dumped it. I had a 15 second window of knowing the crash was going to happen, he had NO idea. Down she went. The luggage has been sufficiently tested. The side bag popped right off, no cracks, or breaks. At least we got the crash out of the way early.
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    Our path linked up with Fremont ATV trail and took us through red rock, white rock, pine trees: a plethora of scenery.

    This little section was like a roller coaster - slick rock fun!
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    Looks like the Space Shuttle really was on top of the world.
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    Turn around and you see this:
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    After some time and about 13 miles, we hit a gravel road which took us back to Utah 12. We stopped at a rest room and here came our ATV friends from earlier. They are also from Arizona and thought we were crazy Europeans (hence the title) when we blasted by them earlier. :lol3 They had been camping and exploring the park for a few days and gave us some great road choices. Oh the people we meet.


    Finally we were on our way to Bryce Canyon. Yes, the park is paved and reminiscent of the Grand Canyon with how you have to see things, but we had to go anyway. Insert lots and lots of foreign tourists (mainly French) and bad drivers. The park is beautiful, worth seeing, but tiring at the same time. A lot of putting helmets on, taking them off, dismounting, walking around ATGATT. I prefer our adventure through Dixie NF much better. But it allows you to get a grand view of the rock formations.

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    Natural Bridge. We seriously need filter for the camera. This afternoon lighting was killing our photos.
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    After an expensive and unmemorable dinner, we zoomed back to the motel. Mesh gear is great during the day, but it actually cools down when the sun sets. Unlike Phoenix, where 85 is cold in the summer, and only found at night.
    On the way back we went through Red Canyon, which we missed earlier because of our Dixie NF detour. I squeezed a few shots out before my camera said "piss off its dark".

    Warp speed ahead.
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    Tomorrow...is up in the air. :wings
    #2
  3. Lycan1

    Lycan1 Grizzly herder

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,463
    Location:
    Calgary
    Nice pictures. Thanks for taking us along. Are you sure you had enough stuff loaded on the 990 in that one picture?:D
    #3
  4. Bronco3738

    Bronco3738 Mike

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    498
    Location:
    Just South of Phoenix, Arizona
    That is just the start of the pictures. Gear for two people for a week plus camping gear and food really adds up. We also carried 2 inflatable sleeping mats. We like to sleep as comfortable as we can. The 990 just shrugged it off and never gave us any problems. Although after cleaning it up today, the skid plate did take quite a beating.
    #4
  5. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    8/11/11


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    The truck was parked and locked up and the Space Shuttle was loaded down for our journey onward. Wait for it...look at all of our crap!
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    Sadly, we left Bryce.
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    Mike wanted to hit Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park. 25 miles or so down a crappy &#8220;well maintained&#8221; road (it varied from sand to marbles), we turned down a small road towards some slot canyons. We haven&#8217;t done any hiking, and it wasn&#8217;t too terribly hot outside - yet.
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    The slot canyons were pretty neat, quiet, and breezy.
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    We ran into a cool couple (Cliff and his wife). Cliff actually owns a KTM, so we didn&#8217;t have to explain the bike to him. They are an adventure couple. In their Toyota truck, just off to see the world. They&#8217;ve lived everywhere, now residing in Hawaii. I hope that will be Mike and I in our retirement.

    We left them and Mike insisted on going another 30 miles down the road to Hole In the Rock. Where we should be able to hop into Lake Powell.
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    It was scorching hot by this point, so a dip in the lake would be nice. There wasn&#8217;t a soul on the road, nor at Hole in the Rock, which should&#8217;ve been an indicator.

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    Yeah, the water wasn&#8217;t right there. You had to hike, no rock climb down to it. I made it half way and decided I was done. We hadn&#8217;t had any lunch and we were scary low on water. I knew that if I went to the bottom, I wouldn&#8217;t made it back up to the bike. Plus, Mike HATES heights.

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    I&#8217;m a novice rock climber, I love it. It doesn&#8217;t scare me, I know to trust my feet and leg muscles to get me where I need to go.

    MIKE HATES HEIGHTS. :eek1

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    This was the point where I stopped.

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    He struggled, but was a champ and made it back to the top. And then we were tapped out, no energy, NO water. Shit. Its hot and we are 60 miles from Escalante. I actually got a bit scared. But my king, spooled the Space Shuttle to Mach-1 and got us to Escalante in record time. We stopped and got two gallons of water and some ice-tea. I should really take out stock in Arizona Ice Tea.

    It was getting dark but he knew of a camp ground near a creek. Calf Creek here we come. Amazingly, we spotted Cliff and his wife in the same camp ground and lamented about our day to each other. Great people.

    We set up the tent by the light of the almost-full moon, and suited up for our &#8220;bath&#8221;. The camp ground has a small pool set up in the creek. It was ICE COLD but so necessary after the long and difficult afternoon we had. :vardy
    After some boil in the bag dinner, we cozy-ed up and finally went to sleep.



    Another day down...
    #5
  6. KHVol

    KHVol Long timer

    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,570
    Water in the desert is like fuel in an airplane..always take twice as much as you need....love your RR..
    #6
  7. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    8/12/2011


    Word of the day: HOT.:hair

    No, it wasn't yesterday's word; yesterday's word was DIFFICULT.

    We were up late, of course. I slept fitfully, and he slept well listening to the creek. We chatted with Cliff again about life, work, and politics. I really aspire to be that cool and laid back. I really aspire to keep the adventure within and live life like they did and still do.

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    I love this little camp ground. Its pretty much all tent camping, so you don&#8217;t have to suffer through loud generators during the night. Plus, you have the added benefit of a beautiful rock face on both sides of the creek. Oh, and the turkey&#8217;s came to breakfast, a family of five meandered into our camp site.
    This is where we bathed last night:
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    We blew through Boulder:
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    Sped along a ridgeline with the end goal of Bull Frog. I love Utah; their state motto should be &#8220;Drive at your own risk&#8221;, because guard rails are clearly overrated.

    We moseyed our way down the Burr Trail. Mike&#8217;s iPod was playing a mix of bluesy rock, peppered with Eric Clapton; it set the mood. :kumbaya

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    A lazy ride through the gorgeous Long Canyon and into Capital Reef.
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    The desert was doing her best to reclaim the road.
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    This is where we left a pack of Harley's with their leather skinned ladies.
    Capitol Reef awaits...
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    By the time we hit Capital Reef the bike was telling us that it was almost 100* outside. Lovely. I loathe the heat. (Go figure, I live and work in Phoenix) I couldn&#8217;t really enjoy the park and just wanted to get to Lake Powell. Plus the camera battery quit on me. Blech.

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    Before the camera quit, I did manage to snap some shots of a set of switchbacks we went down.
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    One more for the road.
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    We hit Bullfrog too early to just jump on the ferry towards Halls Crossing so we thought a meal would be nice. Nope. Apparently keeping your restaurant open all day is also overrated. That&#8217;s it, I officially hate Lake Powell communities. In each one we have been in, amenities have been scarce, everything is over priced yet cheap, and there is NO SHADE ANYWHERE. :kboom

    If they hadn&#8217;t dammed up the river, there wouldn&#8217;t be any communities near the lake.
    They didn&#8217;t even provide a small shade structure to sit under while waiting for the ferry. It was docked and empty, but they wouldn&#8217;t let us load. We baked in the sun for 25 minutes. Jerks.

    Anyway...I dug out the little camera to document the final haul to Mexican Hat.

    Baby, ah hem, I mean the Space Shuttle 990 had her maiden voyage across a body of water.

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    The GPS kept on tracking so according to the bike, we actually drove across the lake. I came up with a new tag line for KTM.....KTM, Jesus&#8217; #1 choice in off road vehicles.

    From Halls Crossing, Mike decided that he NEEDED steak in Mexican Hat. We blazed through and made it there by dusk.

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    Although half way down the Moki Dugway, the bike&#8217;s Oh Shit-o-meter, went off and told us that &#8220;hello, I need fuel idiots&#8221;. Mike poured our reserve in and we made it into Mexican Hat without having to call for help.

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    Of course, all of the regular motels were booked, so we ended up in the Budget, Roach Motel. We pretty much went to Mexican Hat for steak and a shower. :dg The steak (at the Mexican Hat Steak House, home of the swinging grill) was fantastic as usual. The shower was needed.

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    Good night Mexican Hat. Good night Utah.

    Tomorrow, back to cooler temperatures and a rest day.
    #7
  8. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    8/13/2011

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Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" 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mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> We woke early in Mexican Hat in order to make it to Halls Crossing for the first ferry at 9AM. Somehow, after a terrible nights sleep in the Roach Motel, we were up and on the road by 7AM.
    [​IMG]

    If possible, Mexican Hat is more beautiful in the morning light than in any other light we have seen it in.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    A typical portrait of the two of us:
    [​IMG]

    Up and over the Moki Dugway, we blazed our way towards Halls Crossing.

    The reds are more red in the morning. The sun hasn&#8217;t had time to bleach them out.
    [​IMG]

    There is something so solitary about being on the bike. Yes, we&#8217;re 2UP, but when you are the only vehicle on the 80 mile stretch from Mexican Hat to Halls Crossing, you feel quite alone. A good kind of alone: the kind that brings a smile to my face and makes me feel at peace. Well that and the head set in my helmet took a crap. I can hear music and hear Mike talk, but I can&#8217;t talk to him.

    Our chariot awaits!
    [​IMG]

    We crossed right at 9AM and had an over priced breakfast in Bull Frog. At least the restaurant had a fantastic view of Lake Powell.

    Onto Burr Trail and Capital Reef. Since we hit the park before the heat did, I enjoyed Capital Reef more. I could appreciate the land and scenery, instead of focusing on how hot and miserable I was.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Plus, the park is pretty much empty, only a car here or there, instead of packed like Zion was. We contemplated heading through the entire park, but had our hearts set on camping at Calf Creek again, and it would&#8217;ve put us too far away.

    So up the switch backs and out through Long Canyon towards Boulder it was.

    [​IMG]

    I still really love Boulder, small, quiet, and peaceful.

    Thankfully we hit Calf Creak around 1PM, because most of the camp sites were already spoken for. We managed to find a small one, close to the creek. We put up the tent, got into our bathing suits and took the chilly dip again.

    [​IMG]

    The camp ground is packed with hikers during the day, so we had to compete with people and fish for dipping space.
    And its pretty much confirmed. All of Europe is on vacation in Utah right now.

    The rest of today was spent doing a creek hike in the cold water. I wasn&#8217;t up for the 3 mile round trip trek to the falls. Plus, I want to save something for the next time we visit. This camping spot is perfect for our dogs: hiking and water.

    The clouds rolled in and sprinkled on and off throughout the night. It was fairly hot in the tent too. Odd how the night before last we froze in the same campground.
    #8
  9. enduro Dan

    enduro Dan Sticks and Stones™..

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    21,997
    Location:
    Orchard Park,NY
    [​IMG]

    Look familiar?

    Enjoying the report.
    #9
  10. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    [​IMG]

    Looks very familiar. This was a shot we took last year on our way through Mexican Hat. We were so hungry and tired by the time we got there, we forgot to bring the camera to dinner.

    Thanks!!:dg
    #10
  11. Bronco3738

    Bronco3738 Mike

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    498
    Location:
    Just South of Phoenix, Arizona
    It looks familiar, and this was the delicious result.

    <table style="width:auto;"><tr><td><a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/5-JYQ42XfceWWi6o-Aasqe76Oza9wI84L_huCsDfsVw?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-DzmaL6_PK6s/Tkxr9nF-RuI/AAAAAAAAAD0/nbzpB69FGOo/s144/%25253D%25253Futf-8%25253FB%25253FSU1HMDAxNDQtMjAxMTA4MTItMjAwMS5qcGc%25253D%25253F%25253D.jpg" height="108" width="144" /></a></td></tr><tr><td style="font-family:arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; text-align:right">From <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/MikeHitt1200/Utah2011?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCI7q9MWmx6rH0AE&feat=embedwebsite">Utah 2011</a></td></tr></table>
    #11
  12. Axiom

    Axiom Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    south east Idaho
    The waterfall at calf creek is worth the hike. Great ride report!:clap love sourthern utah. I hauled my klr in my pickup ( still plently of snow in March) when I camped in Escalante during sprinkbreak, but only was able to ride about 80 miles, a high of 30 degrees got old, but I will be going back. Love the great pictures.

    Attached Files:

    #12
  13. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    Love your photo of the falls. We have every intention of returning to Calf Creek. Next time will be with our dogs because I really believe that camp ground suits them perfectly.

    Thanks!
    #13
  14. Signal

    Signal Cynical Idealist

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,856
    Location:
    Utah
    Prefect route, Hellishly cool report :clap
    #14
  15. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,702
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    It looks like you two hit most of my favorite places to ride. Thanks for sharing. I'm hoping to make it back to S. Utah soon.
    #15
  16. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    The sky was pretty foreboding this morning. The clouds were only getting darker, but so far it didn&#8217;t rain. We packed up camp and headed back towards Escalante.
    [​IMG]

    We really wanted to make it back towards the Bryce area, but the weather doesn&#8217;t seem to be holding up.
    After fueling up, we hit Hells Backbone and headed back into the Dixie National Forest. The main forest roads were pretty washboardy and unpleasant.
    [​IMG]

    We took a left onto Whites Flat and up to the Barker Reservoir. It was chilly, and sprinkled on and off, but the views were still pretty fantastic. And this road was much better.
    [​IMG]

    Oh, and the Aspens...oh the Aspens. So pretty, so white. I had to have a brief photo shoot among the Aspens: white bike among the white trees.
    [​IMG]

    We hit 9600 feet above sea level, which I believe is the highest the Space Shuttle has been. It&#8217;s confirmed, we&#8217;ll be back to Escalante too. Barker would be a perfect rec place for our pups too.
    [​IMG]

    I took a lot of pictures of cows on this trip. But this one is worth posting because they were chilling in trees.
    [​IMG]

    On the way back down the mountain we spooked some deer. This guy was pretty hilarious. He ran behind a tree then craned his neck out to check us out. The photo is kind blase because of the overall gray of the day but still...
    [​IMG]

    Lake at the bottom
    [​IMG]


    A look back at the mountain. Oh and that there, I told Mike to buy me that log cabin. I don't think he thought me serious.
    [​IMG]


    At this point, we thought we left the gray foreboding clouds behind...
    [​IMG]

    Starving, we went to Escalante Outfitters for lunch. The boast of having &#8220;NY Times #1 pizza in Utah&#8221;, and I would have to agree. That was probably the best pizza we&#8217;ve had in a long time. We'd already demolished most of the pizza before I remembered the ADV tradition of taking photos of your food.

    [​IMG]

    It rained a bit while we were eating but appeared to clear up.
    The clouds were still gnarly so we opted for a small one room cabin next door, unloaded the gear and hit the saddle. We were really hoping to hit some more trails before the worst of the rain hit. No such luck. We made it, maybe 20 miles up the road when we saw the real storm coming.

    [​IMG]

    We made it back to Escalante just as it started to pour. Headed back into the Outfitters for a coffee and chatted with fellow Adv&#8217;ers, David (Dman) and Eric (Wiggam810). Both of whom are headed on a 6 week bike trip from here to Burning Man and onto northern California on their respective KTM 950 and Vstrom.

    The day was pretty shot since lunch due to the rains. We spent most of the afternoon lazing around in our cabin. Went back to the Outfitters (they have excellent food) for dinner and wound up chatting with a British couple about our respective adventures. On a whim, they bought camping gear, packed up the kids and flew to Vegas for a 2 week camping adventure. I like their style.

    We may have not ridden as much as we would've liked but I thoroughly enjoyed today. We met some awesome people because we were cooped up from the storm. :clap

    After a hot and long shower (very much needed), we tucked ourselves away in our little bunk cabin for a good nights rest. I am just hoping that the rains don&#8217;t kill the roads we wanted to enjoy tomorrow.
    #16
  17. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,890
    Location:
    up on the pegs, in CA
    Hey, you two!
    (thanks for the heads up, jadedillusion)
    Nice to see you guys back on the road :thumb

    I really like this glamour shot (tried to quote it, but it didn't work :scratch)

    Looks like you had a fun ride!
    Aww, that little deer peeking around the tree is really cute!

    waiting for more...
    #17
  18. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    529
    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Awesome!! Loving the report.
    Funny---This is the only way I can get a photo of us 2up also.
    I hope to add one like this to our collection.
    [​IMG]
    :lurk
    #18
  19. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    Day 7...Last day :cry

    We woke early-ish, had a small breakfast and bid a final farewell to Escalante. Instead of heading back to Panguitch via tarmac, we opted to take Main Canyon Great Western OHV Access Route off of US12 through Dixie NF and up into the Escalante Mountains.

    [​IMG]

    Mike had a general idea of what direction we needed to go and from there we just winged it.:p3rry
    The roads were phenomenal. Nice climbing forest roads with incredible views of the entire valley.

    [​IMG]

    We took an off shoot that took us to 10,500 feet and a huge cattle field atop the mountain.
    <iframe title="Preview" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" style="width:320px;height:240px;padding:0;background-color:#fcfcfc;" src="https://skydrive.live.com/embedphoto.aspx/Utah%202011/IMG%5E_6215.JPG?cid=444eed666fa54287&sc=photos" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>
    I felt like we could&#8217;ve touched the sky. It was 56*, half of the expected temperatures in Casa Grande.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Instead of his initial route, he opted to climb a road (more of a ATV trail) up towards Barney Top. We stopped in between two gnarly loose rock/steep climbs for A: the view and B: so he could scout the remainder of the climb.

    Hmmn...do I want to drag the Space Shuttle up this?
    [​IMG]

    He hoofed it up while I stayed put. He walked back down giggling because low and behold David and Eric from yesterday had camped at the top.
    I videoed him climbing and walked to the top myself.

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/v-N6sBCOouA" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="345" width="560"></iframe>

    The guys watched him climb and were amazed. Apparently he made it look easy. LOL.

    Mike, Eric (Wiggam810), and David (Dmann)
    [​IMG]


    What a killer camp site!
    [​IMG]


    Hey look PinkPillion, an actual picture! Its a rarity for us too..
    [​IMG]

    We stayed and chatted about bikes for a while and David told us about Powell Point. The guys were going to ride it out and hike to the actual point. We just wanted to ride it out. We left the guys to finish packing and headed out.
    On the way there we damn near had a head on with Jefe on his GS1200. We told him about Escalante Outfitters amazing pizza and bid him farewell.

    Oh, and you know your at 10,000 feet, at the top of a mountain, when you pass a tower.
    [​IMG]

    Its not mentioned on maps, or on the signs, but the road to the point is more of an ATV trail than a car/truck trail. It was great &#8211; tree roots, mud, awesome little forest route.
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    We laughed because we thought David and Eric would get a kick seeing us loaded to the gills and 2UP doing this trail. Sure enough on the way back we ran into them. I got a brief video of them passing us. :wave

    <iframe src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/jwloPRYrshQ" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="345" width="560"></iframe>

    As long as it took us to climb to 10,600 feet (our highest yet), it barely took any time at all to lose elevation and head back to the plains. We were on such a high, the riding today even beat riding in Bryce on the first day, and even topped Moab. We just loved it.

    A view from the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    Mike had to take a brief interlude and stop to Widtsoe, which was supposed to be a ghost town. Not so much. You can&#8217;t call a place a ghost town when there are trailers and brand new houses in the same area.

    [​IMG]


    After an extremely late lunch outside of Bryce, we back tracked towards Tropic to see the Moss Cave and Tropic Falls. It was a nice little hike, very touristy, but still nice.The pictures don't particularly do the falls justice.

    Pre falls:
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Window:
    [​IMG]


    Why hello there little guy. We saw one of these at Calf Creek too.
    [​IMG]


    While gearing back up, we ran into an old man we briefly met at the cabins last night. Mike never got his name. He is in his 60&#8217;s and riding a bicycle from York, PA to California. Talk about a goal, and he&#8217;s almost there. I want to be that ballsy when I&#8217;m in my 60&#8217;s.

    By this time it was mid afternoon and there was plenty of sun left in the sky. From US12 we got back onto the Fremont ATV trail towards the Tropic Reservoir.

    [​IMG]


    Can you tell we don't see much water in Phoenix? Utah just leaves it sitting around everywhere!

    From there we linked up onto Paunsaugunt ATV trail towards Proctor Canyon with the end goal of Hatch. It was a nice lazy route back towards tarmac.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We had one last climb and descent before finally ending out off road adventures.

    All told we did about 90 miles off road today, a lot of it on ATV trails. It was a fantastic way to end our trip.

    Back to Panguitch, the bike was unloaded in record time and back in the truck. I can't believe the adventure is over. :2cry

    I am not going to call this whole trip better than our honeymoon, but today&#8217;s riding alone has been the best we&#8217;ve ever done.:wings

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    #19
  20. jadedillusion

    jadedillusion Adventure Wife

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    120
    Location:
    Arizona
    FYI:

    I splurged and got a SmugMug account. Windowslive wasn't doing it for me for a variety of reasons: it wasn't very intuitive and I couldn't show off my pics at work because work blocked it.

    So if you were previously having issues viewing the pics in the thread, be patient, I'm in the process of switching it over to SmugMug.

    [​IMG]
    #20