Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by lightcycle, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Hey Gene, re your comments about getting tingly when on the edge of a cliff.....did you ever go up to the top of the CN tower and do that walk around outside on the five foot wide ledge? Just saw this on TV....looked cool. They have you harnessed to an overhead track but you have enough leeway that you can stand with your toes over the edge and lean out over the void. Lovin' the RR and think it's great that you're taking your time and seeing everything you want to as you go. The urge to cover ground, make progress, is powerful....for me too. But reading your RR I can see there's definitely an advantage to doing it your way rather than putting an overall time limit on your trip or focusing on making miles. Thanks!:clap
  2. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    EdgeWalk! I thought it would be cool to lean out over 1000 feet above the top of Toronto with nothing holding you but a thin strap of fabric, until I saw the price - $200 tax in... Nuh uh! I'd rather bungie jump twice for that price. That way I'd get the itch to leap off tall things out of my system, at least temporarily.
  3. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    wow!! Didn't realize it was so expensive. Yeah, can't see doing it for that price when there's bungie jumping.
  4. lightcycle

    lightcycle Nomad

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    Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/49.html

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    A few days ago, while talking to our fellow Canadians at the McDonald's in Moab, Jacques mentioned The Wave, a very cool-looking geologic formation, which really intrigued us. However, we found out that to visit it, we needed to obtain a permit. Unfortunately, only 20 permits are given out per day - all chosen by a lottery system. Uh oh. Apparently 10 of the 20 permits are issued 4 months in advance over the Internet, so too late for half the permits. The other 10 are picked via a manual lottery at the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) office, so we decide to take our chances there.

    We rode all the way to south Utah, past the phenomenally large and imposing red rock mountain/sculpures of Monument Valley, but didn't stop since we had already visited it on our last trip. Our home base was set up at the town of Kanab, where the BLM office was located and we showed up bright and early the next morning for the lottery. Apparently in the summer, the number of visitors swell to over 200 people, all crammed in the tiny lottery room every morning. The largest number was 260 one day in the summer, all vying for 10 permits! Today, the BLM officer told me we had a record low of applicants - 17! 10 permits. 17 people. Our chances look pretty good! We were assigned a number and one by one, balls were drawn out of an ancient hand-cranked bingo machine, the kind that spins the balls first and spits one out of a small hole in the bottom.

    We didn't win. Such good odds and we were so unlucky! :( One of the permit winners, a European couple exclaimed in joy when their number was drawn. Apparently they had come every morning for the last 5 days, and finally today they won a permit! Good for them, I guess we'd come back tomorrow and try again. But we decided if we didn't win tomorrow, we'd move on.

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    Beautifully coloured rocks line the Wire Pass as we hike towards the slot canyon

    There were still a lot of other sights to see in the Grand Staircase-Escalante area. Coyote Buttes is home to a bunch of slot canyons - canyons that are far deeper than they are wide. So we rode down a 13 km dirt road to visit some of them.

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    Slot canyons are formed by rushing water through very soft rock. The walls of this canyon are sandstone

    Slot canyons are very dangerous to hike in if there is any precipitation in the forecast, since the walls are 30-50 feet high and some of the longer canyons have very little open space or footholds to climb up to escape flash floods. We are hiking part of Buckskin Gulch, which is 21 kms long. We can't hike the entire distance because previous rainfalls have left pools of water hip deep and it's too cold to wade through them. In warmer weather, hikers bring a tent and break up the Buckskin Gulch hike over a few days, wading through the much smaller pools in the heat of the Utah summer.

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    Sunlight plays against the walls of the slot canyon

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    Obstacle course

    Falling rocks and logs from above sometimes block the slot canyon and it's necessary to climb over or under obstacles. The walls close in very tightly in some places - we had to take our backpacks off and slide sideways to get through. So glad we skipped the cheeseburgers the day before...

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    Amazing formations on the slot canyon walls caused by different densities of rock carved away by the water

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    No hip-waders so end of the line for us

    We encounter our first pool of water at Buckskin Gulch. The BLM office warned us there would be much deeper ahead, so we decide to turn back here. In the summer, the reflections of the sun streaming down the top of the canyon and hitting the pools cause amazing reflections against the canyon walls, but this late in the year, the sun barely makes it overhead, leaving the canyon in shadows for most of the day. Would be fun to come back here and wade through some of the pools in July!

    The next morning, we show up at the BLM office again but we're disheartened when we see many more lottery hopefuls also attending - 27 in total. Our odds are much slimmer today. Our lottery number is 13. I'm not superstitious, but Neda considers this a lucky sign. When she was born, the hospital gave her a bracelet with a number matching mother to baby - her number was 13.

    Sure enough, the first ball that dropped out of the lotto machine - number 13! We felt 25 pairs of envious eyes stinging us from all sides. :) The permits were written up for the next day and we were given instructions on how to get to The Wave as well as what to bring. It's a 10 km round-trip (I HATE HIKING!) to The Wave and there isn't a marked trail, so the BLM handed us a Treasure Island-style map (""50 paces to the Orange Rock, turn left at the Sandy Hill...") and told us to bring lots of water, and a flashlight in case we stayed out past dark. They recommended not to hike in the darkness for fear of falling into a slot canyon. Great. Now I was starting to worry... Would we get lost? Fall into a slot canyon in the dark? I saw 127 Hours and I didn't want to have to cut my arm off with a Swiss Army Knife... :(

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    No trail. We're just wandering around, kinda like our motorcycle trip

    Early the next morning, we rode out to Wire Pass again where we hike much further past the slot canyons to get to The Wave. The mornings are getting very cold: -9C (-15F) and we were frozen like popsicles when we arrived. Thankfully, the temperatures would climb to a balmy 16C during the day.

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    Along the way, we met up with a couple of other lottery winners - Sherry and Dugan from Alaksa! They seemed to know where they were going, so we just followed them...

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    It took us a couple of hours, and as we got closer to The Wave, the rocks start exhibiting some psychedelic properties

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    Dugan's a geologist, so this is a bit of professional curiousity

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    This is it! The Wave! So surreal, the pictures don't do it justice!

    The Wave was formed when 190-million year old sand dunes were packed down with other layers of rock and sandstone over time, then this whole mass was slowly carved away by wind and water, leaving behind one really cool acid-trip of a sculpture! We spent 3 hours walking around the area mesmerized by the undulating layers of red rock that to me, resembled the musculature of an anatomy doll with it's skin peeled back.

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    If Salvador Dali ever made sculptures out of stained wood, it would look like The Wave

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    Even with 20 people visiting The Wave, we couldn't help but get in the way of each other's pictures

    The Wave does not cover a large area, so I could imagine if the BLM opened it up for public access you would not be able to enjoy the beauty of it without having other people crammed in that small space. The 20 permit holders had to take turns getting shots of The Wave, while we each hid behind the hills or hiked elsewhere. I think there are actually 5 people hidden in the picture above.

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    Hardwood floors at The Wave. Helps to increase the property value...

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    Surfs Up, Dude!

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    We ♥ The Wave!

    We've been in Utah for nearly two weeks, there's so much to see and do here, but I fear that if we don't leave soon, we'll have to convert to Mormonism and stay here permanently!
  5. MelonMan

    MelonMan Adventurer

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    Stunning! I was in the region about 3 weeks ago. I am going back soon and I'll visit these amazing places that you photographed. Inspiring story!
  6. Reverend12

    Reverend12 Well there it is..

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    :clap Incredible
  7. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Incredible photos and incredibly well written. Muchisimas gracias for posting.
  8. hvilla

    hvilla Been here awhile

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    Totally AMAZING!! :clap:clap:clap We've been through Kanab many time and never knew this existed!! We WILL make a point of visiting this incredible place!! Thanks so much for sharing it!! Keep it coming!! :wings
  9. GB007

    GB007 Been here awhile

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    So beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing! :norton
  10. dbmet

    dbmet Adventurer

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    Beautiful Pics!!
  11. VietHorse

    VietHorse Long timer

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    All your pics are awesome. Really impressive.
    They made me believe that you guys are pro-photographers or at least have been well trained.
    Thanks for share.
  12. nuttynu

    nuttynu Long timer

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    This is such an amazing trip. And I have only read a few pages. Will continue to read more.
    Wished I had all the time and money in the world to just ride ride ride all day
  13. Blackveg

    Blackveg Nunc est Bibendum

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    Wow! This last stop was fantastic. Just finished catching up to real time, and am expecting a great time to come. I have enjoyed Ridedot.com so much, and can't wait to see where this trip will go next.
  14. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Love your pics.
  15. LTFD

    LTFD n00b

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    Can it get any better? Well... warmer maybe, but surely not "better".

    One day maybe.... one day.
  16. nuttynu

    nuttynu Long timer

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    I want to live like this
  17. TravelBike

    TravelBike keep on..... :-)

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    Thanks for sharing!

    great pics and story :clap

    Subscribed
  18. Cuttle

    Cuttle me? what?

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    absolutely love the new set of pics!!! :clap
  19. sanaga

    sanaga Adventurer

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    woowwww
  20. bESS

    bESS Been here awhile

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    Gene & Neda:

    Loved your photos of "THE WAVE". We didn't know anything about them until you posted.

    You had good luck on the lottery. You take AWESOME photos and I like your humour too

    bob