Ultimate Utah Adventure Route – The UTBDR and a Whole Lot More

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by jglow, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. gammel

    gammel Been here awhile

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    I thought this looked familiar!! We were there 07/14/13
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    #41
  2. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

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    This is so true... Richards bike had turned into the Bermuda Triangle for electrical devices :norton. His Spot2 failed, his GoPro refused to turn on after day 3, his 12v outlet didn't like his USB converter (even though it worked perfectly on mine:D) :dic, and his Iphone 5 crapped out :topes.


    I've said this before, and I'll say it again... Bigwan is a MAN :deal! 2up through a lot of that stuff is more than impressive! Hope you put together a Ride Report for this latest ride :nod.

    Yup... That family first stuff will come back to bite you in the arse :rofl. Just kidding... But, yes! Next year :evil.




    jordan
    #42
  3. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

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    Once I get done with the Ride Report, I will clean up the tracks, and have them available for anyone who would be interested in riding this Route. Probably will have to pm me and send me an email address if interested - I haven't had much luck with uploading files to Advrider.

    *updated -- tracks available for download at bottom of first post


    Hey Kari :wave,

    All the sand riding practice out at Red River really came in handy on this trip!


    Nice! I so badly wanted to jump those ramped cattle guard things, but was never coaxed enough :baby.


    jordan
    #43
  4. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
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    Lowry Crossing, TX



    So, the decision at hand was whether or not to take the Expert trail South (our original drawn route) or bail out on some easy forest roads that would later meet up at the bottom with our original route. We stop at the junction to make a choice.

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    The thing is, Richard and I don’t have a lick of sense between us when it comes to turning around, and/or bailing on things. We have been in several hairy situations together, and they were all a result of us pushing on further past when we should’ve given up. So knowing that, I think we were both ready to dive into the Expert trail, but at the same time relying on Lawson to be the voice of reason and suggest bailing out :gerg, and heading down the easy stuff. At that point, I wouldn’t have minded at all which way we went. We still had a lot of planned miles to cover that day.

    So, I was super surprised when Lawson voted to take the Expert Route :gdog! As he put it, “the part I can see looks pretty easy”… (Nevermind the rest of the 3 miles of trail we can’t see! :lol3)

    So with our 3 Person Team Democratic system thriving, we all blindly head down the Expert trail South to Tie Fork Rd.

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    And it indeed starts out “easy”

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    But the trail marker let’s us know we are on the correct path.

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    But it looks like the majority of the trail will be descending, and that is typically a bit easier to tackle (especially with the bikes being turned in to our mules).

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    Then the trail gets kicked up a notch to Double Black (didn’t see that on the brochure)

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    And it does have a few steep sections with tight corners, and varying consequences off to the right or left…

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    I washed out on the front at one point…

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    But truly the trail wasn’t too bad.

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    We just rode it consistently and methodically down to the bottom…

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    Where the trail stated to widen and become Tie Fork Rd.

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    With several water crossings for our entertainment.

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    Before spitting us out at a Rest Stop Area at the Junction of Tie Fork Rd and US Hwy 6.

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    We took the chance to re-fill the camel backs, and throw on our jackets. We were now heading up to the Skyline Dr, and most of that road is between 9,000-10,000 ft elevation, and can get chilly – even in the summer. So with the threat of rain all around us, we hoped back on the bikes and headed down the trail.

    But within 30 minutes or so, all the rain had moved past, and we had managed to stay dry.

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    The sun was now out, and the scenery was spectacular!

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    And we were able to make some miles too.

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    Climbing higher…

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    We spotted some wildlife:

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    Time for a Siesta' in the shade of the bike:jose.

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    Eventually the road maintenance ends…

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    “Native Conditions” exist, and the road gets a little more FUN.

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    Roadside attractions:

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    And still more awesome vistas:

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    Our plan for the evening was to drop down to Ephraim for fuel and food, and depending on the weather we would either head back up into the forest to camp, or snag a room in town.

    There were a few options to get off of Skyline Dr and down into Epraim. One was the easy obvious route of Skyline dr to the nicely graded Ephraim Canyon Rd. Another route option was to take this vague “jeep trail” that I had found, and traced out on Google Earth. I told the guys I couldn’t promise that the trail went through, but it “looked like it did when I flew over it in Google Earth”…. Famous last words I suppose :wink:.

    So, when we get to the turn off for the Jeep trail, I am pleased to see that it is a legitimate trail, with proper trail markers, indicating that it was (once again) an Expert Trail. No worries… We’ve already ridden one today – this one's in the bag! Down we go.

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    And it’s pretty technical…

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    But very similar to the stuff we ride a lot in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

    Rocky, loose, steep…

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    But there was this one section.

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    Kinda near the bottom, and well past more difficult sections of the trail.

    But this little piece of trail had Lawson’s number.

    As he rounded the corner on the rocky descent,

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    his front tire let go, and then immediately wedged against a larger rock. Stopped him instantly and sent him off the bike. Right on his head.

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    Lawson, better than anyone I know, has the amazing ability to sacrifice his head/neck area of his body in a crash :deal. It's not intentional... It just kinda happens to him. I think I've decided that it's due to the fact that he is so tall. He just doesn't have the time to complete the tuck and roll, and so his head drags on the ground :dunno.

    Anyhow... We let him lay there and regroup for a minute before we laughed about it.

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    And then continued on down the trail for another few miles.

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    That brought us into Ephraim.

    We were riding into what appeared to be a potentially gnarly monsoon storm, so we were hurrying to get into town. With the storm blowing in, and Lawson's head first tumble he took off of the bike, we figured a motel was in order for the night. We stopped at the small motel at the North end of town, but got no answer at the door of the office :dunno. The wind was howling at that point, and we all just knew that we would be getting soaked before being able to get a room. We headed back South through town, and stopped at the much too fancy (for us) Willow Creek Inn.

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    They had us at "Hot Tub".

    We piled our stuff into one room, and ran and ate a quick, crappy Mcdonalds (Sunday pm in Utah and everything was closed). Then got back to the motel to soak in the hot tub. It was wonderful, and just what everybody needed after a few long, late days on the trail. And it never did actually rain... We got about 3 drops total :lol3.


    Total Stats for the day: A hard earned 123 measly miles.


    Tomorrow we will be heading out and South from Ephraim on OHV trails in the Arapeen trail system. It will be another long day, and we get to deal with the first mechanical issues of the trip :cry.


    jordan








    #44
  5. CBAT

    CBAT occasional wanderer

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    :clap:clap:clap:clap
    #45
  6. Oh2RideMore

    Oh2RideMore Long timer

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    Doing the utbdr and cobdr in 3 weeks, and your videos have me so excited. Great choice of music and editing. Keep it coming. Suscribed.:clap
    #46
  7. shortbritches

    shortbritches Been here awhile

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    COOL BEANS!! This ride is awesome.Being a loop is cool for us midwest guys trying to plan a trip.
    #47
  8. DavidQ

    DavidQ We Don't Rent Pigs

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    Great report guys. :thumb
    #48
  9. greenwater

    greenwater Adventurer

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    Great report and nice editing on the videos. I am hooked. Keep it coming!
    #49
  10. PDX Alamo

    PDX Alamo Been here awhile

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    Portland, OR
    Awesome ride report, ive been following in your footsteps so to speak. just finished Alaska 2 up with my lady on a Wee and now I'm doing the UTBDR and CObDR in 2 weeks on my WR.. Thanks for paving the way with your rr! Hey what gearing you guys running on the bikes? Ill have some highway miles to get back and was just going to leave it stock. Recommendations ? Also you guys running d606's?
    #50
  11. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

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    Lowry Crossing, TX
    Thanks for checking out the Ride Report :thumb!

    All three of us were running D606's in the rear. I was also running a d606 up front, while Lawson and Richard ran MT21's. All tires performed very well. As far as gearing goes... Is it totally necessary to change gearing? No. I rode the TAT a couple of years ago with the stock gearing. I got through everything just fine, but I also didn't know what I was potentially missing. For this ride I went 14/50, and it was pretty awesome, especially in the slow, tight, technical stuff. I could still cruise at a gps indicated 60mph. My bike is stock engine wise, so the gearing change helped to make up for the lost power at higher elevations too. I believe Lawson was running a 13/47 setup and Richard was running a 13/48 setup.

    And as a side note... If you are planning on running with a group, I would totally suggest the use of a filter skin. It will keep you from having to carry a spare filter, and/or have to clean your filter mid ride.

    Here is how dirty the filter skin was after 7 days (probably should've taken it off earlier in the ride to free up some ponies):

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    And look how clean it kept the main filter underneath.

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    Anyways... I hope that more or less helps you out. Good luck on your ride! Let me know if you got any other questions.



    jordan
    #51
  12. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

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    Lowry Crossing, TX
    Here is the Day 3 Video Wrap :deal.





    jordan
    #52
  13. kirbykajin_sr

    kirbykajin_sr Old Man

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    Forney, TX
    Okay, so now that I have watched the video of me falling on my head. I just don't get how it gave me such a headache. It didn't really look that bad. I must have been faking or something. :baby
    #53
  14. bpeterson

    bpeterson no other way to say it

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    great report and video guys, looks like a fun ride for sure. :clap:clap

    UTBDR is on my list of trips!
    #54
  15. Sourjon

    Sourjon TAT'erd

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    In. Looks like a fun trip. Looking for a similar route suitable for 650's: XRL, KLR etc. Keep it coming.

    John
    #55
  16. StuInFH

    StuInFH Been here awhile

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    Great RR, looking forward to more. Too funny about the cabins so close, but you guys look like you don't need no stinking cabins!

    Will definitely take you up on your offer to share the tracks. thanks!
    #56
  17. OLEARY

    OLEARY Enlightened Voyager

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    Great RR JGlow! I would love to do this ride possibly without the part where you are hand wheeling your bike along the ledge. Ha! Your videos are awesome and great choice of tunes. Still trying to ride some of the TOTO tracks you sent me last year. Thanks again for those BTW! I met a fellow that knows most all of the trails in that area. When you decide to head that way again give me a shout and I will hook you up with him and I will tag along if you are so inclined. He showed us a few a few weeks back when we did a camping event at Queen Wilhelmina State Park. Here is a link to that report. :norton
    #57
  18. MaverickChick

    MaverickChick I do my own stunts.

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    Making my Utah look good :clap


    Thanks for the ride report, this is on my short list.:evil
    #58
  19. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

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    Hey Oleary! I'm gonna check out that report, and I'll be sure to let you know when I ever head out that way.


    jordan
    #59
  20. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

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    Day 4 – Ephraim, UT to Fishlake NF (Fremont River)

    It’s hard to believe that we have done so much awesome riding already, and it’s only day 4 of the trip :getiton. I was up early sampling the breakfast offerings at our swanky motel and checking the weather forecast for the day. There had been rain surrounding us at some point every day, but for the most part, we had managed to avoid direct contact with the storms. There had also been some flash flooding going on further South of us, and it seemed prudent to look since we were indeed heading South. Our weather looked to be pretty decent with only a 30% chance of storms later in the day. After everyone else got up, fed, and ready, we saddled up.

    Most of the planned route today would be on trails in either the Arapeen Trail System, Gooseberry Trail System, or Paiute Trail System, so a high mileage day was not expected. It would still, most likely, be a long day though :knary.

    Before we left, I added a little expressionist art to the front of Lawson's bike :0-0. I felt it really helped to depict the mood that he and his bike were in yesterday evening :lol3.

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    (Richard later added some fangs to it, and it was then mildly intimidating :wink:)

    Then we headed back up Ephraim Canyon Road, keeping an eye out for our first trail to turn off on to.

    Heading up the first trail on our Route in the Arapeen System.

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    The traction was perfect this morning.

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    And I really liked riding through the Aspen trees.

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    Then we had some early morning carnage, which was the result of Richard leaning his bike against Lawson’s bike (with Lawson on it). After a few seconds of being precariously perched against Lawson’s bike, Richards bike slipped, and tipped over. It was kinda funny to watch. Richards bike started to fall. Lawson tried to catch it, but then his bike started to fall, and the domino reaction was started. Lawson and both bikes ended up on the ground. The casualty ended up being Richards helmet visor.

    It was time to break out the duct tape.

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    And then we tackled our first climb (of many) of the morning.

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    As we worked our way through the Arapeen.

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    Most of the trails we routed were intermediate “ATV” trails.

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    And there were tricky spots here and there, but mostly just fun riding through this incredible area.

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    At one point the trail we are on climbs all the way back up to junction with Skyline Dr.

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    And we follow it a ways...

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    Until our trail cuts off, and traverses downward.

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    And gets a little muddy as we drop down...

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    Which helps me get the first picture of Richard's bike down (I missed the shot at the gas station a few days earlier when he got intimidated by some Wild Hogs :ymca and dropped his bike, or maybe there was another more logical reason, but I like mine :D):

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    Not much to say… Just good riding!

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    A little after lunch time, we run our last bit of trail we have routed through the Arapeen Trail System.

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    Richard gets distracted reading a sign on a right corner and ends up in the ditch.

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    The thought bubble above his head reads: "Silly bike..."

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    We crack up for a while, and take a little break, before pushing on...

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    Not five minutes after that, I look down to notice my engine temp light is on :eek1. Which is kinda weird… I’ve never had any warning lights come on:huh.


    I kill the engine to listen to the radiator fan, and it sounds weird – really quiet. Upon further inspection, it looks like the fan rotor (blades) are separated from the motor :hmmmmm.

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    We tear the bike down to sort it out.

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    And yeah… the rotor is definitely separated,

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    But looks to be repairable with some good ol’ JB Weld.

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    So I make the repair and let it set up a bit.

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    Then reassemble the bike.

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    And we’re ready to go.

    As we continue through the last little bit of the Arapeen Trail System, I’m looking down to check the temp light every few seconds, and for now it’s staying off. I’m also halfway expecting the repair to explode out pieces of fan blade and JB weld shrapnel at me :loco.


    Back riding...the trail brings us to a junction where the Skyline Dr ends and the Great Western Trail (GWT) begins. This is also the area where the Manti-La Sal NF changes over to Fishlake NF, and the Arapeen trail system gives way to the Gooseberry trail system. Lot’s of information there… Sorry .

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    We will follow the GWT South. And I will keep an eye on my temp light :waysad.

    From time to time, the GWT will merge with a forest road, then it will cut off on it’s own path. At least up here in the North part of Fishlake NF, the traffic on the GWT is limited to 50” wide.

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    The hump in the middle of the 2-track was pretty large in the early part of the trail, and that really made you have to stay in the left or right track. Not really a problem, except for the brush that was encroaching on the trail... It was really trying to rip my saddlebags off my bike.

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    The GWT through here was fun, but I would be lying if I said I enjoyed it at that moment. I was just so preoccupied with the bike – I just knew it was on the verge of overheating, and we were still pretty far from the nearest town – Salina, UT. Just kept going over it in my head, "Why did my fan break anyways :confused?"

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    I was trying not to work the bike too hard, and not let it idle at a stand still. But the trail was fairly demanding in sections with lots of loose rocky climbs.

    Then we came to a really large mudhole.

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    Richard had gotten to it first, and declared there was no go-around and we'd have to go through it. Lawson said the right side looked the best, and went for it. 2 seconds later, he was tangled in the fence.

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    And that was some snotty, slimy mud :topes. We got Lawson out of the mud, and then I spotted the not so obvious (obvious) go-round :lol3. Richard swears it wasn't just a cruel joke on the eldest member of our group :evil.

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    After about an hour into the GWT I started gaining more confidence in the bike and the repair - since it hadn't yet overheated.

    Meanwhile, Lawson seemed to be losing a bit of confidence. After getting pretty gassed out with a couple of bike drops, and demanding climbs...

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    A little further down the trail, Lawson's bike slid out from him on a loose, rocky turn twisting his ankle, and his already bum knee.

    I could tell the fun factor at that point was pretty low for him. We had about 7-8 more miles of the GWT before we hit I-70 and had any other route options, so we took a break, and then steadily worked our way down.

    When we hit the junction where the GWT goes under I-70, we stopped to assess our situation. (disregard the camera shmootz)

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    There was also another typical later afternoon storm blowing in from the West, so that got factored into the equation. The next town we were planning on hitting up for fuel and food was the small town of Loa, UT. I had us routed on the GWT most of the rest of the way there - about 60ish miles. The day had gotten way late on us, and I wasn't quite sure what the GWT South of I-70 was like, so I threw out the suggestion to just ride a direct route down to Loa. It would still be on Forest Roads, and trails, but we should make better time. We could fuel up, eat, get supplies, and regroup there. Everyone agreed, so we tweaked the route slightly and headed down to Loa.

    About 10mins into the reroute, we hit the storm. On top of that, we were on a forest road, climbing - It's amazing how exposed you can feel on a motorbike in a thunderstorm :dog. It briefly started hailing on us, which was another wicked experience. But right about the time the road started getting really snotty and sketchy, we passed through the storm. A few miles later, we picked up a trail in the Paiute Trail System, and took that all the way South to Hwy 24.

    We burned down Hwy 24 leaving the storm behind us...

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    And about 20 miles later we hit Loa. At some point on the way to Loa, someone mentioned how good some pizza would be, so our fingers were crossed when we rolled through town. And as luck would have it, the one place that was there, and open, served PIZZA :wings!

    Selfie at the pizza place:

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    After the pizza, we rolled back up into Fishlake NF, and Lawson spotted a primo camp spot in a meadow by the Fremont River. It was awesome :clap.

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    It had been a mentally and physically exhausting day, but it was so totally worth it.

    Total Mileage today: 143



    jordan
    #60