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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Scott_PDX, Aug 11, 2012.
The camping spot at 12000 feet was great. I took the road a little further up and found this nice little lake. I passed the last hikers of the day on the trail and saw them get in their vehicle and leave so I went for a quick swim.
This is after the camp where we met Big Easy and drove four miles out of the way to see these falls. Hopefully Scott or John remember the name of them.
Now we head for the Wyoming border. The pictures to follow show the road progression and some animals.
Saw a nice group of Bucks very close to us.
Hey, we found the border!
Like the road progression?
We jumped over this and rode safely on. Well, not really; we looked for a way down and out but decided to retrace our tough steps.
This mud was about 18" deep.
Yay! No more sage brush getting stuck in my shift lever!
We were camped at Rifle Mountain State Park and I believe those were the Rifle Mountain Park Falls. I rode out there but turned around because it looked like they were gonna charge another fee to get in so I bailed.
I didn't know until reading John's post you are heading for the Coast Guard, very cool good on you.
Cool to have met y'all glad ya it home safe. I'm enjoying the report through all three of your views.
Thanks for the info. It was nice to meet you as well. I remember laughing quite a bit more than normal at rifle lake. It was a good time.
Yep. I do wish I was there, but had a good time riding Oregon while you 3 were galavanting across the West.
Ride Oregon First, ya know.....
Thanks for the pics and report, those canyon walls and high passes will call at me some day, just not this year.
The Ural will serve you well on your trip next year, John.
The Coast Guard should give you some good experiences, Jesse, like you haven't seen some yet? You're a good team player, you'll fit in well there.
So what's next year gonna bring for Scott?
I can't wait to ride some of the good riding areas you found Jeff.
This was called "Big Spring" because it was exactly that; just a big hole in the ground with water coming out of it. It was pretty neat.
This is one of my final photos. Help me out guys, post up some more pics of the ride. I have been out of town a lot, and I'm sure you have also, but let's not end with me posting .
Day 6 –Wednesday, July 26, 2012 –Green River, UT to Moab, UT
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Another good night sleep thanks to some soft grass and a clean shower the night before. Jessie cleans up some more repairs and we hit the road soon after a quick breakfast snack. Immediately we see some of the most desolate areas of the whole trip. Entire miles of just gray dirt…no plants…no trees…not even much interesting topography. Looked like a good place to make nuke dump if you ask me.<o></o>
Nice views a ways out of Green River.
Enjoying the morning light
Soon, we run into some more technical riding, some sand, some rocks and lots of GREAT dual sport riding. I’m really digging the little bike in this stuff, but there are few sandy “Pucker Moments”. As we move on, the views get more astounding. The land drops away from us to the south and is really impressive in spots. The hard going, heat and days on the road start to take its toll, and soon as we find pavement at the Colorado river, we find some shade and regroup. Unfortunately there is no drinking water, and I don’t even want to think about filtering the Colorado River. That drives a nail in the day for John – he’ll head into Moab and grab a hotel room (and most likely a drink or two), while Jessie and I will continue.
Things get more challenging
Time for a self portrait during a break
The edge of the world
Long ways south towards the Colorado River
Strange Rocks along the way
The Mighty Colorado
Too bad for John, but good for us, we run into probably my favorite part of the whole ride: Onion Creek Canyon. The best part of the ride was that Onion Creek was nice and cool, and I really needed that at this point. The road climbs up a dark red canyon and crosses the river a dozen or so times. At the first crossing, I soaked my shirt (Surprised that its shockingly cold), and that kept me cool for an hour or so. At times the road was did get a bit challenging, but was full of great scenery. We then climb up into the surround mountains, eventually Jessie and I run up to the top of a 10k mountain to get a killer view.
Heading for Onion Creek
Jessie giddy with excitement
Getting Closer to the Canyon – Love those big skys
Onion Creek Canyon
Time to soak my T-Shirt
Some slick areas
If I were a geologist I could tell you what these rocks were…But I ain’t
We came from down there
Moab is down there someplace
About the only Slick Rock I rode. This is actually a road.
Rest Stop Views
By now I was getting pretty pooped as it was well over 100 degrees, and the last bit of riding into Moab was a bit of drain. In fact I had to stop for a rest and a “warm” drink and a snack. Jessie’s goes ahead of me down to Slickrock, an I find him chatting up some mountain bikers. He then decides to give the slick rock a try of his own, but I’m too damn tired and have a cold beer on my mind.
Jessie Showin Off at Slickrock
Once we get to Moab, we page John and meet up at the Super8 for cold drink, laundry, charging, shower, beer and food in that order.
Tomorrow, screw the desert, let’s get high.
Day 7 –Thursday, July 27, 2012 –Moab, UT to Some Dirt Hole above Moab, UT
Nother break, no excuse, but I will finish this dammit. Probably not before deer hunting season is over though. Anyways….
First thing in the morning we head over to Moab Motorsports. It’s a real nice shop that let us ship tires to them. I have both mine changed to Cheap Shinko’s, and Jessie tries to change his own, but after a couple of pinch flats hands it over to experts. I pick up a few goodies and we hang out for a couple of hours getting things straight. We even meet a real interesting BMW couple from England. She was on a 1200GS and he was on a Xchallenge. They were loaded for the long haul, and real pleasant to visit with.
Cute English Rider at Moab Motorsports
Moab being hot as hell, we decided that doing the White Rim and some of the other off-road rides was a good way to hate life. So instead, we headed up in the LaSalle mountains. Surprisingly the ride up got REALLY challenging. I noticed the road was maintained by a 4 wheel drive club and it showed. The little WR was really showing its roots though, there was plenty of pulling power to get me up the steep stuff, and traction enough to grab the loose rocks.
Problem with climbing up was we got closer to those rainclouds that were on the horizon. Soon it started sprinkling, at some point I got ahead of the guys, not sure how that happened, but I’m sure it was some sneaky move on my part. I pull over along some trees to get out of the pleasant sprinkles, and waid for the guys. I shut the motor off and hear the lightning getting closer and closer. As I look around I notice that there’s a stream right next to me running under the road. And a little clearing that could be a campsite. With the lightning and late start I start to think hiding out might not be a bad idea. I wait some more and no guys. Normally I’d back track, but it’s raining, and I knew they weren’t far behind me…and….I had a chair. Soon John shows up and tells me Jessie got a flat but has it handled.
This is not far from Moab, if you go in the right direction.
Somewhere around here Jessie manages to run into a tree. It’s not too bad, but there are some more parts rearranged on his bike. A series of whoop-de-doos, turned into a whoop-de-don’t, and he “didn’t”. It caught me too, but short of about going over bars, I managed to save it.
We continue climbing up the mountain, into more thunder. It actually starts freaking me out as we are getting above the tree line. We find a nice little campground, up at the top, but it’s overrun by cows. We find a little grove of big pines and hide out for a few minutes while the worst of the storms pass. Unfortunately, a big ole bull, had the same idea, so we moved on.
The storms don’t let up and when we cross a fresh stream and see a clearning with a firering, we decide to call it home. It was a fine, but short day of challenging riding. I think we were all a little tired from a week of adventuring and when the late afternoon storm showed up I dove for the tent. A little respite from the rain turned into a 4 hour nap. Something about a cool rain shower in a tent sure makes it easy to sleep. It rained on an off all night, and I think this is the night that convinces John that he needs a bigger tent.
The stream actually flowed over the road
Our little camp. Hard to believe my tiny tent is the BIG tent. Had quite the light show all night long.
Tomorrow, we “Finish” the UTBDR and begin exploring Colorado.
Scott, John and Jessie,
It is only 12/3/12 so you might have time to finish the report by the end of the year! Nice RR BTW! Looks like you guys a had a blast!
Apple Jam asked Killowat and I to beta test his new Cascade discovery route for a few days before we did our version of the OBDR. He took us through some delicious tracks from HR to Sisters then left to go back home after 3 days of great riding! We continued on for another week doing our ride through Oregon's smoke filled landscape! Great ride but the smoke and cold weather were very trying. Spring Brake anyone????
BUSTED! If ya read it, I'll write it.
Even though John is the official early riser of the group. I managed to crawl out of my tent relatively early. The sky was overcast from the previous nights rain, and the air was “crisp”. I took a little “Constitution” walk/stretch and spooked some deer in the process.
The view from the La Sal mountains doesn't look good. There are rain clouds all around us, but after warming up near the fire, we set out.
Looking back toward the mountains where we spent the night.
After spying some sunshine, we take a minute to appreciate how lucky we are to be doing this.
We fill up in the town of La Sal, then roll on down the UTBDR heading for the dark clouds hanging over the Abajo Mountains.
By the time I get my camera out to document a long lonely road, the guys get way ahead of me, and make it lonelier.
We gain a little elevation and begin to appreciate the terrain a bit. Can you spot the guys?
Maybe this helps.
Eventually, we find out way into a canyon full of mines and gas wells. John and Jessie go exploring a mine a bit, while I take a quick maintenance break.
After crossing HWY 191 we see that the Abajo Mountains that we are heading for, are slowly disappearing behind some really ominous clouds.
Eventually, we work our way up into the Abajo mountains, and by the time we get there it's not so bad. The ridding gets a little more sporty and we spot a lot of deer. The next few hours of dirt riding are some of the nicest (and fastest) of the trip.
John’s not “feeling it” today. We all had our off days here and there (Okay maybe not Jessie), today was his turn.
Eventually, the road would take us to the far ridge you can see here. It included lots of beautiful views along the way.
It was easy to get lost in some of these views.
This is looking back from the other ridge to where the last pictures were taken. It took a couple of hours to get here, but the forest riding was AWESOME. With John not feeling 100%, I led for a bit and felt great to not eat dust for a bit.
We ran into som sandy sections soon after the above and were challenged a bit more. But it was all good. As we neared the end of the road we passed a cop who was headed up into the mountains to rescue a partner who had a couple of flats. The cop had a XR650 in his bed that he patrolled on occasionally. He took a copule of pictures of us for fun.
By now were, I, getting hungry and decide to run into Blanding for lunch. From there we scrutinize the maps a bit and decide that we’ve had enough of sand. The last section of the UTBDR is pretty Sandy, and kinda leaves us in the middle of nowhere. So we decide to head here…
We pick up some beer in Dove, then camp at the Bradfield Recreation Site on the Delores river. The campground has run out of water (bad), but was therefore free (good). The waterfilter earns it’s reputation again and we are able to spread out and relax for a bit. In between hauling wood, Jessie and John have a Wheelie contest…John wins…guess he was feeling better! Jessie makes a friend, and I make my bed.
Tomorrow – Civilization…kinda.
Enjoying the story and pics....
I spent 4 days in Moab in mid-April with my 690....good for all of it except I hate deep sand....
I need to go back and spend at least a week riding lots more within 150 mile radius of Moab.
sweet. thanks, that's me adding the dirt road layer to all of our maps.
the BDRs are Rob Watt's route but our state maps are me.
How ya'll been?
Colorado, Man, Colorado......
Day 9 –Sunday , July 29, 2012 –Bradfield, Campground, CO to Eurkea, Co
John tried sleeping in a hammcok this night and I think he froze a little bit – funny how those hammocks sleep cold. The plan today was…”head northish”. First stop was just down the road to Durango. As it had been a couple of days since we had good cell service and civilization, we ran a few errands (liquor store, grocery, lunch) and hung out next to the river to call loved ones. Durango seemed nice, and in a cool little valley.
From there we just stayed on the freeway and enjoyed the ride up to Silverton. There was quite a number of Bicylists climbing the high 10,000+ foot plus summit. There was a rest area near the top where we took a little break and talked to a few of them. These guys and gals were loving life at the top, but passing them on the climb they looked a bit miserable. We got a good recommendation for lunch at “Handlebars” in Silverton. We ran into a few showers along the way today.
Handlebars was a nice little café in the touristy little town of Silverton. The views around Silverton were majestic but shown the scars of a mining past. We decided to look for a campground close by. We questioned a few folks in town and decided to head up the valley after hitting the normal stores (Grocery, Gas and Liquor). We passed some really nice looking spots right next to the river outside of Silverton, but we had accidentially switched into “motoring mode” as we were awed by the scenery and ran further up the valley to Eurkea. Even though the campground looked more like an RV park. I kinda liked the idea of a organized spot where we could burn for free, have a table to get our dinner prepared, some water, a shitter and I was hoping for a shower…got all that but the shower.
The campsite is on the grounds of the old mining town of Eureka. There were a few interpretive sites and it was sad to see that there was only a building or two left of the original town. Instead you have “a town” of RV’s pulling all sorts of 4 wheeled adventure vehicles. There were probably 40 occupied sites and nearly ALL of them had RV+Toy set-ups. Surprisingly, we were the only ones on two wheels. So as we had a reputation to upload we immediately scavenged some wood, built a raging fire, and began drinking. Somebody was pretty much toast before mid evening – I’m not saying who.
There was a cool quartz vein above camp that looked like it had been mined before. They had literally blasted out a hole through the mountain in the past and now there was a raging waterfalls coming out through the mining tailings. I wish I knew more about the site, but it was cool hiking up there later in the evening with Jessie.
Didn’t take many pictures today, sorry.
Coming into Silverton – Note John’s Rain Gear
Looking back the way we came.
Things look better after lunch
Jessie does this again
I call this one “nom nom nom nom FYYFF”
Not the softest campground…
… but the views make up for it.
The falls behind camp
Evening hike to the falls
I’d like to come back and ride all of these…
Tomorrow – A high GRAND pass!