Trails of the West 2011 - CO, UT, ID, WY, MT

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by 10Cup, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. 10Cup

    10Cup Long timer

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    Just got back from a solo trip of approximately 2,900 miles over 14 days. It was a tremendous trip and as you can see from the route below heavy with history which I love.

    Here is the overall of the route.

    Oleary and Toyman are on a similar route without the trip west to the Salt Lake area. We had all originally planned on riding to gether but scheduels got in the way and I ended up having to leave a week earlier. Here is a link to their report.
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    Want to give a big shout out to fellow ADV'r Jjustj for letting me park my vehicle at his place for the two weeks I was on the trail. Thanks Jay!! Also to Docking Pilot for his track file and waypoints, thanks Frank!

    Day 1

    Started the route out in Dillon, CO. and headed North on the CDR route which I had ridden in 09 to intercept my intended route.

    Went pretty much as expected this first day and once on the route that would loop West to Salt Lake then around North into Montana I stared to see a lot of new country. Came up on this water crossing and a fella was sitting near by trout fishing. I looked over the water and it was work able so went across only to find it much deeper than I thought but made it just fine.
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    Some great Ranch's out here too.
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    Roads turned into dirt and got more interesting as I went on. Beautiful country.
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    The day was going well when I came up to this.
    Turns out the detour was just fine but not on my Garmin maps. Joined back up later with the planned route and was back on track.
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    Stopped for a quick brake and the WR waits all loaded down for two weeks on the trail.
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    More of this beautiful country.
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    As already mentioned, a lot of fast water and great trout fishing in the area.
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    Wasn't long after and I pull into Meeker, Co. for the night anxious for what might await me tomorrow.

    Pretty long day for the first day.
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    Tomorrow would find me entering the Dinosaur National Monument and I could not wait to see it! Stay tuned.........
    #1
  2. 10Cup

    10Cup Long timer

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    Day 2.

    Got up early due to the warm temps and wanted to get my 200 miles I had planned on average for each day before it got really hot. Temps were forecast in the 90's for late afternoon.

    Ridding was great and the roads and scenery this morning were already looking up!
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    Wasn't long and the roads get better and better.....
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    Hour or two later and I hit the first of my goals for the day!
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    I ride up on an old homestead that was in great shape and read about the Chew family.........this site served three generations of Chews and they were one of the very first families to settle here before the area became the current DNM!
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    The old wagon was in pretty good shape all things considered too.
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    They had built a series of storage drawers inside the wagon.
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    There were several cool out buildings too.
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    Some old tools .......
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    After that I ride on and come to what I soon found out was the "GEM" of the DNM.........Echo Park!
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    Very cool camp sites too! Shade, water and fire rings, best of the best.
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    Topped off my camel back prior to leaving and found that I needed my new in-line filter........man is this thing great! Best new piece of equipment I brought on this trip! See it here.
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    I then headed on out of the park as it was only about 11:30 and too early to stop for the day, I wanted to see the Petroglyph's I had seen signs about on the way in. Here is a interesting "hole in the rock" I see on the way out too.
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    I see some more beautiful vistas on the way out. Little did I know what lay in store for me before I finish this day out!
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    Had a long steep rocky/rutted down hill descending down into the valley of the DNM. Once on the floor the temps shot up and the roads got sandy, then the dirt turned to "silt" about 6 - 10" deep and was very difficult riding. Problem was I had several miles of this to go before I exited the DNM. With about a mile to go the mighty WR decides to take a nap!
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    Now this by itself is not a big deal but the silt was like flour and just filled up everything, I got up and was rust colored from head to toe. Got the bike up and cleaned the rest of this nasty section but by end of day had to wash my cloths, the bike and change the air filter.....what a mess!!:eek1

    I stop to take a quick picture of the DNM on the way out.
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    Didn't get my 200 miles in today but rode hard and saw some fabulous scenery.
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    #2
  3. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter

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    I'm in on this one-----looks like your route might have taken you over a special bridge near Dinosaur ??? :D:D:clap

    Mark
    #3
  4. njoytheride

    njoytheride NJOYN' THE JOURNEY

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    Mike, thanks so much for taking the time for the RR. Glad your back home safe. Echo canyon pics brought back lots of great memories. That road dust can get into places you didn't know you had.... Ok, ready for the next installment...:lurk
    #4
  5. selaznog

    selaznog Avoiding pavement

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    Subscribed!
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  6. 10Cup

    10Cup Long timer

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    Hey thanks for the replys on the report, just getting started really. Mark bridge coming up..:lol3
    #6
  7. Copperjohn1962

    Copperjohn1962 Been here awhile

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    Hey Mike, Thanks for taking us along.The new helmet cam is awesome! I'm looking forward to more of the RR.

    Subscribed!
    #7
  8. 10Cup

    10Cup Long timer

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    Thanks CJ! For some reason the GPS portion did not record on this initial video but it is on the rest of them. I think you'll like that feature too.
    #8
  9. 10Cup

    10Cup Long timer

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    Day 3..

    After leaving the Dinosaur National Monument I stayed overnight in Vernal, UT. Today my route took me into the Flaming Gorge, but first I would cross a very cool suspension bridge! I would be camping out tonight as well in a place called Henry's Fork.

    Great ridding right off and the colors were fantastic as you can imagine.
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    Rode down into some narrow tree lined trails, it was great! Cool morning out too so I was really enjoying this morning.
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    High canyon walls all around and full of color!
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    I ride on for a while and see on my GPS a waypoint for a suspension bridge coming up.....sure enough there it is!
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    And it's open.....this is gonna be fun.
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    As soon as I leave the bridge however, the riding gets tougher. Miles of deep pea gravel and I had my work cut out for me for quite a while.

    The first thing I hit when getting to the Flaming Gorge is the Dam, it was very cool and huge!
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    No water moving through today though.
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    The reservoir on the other side of the dam. Some fishing boats working the area too.
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    As I leave I see another bridge that was cool but not as cool as the suspension bridge. Beautiful though.
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    I continue on after the dam and find some Harley Riders holding me up. We end up going to the same area and I get to know them, nice guys just real slow:D
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    I walk out to the rim to take some more pictures while the Harley guys get their bikes put away...........:D
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    After that I ride out and head toward Henry's Fork. Here are a few shots on the way. Beautiful country.
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    It's getting late in the day and I'm tired and ready to find a place to rest. I finally get to Henry's Fork and find it is a trail head for those of the Equine persuasion. Good camp site just no showers............ugh... but I have three buddies to keep me company all night.:D
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    After some quick work with my jetboil and some chow I turned in before it was even dark. No problem sleeping at all. Sorry, no video today:cry

    The days stats.
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    #9
  10. AKASY

    AKASY Noob

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    Looks like some great riding--enjoying the report--keep it coming.
    On that water crossing--Maybe it was like the one below from my CDR trip in 09. A guy going north told me to "stay left" when crossing it--well I was going south and didn't "translate" left and right--yep it was a bit deep in places:D

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    #10
  11. 10Cup

    10Cup Long timer

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    HA, yeah that looks like it! The crossing was fine but it had a deep pocket in it and was a surprise!
    #11
  12. OLEARY

    OLEARY Enlightened Voyager

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    Good stuff Mike. Hmmm! Those first three days look quite familiar. You do have some photos of some places we didn't see. That video camera is great and lots of good history. I guess I am in too much of a hurry to see what is around the next bend that I don't spend enough time seeing what is right in front of me. I think back on some of the events that I didn't take photos of and it makes me wonder what I was thinking at the time. I look forward to seeing the western route. Outstanding photos. :norton
    #12
  13. 10Cup

    10Cup Long timer

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    Thanks Oleary, always good to see another perspective. Goes both ways for sure.
    #13
  14. 10Cup

    10Cup Long timer

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    Day 4.....
    Got up early broke camp and headed West.
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    Had a few miles to cover today and got into some re-routes too. Found out later that the route I had planned had been changed due to the ATV Rock Gardens I got into. Was fun for about seven of the twelve miles and then became obvious that the route was not going to be passable so I had to re-route and join up later. For some reason the pictures I took of this section were nowhere to be found.....bummer.

    Ended up going on through the very large Hardware Ranch and riding some very sketchy cow path's until finally connecting with a better road.
    Did see this very cool water fall on the way.
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    Pulled into Lehi, UT early afternoon and found a room. I was in high heat so had changed my riding to leaving at first light then pulling off by 1-2pm when the temps hit the mid 90's. Worked real well and gave me time to service the bike, wash clothes and down load pictures/tracks/videos. Today was no exception.

    Days stats..
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    #14
  15. 10Cup

    10Cup Long timer

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    Day 5....The Pony Express Route!

    Riding this portion of the route was one of the highlights of why I wanted to go this far West and I was really looking forward to seeing the old way stations and reliving some of the history of what these brave men did. I was not disappointed!

    Got up early again and started riding at first light, topped off my fuel as this would be one of the longer legs of my trip at over 200 miles into Wendover, UT where I planned to spend the night.
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    First stop was at the Simpson Springs station. I had planned on camping here during initial planning but it was just too hot
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    More pictures of the Simpson Springs way station.
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    What is left of the original rock building before being rebuilt across the road.
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    After Simpson Springs, time to put in some miles. It was only about 10am but already was getting hot.
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    I come up on a heard of wild horses (that were not so wild :D) and found a couple stopped filming them from the road.
    I stopped to visit and found the women was from England and her friend was from Montana. Visited some then headed back out on the trail.
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    OK, were outta here...
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    Doesn't look any cooler up ahead either...
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    My route would take West and North to Gold Hill and then into Nevada before circling back into UT.
    I went by several way stations and stopped to take a picture of each one. Very cool.
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    In the mean time I come up on what is referred to as "Gold Hill" couldn't see anything real special about it but the color.
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    Continuing on now just to stay cool, it was hot.....lots more of this.
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    Starting to see more Salt........
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    Yet another way station, each was numbered, I think this might have been 90 if I recall correctly.
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    Then I come up on the Boyd Station that was well marked and still had some of the building left.
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    Saddled up and rode on.....to yet another site, complete with gun ports still visible in the old rock building. I looked around and had to wonder what it would have been like to ward off an Indian attack while trying to protect yourself and the Pony Express horses.
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    OK, time to get into Wendover and find a cool place! Off I go.
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    Found a room and unsaddled the WR and then decided to take a quick trip out to the Bonneville Salt Flats which is nearby. The races had just concluded this past week and the bikes were coming next week!
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    The WR felt wonderfully light without it's heavy tail bag, heck maybe I'll go for a land speed record..........
    OK, so I find a kid that was real knowledgeable about what was going on and find out that yes I can ride out on the race course......hell yeah!
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    OK so I open up the might WR and I think I saw 450 mph once!! My eyes were kind of blurry so I could have been off one digit.......
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    I got off and looked around half expecting to see a rocket bike go
    shooting past. Very cool but I wouldn't want to get stranded out here.....
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    OK enough fun, I head on back to the hotel to clean the salt off my bike and relax, my day is done.

    Stats... (guess I was wrong on the top speed deal :cry)
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    #15
  16. FloorPoor

    FloorPoor Been here awhile

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  17. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    Nice pics!
    Thanks
    #17
  18. 10Cup

    10Cup Long timer

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    Day 6.....
    Today would be a big day for me, I would ride the Transcontinental Rail Road bed from Wendover, UT to Promontory Point. I got up early as usual and left Wendover while it was still almost dark.
    Stopped a while later for a break and snapped a picture before I took off.
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    Little later the Sun starts coming up.
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    All of a sudden, up ahead, I see someone waving me down. I stopped to find a mom and her daughter on the way to school and with a flat they couldn't change. Meet Monique and Rose. Great people. We visited while I changed there tire and then they were off again with a big thank you. I was kind of upset when they told me that a van had passed them buy and didn't stop to help.......some people.
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    The roads were pretty good but very heavy wash boarding, the women I had changed tires for said it was from heavy truck traffic trying to get around weigh stations....don't know but it was a rough SOB.
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    Getting into some very remote areas when I stopped for my second break.
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    I crossed my first set of rail road tracks just in time..
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    Off to the left I see my first indication of the upcoming Transcontinental Rail Road (TCR)
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    Here it is!!
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    I have 90 miles of this great stretch of history to go! This is going to be great!:clap
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    Here is my first video of the rail bed, if you click on the button that gives you "full screen view" it is much better to see. (NOTE: all the videos are this way, go to full screen for a better experience)
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    As I rode along this rail bed I tried to make note of the history talking points as I went.
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    Way out her in the middle of nowhere is the Terrace Cemetery......complete with rattlesnakes no less. I think to myself..Death all around.
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    I ride on .... more information signs..
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    The riding continued to be great, here the cut through a small rock area to keep the bed level.
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    Not sure what this was, I couldn't find any identification markings at all. (Found out later that it was a survey marker that was explained on the old wooden sign, just couldn't read it very well)
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    I'm getting very close to Promontory Point where the East and West Coast crews met to join up the TCR. I couldn't wait after reading about this huge event in our nations history!
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    History of the Transcontinental Rail Road

    There it is! I ride the rail right up to the two restored and working steam engines that represent the TCR era.
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    I no sooner get these pictures taken and I see a park ranger coming out so I wait to see what she wants and it was kind of funny....

    Conversation:
    Park Ranger: WHERE DID YOU COME FROM??!!!
    Me: I rode the rail......right down those tracks.
    PR: Well...........you can't do that!
    ME: Well I did.......
    PR: You'll have to take your bike outside and pay the fee
    ME: OK, no problem
    PR: Opens the gates and lets me out into the parking lot
    ME: I go in and give them my park pass.....thank you, no charge to you.

    Actually they were all very nice but it was funny when she just couldn't figure out how I got out on the platform with my bike.:lol3
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    Both Engines were fired up and running........here steam is coming out.
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    These old beauties were in perfect condition and painted to perfection too.
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    Some of the tools of the trade back then..
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    After that I took one more video as I headed on into Brigham City.

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    I had parts waiting for me there, I had lost my ignition key through a hole in my pocket and for the life of me could not find it so my Buddy Charlie back in Arkansas called ahead and found a dealer that could cut a new key for me so I would have a spare again. I also found I had a small oil seepage out of the oil filter cover and needed to replace the two O-Rings which this dealer had as well.
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    Vesco Motor sports in Brigham City. Thanks guys.

    This was the most fun and interesting day of the trip so far.
    Long day but big time fun!
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    #18
  19. OLEARY

    OLEARY Enlightened Voyager

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    Wow! That is some good stuff there. So much history. It must have been a great experience to ride the rail and really funny story of your exchange with the park ranger. We go where no one else can go. Too Cool! :norton
    #19
  20. 10Cup

    10Cup Long timer

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    Day 7...

    I get an early start leaving Brigham City, UT as I would have a lot of miles to cover today and would enter Wyoming as well. Riding was good but I would have some slab to cover as well.

    Left Hand Canyon Road.........ugh...... This road started out so good too, it was fun and beautiful........but would not last I find out.
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    My GPS shows about 12 miles of this and I see lots of campers and camp sites as I ride the first seven miles. I see signs "not suitable for cars ahead" I think OK, I can go anywhere no big deal.
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    But this road turned into an ATV Rock Garden and when I finally came up on this I said enough and turned around.
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    I had already been through a lot of rock and very narrow trail, had to fold my mirrors in as well so this was just the end of the line for this road. I pride myself on knowing when not to push it any further riding solo and this was it.

    I back track the seven miles and re route around to the same road but further down the line. On the way I see some nice vistas and of course the resident trout fishermen.
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    I finish up with Left Hand Canyon Road and enter the "Hardware Ranch". Big ranch and I ride in it for miles. Ended up riding the last portion down a cow path with the ruts from erosion and plenty of rocks thrown in but made it just the same. I was working so hard I didn't even take any pictures of it, was just glad to get it behind me I guess.

    I hit Garden City, UT and fuel up, get some chow and head toward Wyoming. Wasn't long and there it was.
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    Had some road construction to deal with before getting back on the dirt and made a mental note: Don't follow guys on tractors:lol3
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    Now were talking!
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    Rode on into the micro town of Kemmerer, WY expecting to call it a day and get a room. Filled up with fuel and water and started calling hotels. They were all too pricey or not air conditioned so I say the heck with it and keep going. I would be camping tonight.

    An hour and a half later and I see a spot that should work so I pull in and set up camp.
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    Just me and the bears!! No didn't see one but felt they were probably around.......:eek1
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    Yeah I look tired for a reason......
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    #20