2 Dirtbags Frozen Burrito Tour CO-UT-NV

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Eastbay Dirtbag, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    Thanks, as always, a very enjoyable report!
    Your rides make me wonder, why I did so little. Then thinking about it; I stopped touring on dual sports and what si today called adventure bikes in about 1977. Other than Alaska and Mexico on my R75 to about 89-90 most of my west rides were looking for paved back roads. It was fun, but, just a mile or two off the pavement was that wonderful world!
    #21
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  2. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Day 9 Silverton to Norwood CO, 120 miles

    Actual (1 day) = blue/purple Planned (2 days) = red
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    Here is where things definitely did not go as planned. Our original goal was Lake City via Hurricane, California and Cinnamon Passes. We have done all these passes many times on dirt bikes —- decades ago.
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    Not a vehicle in sight back then.
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    We ate dust on the gravel road leading to Hurricane Pass. Lots of SxSs blasting along in convoys.

    Mining ruins below the pass
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    Heading up Hurricane
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    The road was fine....
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    ... until 11,800 ft. Then it became steep and covered in loose baseball and softball sized rocks.

    We made our way to 12,214 ft before pulling the plug and turning around. We had too many days and miles to go on this trip to risk dumping bikes and bodies onto rock piles.
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    We went back through Silverton and headed to Cinnamon Pass, which I recalled as being an easy pass. Lots of vehicles and dust.

    The base of Cinnamon/Engineers near Animas Forks was a complete zoo. Vehicles heading up and down on the narrow road in a conga line and no room to pass except going into deeper piles of rock on the inside of the trail.

    The road was steep and loose. We need momentum in that stuff. There was no way we could keep moving with all the traffic.

    I was shocked to see a Subaru Outback* sliding down the pass. The driver was trying to get stopped before a series of rocky steps. The oil pools on the ground showed he wasn’t the first to get into trouble there.

    (* I know Outbacks have ABS because I drive one, but the other vehicles, SUVs etc, were not sliding. Maybe he had worn tires.)

    We turned around — not easy in the loose rocks — blocking all the traffic to both passes --- and ate more dust.

    I’m on the side of the road but you can’t see me.
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    In Silverton we cancelled our reservation in Lake City, made one in Norwood and ate our burritos next to the jail and museum, which were closed.
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    The next time I go to Silverton it will be to visit the museum and cemetery. No more dusty roads, traffic and chewed up passes for me. Sour grapes? Yes please. Thank you very much.

    We took pavement to Norwood and enjoyed the views along the way.
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    We stayed at the comfortable and quiet Hotel Norwood. It does not have A/C but the temperatures were mild.

    The grocery store is across the street.
    #22
  3. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Thanks. For many years we rode dirt bikes and/or street bikes. We didn't try dual sporting until a friend asked us to ride to Alaska and we bought KLRs. We still rode dirt bikes but all our KLR rides became about finding the tiniest, squiggliest lines on the map - paved or unpaved.
    #23
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  4. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Super Ordinary

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    :lurk

    (Know what you mean about getting tired of the rocks...spent a couple weeks riding offroad in Colorado in October. Guess that's why they call it the Rocky Mtns.)
    #24
  5. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    I'm like you guys------------I just can't do the dust anymore (pic below) in the bumper to bumper traffic and convoys of 4 wheels in the very popular mountain passes out West.
    I'm starting to look for and enjoying much less popular routes and places.
    Like you all-----started riding in Colorado, Utah in the early 70's. Things were so different.
    Loved the old picture of you guys------that was great.
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    #25
  6. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    The trails this past season were extremely crowded. Nothing else for people to do, so they bought toys and went outside. Same thing with the mtn bike trails. This season will be more of the same I'm sure
    #26
  7. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    :lurk
    #27
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  8. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    I hope you do not mind, but I pulled copies of the 2 Pass shots for my 'Guy thing' file! This report is bring back a lot of memories.

    My little brother managed the docks at Halls Crossing for a few years and now lives in Cimarron, CO; just N of Lake City and Engineer Pass. So, I have experienced a lot of the UT & CO area rides with My brother Loren, friends Jamie, Billy A, & Verle Nelson (a special man, may he rest in peace) Plus riding the TAT & yearly trips to CO with local buddies.

    Dirt Dags said:
    "The next time I go to Silverton it will be to visit the museum and cemetery. No more dusty roads, traffic and chewed up passes for me. Sour grapes? Yes please. Thank you very much."


    I have been hearing that from a lot of locals that ride there every year, baby heads and dust with two track all torn up, which happens with over use!
    #28
  9. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    We used to live near Walnut Creek. Howdy ex-neighbor!

    It was always rocky but not what I would call chewed up. The only place that I remember with deep loose rock was Poughkeepsie. Other passes were really rocky, like Hancock or Tomichi, but not loose.

    This is how I remember things (and at least this old photo backs it up) -- hard packed with loose rock (but not deep) and usually wet. This might be Cinnamon but I'm guessing.
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    Thanks. I agree with you. There's still plenty of places to see. We did some great ones last summer -- and were often the only ones on the road.
    We were in Ouray in July and it was packed. We came back in late September thinking "everyone will have gone home by now". D'oh!
    Welcome to the thread!
    #29
  10. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Thanks for asking. When I post pics I realize that they are "out there". Tell me more about the Guy Thing file...

    I think a disproportionate amount of the wear and tear is due to the SxSs, which are powerful for their size and can easily spin their tires. The jeeps and SUVs tend to plug along and with their weight their tires get more grip (Subaru Outbacks excluded :lol2). I could also be full of nonsense.
    #30
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  11. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Reminisces of riding in the San Juans 1986 -2006
    Some highlights from 20 years. This is both an ode and fond farewell to the mountains we enjoyed so much.

    I learned to ride in flat forest where the biggest challenges (besides avoiding all those trees!) were deep mud and slippery tree roots.

    These mountains were the source of many firsts for me:
    Rocks!
    Steep terrain
    Tough singletrack
    Water crossings
    Alpine tundra
    Seeing elk
    Meeting Malcolm Smith

    I’m spoiled with the memories when we could ride all day and only see a handful of jeeps. There were no such things as ATVs, SxSs or SUVs.

    These old (and often blurry) photos remind me of the good times, even if I can’t recall many of the locations.

    This is also a tribute to the heroine of many of those wonderful rides, our friend BP, who researched, planned and organized those rides. She did this with paper maps back in pre-internet and pre-gps years. Not an easy task. She also figured out where we would get food and gas and where to hook up our RVs or get cabins.

    She was an amazing woman; a graduate of a prestigious college, a MBA, a department manager, an airplane pilot, a ship’s captain who could navigate by the stars, a scuba diver and enduro racer. She could do anything she set her mind to — except cook. :lol3 I learned to ride by trying to keep up with her.

    BP fearlessly crossing a sketchy bridge that many chose to walk (Lily Pond trail?)
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    BP was ride "leader" and planned the routes but didn't always want to go first because she wasn't the fastest. She often "led from behind". The fastest guy wanted to lead but didn't always know where to go. The results were often comical. :doh

    Ophir, Pearl, Black Bear, Red Mountain, Corkscrew, Hurricane, California, Poughkeepsie, Engineers, Cinnamon, Stoney, Tincup, Hancock, Tomichi, Mt. Antero, Cumberland — we did those and others I have forgotten plus out & backs to lakes and mines. We tackled lots of challenging singletrack and the better known ones: Colorado Trail, Timberline and Rainbow.

    We probably rode everything around and between South Fork, Silverton, Telluride (including the ski slope!), Ouray, Lake City and Creede plus from Salida, Ohio City, Pitkin, Taylor Park and Crested Butte. Plus the trails at Rampart Range and Walden.

    1988 on a 125
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    2006 on the mighty KLR
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    No kickstand required
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    13,500 ft on my 125. Anyone recognize this spot?
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    Me and BP on Mt. Antero 14,000 ft. I think BP did it on a 105.
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    Finding the trail was often a challenge, especially in the willow thickets
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    singletrack
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    CO Trail approaching a steep rocky climb with switchbacks
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    Black Bear with the Cuddly Bear
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    American Flag
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    This friend completely submerged into a beaver pond. We found a shallower crossing then it rained so we got wet anyway. But, we didn't drown our bikes. :D
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    Pearl Pass. Bad style but no drops. (I prefer to call it body english.)
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    More bad style but no swimming
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    Storm rolling in. We had Gore-Tex but it leaked like a sieve at the seams. Not "guaranteed to keep you dry" in those days.
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    Taylor Park. Gear, beer and a sweet terrier. What more do you need?
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    Miles of trail and not a vehicle in sight
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    More than one mode to Cumberland
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    St. Elmo via Tin Cup
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    Fine dining in St. Elmo
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    Imogene with BP
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    Singletrack with a 50 ft drop on the right. Choose your line carefully, Grasshopper. Spotters were not optional.
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    We turned around going uphill, but I think we did it later going downhill.
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    Another lady friend on Star Trail (?)
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    This trail near Pitkin was the most difficult singletrack I ever rode in Colorado. We are standing on top of a near vertical cirque. The dot in the distance is one of us. The trail came straight up the face of the cirque.
    The Hubby said "Hit it in 3rd!" That was tricky enough, but the trickiest part was to not flip backward at the top.
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    Our San Juan days are over, but we’re grateful there are still so many places to explore…
    #31
  12. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Before I end my reminisces, I want to share this story about our friend BP…

    On our second trip or so to Silverton, we went to Poughkeepsie Gulch, which IMHO is the nastiest trail in the area.

    Everyone made it to the top except BP and I, who were still at the bottom, getting nowhere, after numerous attempts. The Hubby walked down and took my bike up.

    The Cuddly Bear walked down, took BP’s 105 and said “Climb on the back”. He rode them two-up on her little 105, except near the top they flipped backwards. She fell onto her back, he landed on top of her and the bike landed on top of him.

    Neither of them were hurt, but we seriously thought he was going to have a heart attack from the exertion!

    We had 20 years of adventures with BP in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.

    Walden CO 2004. Our last trip together before she died. She was terminally ill but determined to ride until the pain became overwhelming.
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    Her ashes were scattered near Silverton in the mountains which she enjoyed so much.
    #32
  13. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    BACK TO THE FUTURE PASSED —- SEPT 2020

    Day 10 Norwood CO to Green River UT, 165 mi
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    We wanted to stay in Moab but it was full. The only rooms available were $300 - 400 per night. Soooo…Green River here we come!

    We took quiet two-lane Hwy 145 northwest to Naturita then onto Hwy 90. Near the barely-there town of Paradox we headed on dirt into the La Sals.
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    We took a break at the barely-there Buckeye Reservoir, which would be a pleasant place to camp among tall pines.
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    The crack of demarcation
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    at the state line
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    The road entered a large lovely basin where cowboys were rounding up cattle.
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    We originally wanted to swing further north then west from Paradox but because we had to cover more miles to Green River we opted for a shorter route to Buckeye. The track on the right is where the northern route would have reconnected.
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    We wound up and down and around through several basins as we approached the high peaks of the La Sals.
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    You are here.
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    Near here you can head south to the highway or continue the long rough way through the mountains.

    Mountain way it is.
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    Saw some wild turkeys here and a hunter with his rifle on his handlebars
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    There was not much traffic but some of the vehicles were moving fast regardless of the blind corners.
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    The road was often rocky or washboard.
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    After the pass, there were lots of vehicles and the road was the roughest -- which helped to keep the speeds down.

    Moab out yonder. Long descent to town.
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    We gassed up in Moab and kept rolling. The traffic moves fast on the highway north from town with occasional passing lanes.

    At the interstate we picked up the old highway which is a fading blacktop through the desert. Ahhh. Peace and quiet and choose your own speed.
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    Or no speed
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    We stayed at the dated but nice and comfortable River Terrace Inn on the Green River. The rooms were huge. They even had a phone next to the toilet for those who like to multitask in the bathroom.

    The grocery store is several miles away on the other end of town, down the street from Ray’s Tavern. And if you find a nice breather tube for an aftermarket DRZ gas tank, please send it to me.
    #33
  14. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Super Ordinary

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    :D
    Hey! Funny thing—we moved from Encinitas to Walnut Creek. Looks like you did exactly the opposite :lol3
    #34
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  15. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    Since you asked, this will help me think a little more about if and how to go about doing, what I will talk about in a bit!
    But first, I love your memory posts, which leads right into my Guy Thing file.

    Guy Thing is an album of special images of friend, things, people I would like to have as friends or have meet , etc. A quick way for me to remember things I love and enjoyed or left me with a strong impression.
    Battery low, will add mo on computer. Ok back and shower refreshed, after a day cleaning my 300, which do not leave a Moto dirty for the winter!
    So a few months back while posting in Central, I posted a photo of another Mark, he is know as BigDog Adventures., with a few words. That clicked with me and related to my Guy Thing. Then I posted, that I may start a thread on all the paths I have passed and has all you. It could be a statements, photos of person, place, happening, ride, adventure ..... sort of a Cross Roads linking all of us! So, if anyone wants to start such a task; have at it. It may take me for ever to do so. Please, pass on any thoughts to me. I may start the thread with a few posts and see where it goes.

    I have not yet uploaded your images to my critic.smugmug.com site. But fill free to view the Guy Thing, which is under motorcycles. After all, you showed me yours! LoL
    #35
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  16. Rider1807

    Rider1807 Love To Ride

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    I think you are right. I hardly ever slip a wheel in my jeep. Slow and steady is what gets you through most obstacles with four wheels. (And true four wheel drive!)
    #36
  17. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    Eastbay Dirtbag said:
    We stayed at the dated but nice and comfortable River Terrace Inn on the Green River. The rooms were huge. They even had a phone next to the toilet for those who like to multitask in the bathroom


    We stayed there, when on the TAT with a great dinner at Ray’s! The next day was fabulous riding the original Sam Tracks through the canyon wash. It started a few miles W of G R, just off the interstate. It was one of the best section on the TAT.
    #37
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  18. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Yep, except with a 10 year stint in Idaho between the two. I loved the Bay Area but it got too crowded.
    I get it. A Favorites File but not limited to your photos and experiences. Like you said - impressions -- like art, whatever speaks to you.
    Thanks.
    You probably mean Black Dragon Wash. Yes, its a fabulous trail.
    #38
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  19. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Day 11 Green River to Price UT, 117 mi
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    The hotel provide a hot, cooked-to-order, take-out breakfast which we enjoyed in our room.

    We've done much of the UTBDR in this area so we wanted something different this time.

    We headed north on Hwy 191 then west on Chimney Rock Rd.
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    The scenery kept changing, morphing from dry plains to rocky gulches to vistas of buttes, mesas and mountains.
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    We passed the Historic RR Complex that we did not know was out here. Next time!
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    The only sign of civilization for 30 miles.
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    #39
  20. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

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    Iron cut-outs of the Escalante Expedition (I think).
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    Some are enjoying the expedition more than others.
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    About 5 miles past here we headed up a two-track to the top of Little Cedar Mountain.
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    Most of the track was in decent shape with a few rough and steeper parts.
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    Looking southish. The Wedge in the distance. Main road going left to right.
    Burrito time!
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    Manti-La Sal NF to the west
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    You are here
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    Gnarly
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    Buckhorn Flat Rd (UTBDR). Cedar Mtn beyond to the east. It has a dirt road that goes to the top to the rim. Next time!
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    Back down the mountain we headed north on Red Seep Rd...
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    ...which becomes a pink two-track.
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    We missed the left turn to stay on Red Seep Rd, which skirts the west side of a sometimes dry reservoir. The right hand track became overgrown but passable along the east side of the reservoir. It climbed onto the rim of earthen dam before intersecting the main road, Buckhorn Draw.
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    I have been wanting to visit the Cleveland Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry for a few years but we could never time it right. Today was the day! It is several miles off the main road.

    Watch out for the guard dino!
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    We were doubly lucky today because admission was free.
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    Replica of bones from the quarry
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    The quarry was at the base of this rocky hill. Lots of big fossils were found in a very small area. Long ago this was probably swamp.
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    Heading back to the main dirt road.
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    Back on the main road. Salt flat?
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    Old Victor Cemetery. We never saw anything that resembled a community.
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    As I was leaving the cemetery a car pulled up with two women. I said hello but they would not get out of their car until I left. Am I that scary?

    We stayed on backroads all the way to Wellington.

    In Price we stayed at the Legacy Inn. This is a decent, reasonably priced mom & pop place and they provide breakfast. We pretty much had it to ourselves. We also stayed here in June and it was full.
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    We walked to grocery store a few blocks away.
    #40