2 Dirtbags do Northern AZ & Southern UT

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Eastbay Dirtbag, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    743
    Location:
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    Day 7 Escalante to Torrey 140 miles

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    Breakfast at the Escalante Outfitters Cafe, which is just like it sounds: an outfitter store with a cafe. Its a casual order-at-the-counter place. They served excellent quiche.
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    We continued through the Monument on Hwy 12, which is a terrific twisty engineering feat.
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    Imagine trying to get through here with wagons back in the day.
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    Town of Boulder in the valley. We topped off our tanks.
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    In Boulder we picked up the impressive Burr Trail
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    About half way down the Burr Trail we turned onto Wolverine Loop Rd. Its a good road though lovely red rock country.
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    No one out here.
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    There are trails off here to canyons and a Petrified Wood area.
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    We detoured to the unusual Silver Falls. There was no water flowing but that made it easier to explore.
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    The road gets rough beyond here so back we went.
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    #21
    BIG-E, orv, AZ Mark and 9 others like this.
  2. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
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    Day 7 cont'd

    Wolverine Rd /Moody Creek loops back to the Burr Trail.
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    The Burr Trail is known for its steep switchbacks. We rode it in 2006 and I remember being nervous.
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    I want to explore the Henry Mtns to the east someday, but in June they still had snow.
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    We headed north on sandy Notom-Bullfrog Rd along the unusual Waterpocket Fold through Capital Reef NP.
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    It was very windy and we were getting sandblasted. The sand was also hiding ruts in the road.
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    Heading west on UT24 we viewed the Fruita petroglyphs. There are many more.
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    This area was settled by Mormons who planted orchards. A large flood washed away most of the trees and livestock and they eventually moved away.

    Torrey
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    We stayed at the comfortable Chuckwagon Motel. Next door is a grocery, small cafe and laundromat.

    We had lunch and dinner at the basic Red Cliff Restaurant just down the street.
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    #22
    BIG-E, bomose, NSFW and 4 others like this.
  3. eaglescan

    eaglescan Borrego rocks Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    564
    Location:
    Langley,B C
    I like your style of telling the adventure. Great pictures too, that Burr shot is awesome.
    #23
    NEPA 450x likes this.
  4. Luna Tique

    Luna Tique dreamer of adventure

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    266
    Location:
    Knox NY
    There is something about this picture that I just love! I am not sure if it is the colors the angular rock formations or the curve of the switchback. Maybe it is all of the above.
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    I am glad I stumbled on this report your style of story telling really drew me in.
    #24
    Bullseye likes this.
  5. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    743
    Location:
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    Thank you! I might spend months planning a trip and getting ideas from other RRs. I try to compose the shots. When I pass up a scene that catches my eye it will bug me until I turn around and get it! Then there's the time spent culling and cropping. Its nice to know the effort is appreciated!

    I know others must put a lot of work into their RRs. I like to give back. Sometimes my routes don't work out, but hopefully that info is useful too.
    #25
  6. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    743
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Day 8 Torrey to Price 185 miles

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    We had a good breakfast at the cafe in the back of the grocery store.

    We backtracked on UT24 thru Capitol Reef then headed north on dirt Caineville Wash Rd toward Cathedral Valley.
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    Its a good road that winds up and down through colorful country.
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    We only saw a few bicyclists and their support vehicle.
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    Temple of the Moon
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    We payed homage at the Temple of the Sun. It worked! I found a quarter!
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    I can't resist fields of flowers.
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    Eye popping scenery on empty roads. What more could you ask for?
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    How about a giant gypsum sinkhole?
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    The Hubby says "oooh". So do I.
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    Or weird black ridges?
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    #26
    NEPA 450x, orv, AZ Mark and 6 others like this.
  7. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Day 8 cont'd

    We turned north onto Baker Ranch Rd / Last Chance Rd
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    More empty roads and great scenery.
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    Ruts for miles but always a way through.
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    Some were a couple feet deep. If you were that driver wouldn’t you say to yourself: “Self, this is not a smart idea…”
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    Lonetree Crossing of Muddy Creek. This is the ONLY bridge across the creek between I-70 and UT-24. I expected something more substantial.
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    Other roads cross the creek at fords. Don't try it after a wet winter. It was flowing fast.
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    Easy wash crossing, not a creek.
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    Some areas were surprisingly green
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    We crossed over I-70. After being in such remote country, a busy interstate seemed out of place.

    We got on good BLM 635 road that crossed and recrossed dry South Salt Wash.

    We’re almost to Moore Cutoff Rd. We'll parallel the gray cliffs northbound.
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    After a jog on paved CR803, the Moore Cutoff Rd, we turned onto BLM 6792, an incredible two-track.

    After a while the scenery was dull, but the track was a blast! It crossed dozens of small, steep ravines. Ride dip ride dip. Repeat. Fun, fun, fun but probably not on a big bike.

    We came to tougher, washed out spots and found ways through.

    I was thinking: “There’s probably the Mother of All Ravines somewhere out here.” Yep. An unavoidable rutted one. This was the entrance. Not bad but soft and powdery at the bottom.
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    This is the exit. Its taller, steeper, and more off camber than it looks, yada, yada. The ruts on the left are over 2 ft deep and would grab the footpegs. The right side is soft and chewed up.

    I sat and looked and thought and looked some more. If I dump it, it will be a royal PITA to get it upright. I swallowed my pride. The Hubby took the DRZs through. It required plenty of power and dabbing with his long legs.
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    The track soon intersected good Dutch Flat Rd which we took through the small town of Ferron, which has gas.
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    We had lunch at the Firepit Restaurant on the golf course at the reservoir above town. Service was friendly and the sandwiches were huge.
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    Scenic spot for a course
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    We buzzed up UT10 to Price and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express. We had dinner at the nearby Winger’s. Cheers to a fabulous day!

    I had wanted to stay in Huntington and visit the Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry the next day (Sunday) but they wouldn't open until noon. I didn't want to spend 2 nights here. Next time!

    We could have stayed Huntington anyway, but the hotels and restaurants are better in Price.
    #27
    AZ Mark, bomose, Bullseye and 6 others like this.
  8. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,179
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Calif
    Your sure do a nice job of scouting routes, accomodations and restaurants.
    #28
  9. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Thanks. We have a system, sort of:

    I pick the routes, points of interest, lunch, gas and nightly stops and create the tracks. The Hubby picks the hotels, makes the reservations and selects the dinner restaurants. If he creates the routes, I just pick the lunch stop.

    We do 100-200 miles per day depending on pavement vs dirt vs difficulty. We try to be off the road by 3pm to clean up and relax. I like to take long walks, take pics and buy snacks.

    We limit our trips to ~3,000 miles so we don't have to do oil or tire changes on the road.

    I provide the hotel and restaurant info to save other people time, but also so we can remember if we go that way again.
    #29
  10. NoelJ

    NoelJ Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2016
    Oddometer:
    784
    Location:
    USA
    How do the hotels work out for availability? Do you rely on reservations 100% and stick to a tight schedule?
    #30
  11. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    743
    Location:
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    We always found a room, but not always at the hotel we wanted. We made reservations at least one day in advance. If we're near a tourist attraction like Capitol Reef or the Grand Canyon, we'll make reservations 3 days before. This is important on weekends, when hotels fill up.

    If we'll be in a small town with one small hotel, then I definitely recommend booking a couple days ahead.

    For many years we winged it, but that was a hassle if the town was full because of some festival, rodeo or tournament (or the only hotel had burned down!)

    We belong to a few hotel loyalty programs. Some allow same-day cancellations so we often use them. Yes, reservations limit our flexibility but it saves us a lot of time and stress too.

    We've seen riders pulling up to hotels at sunset and being turned away. Why deal with that?
    #31
    orv and NoelJ like this.
  12. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Day 9 Price to Green River 135 miles

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    We followed the UTBDR south for ~40 miles through ranchland and desert.
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    It was more scenic than I expected.
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    Neat bird wing clouds
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    The short loop through Buckhorn Draw was washed out at the start so we skipped that.

    We left the UTBDR for good and did an out-n-back to the Wedge Overlook.
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    Hey! We were here in ’04 on dirt bikes! I forgot. That’s what photos are for. It hasn’t changed but our camera is better.
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    We will pass by the San Rafael Campground when we cross the river
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    We took Buckhorn Draw Road and soon came to this:

    They don't exactly say what the purpose of the tunnels were, but obviously they wanted to protect someone or something from "surface" explosives, probably nuclear bombs.
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    It was busy near the Pictographs.
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    The wash is a big canyon at this point
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    Heading yonder
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    The old San Rafael bridge. The new one is the only vehicle bridge across the river other than on I-70. There is only one ford SW of The Wedge at Fuller Bottom Rd. (I am not making that name up!) Has anyone done that?
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    It was flowing fast and full of tree branches.
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    We continued south to I-70 past tall peaks and buttes
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    Even I-70 is scenic here
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    We went east 15 miles to Exit 149 onto a good dirt road to US 191 and into Green River.

    We broke our “no hamburgers” rule and chowed down at Ray’s Tavern. We met a local with a DRZ and BS’d about bikes for an hour.

    We stayed at the America’s Best Value Inn and had dinner at the busy Tamarisk Restaurant overlooking the river. I don't recall if they required reservations, but its a good idea.
    #32
  13. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    23,597
    Location:
    Burbank CA
    thanks for the wonderful RR. keep them coming which is also a reminder to all of us there's a lot of great riding to be had in the west. done a few of them but now want more.
    #33
  14. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,179
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Calif
    When we are traveling along I70, we really try to time lunch around stopping at Ray's.
    #34
  15. BJMoose

    BJMoose that trick never works

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Hamilton Montana
    Great RR.
    #35
  16. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    We travelled around the SW & W for decades and we're still being amazed at the scenery and awesome roads we're finding. Plenty more to see and explore.

    :thumb

    Thank you.
    #36
  17. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    743
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Day 10 Green River to Torrey 140 miles

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    We backtracked on the dirt road north of I-70 then made a short jaunt on I-70 to the Black Dragon Pictographs. The turn is not marked, there is no exit ramp and traffic is doing 75 MPH! There is a gate but its unlocked.

    The canyon is stunning. We got there early and had it to ourselves.
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    The road is rough at times. Sand and rocks.
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    Some art is visible in the bottom left
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    Were they counting?
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    I never get tired of seeing pictographs because they're all different.
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    I had read that the track beyond the art was rough so we turned around.
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    We continued west on I-70 to Exit 131, Buckhorn Draw / Temple Mtn. (where we got on yesterday.) This time we go south.

    I think those are the Henry Mtns in the distance.
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    We read recently that the wild burro population is growing rapidly. We've seen many this year in NV, UT and AZ.

    No one out here except us and the burros. (There's a joke in there somewhere, but it escapes me... :scratch )
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    We payed homage to Temple Mtn. It worked again! I found a penny later.
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    Temple Mtn. We'll go around to the other side.
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    You can see a pictograph of a man / alien on the far right about half way down
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    More impressive than Black Dragon IMHO, but the surface is spalling. It must have been fabulous.
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    We found a neat narrow canyon. We were here in ’04 also. I don’t remember it at all but our old photos say otherwise. Soon I’ll be able to hide my own Easter eggs.
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    I still like pink
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    It leads to an old mining area behind Temple Mtn. Watch for nails.
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    The track climbed up toward Temple Mtn but got rougher. Back we go.
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    We could have continued south on dirt toward Goblin Valley State Park but we weren’t sure if we would have to pay the entrance fee to use the access road to connect to UT24. We swung east to UT24 instead.
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    We had a good lunch at the western themed Duke’s Slickrock Grill in Hanksville.
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    They have air-conditioned cabins for rent next door.
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    We headed west back through Capitol Reef NP and checked out the Behunin Cabin.
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    15 people lived here!
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    This time we stayed at the Noor Hotel on the far east side of Torrey. The hotel includes breakfast. There is a gas station and convenience store next door. We had a good dinner at the La Cueva Restaurante Mexicano, which is behind the C-store.
    #37
    chudzikb, NSFW, Burro driver and 4 others like this.
  18. mbanzi

    mbanzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    :lol3 Sadly I know exactly what you mean!
    #38
  19. thegraydog

    thegraydog 2 wheels X 6 ways

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    854
    Location:
    the Coconino
    I have been seeing wild horses and burros in ride reports a lot this summer, and you are the first to comment about it as a problem. I did a little homework after this summer's riding. Here's the best summary I found:

    https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol12/iss1/7/

    Uh-oh....
    #39
  20. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    Did I say something about Easter eggs? :hmmmmm

    Thanks. This article discusses too many burros in Death Valley:
    https://www.nps.gov/deva/learn/nature/invasive-burros.htm
    #40
    thegraydog and mbanzi like this.