Southwest Utah: Dual Sport Riding from St. George

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

  1. holiday

    holiday DL650K7

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    How do you get to the Mystery Canyon Trail head?
  2. RockinTheRVA

    RockinTheRVA Been here awhile

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    Love all of your pictures, thanks for sharing your adventures! Can't wait to move out that way someday.
  3. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Summer vacation season is over. Back in St. George. My son started back to school and the routine is re-establishing itself. All good. That means afternoon moto rides with Dad! :D Still hot, but we take off for the Utah Hill (via Navajo Drive in Bloomington) in late afternoon.

    Here we are at the top of one of the first rises.

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    Climbing by one of the power lines. On Benchmark this is labelled "Blakes Lambing Grounds." The green below is Bloomington, the southern suburb of St. George.

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    Self portrait at one of the cattle gates. Way to dry for cattle now. Much better in Spring or Fall. In winter this area gets occasional snows. Been stuck up here on ATVs with my nephews before. :lol3

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    The mighty TW200. Virgin River Gorge is in the background.

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    Stopped with Dad at a good viewpoint for Jarvis Peak. This is the most prominent peak to the west of St. George that is referred to as the "Utah Hill" (Presumably because it borders with Nevada). :deal

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    Dad takes a pic of me. :D We are headed towards the red cliffs of Ivins, far in the distance.

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    Scenic spot on the descent of the Mojave Desert Joshua Tree Scenic Backway. Looking towards the White Hills and the Shivwits Indian Reservation. Pine Valley Mountain in the distant background.

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    Some tree skeletons on this side of the "Utah Hill" as well. Many more on the western slopes.

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    Dad cruising ahead as I am dawdling with the camera. :wave

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    Late afternoon. Still very hot. Looking back at our road. Great 40 mile loop with Dad. Good to be back on the bikes together!

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    Bonus photo. Just back from a family trip to CA. This was a much cooler place. Should be easy to guess . . . :ear

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    Thanks for all the comments and PMs. I'll catch up with everything now that I'm back home and have more time. Ride safely out there! And ride often. :ricky
  4. KICKNBACK

    KICKNBACK Over The Bars Club

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    I live in Ca. and dont know where that is. You seem to find the coolest places.
  5. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Open Invite. Meet at Subway on north Bluff Street in St. George at 9:30 am.

    Easy dual sport ride, mostly likely to Enterprise Reservoir area. Lots of variations possible. May explore Utah Hill area in route. Some pavement but mostly maintained dirt. Slightly higher elevations than St. George. Bring water.

    Gas and food (Marv's) available in Enterprise town. Tank range of 100 miles adequate. Lots of bail-out or extension options.

    A few of the boys (StG and Simba) from previous rides are around. Get out and join us if you can. :ear
  6. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS

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    Thanks for arranging another ride.
    Really looking forward to it. Please make sure StG researches fuel additives. Otherwise, how is he going to keep up with me now that I have conquered The WRT with only a few bruises.
    See you Tuesday and Thanks Again!
    Simba

  7. ElleDubs

    ElleDubs Been here awhile

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    I'm in. It's my birthday so I have a great excuse to play hooky and go ride on a Tuesday :D
  8. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    Another nice trip with your dad on the TW. I'll have to remember your "Tree Skeletons". Though I ride through lots of fire area's, burned Juniper tree's remind me the most of "Tree Skeletons".
  9. Louutah

    Louutah Adventurer

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    Redrockrider.......always enjoy your reports!!! I cannot make this trip but will watch this thread for future heads up. I'm in SLC and would love to bring my TW down for a ride with you!
  10. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS

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    Thanks RRR.
    We will be in St.George Sunday late PM.
    Looking forward to our ride.
    Hey, can we include the 'rock laden hill' again in our route? Or something equivalent? And bring on the deepest sand you can find. I need to lay down my bike several more times to justify buying an orange bike. Or just repainting mine to that dreadful color!
    See you and Thanks,
    Simba

  11. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Mystery Canyon starts on the East Mesa trail near the top of Observation Point. Better yet, you can drive to Zion Ponderosa Ranch Area (Flying Monkey Rally) and hike on high flat ground 2 miles to the head of Mystery Canyon, also known as the "death gully." Faint trail down the right side of the "death gully." Mystery is a technical canyon. Ropes and rappelling equipment definitely needed. Also a relatively tough permit to get from Zion National Park.

    Probably best to do Subway, Orderville, and/or Keyhole prior to doing Mystery. Best to have a bit of experience first. Good write-up and guide to Mystery: http://www.canyoneeringusa.com/utah/zion/technical/mystery-canyon/

    For general hiking in the Narrows the only specialized equipment is water shoes and neoprene socks. The best water shoes are called 5.10s. These are the yellow and black shoes with buckles frequently seen in the Narrows and rented from several gear shops in Springdale. http://fiveten.com/products/footwear-detail/69-canyoneer

    Also very helpful (critical) are hiking poles, helps to balance and check water depth. Hiking the Narrows in Zion from the bottom up is a very fun hike suitable for families with smaller kids. If adventurous you can go miles upstream including up the lower part of Orderville Canyon. When 1/2 tired simply turn around and walk back downstream.

    Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park.

    Thanks, inmates and lurkers. 150,000 views and lots of stars. Appreciate all the positive comments and PMs. Looking forward to seeing a few of you FF on Tuesday at 9:30 am. :wave
  12. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Meet at Subway on North Bluff Street, 9:30 am. Go a few minutes early to indulge in the $3 cheap eats.

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    Subway is 5 blocks north of St. George Blvd on right hand side. Very easy. I'll be on my TW200. Should have 4 other riders, perhaps a few more. Miki (KLR lurker), SimbaBoy (KLR, no side cases), StG (WRR with fuel additive), ElleDubs - the birthday girl!

    Bring a Utah State Park Pass if you have one. There is one variation where we might want to ride through Snow Canyon State Park on the way back to St. George. Route will generally be in Enterprise Reservoir area. Some pavement to get there, then mostly easy dirt roads. Unfortunately for SimbaBoy no sand, only a few rocks, mostly firm dirt.

    Teaser pic from area by "Pinnacles" from longer ride last year, Post #436 top of Page 30.

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    Plan to stop in Enterprise town for food (Marv's) and fuel. 100 mile tank range fine. Lots of options for return to St. George. Bring water. Temps will be slightly cooler at higher elevation but still warm.

    Lurkers and fence-sitters welcome to join. 9:30 am Tuesday, 8/20, at Subway on North Bluff St. :ken
  13. Ol Man

    Ol Man Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the information. Seems we are never in Zion when the weather is warmer, but next time I hope to hike up the canyon a bit.
  14. Rut Runner

    Rut Runner Been here awhile

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    Excellent pictures in this thread!

    Looking for route suggestions to go from Kanab to Mesquite and back. Ideally would want a scenic, tougher dual-sport or trail route taking one day in each direction. This would be for mid-September.

    I've done some research, and the Honeymoon trail is frequently mentioned. Also found the Tri-state ATV jamboree website with lots of trail maps.
  15. holiday

    holiday DL650K7

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  16. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Hey Holiday, I was in the Narrows this weekend also. Top down overnight hike with my dad. :clap

    Here's Dad at Big Springs. Beautiful color for the water.

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    We slept at campsite #8 under the big rock overhang the night before. Looking up at the canyon walls at night! Very dark in the depths of the Narrows. :nod

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    Yours truly just below Big Springs on Sunday mid-afternoon. Holiday, we probably crossed paths if you went up and back.

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    My dad in one of the deeper sections.

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    As always the Narrows is beautiful. The water level is as low as I've ever seen it. Relatively easy walking in some stretches. And more time for pics! :D


    Ride Meet-up. 9:30 am on Tuesday, 8/20, at Subway on north Bluff Street. Hope to see everyone there. :wave
  17. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Hey Rut Runner,

    Honeymoon Trail is probably a reasonable option. I've been on small bits of it, but never tried to piece together longer sections. I think it might be a bit hit or miss as far as markings. Perhaps some private land issues as well. Sounds like you are doing your research including the ATV websites. I've browsed those a bit as well.

    If I were going from Kanab to Mesquite I'd cut far south into the AZ Strip. The Benchmark AZ map has pretty good detail for selecting a route. I would not resurface for gas/water after leaving Kanab/Fredonia area so you'd need to plan long stretches (potentially 200 miles). Sounds like you are familiar with remote riding in southern Utah. Possible to be miles from any help and to go many hours without seeing another vehicle.

    Suggestion for consideration: Leave 389 (paved) going west from Fredonia. Southwest on Antelope Valley Road towards Toroweap. Side trip to Toroweap viewpoint of Grand Canyon very worthwhile. Sept should be good month with temps not too hot. Go to Mount Trumbull Schoolhouse. Three main options to get towards Mesquite: 1) Nutter Twists Road. Connect through Whitney Pockets and Gold Butte Road to Mesquite. Could vary route much further south via Pakoon Spring and Grand Gulch, 2) Mud Mountain and Lime Kiln Canyon to Mesquite (easiest route), 3) Elbow Canyon to Mesquite (rocky, steep descent).

    I have done some, but certainly not all of these roads and the many variations. Quite a few of the roads are decent, maintained dirt. But some are rutted, sandy, or rocky and receive little attention. All the roads are prone to washouts. There have been quite a few heavy but localized storms this summer. Anybody's guess if a few of the roads have damage.

    Also lots of two track type stuff for general exploring, but it is very hard to know if the two track connects through to anything significant. A lot of the two track dead ends or just peters out. Fun to check out, just make sure you have lots of gas.

    I think you could make a good Kanab-Mesquite-Kanab trip and traverse the AZ Strip area via two very different routes. Day one would give you a feel for what to expect -- time, difficulty, scenery, etc, -- and you could make adjustments to your route for day two. The distances are large and it is very remote. Give yourself a cushion on gas (and water).

    Throw a pic or two up here after you do your ride. :beer
  18. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    Rut Runner,

    In addition to the info here which RedRockRider is providing, here is a link of a fellow who lives and rides in the same neck of the woods as RRR. In post 10 of the link is some information of the Honeymoon Trail. http://tw200forum.com/forum/trails-off-road-adventure-riding/6592-visiting-southwest-utah.html
  19. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Successful ride complete, thanks inmates! No crashes and no dropped bikes. All riders safely back in St. George well before dark. Only a very, very minor (duct tape) repair to the mighty Zombie KLR from Michigan. All-in-all a very good day. We missed Samthg from Socal but I'm sure someone will have an ADV-salute photo to make him feel welcome. Incidentally Samthg's birthday coincided with the last inmate ride. Today we had ElleDubs with us, a St. George local, and it was her birthday. I'd say that was an upgrade. :lol3

    Here's a simple map, just to give you an idea.

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    Left St. George on pavement headed to Santa Clara and Gunlock Reservoir. This is after meeting the lovely Mrs. Simbaboy at Subway for a few moments. She had to make sure Simbaboy zeroed in on the proper part of Bluff Street and didn't miss the meet-up. :D

    Dirt from Veyo to Enterprise Reservoir. Made side loop to view "the Pinnacles." Great curvy and up and down dirt roads, all in good condition with no washouts. Doesn't show on the map well. Check Benchmark. Probably the highlight of the riding.

    Upper and Lower Enterprise Reservoir. Lunch at Marv's in Enterprise town. One rider, Miki (lurker), bolts back to St. George on highway 18 after lunch. Four riders, ElleDubs, SimbaBoy, StG and RRR head out to Pinto. From Pinto south on dirt to Pine Valley. ElleDubs takes off from PineValley road to celebrate her birthday evening with real friends, not these imaginary ADV motorbike friends. She also says something about parental responsibility and "back-to-school-night." Happy B-day ElleDubs. Nice riding with you.

    Three riders, SimbaBoy, StG, and RRR check out the Pine Valley Chapel (more on that later). Then descend on pavement to Central. After StG buys us beverages in Veyo with go to Diamond Valley and find the "Black Gulch" road (#033) that descends to St. George by the MotoZoo store.

    May have been about 140 miles, but heh, who's counting. No crashes, lots of smiles, good times. :thumb StG says "this sure beats a day at the office." :deal

    Enough babble. On to the pics.

    Three ugly bastards, plus ElleDubs. The birthday girl. Taken at Gunlock Reservoir.

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    Start of dirt at the sharp turn at the bottom of the Veyo Wall. Good dirt all the way to Enterprise Reservoir. Veyo Shoal Creek Road on Benchmark. Sign says Goldstrike Road. We tended to ride as a group, just spread out enough to avoid unnecessary dust. Nobody wanted to be left for the vultures in a worst case scenario.

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    My TW200 with the Goldstrike sign. Most of the guys were jealous of my TW, especially Miki, although he was kind enough not to say anything. Since Miki is a lurker I can throw basically unlimited shit his way. :topes It's the price one must pay for being a lurker. I guess if I owned ump-teen BMW motorbikes over the last 40 years I'd be a bit envious of my stock TW as well. :lol3

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    Up on top one of the passes in the Bull Valley Mountains on the way to the Pinnacles and Enterprise Reservoir. StG, Miki, SimbaBoy, and ElleDubs. Pleasant conversation. Or shall I say let the lying begin. SimbaBoy, having recently conquered the White Rim Trail starts off . . . "on my last ride near Moab, my front tire barely touched the ground."

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    Rather than listen to this BS I take pics of all the bikes. Here is ElleDubs's well organized Yamaha XT. As I took this pic I think I heard her telling Miki and StG that she could probably beat them up that last hill on her mountain bike if she really wanted to. Miki said "yeah" but on my road bikes and pavement I would totally haul ass. StG was smart enough to just eat snacks and wait for the ride to resume.

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    StG's bike. A serious dual sport machine. And it's blue, not orange. I'm partial to the blue.

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    Miki's KLR. Immaculate, complete with crash bars. And the home depot tool box is a nice touch, in keeping with all the finest KLR traditions. :wink:

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    SimbaBoy's KLR. No side cases, knobby tires. Major league recent success conquering the White Rim Trail. Looks good. Let's go in for a closer look.

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    Uh oh. What's this . . . actual bandaids on the bike. :eek1 Can't be good. Later in the ride this would get even better. :lol3 Samthg, if you are reading along, I'm sure you can appreciate this. And, oh, the guys wanted me to say a special hello. :wave And thanks for joining us, NOT. :ken We'll be looking for you next time.

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    For completeness, my TW200. We have three Yamahas and two KLRs.

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    Lots of good riding up towards the Pinnacles. On Benchmark, past Maple Spring on #004. We pull off into a smooth rock camping area for water, shade, and another round of BS.

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    SimbaBoy and Miki become fast friends and decide that their KLRs are far superior to any Yamahas. And that they are better riders and of course much better looking than the rest of us.

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    ElleDubs is smart enough to find shade and sit down. The guys lamely follow her lead and at least find shade. Still warm in the sun, but we are up to 6000 ft elevation so very pleasant riding.

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    Up another fun set of hills and turns and we are at the ridge line near Lost Peak.

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    Some hiking and Mountain bike trails in the area. Way to brutal for our lame asses for anyone but ElleDubs. She seems happy enough to be on the moto today since it is her birthday and she doesn't want to work too hard.

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    More riding. And at the shoreline of Upper Enterprise Reservoir. I think there were some "salute" pics from here. Shout out to you, Samthg. DirtyJohnny also. :lol3

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    Bikes only. Get the FFs out of there. Wrecks up an otherwise good pic.

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    We all take time to admire Miki's KLR toolbox again.

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    Lunch at Marv's in Enterprise. Hey, it's part of every decent ADV ride, unless you're going where there are no food options. Miki leaves us after lunch. Nice riding with you again, Miki. Until next time. As always, keep the rubber side down!

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    After lunch and after some fast dirt over to Pinto. SimbaBoy is in his element. On a serious note, that Zombie KLR was flying. Pretty soon SimbaBoy might quit his day job as some kind of a doc that doesn't see patients and start up a second career as a motocross rider.

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    StG and ElleDubs arrive, both in perfect form. :clap

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    We find the Pinto Cemetery.

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    Gravestone. The dates correspond with all the early settlements of southern Utah.

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    Say it isn't so. SimbaBoy busts out the duct tape for quick roadside repair. Of course, I bust out my camera. This is just too good to be true. :lol3

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    I'm sure StG and ElleDubs appreciate the humor here. They're just too kind to stick their cameras in front of the mighty KLR in its moment of weakness.

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    Chasing behind ElleDubs as we ride south on dirt from Pinto to Pine Valley.

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    Self pic with SimbaBoy on my tail. I guess the duct tape must have worked because his bike was moving along fine. :thumb

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    Stop. Typical road and scenery.

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    The birthday girl. We hit pavement just before Pine Valley. Time for ElleDubs to make a fast exit to St. George. Best birthday wishes to ElleDubs from all of us inmates. :nod Kind of a mini-tradition developing. Third time in the last year someone went for an ADVride with RRR plus inmates on their B-day. Any other upcoming B-days which warrant a ride? :ear

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    Last pic of ElleDubs, RRR, and StG, graciously taken by SimbaBoy.

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    Three of us head over to Pine Valley town to do a little sightseeing at the old Mormon church.

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    Chapel was built by Ebenezer Bryce, same Bryce for which Bryce Canyon was named. At least this is what we learned on our little informal tour.

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    Inside the chapel. StG and SimbaBoy are considering converting. I'm busy taking pics and admiring the architecture. At some point SimbaBoy remembers the 10% tithing obligation and decides to plug his ear. Now he thinks he'd rather save his money for KLR repairs and eventually more motorbikes. Note to lurker types: This is joke. Please don't send me any nasty PMs. When you live in Utardia you have to make a few jokes about this stuff. Like the "favorite wife" stuff. :lol3

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    Looking at the roof support structure of the chapel. The large room directly below this has no beam supports and a gently curved ceiling. Very elegant engineering, especially for 150+ years ago with very limited tools.

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    More riding. Drinks in Veyo (thanks, StG). Pavement to Diamond Valley. From the backside of Diamond Valley we take dirt/rocks to Black Gulch, #033 on Benchmark. SimbaBoy is happy with another day of Utah vacation riding. Soon his real life will start back up again in Michigan. Not a bad amount of Utah riding this summer for a guy who lives 1000 miles away. Way to go, SimbaBoy and family!

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    And StG. Hopefully this guy can get free for some more rides also. :ricky

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    On the final descent to St. George there is some bike swapping going on. SimbaBoy's white helmet on StG's WRR.

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    Following the guys down to St. George. Very nice ride. 'Till next time. Stay safe out there.

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    Thanks to SimbaBoy, StG, ElleDubs, and Miki. And to all other inmates with the positive comments. See you around. :wave
  20. holiday

    holiday DL650K7

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