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

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

  1. CBAT

    CBAT occasional wanderer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
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    849
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    Central Texas
    Overall a great day :clap
    #61
  2. gpskevin

    gpskevin gpsKevin

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
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    Location:
    San Diego
    Ok, You guys have been Awesome! Look you put together a great ride plan. I know and have ridden almost everywhere in Utah and I have to say you guys have done a great job. Awesome route, and great execution, and fun. But you do have to stop falling...... Careful and Continue.

    Awesome job, stay safe

    gpsKevin
    #62
  3. PDX Alamo

    PDX Alamo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
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    682
    Location:
    Portland, OR

    Thanks for the tip, I ordered up a set of filter skins. Great epic rr
    #63
  4. NWBoon

    NWBoon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    102
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for the awesome ride report! The videos, pictures, and descriptions were fantastic. It motivated and inspired me to start saving up for a WR250R and attend an off road skills class.
    #64
  5. Motokirby

    Motokirby Anti log hopper

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Rockwall, TX
    Falling is what we do! There isn't a ride that goes by where Jordan and I don't go down at some point. Jordan's is usually related to his vertically challenged stature, and mine usually involves trying to cross a log at 45*.:lol3
    #65
  6. kirbykajin_sr

    kirbykajin_sr Old Man

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Forney, TX
    So, wait a minute. I thought falling was a prerequisite. Have I been missing something here? I mean, look at the last video. It ends with me going down on my head. What better cliff hanger could you ask for? Did he survive? Will he ever stop seeing double? Tune in next time for "Can the old man keep it up?" Ouch, maybe not such a great title, could take on a whole different meaning for some folks.:evil
    #66
  7. bikedork

    bikedork n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5
    awesome trip guys, my small group of east texas bandito's has been talking about doing this for some time. your thread seems to have awoken a new desire to do it. would you guys mind sharing your route info? or if you are interested in riding it again in the spring maybe act as a guide? :evil
    Darren
    #67
  8. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
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    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX
    :augie

    I would be more than happy to share the tracks.... I haven't got them cleaned up yet, but as soon as I do I will send them to you! Go ahead and pm me your email address. Also, this is a ride that you would want to do no earlier than mid July, as Skyline dr is typically not fully passable until then. I would say the best time of year would probably be September though.


    Jordan
    #68
  9. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
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    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX
    Here is the Day 4 Video Wrap:










    Jordan
    #69
  10. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

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    Aug 31, 2011
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    1,604
    Location:
    St. George, UT
    :clap:clap:clap

    Awesome. Thank you!
    #70
  11. drklr

    drklr MotoTrvlr

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
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    439
    Location:
    White Plains, NY
    Thanks for taking the time to put this together. It is really appreciated.

    Great RR, pictures and videos!!:clap

    John
    #71
  12. bikedork

    bikedork n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
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    5
    thats good information, i was going to ask next if you knew about snow levels in the spring. i've mountain biked porcupine (moab) from the top many times in the spring and about half the time we started in snow or mud. thanks again for sharing your tracks and your adventure.
    Darren
    #72
  13. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX
    Day 5 – Fishlake NF to Hite, UT

    We all slept like the dead last night. I’m pretty sure it was the combination of the effort and stress of the previous day, and the primo camp spot that was complete with awesome ambient running river water acoustics.

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    I was up a little before everyone else, so I stoked the fire, and started the morning brew :*sip*.

    Lawson eventually emerges from his tent, and hobbles over to the fire. His ankle is pretty swollen this morning, after the fall he had on the GWT yesterday. He’s gonna be sponsored by BC Powder by the end of this trip :lol3.

    The morning dew was pretty heavy, so we let the tents dry out up top before packing them.

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    I give my bike the once over…

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    So far, it seems like the JB Weld is working for the repair on the radiator fan rotor. I hope it lasts… Today we will be dropping out of the forest, and back into the heat.

    So, we head out through the last little bit of Fishlake NF.

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    And we can begin to see the desert below.

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    And once we leave the Fishlake NF…

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    We enter the Capital Reef National Park.

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    Following along Cathedral Valley Rd.

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    About 10 minutes ago we were in the forest… I love the diversity this state has in its’ terrain!

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    A nice way to start our morning.

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    The colors start to change…

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    And we round a corner, and suddenly we are on Mars :norton.

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    Or maybe even a lunar landscape in Black & White.

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    Back on our way...

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    Until we hit the river crossing.

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    It looked pretty intimidating…

    But after a Jeep Patriot rental car went through it with no issues, we figured we had a decent chance of making it.

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    And it was not deep at all.

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    We crossed over a Hwy and continued South on old Notom Rd.

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    Through some more desert landscape.

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    We are making good time through here, and there's lot's of great scenery.

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    We will eventually cross over a small Mountain Range in the middle of this desert - The Henry Mountains in the distance:

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    But before we reach the foot of the Henry’s, guess who’s bike is overheating again :cry?



    Jordan

    #73
  14. Motokirby

    Motokirby Anti log hopper

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    Rockwall, TX
    ME ME, I know the answer! It was one of the blue WRR's :lol3. This trip is even better the 2nd time through.
    #74
  15. stickman1432

    stickman1432 Crusty Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    767
    Location:
    So.Cal.& St George UT-Baja-riding anywhere
    :eek1Great RR keep it coming..............plus we need to know about the fan repair issues................:lol3
    #75
  16. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX

    I'm sorry, but for your answer to be counted, you needed to use this guy: :y0!



    :D




    more day 5 coming up



    jordan
    #76
  17. jglow

    jglow Two wheeled traveler

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    444
    Location:
    Lowry Crossing, TX

    Day 5 continued...

    So, where were we??? Oh yeah... JB Weld Radiator Repair V1.0 failed :eek1!


    And not a tree in sight, so Lawson goes ahead to find some shade, while Richard and I wait and let the bike cool :jkam.

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    Lawson returns, quickly, and has found a tree a little ways up in a wash :pynd.

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    So we head to it, and get to working on the bike. Richard's Prognosis:

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    Sure enough, the fan blade rotor is off of the motor.

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    First order of business after the bike has been taken apart was to Instagram a pic. I dubbed this photo “Broke down in the desert”.

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    I’m glad I had my priorities straight!

    When everything was disassembled, it was clear that the JB Weld just hadn’t held. I figured this was for a couple reasons. 1. My fan was working too hard - Every time I stopped, my fan was running. When I asked Lawson and Richard if their fans were on too, rarely did they say yes. 2. I put a ton of emphasis on the rotor blade spinning flat (against the motor), but didn’t take enough care to ensure the rotor blade was properly centered on the fan motor shaft. This created a sort of oblong shaped spin, which probably over-stressed the repair. 3. I just didn’t use enough JB Weld to make the repair. All of these seemed to be viable hypotheses (?), but the nagging questions in my head were still: 1. Why did the fan poobah :topes out anyways. 2. Why (when fixed Version 1.0) was the fan running all the time anyhow? There may have been obvious answers at that point, but I wasn’t seeing them. So, instead I did the only logical thing, and repaired the fan rotor blade again. Only this time I used twice as much JB weld, and made sure to get the fan rotor centered (relatively) on the motor.

    Repair V2.0:

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    We went ahead and had some lunch in the shade while the repair was being made, and allowed to cure.

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    And take a few more pics of what's around.

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    Then we buttoned the ol’ girl back up, and headed towards the Henry Mountains.

    Back rolling…

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    While we rode on, in my head I was going through possible “better” repair options in case the fan decided to totally melt down. What was my proximity to any towns? What were my options in those towns? I was building a bank of possible “B”, “C”, and “D” options, but for now, the radiator fan repair V2.0 was working!

    I was starting to get low on my camelback water, and just in case I got stuck out in the desert, I figured it was wise to at least have a full camelback. There was a BLM campsite about 8-10 miles up the road (along our route), so we would swing in there and fill up on water.

    But then we came to a split in the trail. My tracks had us follow one way (to the right), but the signage at the split indicated that the route to McMillan Springs Campsite was to the left. The problem was that the trail to the left was an Intermediate difficulty OHV trail, and my track took us on an Easy route. Wanting to save the bike from working harder than it had to at this point, I opted for us to stay on our original track, as it would take us to McMillan Springs Campground too.

    A few miles into our track, we come to an open gate, but a big sign saying “No trespassing” and “Private Property”. I was already stressing enough, and I know that those signs were most likely referring to the property not the road, (as in – “stay on the road through here”), but it really made me nervous as hell. 2 miles into the road, and we approach the homestead area… If we encountered someone, I was hoping I would at least get to explain my situation before I was shot at :loco.

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    But, no one was home, and just a few hundred yards up the road we passed through the open gate on the other end. And then I took breath .

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    Signage posted said that we had passed through King Ranch. While I was building our route on the computer at home, I had tried to check the entire route against Forest Service MVUM maps and BLM travel maps to make sure everything was legit, but still, when you encounter unwelcoming stuff like that on the trail, it can be unnerving.

    With the current drama over, we continue on…

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    And finally start climbing into the Henry’s

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    A little info on the Henry Mountains… They were actually the last mountain range in the U.S. to be mapped, and for a long time they were referred to as the “Unknown Mountains”. Spooky :dic.


    I thought it would be fun to route us over the Henry’s – We would avoid a good stretch of pavement, and would likely give us some cooler temps for the time that we were at the higher elevations.

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    I was starting to regret that decision when I looked down and noticed the engine temp light was back on again :huh. We had barely started to climb, and had several thousand more feet to climb before we would even begin to descened.

    I stopped to check the fan. It was still attached, and spinning. So why was this damn temp light on :dunno? I told the guys over the intercom that I was going to have to slow down a bit, and try to nurse the bike up the climbs. If I wasn’t too hard on the throttle, I could manage to keep the temp light off. The moment I grabbed too much throttle, or let it idle at a stand still, the engine temp light was back on.

    Slowly, we made it up to the McMillan Springs campground, and I was able to refill the water in my camelback. While the bike cooled down, I made a plan to re-route us back North, and hit Hanksville, UT. I thought there might be a chance that there was an auto parts store in town, and I would be able to get a fan for a little foreign car, and rig it up to work – even though I was still wondering why my repaired fan (which appeared to be working normally) wasn’t adequately cooling down the bike.

    So we continued up through the Henry’s…

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    Climbing up to about 10,500’ at Bull Creek Pass.

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    And revealing this awesome Vista of the Desert below.

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    The rest of the way down and out of the Henry’s was a nice descent, which kept the temp light on the bike off.

    Within about an hour or so of clearing Bull Creek Pass, we had made it into Hanksville. Which had gas, food, and lodging, but no ATV parts or Auto Parts – that I could find. We went ahead and filled up on gas, and went to have lunch while we discussed what our realistic options were for the remainder of the trip with my bike being in it’s current state. During lunch, I called the Yamaha place in Moab to see if they had a fan in stock – they did not. All of our options seemed not to be panning out, and it just did not seem smart to dive further, and deeper into the desert with my bike ready to overheat. The next sections we would hit were not going to be good roads to tow somebody out on. So, the decision was made to hit the pavement here in Hanksville (Hwy 95) and start heading back to the truck. I was pretty sure that my bike wouldn't even be able to do that without overheating, but that was the plan. The trip was over :cry. We had had an amazing ride up until that point, and I guess this would leave us some unfinished business to come back to. We finish up lunch, and walk out to the bikes to saddle up and head out. For some reason, before getting on the bike, I decide I will check the fluid level in the radiator – one last-ditch effort. I remove the cap, and there is no fluid visible in the radiator. WTF!?! Richard looks at the reservoir – bone dry! Well, it is a little concerning that the fluid is missing, but this was what I was looking for – something other that the fan to be wrong with the cooling system. I skip on down to the gas station, and was more than happy to pay way too much for this jug of Coolant :clap.

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    Glug, glug, glug... the radiator and reservoir were full. We started the bike and checked for leaks in the coolant system. Everything held tight – at least for now. I think we might actually be back in business! TRIP WAS BACK ON!!! :wings:clap:rayof:rilla:ricky:happay:super:smile6



    the rest of Day 5 in a bit...



    Jordan
    #77
  18. alpine357

    alpine357 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Greenville, TX
    Good stuff Jordan. Looks like you boys had quite the time. :super
    #78
  19. greenwater

    greenwater Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Durango, CO
    Perfect!
    #79
  20. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    738
    Location:
    MN. (summers) AZ. (winters)
    Thanks for a very cool ride report with lots and lots of interesting and entertaining incidents. The photos were lots of fun to scan over too. Stay safe on your travels...

    Gary
    #80