Dual Sport Meandering in Colorado and Utah

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Rut Runner, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. sophijo

    sophijo Been here awhile

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    SE Michigan
    Beautiful photography! Solo rides can be kinda spooky re broken bikes and such! Thanks for the report.
    #21
  2. ROYAL COACHMAN

    ROYAL COACHMAN Long timer

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    Defiance, Mo.
    Outstanding photo's !!



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    #22
  3. Hoot Gibson

    Hoot Gibson Banned

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    Jul 19, 2013
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    Location:
    Bottom of Grand Lake Ohio
    I have enjoyed the ride/drive from Canon City to Cripple Creek on Shelf Road...especially back in the days when Cripple Creek was a one horse town, and the Casinos and Conda were in the distant future.....

    Subscribed....excellent photography:clap
    #23
  4. Rut Runner

    Rut Runner Been here awhile

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    <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Cathedral</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Valley</st1:placeType></st1:place><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    The <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Cathedral</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">Valley</st1:placeType></st1:place> route is a 55 mile loop through Capitol Reef NP and surrounding BLM land. The 4WD Trails Guidebook gave it a 10/10 rating for scenery and 2/10 for difficulty. The start of the trail involves a fording of the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Fremont</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">River</st1:placeType></st1:place>, which I wanted to avoid in the present conditions. According to other sources it is possible to enter via Caineville wash road and then cut across to avoid the river ford. I managed to find a shortcut across within a few hundred yards of hwy 24. These pics were taken on the shortcut before reaching the main route:<o:p></o:p>

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    I had to dodge a few flooded sections and the low-lying approach to the Bentonite Hills had my rear wheel spinning, Once up on the hills the road firmed up quite abit- from here it was fast riding.


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    Bike is parked just in front of the "temple":
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    Heading back south the road deteriorated quite abit. There were frequent wash-outs and flooded sections. One washout was 4 feet deep and ran between two ridges. Not wanted to desecrate a National Park by going cross country, I ended up breaking down the square edges of the washout with my boots. That took awhile. My fear at this point was making it 80% of the way, then having to backtrack! I continued on and was quite relieved when I picked up recent vehicle tracks coming from the other direction. Conditions improved and I eventually made it to hwy 24. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    This is an area I would like to return to. The 10/10 scenic rating was well deserved and there were many other roads and trails intersecting the main route. I don’t think you could go wrong exploring in this area!



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    To be cont'd...
    #24
  5. Ontario GS

    Ontario GS Budding Adv. Traveler

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Peterborough, ON, CA
    Great report Mike, you definitely have an eye for photography, the images are great. Send me an email or pm, is the 4WD guidebooks you use Charles Wells books or another author?

    If you're ever planning another trip back down to the area, I would be happy to split the driving and cost.
    #25
  6. DYNOBOB

    DYNOBOB lucky dog

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    Beautiful photos Mike!

    Do you carry a Spot type device?


    .
    #26
  7. Dubl-A

    Dubl-A SuckerDucker

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    Amazing pics :thumb
    #27
  8. tommo2

    tommo2 Michiganee

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    Mar 22, 2008
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    Location:
    West Michigan motobarn/Condor Machining Goleta
    :clap
    #28
  9. Rut Runner

    Rut Runner Been here awhile

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    The guidebook that I consulted was Peter Masseys Central Utah 4WD Trails. I didn't carry any paper maps this time. I kept camera phone pictures of all my maps, supplemented by the park services PDFs.

    I did carry a SPOT device rented from a club member. It's sort of a necessary piece of riding overhead.

    Mike
    #29
  10. Vikingtazz

    Vikingtazz Will ride for food.

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
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    569
    Location:
    Prescott Ontario, Canada
    Nice RR Mike - I sent a link to my gf so she can ogle the lovely photos.

    We're planning a Route 66 adventure this year and I'm in the hunt for a pair of CT110's to bring in the back of the truck for day trips.

    One down, one to go.

    Cheers! :clap

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    #30
  11. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Cathedral Valley is definitely a 10. My wife and I have ridden it several times. The beauty never gets old. Fantastic pictures.:clap
    What camera were you using? I didn't see it posted.
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    #31
  12. Rut Runner

    Rut Runner Been here awhile

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    Great pics in your RRs Bomose!

    I used a Nikon P7700. I wanted something better than the SD1200 Elph I've used in the past. Factory refurbed ones with warranty came up for $280, which made it the cheapest of the premium compacts. It has threads to accept filters, but I've never got around to trying them.

    In the car I kept my wife's D7000 Dslr. Comparing pics from the two, I can't really tell the difference. I guess as others have said in the forums here, modern point and shoots are pretty good, is true.
    #32
  13. Phoenix101

    Phoenix101 Long timer

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    Right Side of WA
    would need to be on a Beamer 1200GS to hit "moron" status:rofl
    #33
  14. stickman1432

    stickman1432 Crusty Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
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    Location:
    So.Cal.& St George UT-Baja-riding anywhere

    No that XR650R with the 7 gallon+ gas tank is over 400 pounds, so it is just about 100 pounds short of the GS. So it is moron for either one to get out of that friggin mud.

    You and your buddy would bust their balls rescuing the bike for sure!!!! :eek1:eek1:wink:
    #34
  15. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

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    naw, a moron wouldnt even try. he would just sit around in his underwear posting on the internet.

    OP, sorry for the hijack there. i will remove the pics to avoid further confusing the simples.


    -jb

    Posted with TapaTalk on i5
    #35
  16. Rut Runner

    Rut Runner Been here awhile

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    The plan for the next few days was to head west and do some exploring in the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Grand</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Staircase-Escalante</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">National Monument</st1:placeType></st1:place>. This is one of the largest in <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Utah</st1:place></st1:State> at 1.9 million acres. The PDF map put out by the park is 40 MB and contains over one thousand miles of routes. ATV’s are allowed on some of these.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    I checked in at the visitor center in Escalante. The park staff were very blunt: “All the backcountry routes are closed, check back in one week” Not the thing you wanted to hear! I decided to check out Hole in the Rock road. Turning off Hwy 12 I saw the sign “Road Closed” I ignored it and continued on. There was no other traffic and soon I saw signs of road work. The washouts at the major wash crossings were quite a sight. Large diameter culverts had been washed downstream hundreds of feet. A bulldozer had cleared a path down the embankment, across the wash and up the other embankment. With 4 wheel drive it was not a problem. There were many crossings like this. <o:p></o:p>
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    I made it to the turn-off for Left Hand Collet Canyon and unloaded. The plan was to ride to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Lake</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Powell</st1:placeName></st1:place> via left Hand Collet canyon, the Croton road and recreation road 262. After starting out I began to doubt my choice of Left Hand Collet. They were many washouts and flooded sections-I almost turned back. The floodwaters had scoured away the doubletrack, leaving just square edged ledges and drop-offs. The final ascent out of the canyon took the most time. The route up was almost completely obliterated, with just a jumble of boulders and huge crevices. These are some of the pics from the canyon:<o:p></o:p>
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    The junction with the Croton road is at a <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">high point</st1:place></st1:City> and you can see for tens of miles to the south. The road had little or no storm damage so I made good time. It’s a fast road with a few steep grades. It’s a bit eerie following this road for hours through a stunted juniper forest. Except for the road there are no signs of human presence.



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    The Croton road is visible down below as it drops towards Lake Powell:
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    The road descends in steps towards <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeType w:st="on">Lake</st1:placeType> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Powell</st1:placeName></st1:place> before reaching a cow camp. This is the start of the Recreation Road 262. My effort was perhaps the briefest attempt ever on this road: I opened the cattle gate, walked 30 ft to where the road started its descent, took one look, turned and walked back! The doubletrack was deeply eroded and steep. It was 4 in the afternoon, and I didn’t want to tackle it that late in the day.



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    I checked out the cow camp. There were two small trailers, a corral and a storage container. One trailer was stocked with food and water. The isolation of this place gave me a real creepy vibe. At this point I decided to continue on to Page and motel it there for the night. These are some pics along the way:



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    Conditions were good except for the last wash crossing at Big Water. When I got there water was still flowing in the wash. The road had been washed out and 7 ft high embankments remained. I had a momentary flash of panic, thinking I would have to backtrack all the way to my car! I spotted a few ATV tracks which led down the wash and up the other side. It looked steep but doable. When I scooted out of the wash I underestimated the looseness of the soil. The front end of the XR came up too high and I separated from the bike. The bike made it over the embankment but it continued on by itself, perfectly balanced, almost vertical! It rocked back abit and the license plate dragged the ground. It bobbled like this for 10 ft before falling sideways. Luckily the fender was undamaged-I’ve snapped fenders before doing steep hill climbs!<o:p></o:p>
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    I filled up at the gas station in Big Water and phoned my wife back home. I asked her to find a cheap motel for me in Page. After a lengthy delay she informs me the only vacancies are suites at the Best Western, at $340 a night! I decided to do a drive-through of Page to see if I could find anything. Indeed, No Vacancy signs were everywhere. I stopped at the McDonalds to use their Wifi. After many phone calls it became clear that Page was booked solid. Motel owners were saying people were diverting to Kanab or <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Flagstaff</st1:place></st1:City>. The parking lot of the McDonalds was filled with people getting ready to sleep in their cars.<o:p></o:p>
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    My choice was to pay $340 or camp out somewhere. I started to look for a comfortable piece of ground. It was still 82F at 11:00pm so I wouldn’t freeze. Across the street was a Walmart with empty desert behind it. I scooted over, popped my wheel over the curb and rode several hundred feet in. <o:p></o:p>
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    To be continued…<o:p></o:p>
    #36
  17. bogboy

    bogboy Adventurer

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    Westford, Ma.
    Awesome. Ill be doing same areas this September. Great pictures, thanks for sharing
    #37
  18. Rut Runner

    Rut Runner Been here awhile

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    This was my first night ever sleeping under the stars. I kept all my gear on, and added a sweater. Keeping the helmet on worked well. I only needed a small bit of padding under the helmet to be comfortable, and I used my camelback for that. In some ways I slept better than in a tent. On solo trips before in the wilderness, I would find myself focusing on the slightest noise, thinking it could be a bear or something. Out here you just have to open your eyes! Another plus was opening your eyes and seeing a broad starscape. I woke up a few times. If I did it again I would try and use a sleeping pad.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    The route back to my car would be the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Smoky Mountain Road</st1:address></st1:Street>. On the way back to Big Water I turned in at <st1:Street w:st="on"><st1:address w:st="on">Lone Rock Road</st1:address></st1:Street>. There used to be a public beach down this road. The beach is still there, but now they charge $15 per vehicle user fee! I skipped that and continued on:


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    The road up to the top of Kelly Grade was very scenic and in good shape. After that it became much rougher. Going from Big Water to the top of the Kelly grade would be a good side trip for any bike.



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    Going down Left Hand Collet canyon was easier than going up:<o:p></o:p>
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    I made it back to my truck in time to drive to <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placeName w:st="on">Swing</st1:placeName> <st1:placeName w:st="on">Arm</st1:placeName> <st1:placeType w:st="on">City</st1:placeType></st1:place> and do abit of hill climbing. All I can say was it was a big relief to get my boots off after wearing them for 30 hrs!<o:p></o:p>
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    To be cont’d…<o:p></o:p>
    #38
  19. scarysharkface

    scarysharkface Imbecile

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    Beautiful pics.
    #39
  20. ADVGirlCharlotte

    ADVGirlCharlotte Scooter Trash

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    Priest Lake Idaho, Spokane, WA
    I really enjoyed your pictures. Looks like an amazing time :))
    #40