Louisiana to Alaska on as much dirt as possible

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ejtv, May 27, 2011.

  1. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Today was going to be a long one, about 230 miles to Moab. Quick breakfast in Telluride after a restful night and then head out to Last Dollar Pass, the last one we didn't make on our F650's four years back.

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    I looked for this snowmobile from what I remember last time in the area. They moved it a couple of miles east with a better background.

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    Here it is 4 years ago:

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    On our way to Moab we found lots of this:

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    :ricky

    And these:

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    Resting, refueling and eating lunch:

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    More and more:

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    :happay

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    On a tough single track climb trying to clear the rear wheel over what felt like a two foot step, when we were about without energy, I look back and see a horse and the rider asks, do you need help? And here he is after lassoing the WT and pulling it over the step. Unreal!

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    :super

    The La Sals in the distance?

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    Hmm, if not those, then these:

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    Now it's starting to look more like Utah:


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    Gateway somewhere down there:

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    And now on John Brown Canyon raceway!

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    Closer now to Moab:

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    In the La Sals:

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    Then just a little jump over to Moab for dinner at Moab Grill!
    #81
  2. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

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    thanks for the report and pictures. I'm going to be leaving from FL aug 14th doing some of the same stuff. How was the temps in Colorado? Any Tracks?

    thanks keep it coming
    #82
  3. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

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    N :d
    #83
  4. wachs

    wachs just passin' through

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    Excellent - you guys put down some mileage! :clap
    #84
  5. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

    Joined:
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    We met jakbrand and 4 other riders from Florida upon our arrival in Moab Friday evening. Plan is to depart Saturday after basic bike maintenance and lunch. The Grand Utah Roulette route jakbrand prepared looked really good and not too difficult…:rofl…"I did not expect this" was his trademark phrase all week…:eek1

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    ...Lockhart Canyon Rd, Beef Basin, Abajo Mountains, Henry Mountains, Escalante/Burr, Smokey Mountain Rd, the North Rim, Bryce, Piute ATV trail, Capitol Reef/Cathedral Valley, then parallel I-70 from heading east and drop back to Moab a week later by Friday early afternoon using the Crystal Geyser jeep road. We would mostly bush camp and resupply gas, water and food at gas stations at 100-150 mile intervals.

    So here it goes (photo's courtesy of jakbrand, ebarDP48 and ejtv):

    Saturday lunch at Zax before the Grand Utah Roulette starts:

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    7 bikes start and arrive at Hurrah Pass...

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    First rough spot, after the Chicken Corners intersection, through a narrow steep canyon…the first WR ridden by my son Tbang makes it...

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    Dwip on his KTM450:

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    The second WR ridden by yours truly makes it too, but form? Not so good...

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    The vast dimension and remoteness of Lockhart Canyon is unreal. We did not see another car or motorcycle the whole afternoon in Lockhart:

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    Resting on the one little bit of shade we found….temperatures in June? Brutal:

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    Cool shades son...

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    After taking this picture of jakbrand I had my next mechanical…the moto would not start, it would crank, but would not start…we eventually got to a downhill, rolled it and it started on second…we had no idea why but suspected something with the fuel system…prelude of things to come… :becca

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    Corny but I can't resist:

    Anecdote of a Motorcycle…

    I placed a motorcycle in Utah,
    …the canyon rose up to it no longer wild
    …it took dominion everywhere
    ...it did not give of bird or bush,
    …like nothing else in Utah.

    Here's the full proper poem by Wallace Stevens

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    Needles Outpost for gas, water, shade…Do NOT offer to pay with credit cards or else…no gas for you!

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    jakbrand attempts to pay with plastic and gets water-gun treatment:

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    After Needles Outpost, one of the 7 riders choses to turn back to Moab due to what felt like a moderate heat stroke...

    Next, the six would tackle Elephant Hill...

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    and find a place to sleep around Devil's Pocket…This looked as good as any:

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    #85
  6. WaywardSon

    WaywardSon Long timer

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    Location:
    Somewhere East of Omaha....
    Really nice report & ride through some great country. We were out West through much of the same country a couple of years ago........need to go back!

    Thanks for taking the time to include us!
    #86
  7. blake716

    blake716 nine toes

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    Subscribed!

    :lurk
    #87
  8. F.P.

    F.P. Clown who is sick

    Joined:
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    Location:
    San Josey, CA
    Thanks for taking the time to put this together. Love the scenery.
    FP
    #88
  9. EbarDP48

    EbarDP48 100.5 Octane

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    Central Florida
    Edwardo, I wish things would have worked out differently, but I had a great time riding with you to Hite.
    Here's a little video from Devils Lane.

    HTML:
    
    
    #89
  10. EbarDP48

    EbarDP48 100.5 Octane

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    #90
  11. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

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    Awesome vid. You guys have some gps coordinates for devils lane?
    #91
  12. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    Location:
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    Early Sunday morning on Devil's Lane:

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    The climb out of Bobby's Hole:

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    It wasn't the steepness but the sand, lose rock and lack of grip. Here's dwip, pushing the bike on his own all the way up:

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    jakbrand was the only one who cleared the climb without stalling or needing help. Here he is riding my bike:

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    Here's ebarDP48 on his loaded KTM 690...:

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    We unloaded each bike and hiked gear up the climb. Latitude 40 Maps rates this climb as a double "D", just like several other climbs around Moab such as Elephant Hill, Pritchett, Moab Rim, Murphy, Hardscrabble, Rose Garden, etc., but this is the only double D with the admonition: "May be impassable for most 4WD vehicles." jakbrand wasn't expecting that, I am sure.

    Here's tbang giving it a go:

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    Took us about an hour and change to ride/carry all six bikes and gear up the climb. They don't call it Bobby's Hole for nothing.

    Beef Basin was a nice break from the technical sections that preceded:

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    Climbing the Abajo Mountains to cool off a bit:

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    For those of you who saw the video above, the blue jettisoned bag is being carried by me and not jeeps...:nod:wink:

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    So my third and fourth mechanicals were inability to get the bike started once after stopping and once after crashing. I could only restart the bike on downhills. Below is my fifth mechanical along the flattest section of road that day, Gooseberry Rd….the bike simply quit. We diagnosed it as a fuel pump issue, these WR's being fuel injected, we could not hear the fuel pump priming...

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    2 miles prior to this failure, ebarDP48 spotted a rope wound up between my rear disk break and spokes. Rather than cut it and leave it behind, I unwound it and saved it…little did I know I would use it, shown above being connected between both WRs, so that tbang could tow me back several miles until we found a suitable downhill to get my bike restarted.

    Once I got to Hite, I decided to call the Grand Utah Roulette quits, :cry and slab it back to Moab. Tbang decides to accompany me, out of solidarity, a father-son thing he said. Our hope was to find a fuel pump replacement Monday. I later would learn fuel pumps are a very common failure point for these 2008 WR250R's. I just wish Yamaha would have simply recalled these machines so that my trip wouldn't be ruined. How many other trips have been ruined out there by these pump failures? :ear Apparently very high temperatures affect the defective 2008 fuel pumps and the onboard chip shuts them off. The flow of fuel through the pump on a downhill start cools it, hence the ability to get the bikes restarted in that fashion. Just a theory, but fits the facts.

    At Hite, another rider, D, wasn't feeling that great after Bobby's Hole and the heat and decided to return to Moab...ebarDP48, out of solidarity, accompanied D back…

    And then there were two...

    So dwip and jakbrand gave each other high five's for getting rid of their 5 companions and were left to continue the Grand Utah Roulette by their lonesome selves.…
    #92
  13. EbarDP48

    EbarDP48 100.5 Octane

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    #93
  14. jakbrand

    jakbrand 100 octane

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    Hurricane Alley
    ET,

    Your WR's will meet any dual sport challenge with success after they receive a fuel pump transplant. The big fuel tank and suspension upgrade was money well spent. I like those plucky 250's, especially the beefy steel kick stand.

    tbang cruising up Elephant Hill :clap
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    #94
  15. EbarDP48

    EbarDP48 100.5 Octane

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    I just want to add that as usual...unless you've ridden some of these sections, the pictures do little to provide a real perspective of how difficult this climb actually is.
    Pictures never do justice to being there.
    Bert

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    And looking uphill towards the summit of "Bobby's Hole"

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    #95
  16. EbarDP48

    EbarDP48 100.5 Octane

    Joined:
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    We took advantage of ejtv's Yamaha starting problems by waiting in the shade of the first real trees we'd seen since we'd left Moab. During this time D got real quite and then turned a nice shade of green. It wasn't long before he heaved everything except his boots.
    I've been there and I know how difficult it is to ride when you're sick but D pressed on towards Hite.

    I asked for a sign once we stopped in Hite and D gave me the ol "Thumbs up"

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    But not long after this was taken he almost collapsed. We got some fluids in him, but he was done.
    I knew that we were behind schedule and that Dwip and JakBrand needed to head on out without further delay.
    I didn't feel right leaving D in Hite alone...especially considering that we didn't know his true condition.
    JakBrand, Dwip and D all protested that I should continue on the ride, but I finally convienced them to go on ahead without me.
    This would be the end of my ride in Utah this time....But, by the next day I'd devised a plan.
    I decided to make the best of a bad situation as I waited for D to recover long enough to ride...or bury him.
    Here are a few pictures of Hite.


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    I looked up" middle of nowhere" in the dictionary and found this picture leading into Hite Utah.

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    Utah really is a great place to ride. If you ever get the chance....say YES!!

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    More on my alternate plans in a different ride report.
    Bert
    #96
  17. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
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    Great pics and ride!
    Please link your next part "alternate plans" here.
    #97
  18. EbarDP48

    EbarDP48 100.5 Octane

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    Central Florida


    I'll include the link to our revised ride in this report...but here's a teaser.
    Bert

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    #98
  19. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

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    (Courtesy of jakbrand)

    Near or at Hurrah Pass:

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    Elephant Hill:

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    Devil's Lane:

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    Bobby's Hole:

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    Portaging luggage up Bobby's Hole:

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    Beef Basin or thereabouts:

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    #99
  20. ejtv

    ejtv Per ipsum

    Joined:
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    So yesterday, Grand Utah Roulette Day 2, Sunday, the group splits in three. My son and I slab it from Hite to Moab with a defective fuel pump, an hour later and ebarDP48 and D slab it to Moab to meet their third partner T, who had split Day 1, and jakbrand and dwip continue to Boulder via Henry Mountains and Burr trail on the original track and plan to camp at the North Rim's Point Sublime Monday night.

    Well, we get to Moab Sunday and Dwip calls me that evening from Boulder to tell me :eek1 his KTM's front sprocket is really worn and he's starting to have trouble, could I locate one for him…right, sure I can...

    So it is Sunday night now and I am a little bit frustrated. Yamaha shop in Moab is closed until Tuesday, so we would waste for sure at least two days and the chances of finding a WR fuel pump nearby? Nill. I post questions on ADVrider and find out how the heat affects these WR pumps…

    One alternative is to play around the La Sals or go back to Colorado in the hopes that cooler weather wouldn't affect the fuel pump and get to Moab to catch our Saturday AM flight to Baton Rouge.

    Another alternative, rent a bike. We called Utah Dual Sport. We had heard they rented KTM's. Owner Jim was very friendly. Indeed he had KTM's ready to go. And, I also heard him say he can trailer them. We asked if he could drop the KTM and my son's WR all the way to Escalante…He said yes. And he also has a KTM front sprocket….

    So Monday morning we still haven't decided what to do. We're getting ready to go to breakfast, and I cannot find the key to my WR. I look everywhere. I end up having to use the spare. I get on my WR, it starts, but as I approach the first stoplight it feels like a rear flat and…yes, a rear flat :rofl

    All right, someone is trying to tell me something: DO NOT ride this bike. I turn around and park the WR at the hotel we were staying…hoping that nobody would find its key and get any ideas…

    And we call Jim, agree to rent a KTM 450 until Friday and get trailered to Escalante. We leave at 2 PM.

    Here we are at Dual Sport Utah waiting to get the motorcycles on Jim's trailer:

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    My idea is to cut off the North Rim excursion that jakbrand and dwip were doing Monday/Tuesday and instead ride from Escalante to Big Water via Smokey Mountain Road, then catch the same trail north to Bryce that we had all originally planned and meet with them at Bryce's pre-determined camping spot to deliver the sprocket…:deal

    We texted jakbrand with the plan and as luck would have it, he received the text in the only 15 min window of opportunity he had…

    Here we are in Escalante with The Desert Doctor who we had met four years prior in Boulder…it is a small world. I told him I hoped I didn't need his services.

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    And four years earlier…looks like he lost some weight!

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    So after the doctor leaves, here's the next mechanical, a blown fuse in my son's WR…:huh

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    I don' t even know what to think. Maybe we connected too many electronics…between iPhone, GPS, battery charger for camera, etc…but we never had this issue before…In any event, we locate a spare in the fuse box and get on the road finally around 6 or 7 PM!!!:clap

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    And bush camp on the Smokey Mountain Rd :thumb

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