Grand Canyon Backcountry Adventure Ride

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dave6253, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Thanks mbabc.

    Mmmmm, French pastries sound delicious.

    Thanks, Orangecicle. You have some impressive photography in your Colorado BDR report as well.
    #61
  2. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I'm glad you like them, hyperboarder.

    Hi RonSJC. I'm using 2 cameras for the stills. I use an Olympus EPL-1 MicroFourThirds with a 17mm pancake lens for my compact camera. A majority of the photos in this report are from that camera. I used a Pentax K-5 dSLR and three lenses for most of the sunrise, sunset and star photos.
    #62
  3. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I leave town down the same roads I traveled yesterday...


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    ...but they don't feel the same.

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    I finally reach...

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    the Mt Trumbull Schoolhouse. I've been inside several times before.

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    Cow Under the Moon

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    I head south from the schoolhouse junction onto a road I've never seen.

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    Down...

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    down...

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    down I go into Whitmore Canyon.

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    I pass through an open gate and one I had to open myself.

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    I see the Bar-10 Ranch and am surprised by how small it appears. It was one small lodge with several smaller buildings behind it.

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    I didn't stop at the ranch or the bustling airport.

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    Past the airstrip the road narrows into an ATV trail. The ranch operates ATV tours through here and I passed a group heading back up.
    I chat with the friendly ATV guide a few minutes. The tourists all tell me the view is worth the ride.

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    At this sign look for the road to get a little rougher and steeper.

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    I keep checking the new part, but its holding all of the fuel in.

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    Had I mentioned yet I need to re-valve the suspension? The front forks are to harsh and the front wheel is getting deflected all over the place
    in all of the loose rocks. It would probably help to have a steering dampener, but the only steering dampener I have are my clenched fists.

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    There were a few washes to cross...

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    but I've had so much practice at these this week that they seemed easy.

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    Finally, the Colorado River comes into view.

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    Wow! I'm really down in the Grand Canyon!

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    Actually, the Whitmore Overlook is only 700 feet above the river. There is a four mile hiking trail that even I could probably reach the river with.
    I had considered hiking it, but it was almost 100 degrees and I'm not feeling up to it.

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    Whitmore Overlook Panorama

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    #63
  4. AKMotorbiker

    AKMotorbiker Searching for sanity

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    A view and experience you'll never get at the main viewing platforms.
    #64
  5. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

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    Absolutely fantastic! More please. :D
    #65
  6. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

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    The Whitmore Overlook is beautiful!! Awesome!! :clap
    #66
  7. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless

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    Here for reals.
    :clap Good ride report! Thanks for sharing!
    #67
  8. x-box

    x-box Adventurer

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    Gold Coast, AU
    Always fun to read your ride reports - might even inspire me to get off my bum and go for a decent trip on the dirt!! :wink:

    Beautiful photo's and well-written, you have some stunning country to explore and ride in. Thanks for the effort of posting your RR's :thumb
    #68
  9. Staxrider

    Staxrider dirt dauber

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    Really liked your pictures from Whitmore Overlook as I have never seen the Grand Canyon from that vantage point. It really is a magical place. Your trip reminded me of a story I read about a person with renal failure, Bill Peckham, who completed a 8 day rafting trip down the Colorado and he drug along a portable dialysis machine just because he wouldn't accept the limitations others placed upon him because of his disease.
    #69
  10. Reverend12

    Reverend12 Well there it is..

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    :clap Dang what a great Ride Report! As stated pictures are awesome..:thumb
    #70
  11. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Uphill in Whitmore Canyon was a wild ride at times in the loose rock sections, but other sections were stunning.

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    I pass by the Bar-10 airstrip again. There was a small shuttle bus with 4-5 tourists and a pilot taking pictures with the plane.
    They were probably the same tourists on the ATV tour I had passed. I blasted past at 45 mph and didn't even bother stopping at the ranch.

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    I made good time back to the schoolhouse junction and...

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    made the right turn heading up the mountain.

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    The road over the mountain had a lot of dried ruts and this cattle guard was undercut by the flooding. There was a go around though.
    I was having fun powering out of the corners when the rear tire started feeling squishy...

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    Uh oh!

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    So after rumbling over millions of sharp lava rocks today, the tire is punctured by a blunt machine screw?

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    I get to practice my first ever trail-side tube replacement. Its the very first flat on this bike.
    I usually mount my own tires so that I'll be practiced in how to do it when this day comes.
    I always wondered if I would be able to break the bead, but the new Motion Pro BeadPRO tools work awesome.


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    So I took my time and chatted a few minutes with the only driver that passed, a local rancher.

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    My little compressor was SLOW! There wasn't much to do at this point...

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    ...but wander around with the camera hoping the little compressor didn't catch fire.

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    The bead finally popped into place at 55 psi.
    I hate to admit this, but I was finally packed up and ready to go after 1 hour and 45 minutes. :huh
    I was being careful to not do anything stupid, but still... I probably should pick up the pace next time.
    A faster pump would help.

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    I finished up the ruts...

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    ...and left the forest behind...

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    ...for the next valley and intersection.

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    #71
  12. jdunay

    jdunay time travler

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    fantastic photos . what kind of camera do you use?
    #72
  13. byways

    byways byways

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    You're an impressive story teller and photographer ... and one heck of a gutsy guy, Dave6253. I'm loving this awesome report.
    #73
  14. KiLO

    KiLO Adventure Cafe

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    Dave, thank you so much for sharing this. I absolutely love this ride report, and I fell so deeply in love with UT (Zion National Park area) when I went there for the first time. I have been back a few times, but am dying to return again. This trip looks fabulous, and your photography is stunning!
    #74
  15. Bronco3738

    Bronco3738 Mike

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    He answered just a few posts up. Dave you are taking some great pictures on this trip.
    #75
  16. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I headed towards Toroweap on the familiar road. I think this is my 5th trip out here. I camped here 2 nights with my family last spring.

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    The old Adams Leaning Wheel Grader is a sign I'm getting close.

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    Because of the flat tire I'm running late if I want sunset photos from the overlook. I'm glad I didn't try to squeeze in the hike at Whitmore Overlook.
    The campground had plenty of spaces left, so I rushed down to the overlook first. I had to whole place to myself.


    This 171 degree panorama is the view towards Lava Falls... SCROLL RIGHT----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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    and this is the narrow section of the canyon with the river 3000 feet straight down below.
    The view is dizzying. I love sitting here watching the changing light and colors.

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    #76
  17. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    After sunset I head up to the campground and grab my favorite campsite.
    There were only three other campsites occupied, and no one was near me.
    Considering all of the other campsites during the trip, this area was crowded.


    I had some hot and spicy noodles, which helps open the sinuses and drain the dust.:D

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    Then the stars came out.

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    This was the same campsite where I shot this photo in 2011 that made it on the front page rotation for a bit.
    I missed having my son with me this time.
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    Without a fire and with the Milky Way in another location I didn't try to recreate the shot.

    It was a nice night. The trails today wore me out, so I slept well.

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    #77
  18. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    So very true. I don't dislike seeing the canyon from any of the viewpoints, but there are so many great places to go to avoid the crowds.

    Hi RedDogAlberta. Thanks for joining in for another one.

    Yes. I had hoped to camp here for better photos and to hike, but it was to hot and I was behind schedule.
    #78
  19. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Thanks, Supahflid.

    You're welcome! I enjoy posting these, but it is definitely time-consuming.

    That was my first trip out to Whitmore Overlook also. I think Toroweap is far more impressive though.
    Renal failure!? I'm glad I didn't deal with that on this trip. I did have kidney stones within the past year. Does that count?:lol3
    #79
  20. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I'm glad you are enjoying the report Reverend12. Thanks for commenting.

    Hi, jdunay. That's always a popular question. I would add the camera doesn't matter all that much.


    Hey thanks, byways.
    #80