Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by RedRockRider, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Thanks for taking us along to parts of Zion I'll never see. I wish I could have started this about 40 years ago. Now it's hard to walk to the mailbox.:lol3
  2. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Spry Canyon pics :thumb
    RRR I think you mentioned your climbing shop in SG, but I am overlooking it? I'd like to check it out next time I get down there.
    Thanks again for the pics and report.
  3. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Great ride last week. Just now getting time to post. Wife was out of town for the weekend. Busy with son -- Cub Scout stuff and launching model rockets. :D

    Took the Versys out to Lund, UT. North of Enterprise, along an active Union Pacific line. Trains were the highlight, so I'll start with one.

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    Could have been kind of cold for the higher country near Brian Head. Not yet necessary to retreat to lower elevation and the desert. Lots of elevation on this trip about 5,000 ft. And lots of weather blowing around. I avoided rain, but it made for an interesting day. Probably about 250 miles total, but I didn't keep careful track.

    Here's the map. This is the official Utah highway edition, available to most Utah entry points. Most current map I have found for showing paved roads. Not nearly enough detail for off-road rides. Benchmark remains best. But for road rides, this little map accurately shows where there is pavement. :thumb

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    Dirt section between Beryl and Latimer was graded gravel. Lots of 30-40 mph. No problem. It would get slippery if wet, but luckily I avoided this. Lots of territory to explore to the north and west of Lund. Would require dual sport to do it properly. :nod

    Fast pavement from St. George to Enterprise to Beryl Junction. This is just off the pavement north of Beryl Junction on the way to Beryl. Abandoned house. Worth a quick stop and photo opp!

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    This sign is at the end of the pavement in Beryl. Start of the Union Pacific railroad line. Beryl is not really a town, just 1-2 houses nearby. Good western scenery. The rail line runs back to Modena, UT (on UT 56). This is the same rail line that goes through Caliente, NV and Rainbow Canyon south of Caliente. Check out rides in Post #190, #194 (page 13) and Post #286, #287 (page 20). Index on page 1. :deal

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    Bike on the tracks at Beryl. Wheels seemed to touch the rails perfectly.

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    Union Pacific logo on nearby maintenance shed.

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    Beryl did have a few old railroad buildings. This tower certainly catches your eye. A bit of a "ghost" town feel here.

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    Old building along the railroad front.

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    End of the pavement. On graded gravel on the way to Lund. Road is parallel to track. Telephone poles add the railroad scenery. A few sections of road had looser gravel, and some dirt in low spots. Easy riding, but needed to pay attention on a road bike. A dual sport would really rip along this section, but it is a longish slab ride back to St. George. The slab rides on the Versys are just plain fun!

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    Simple sign post at Lund. Lots of interesting history. A bit of a ghost town feel here also. Pics of some buildings to follow.

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    Several old houses along the tracks near Lund.

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    View out the window. A few of the older houses might make a good camping spot, especially if you like watching trains.

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    These engines came by as I was checking out the houses. I've been around moving trains a few times before, but these are big. Really big. :eek1

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    Lots of abandoned (?) rail cars on a siding.

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    Loading instructions. Little cartoon man is funny. :rofl

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    Sky is darkening as I'm poking around the tracks at Lund. Great old caboose, no longer in use.

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    Looks like it should be right out of an old movie set. Dramatic light. I'm starting to pay more attention to weather rolling in from the west.

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    Inside the caboose.

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    The logo. Saw a "modern" train go by while standing here. No caboose. Perhaps not used anymore.

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    Hopped on the bike and continue north towards Minersville. This direction was my intention, and also the best route to avoid (or outrun) the storm. I managed to stay just in front (to the edge) of it. Lots of weather happening behind me. After mostly outdistancing it (by moving north out of its path), I stopped for a pic of the bike. This rain on my windshield was the brunt of it. Not enough water for me to break out the rain gear.

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    Just enough rain to create some wet dirt, but not enough to start making mud on the road. Tire still has dry dirt on it. Road didn't get slippery, but just a bit more rain and it would have been a different, much slower, ride. Glad that didn't happen. :D

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    Another RR crossing near Latimer. (Nothing here). My road didn't cross tracks, but I dutifully took a look at each crossing. Still keeping my eye on some pretty dramatic skies.

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    Versys on the tracks again, looking back the way we came. Like this pic. Captures the spirit of the day.

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    Left the tracks at this point. Headed to Minersville. Hit pavement on the Thermo Road about half way there. Will have to come back this way on the WR or TW and check out the hot springs.

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    Picked up speed once on pavement. No pics of Minersville. This is just south on UT 130. Excellent motorbike road!

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    Looking back at the summit sign. Weather still threatening, but now I had good roads and was actually in the sun for the rest of ride.

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    On the road to Parowan Gap, visible in pic. Lots of petroglyphs here. Average quality. Post #383, page 26.

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    On the "Gap" road headed back towards Parowan is the "Little Salt Lake." The salt flat is easily visible from several overlooks near Brian Head. Decided to stop in and grab a pic.

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    Gravel road just above Little Salt Lake. Full afternoon sun now. Some weather above mountains near Brian Head (behind bike). Thought about looping up this direction, but didn't want to cold of 10,000 ft. Decided to twist the throttle and head down I-15 to St. George.

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    Versys does really well on this type of mixed riding. Fine on easy gravel / dirt. Excels on twisty pavement. Acceptable for chewing up interstate miles. Speed limits in southern Utah are 75 mph. Flow of traffic is 80-90 mph with some elevation changes. 250 dual sports just can't do these speeds.

    Very nice day on the bike. Area out by Lund is a good diversion, especially if you like trains and old buildings. Not many people! The beginning of lots of good territory. As always, thanks for riding along. :wave
  4. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Meet at MotoZoo at 11 am. Easy dual sport ride. :D Any non street bike will work fine. All welcome.

    Post up or pm me if you're planning to join. We'll kill a few minutes after 11 am, but not too long . . .

    Ride safe out there. :wave
  5. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    Photo of your bike at the railroad crossing was kinda cool. I liked the gray cloud background. I'm lways interested in the railroad theme and the caboose was really interesting. Is the caboose part of a display, or was it just sitting out there in the open for all to venture in? Guessing it could be a long ago broken lock which allows entry! Either way, neat.
  6. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Nice inmate ride yesterday. Dirt from St. George up to Silver Reef. Went with Miki, Gregg, and Kelly - all inmates or lurkers. Great way to spend a couple of hours. All the guys have road bikes also, so there's some asphalt in our future. Perhaps a run over to Caliente. Only grabbed a few pics. Here are three of our bikes on the dirt road heading to Silver Reef. Fantastic scenery in this area.

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    We reconnect with pavement at Leeds. Thanks, Miki, Gregg & Kelly. Ride again soon.

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    The map or our route. Benchmark. Easy to get back to St. George on surface roads just south of I-15. Other than Miki's KLR the little bikes do better away from the trucks doing 75 mph.

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    I had time on Friday afternoon, so I spent a few hours poking around off the beaten path in Silver Reef. A few pics.

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    Lots of old buildings.

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    Several old cemeteries.

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    Some very nice fall color. Peak season at lower elevations.

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    More pics to follow. Thanks for checkin' in. :wave
  7. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    After the inmates departed, I spent some time poking around Silver Reef. Sampling of pics.

    TW 200 near on old mine shaft entrance. Went back here on ATVs over the weekend. My son was fascinated by the mining history.

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    Lots of old foundations on the back side of "the reef." Beautiful red rock cliffs with views up to Pine Valley Mountain.

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    Modern house. Great views down isolated valley with Leeds Creek.

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    Leeds Creek (dry). Fall color along the wash.

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    All the old mining shafts have been sealed over. Good safety precaution. These would be a death trap. Many go straight down hundreds of feet.

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    Fall color is at its peak along the drainages.

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    Several little tracks and washes to explore. :D

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    Always surprising to find so much fall color in the desert.

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    Exploring along a dry part of the wash.

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    Crossing a "wet" part of Leeds Creek. The bigger trees and water always go together.

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    Permanent water here. Little oasis in the desert.

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    Old mining equipment.

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    One of the named mines.

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    Looking in and down. :eek1

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    Self portrait. Yellow trees along Leeds Creek.

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    Major mineshaft on top of reef.

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    Steel safety grate with reinforcing beams. This hole was deep. Easy to test by tossing small rocks through the grate.

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    540 ft. deep!

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    Survey marker.

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    Nearby is the Catholic Pioneer Cemetery.

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    Very few, if any, miners were Mormans. Mormans settled nearby Leeds with an agricultural focus. Silver Reef was rough and tumble -- saloons and women . . . :lol3

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    Tombstone. Only 1 year old. All too common 100+ years ago.

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    One or two protected older tombstones. New marker in ground.

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    The new marker. 60 years old. From Ireland. Catholic cemetery - makes sense. No Hafens or Barlows here.

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    A few more recent tombstones. Perhaps direct descendants of original miners.

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    Old mining headframe in a different area of "the reef." Cool stuff.

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    Looking down on the Catholic Pioneer Cemetery. The "Silver Reef" is the white rock below the red cliff. Most of the mine shafts are in the white rock. Most old foundations are behind the white rock near Leeds Creek.

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    Unexpected find. Chess piece atop a bluff overlooking I-15.

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    Triple trailer truck below.

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    TW 200 above I-15. :clap

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    Looped back down to see the Protestant Pioneer Cemetery.

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    No sharing between Catholics and Protestants. There were also Chinese mineworkers, but apparently most of the Chinese dead were returned to China. Wooden crosses are, of course, not from 100+ years ago. Must be relatively recent boy scout project or similar effort.

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    Protestant names.

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    Original markers.

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    Fall colors in late afternoon sun.

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    And with the bike and the red cliffs.

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    Here is the view east towards lower desert areas of Zion from a ridge on the eastern side of Leeds.

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    Arriving back at the garage door.

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  8. UpST8

    UpST8 turnin gas to noise

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    Love Utah! Thanks for continually showing me why I do :D
  9. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    You show that if anyone takes the time to get off the main trail, there's lots to see. Course, you have to like history! The old cemeteries are fairly interesting and give just a hint of how hard life was, way back when. As always, enjoy reading your thread. Top notch!
  10. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Appreciate your comments! :D Enjoying your threads also. :wave Ride safe!
  11. NSFW

    NSFW ktm's "the tourist"

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    great job triple r, keep them coming.

    my plan to spend the xmas holidays in mesquite/st. george won't be happening. going south instead.

    looks familiar
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    yes, looking forward to see pics of winter riding.
  12. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Nice new pics.
  13. Signal

    Signal Cynical Idealist

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    Yup-
    Love the train stuff, and the old headstones are excellent (they tend to cause some serious reflection)
  14. av_mech

    av_mech Risk Taker

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    Hey RRR,
    I know I have tons of awesome reports from you check in on. But, I finally got some riding in with my bro and I'll write soon. Just wanted to say hi and glad to see you're still writing and riding during my absence. Will catch up soon. Rubber side down!
  15. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Thanks Joel, Bob, Signal, Tyson! :wave Ride safe, inmates, ride safe!

    Know the exact spot of the "Oak Grove" sign, but don't recognize the next photo???

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  16. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Out poking around on the backside of the Utah Hill a few days ago. Several dead-end dirt roads. Always good to verify. :D

    Just west of the summit below Jarvis Peak. Old rock quarry in this area.

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    Skeleton trees from a fire many years ago.

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    End of the road. No legal motorized travel. Would possibly make a good hiking trail. Excellent views west to Nevada.

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    On a different dead-end ridgeline. This is on the north side of Old Highway #91. Town of Beaver Dam, AZ with I-15 visible in distance.

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    Found an old stone house on a trail up a wash.

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    Water tank for dispersed cattle operations.

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    Thanks for checkin' in. Great weather in Southern Utah. Get out and ride!
  17. quota

    quota Been here awhile

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    Maybe not meaningful to many of the readers, but it is to me! About the only place in the area where you won't find them.
  18. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Hey Quota, where did the cinnamon roll place in St George go??
  19. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

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    RRR-

    If you need to change it up a little on your TW, here's an idea...

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    Saw it today at a monthly vintage bike gathering in Huntington Beach. While the bike is not vintage, it sure drew a crowd.

    BTW, your last post on Silver Reef & Leeds was fantastic!:thumb

    Thanks much. Sam
  20. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Hey Bob, I think Quota's Cinnamon Roll place, Sweet Pea Bakery & Cafe, is out of business. Link to page 6. Not good. Quota will have to find us a new place.

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=725976&page=6

    Sam -- that TW looks great. Should attach a golf bag to the front end and use it for some "off road" play. Unstoppable in the rough or sand! :lol3