White Rim Trail... pics galore!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Norsman, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Norsman

    Norsman ...a GSophile

    Joined:
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    A few of us decided to do the "White Rim Trail", GS style. The trail is about 90 miles of dirt that skirts around the Canyon Lands National Park... literally on the edge of a cliff nearly the entire way... a slip in the wrong direction could result in a tumble or free fall for hundreds of feet. It was NARLY to say the least!

    Day #1

    6am (arg!) meeting up at a gas station near Lake Mead... why not start things off with a picture of Skid's rear end.
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    Ready to ride.
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    Had to make a pit stop before we got out of range of Lake Mead.
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    H, with the lake in the background.
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    We hooked up with I15 on our way to St. George.
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    Quick bite to eat in Cedar City and pit stop.
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    With bellies and gas tanks full we headed east out of Cedar up past Navajo Lake... we then road on by Bryce Canyon.

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    We stopped in Escalante for some gourmet pizza... nice little retuarant.

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    After debating wether or not we should ride the Burr Trail on the way out to Moab we suited up... and went for it.

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    Quick pitstop to adjust air pressure.

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    The paved part of the burr trail... awesome scenery.

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    The pavement ended and the dirt drop was great as usual.

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    This kind of give you an idea of how steep it was.

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    H... strut'in his stuff.

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    Once we hit Bull Frog we headed straight for the ferry to get in line... the boat operator got on the loud speaker and invited us on the boat early.

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    One of the rare pics of H and I.

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    Heavy load.

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    I forget the name of this park... national monument something... but it was full of arches.

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    I was so tired at this point, that I opted to sit on my bike instead of getting off at each view point to check things out... so, I took a pic of my cockpit, lol.

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    Over 600 miles and we finally made it to Moab and our humble little KOA cabin.

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    Day #1 over with.... white rim trail the next... lots of red dirt, mud, steep descents, broken bike parts, knee deep water crossing, etc. Tune in for more.
    #1
  2. smash81

    smash81 Been here awhile

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    :lurk
    #2
  3. KS GS Rider

    KS GS Rider Slower than dirt

    Joined:
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    Great report! :clap Love the videos. Can't wait until Day 2 is posted.

    Just did the WRT the first week of May. Seemed like there was a lot of sand this year. My XR was a whole lot lighter than those GSs and it was still pretty exciting.
    #3
  4. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    I am also eager. Did Potash this April and want to head back to do WRT this fall on the big pig. I can't wait to see that footage. Any chance you got video going on Murphy's Hogback?:ear


    :lurk
    #4
  5. Norsman

    Norsman ...a GSophile

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    Sorry, no footage of hogback... the memory card on my little hero3 helmet cam was full. But I can report that it was no problem at all for all three of us to get up the pass (clockwise on the trail). The pass is probably a few hundred feet, very steep, a few big rocks to skirt around but nothing really loose. 1st gear and a little speed to get started and it was a piece of cake. It's one of those "don't stop or slow down or your screwed" sections though. I think hogback would be more difficult to do counterclockwise on a heavy bike... it's so steep, no amount of engine braking... or braking for that matter, will stop you once you get going. That combined with big rocks, a cliff, and a little loose stuff is not good.

    What I was worried about was the knee deep water crossing that lied ahead. A passer by said, "you guys know that the green river is backed up and on the trail, right?" :huh

    We learned of this having gone 3/4 of the way down the trail... we had no choice but to continue on becuase we only brought enough gas for one-way.
    #5
  6. WilderRider

    WilderRider Long timer

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    Bummer about no footage, but I am still impressed with the video on that helmetcam. I am still real eager to see the rest of this. Nice report.

    P.S. Glad to hear Murphy's isn't as hard as some stories say. :D
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Wow!!:thumb Outstanding!! Thanks for the awesome report, pics and video!
    #7
  8. SS in Vzla.

    SS in Vzla. Totally Normal? I'm not!

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    Awsome pics!
    Let's see some more please :clap
    #8
  9. Hoder

    Hoder Card carrying greeny

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    :thumb :lurk
    #9
  10. Norsman

    Norsman ...a GSophile

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    Day #2

    Skidmark decided to wake up at 4am but despite his best efforts we were not on the road until around 7. It was white rim trail day... the blessed event; the ride we've made our way out here for. We stripped the bikes of panniers and top boxes and packed the essentials... tools, water, first aid kits, and cameras.

    Skid... anxiously awaiting our departure.
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    After filling our tanks with just the right amount of gas; in an attempt to lighten the already monsterous bike, he heading out to see Dead Horse State Park... a few pics and bits of media:

    It was a little hazy still
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    I think this vid is the top of Dead Horse
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    After that little ajunt it was off to the Canyon Lands park entrance and down the White Rim Trail.

    Pictures do not do the scenary justice.
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    The camera picked up a little of our dialoge over the autocom.

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    The trail seemed to wrap around forever, back and forth, along the edge of a deep canyon... all lined with white sandstone... hence, the white rim trail.

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    The scenery was so great we felt like every turn was another picture moment and we had to quickly realize that even though we where witnessing heaven... we had to ride on so that we could make it back at a descent time.

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    I wish had views like this on my daily commute to work.
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    We found a nice little cliff to dangle our feet off for a lunch break.
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    As we where about to leave, two riders came from the other direction and told us the river had backed up a little and was over knee height on the road. We decided to keep going and deal with it and hoped that the water was below the air intakes on the bikes.

    Skid sheered one of the bolts of his center stand and H, of course, had a box of spare nuts and bolts... all fixed.
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    I thought this was an interesting sign... lol
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    More vids... not sure how long these are.
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    At this point, we where ab out 3/4 of the way around the loop and where getting close to the river... and the supposedly deep water crossing.

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    H had a little mishap in the sand. Skid, motoring ahead at top speed, got on the radio to warn us about the upcoming sand. Well, H went to answer the radio call witha hand off the bars and hit this sand... knocked him down and created a HUGE dust cloud.

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    We made it to the water crossing and didn't seem bad at all. About 70 feet of the rad was under water and Skid volunteered to see how deep it was.

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    It was knee high in one section, but nothing bad... so we motored through it and tried to stay dry.

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    I was surprised to see that the trail had very nice bathrooms throughout... so, as I took a much needed B-room break... Skid dumped all the water out of his boots.

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    After a short, but very steep, climb out of the canyon floor... we hit a dirt road that was literally a super highway... nice and graded... we hit 70 MPH on the way back to pavement.

    Honestly, I was expecting the trail to be much worse than it was... the trail was absolutely awesome and posed no threats at all to conquering it with a bigger bike. The GS loved it... like a puppy carrying a frisbee in it's mouth the entire way!

    The trail has many G-outs and good suspension is a must... there where several places I unexpectedly got some air time... up Hogback was one of them as I wheeled over a larger rock the back end popped up with it.

    It had rained a few days earlier so I think the sand near the end (maybe 4 miles of it) was damp and not nearly as bad as I had heard.

    We finished the day off with a short tour of Arches National Park... I'll report on that on the morrow along with the journy home.

    Good times!
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    #10
  11. xdbx

    xdbx Motorcycle Connoisseur

    Joined:
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    lovin' that last video.. Thanks for posting!


    "Oh my feet are going to get wet, aren't they?" :lol3:lol3

    How'd H do with his anakees?
    #11
  12. Norsman

    Norsman ...a GSophile

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    Yea, it was mean of me to let the others go first to test the water... whilst I recorded. :lol3

    H had no problems with the anakees... at least I think they are anakees.
    #12
  13. G.Gordon

    G.Gordon Nation of Frustration

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    just south of KCMO

    Not Anakee... that is a Maxxis Pressa Detour he's wearing. I've got the same tire on the rear of my Strom right now.

    I did the WRT in late April with an Anakee rear with a TKC front... worked great. I'd say a normal 90/10 front would work too, but the knobbies probably paid for itself in the sand.

    The WRT is very doable on big bikes if you have the balls to keep your momentum when your unsure of the outcome.

    Great pics.:thumb


    We went counter clock wise... BTW. I was riding with a buddy from Little Rock on his 1150 GSA that looked like a twin to the one in this thread.
    #13
  14. canadasax

    canadasax Been here awhile

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    Okanagan Valley BC
    amazing country....thank you for posting
    #14
  15. Norsman

    Norsman ...a GSophile

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    Day #2 - Continued

    We where a little tired after the white rim but had a few hours of day light left. So, we decided to check out Arches National Park... we soon realized that you could spend days exploring this park.

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    Afterwards we found a little greasy mexican food place in Moab... there where two cars in the parking lot and every other restuarant was packed... :huh Was there something wedidn't know? It was good.

    My gas light lit up, we hit a gas station, stocked up on gas and travel goodies and headed back to the KOA cabin for a good night sleep.

    What an excellent day... I have to say that the white rim trail is THE best trail ever... it's long, it's remote, and every turn floors you with it's new view. It's going to be hard to TOP this... it even blew away my first ride experience from Ouray, CO to Silverton, CO.
    #15
  16. Norsman

    Norsman ...a GSophile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day #3 - The return

    Having rested up, we got up early and started the journey home... we knew the Las Vegas basin was going to be HOT, so the cool morning air to Blanding was a welcome treat. On our way to Mexican hat we went down the Moki Dugway and road through the Valley of Gods... awesome area.

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    We had to add to the sticker frenzy... a my2wheels.com sticker.

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    The top of the dugway
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    On a whim, we turned off at the Valley of the Gods.... a 20 mile or so dirt road.
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    I can't remember exactly where this was... in Arizona somwhere on the Navajo reservation... but this lady was BBQ'in off the side of the road on the other side of the fence. I smelt good, we where hungry so we said 'why not?' She should us where to climb through the fence, set up a table that had dried mud on the top of it, we selected a chair from a broken pile of lawn chairs and we ordered up some ribs.

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    The worlds longest electric train happened by.
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    We tried to strike up a brief road side conversation with the fellow in the picture above but apparently we where to scary and intimidating... he grunted though.

    One last picture getting gas in Page, AZ.
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    We slabbed it to Colorado City, Hurricane, and St. George for some grub at Chili's... I know, we ate a lot on this trip. From there it was getting hot and we thre on our cooling vests... my skin was still cold when I pulled in my garage in Las Vegas, NV.

    Nice ride.... until next time.
    #16
  17. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,221
    Location:
    Da UP, eh! (Marquette, MI)
    Absolutely fabulous!!!

    I've really got to get it together and make a trip out there.
    #17
  18. Jawdropper

    Jawdropper Ca y'est, On y go!

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    108
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Just amazing.
    I'll be there in two weeks!
    Your WRT vids and photos were perfect.

    Thanks for all the work to put that up! :clap
    #18
  19. anomad

    anomad in storage

    Joined:
    May 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,009
    Location:
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Looks like the water was a few inches higher than we went through in the morning. (I took my boots off to wade it)

    Glad you guys had a great ride, I really enjoyed the pictures, we didn't take many.
    #19
  20. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,629
    Location:
    Tejas
    In fact the pics and video are some of the best. WRT is definitely a must-do for any DS junkie. I've done it a few times on a KLR, but my hat's off to folks who do it on really big bikes like yours. That's a lot of beef to herd.:D

    Speaking of beef, I love that part of your trip with the roadside Indian barbeque. That looked darned tasty from the pics.:dg

    Thanks for the ride. I never tire of seeing WRT reports and pics.
    #20