Montreal to Moab

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by stou, May 19, 2008.

  1. stou

    stou Been here awhile

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    Last winter, Pat (PatdeLery on ADV) and me (stou) decided to make the trip from Montreal to Moab at the begining of 2008. From the research I made, the best time to go to Moab was in April or May. I looked at the vacation possibilities at the office. There was 2 possibilities to get 2 weeks off the office. Mid April or mid May. Pat was really anxious to go to Moab, so we decided to go there in April. A little bit later, Martin (touring31) joined us in this adventure project.


    Pat ride a R1150GS Adventure, Martin a KTM 950 Adventure and me, a R1200GS.


    I did some research on the weather at Moab and found that in April the weather can go from below 30° at night to more than 80° during the day. Since we planed to do camping, we planned to bring adequate equipment for these temperatures.


    We also decided to do the road from Montreal to Denver with the bikes on a trailer. The weather in April can vary a lot from snow and heavy rain and we wanted to do this boring part the fastest way possible. With 3 drivers, it's possible to do Montreal to Denver in around 30 hours non stop. We also needed a place to park the truck and the trailer. I opened a thread on ADV in the « Regional forums > The Rockies » to see if somebody had a place for us.


    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=320614


    The replies was amazing. We had many offers and we decided to accept Pete's offer (ORV nick name on ADV). He have a nice place in Golden, CO. where we can park the truck and the trailer.


    We also have a friend who did the White Rim last summer. He gave us some interesting info like a nice place to camp in Moab (Slickrock campground), nices places to eat, etc...


    On the April 11th, 7h00 AM we start from Montreal, bikes on the trailer.

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    Here's a map of the road we took. The label Pete, is the place where we parked the truck at Pete's office.

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    On our way to Colorado, we had rain and snow. I almost lost the control the truck in the middle of the night in Nebraska when we passed on a bridge that was completely frozen. The trailer pushed the truck and he started to do a small jack knife. Fortunately, I didn't used brake and just counter steer it and it got back straight on the road... it was close!

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    We arrived in Colorado Saturday afternoon. I called Pete to let him know that we will arrive at his place soon. He was already there.

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    Some pictures at Pete's place. By the way, Pete is a very nice guy. He was very friendly and helpful. Thanks again Pete!


    From left to right, Pete, Pat and me. You can see from our eyes that we didn't slept much in the last 30 hours!

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    Here's Martin with his KTM. That's my GS at his right.
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    Pete's nice Kawasaki Versys

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    Pete give us a GPS map from Golden, CO to Moab. We took the Golden Gate canyon road, the I 70 to the US 6, the Loveland pass, back to the I 70, the Highway 141, the Highway 90 and the US 191.


    Here's some pictures.


    Parts of the Golden Gate Canyon
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    The I 70
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    The US 6, Loveland pass area. As you can see, there's lots of snow in this area in April!!!
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    The more interesting parts, riding the Moab canyons is to come! :wink:
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Awesome intro :thumb

    :lurk :lurk
    #2
  3. Truckman

    Truckman The almighty Beavis

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    :lurknice.....very nice.
    #3
  4. 2uprtw

    2uprtw Been here awhile

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    Nice pics!

    Looks like it was a little chilly:eek1

    J´imagine que vous avez porté des vestes électriques?
    #4
  5. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    :lurk
    #5
  6. rubRsidedown

    rubRsidedown Long timer

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    NICE report and pics, looks like a GREAT area to ride in.
    :tb

    keep em' coming. :lurk
    #6
  7. stou

    stou Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys!

    Yes 2uprtw, it was a little bit chilly but not very cold!

    Alors ça parle français au Peru? Yes Pat and me had electric vest, but not Martin

    rubRsidedown, it was the first time I rode in Colorado and Moab and those places are really greats area to ride. Moab is the best place I ever rode.

    Ok now back to the report!

    Look at the color of the snow plow and the KTM... quite similar, don't you think? :D

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    Ok now before getting back on the I70, it was time for a lunch!

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    Back on the I70, the weather was a little bit milder and the landscape start to look more like what we are looking for.

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    We took the highway 141. It is a really nice road with beautiful landscape.
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    Here's a nice looking place where we took a break on the 141.
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    Back on the road, we took the highway 90 and the 46 before taking the US 191 to Moab where we arrived around 10 pm I think. I don't remember if it is with the 2 hours jet lag or not.
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    We even had some company on the road, on the 46 I think!
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    Nice sunset on the road (almost...)
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    We slept at Slickrock campground. A simple, nice and not expensive place with all the service we need. Showers, wi-fi, laundry, etc...


    The first night we arrived late and we took the first available spot we saw.
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    The days after, we changed to go under some small shelters.
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    In the morning, we meet 2 KTM guys, ADV members. Here's a picture of Yogoi. The temperature was around 32° in the morning.
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    Here's the KTM of his friend, which I don't remember the name (sorry!)
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    To follow, the first Moab trail we did! :D
    #7
  8. YOGOI

    YOGOI Prick

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    What kind of ADVrider salute is that???????:thumb :D

    Good to see ya finally got around to post'n a report, I'm one to talk though.:deal

    Thanks for take'n the time. :beer
    #8
  9. jjustj

    jjustj cum petris et choris

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    wish you had called before going over loveland pass so we could meet! maybe next time!!!!:beer
    #9
  10. stou

    stou Been here awhile

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    Jay, there will be a next time for sure, I'll let you know!

    By the way, I'd like to thank you for the information you provided.

    Back to the report!

    For the first day, we decided to go for an easy ride... sure!
    We decided to go for at the Onion Creek trail. A trail indicated as easy in the « ATV Trails Guide ». That's true if you do the Onion Creek and go back at the Kokopelli crossing, what we didn't do!

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    The Onion Creek part was fantastic. Beautiful landscape and easy riding with some very smooth river crossing. In the book it's indicated that there's 27 rivers crossings. I didn't count how many crossing there was but there was many.

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    This is where it got a little bit more tough. The start of the Kokopelli trail.

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    It started not to bad but soon we where riding in the mud...
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    and later soon in the snow!
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    We meet Bernard, an old French guy from California who was riding a Jeep. He was alone and he also was wondering if those trail was going somewhere.

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    But with the snow, we didn't had the choice and we went back to the Onion Creek.

    One thing I forgot to tell you is when we left the campground in the morning, my bike didn't started. We boosted it with Pat's bike and it started easily. I thought I forgot my GPS on all night. After that it started whitout any problem but I didn't want to take to any chances and we went to Moab Yamaha dealer to see if they can get a battery for my bike. They had one in stock. They then put the battery on charge and I told them I'll get back this afternoon or tomorow morning to pickup the battery.

    Remember, we only go for an easy ride for the first day...


    But after many stops and start, many falls in the mud and snow, on our way back, my bike refused to start. No problem, Pat will boost it... it didn't work! Martin decided to tow me.

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    I know, a BMW tow by a KTM, not the best picture of the trip. But we didn't had much choices. It work fine until we hit some rough parts of the trail. At one point, Martin crashed seriously and we decided to forget about the tow.
    Martin had an idea, used his battery to start my bike, and since GS has big alternators, it will run without battery after. So we tried that. The KTM batterie was not strong enough and the starter didn't work. We decided to try to push start it. It work!!! The bike started, we removed the battery, put it back in the KTM and here we go!!!

    After something like 15 minutes, the bike died. Strange, everything was working fine. We did this battery changed a couples of time but every time, after a while, the bike died. It's probably the Can bus that didn't like to run without battery.
    So I decided to hide my bike in some bushes and get back to Moab with Pat. Riding the trail as a passenger is not the best but on the GSA with Pat who was trying to ride the smoothest as possible, it was not too bad!

    On our way back:
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    Next time, the Pole Canyon Rim!
    #10
  11. JohnBryer

    JohnBryer Adventure Poser

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    Hey guys, I was with my wife in the Slickrock campground (I was on a blue R1200 GS). We met you guys there. Great ride report. Looking forward to more pictures!
    #11
  12. stou

    stou Been here awhile

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    Hey John, happy to hear from you!

    It was nice to met you and your wife at the Slickrock campground. How
    was the road for the return home?
    #12
  13. JohnBryer

    JohnBryer Adventure Poser

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    I had quite a cold ride home, but the Gerbings gear made it tolerable.

    We leave for a 10 day tour of California tomorrow. I can't wait!
    #13
  14. triggerfish

    triggerfish Adventurer

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    I spent quite a bit of time years ago around that Onion Creek area. The parents of my old ski patrol boss own the Fischer Valley Ranch up at the top of the Onion Creek Road. I have camped all over the place and it's a really beautiful area. Thanks for the pics!
    #14
  15. stou

    stou Been here awhile

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    I hope you have fun in California John!

    We saw the Fischer Valley ranch at the top of the Onion Creek. A very beautiful dream place, that's a lucky guy!
    #15
  16. stou

    stou Been here awhile

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    On Tuesday the 15th the first thing we did was to go to the Yamaha dealer to pick-up the new battery for my GS. After that, we for headed at the Onion Creek to get back my bike. On our way, we stopped at the water source on the 128 to fill our camelback, the water there is very good. It's on the 128, near the 191. Another ride on the Onion Creek as a back seat. I took some video on the Onion Creek. Here's a little part of it:

    http://video.google.fr/videoplay?docid=9120024631354194037

    Resize the window smaller to have a better resolution (sorry for the not too good video quality)


    We keeped the GPS coordonate of where my bike was. It was still there! I put the new battery in, the old one in the bag of my bike and it started at the first try!!!


    So we decided to go for another easy trail in the same area, the Pole Canyon rim...We then headed for the Dewey bridge, where the Pole Canyon Rim begin


    It started smooth and then get rough, and then rougher!

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    We looked at the map and at the direction in the book, and saw a comment « Stay left at 'Y' . Road to right is difficult route under power lines » We was under the power line and probably went to the right at the 'Y'!


    So we try to find back the right route and went on easier trail.

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    Back on the 128. I think we missed a big part of the Pole Canyon Rim. On our way back, we played a little bit in the soft sand on the side of the 128.

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    Back at the camping, we drunk a nice beer and took a hot tub!

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    Another nice day in Moab!!! :beer
    #16
  17. stou

    stou Been here awhile

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    On the next day, Wednesday the 16th, we went for the Gemini Bridge trail and the Bull Canyon.

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    First we went to town to fill up our bike. There was a nice painting on the side of the Poison spider bicycle store. I took this picture, it's like the spider want to catch my GS!

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    After our now ritual camelback filling at the Moab source, we headed north on the 191 and then took the Gemini bridge road.


    The Gemini bridge trail is easy and the place is very beautiful.
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    After the Gemini, we did the Bull Canyon, also a very nice place but with a lot of soft sand mixed with rock. Soft sand on big bikes is not the best surface to ride. We work hard at some places and drop the bikes many time. But we had good time there!

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    We went back to Moab via the Gemini trail.
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    At Moab, we decided to try the Mexican restaurant Fiesta Mexicana. The meal was really very good and the portions were very big! If you go in Moab and like Mexican food, try this restaurant!
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    #17
  18. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Looks like a fun adventure! :thumb
    #18
  19. stou

    stou Been here awhile

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    You can be sure about that! :evil
    #19
  20. stou

    stou Been here awhile

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    Thursday, we went to Arches National Park.

    We didn't want to do only the pavement ride. We saw on the map that there was a trail indicated near the end of the Arches road, near the broken Arch and the sand dune Arch.


    On the map, you can see the Arches road in red and the Klondike trail I highlight in Yellow. So we decided. On the map it is indicated at many places, "soft sand". There's even a place on the map where it is writen "Because of soft sand on steep grades, vehicular travel is recommended only from north to south"... humm!

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    So we headed to the Arches National Park!
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    The road was fun to ride and the place beautiful.


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    At the end of the road, we turned back and looked for the right side start of the trail. We found it easily. It started as a nice smooth trail and gravel road.
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    After a while it started to be rougher with a mix of sand and rock. We went down a couple of very rough hills. We arrived at an intersection, a "T" and saw that one of the trail was blocked by a fence. We llok at the map and this was the trail we wanted to ride. The other trail was leading to a footpath.
    We didn't wanted to go back because we will need to climb some of the rough hills we went down.
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    Pat wanted to remove a part of the fence to pass and put it back after... We didn't had much choice, so we decided to remove a section. It was barbed wire but not very thight. It was easy to removed and to put back. There was a very soft sand hill after the fence.
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    I said to Pat and Martin, there's probably a good reason for this fence to be there... we learn why later. We rode in very soft sand for a couple of hours. With those bigs adventure bikes, it was really tough in the soft sand. We looked at the map and the GPS, it was looking like the right path, so we continue.
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    We think we was in a dry river bed, we can see it on this map just at the right of the trail
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    We finaly got out of the sand and saw some slick rock, yes!!!
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    We saw a trail a little far away and it look like we will funaly get out of here.

    Next time, Porcupine trail... it is kind of sting!
    #20