2 Dirtbags on a Utah Breakaway

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Eastbay Dirtbag, Oct 31, 2020.

  1. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Closer than before
    In Castle Dale we got Subway sandwiches and ate sitting on the sidewalk since it was carry-out only.
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    We took more dirt backroads on a bench above the valley. I got a kick out of this. This former building, now just rotting lumber, is literally falling down on a POS RV. Why would anyone want to trespass? It might fall on you!
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    From Ferron we turned east into the desert. Our goal was a natural arch.
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    I love how there are washes, gullies, buttes and basins. You never know what you'll find.
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    We turned south from the main road through a soft, sandy wash. This quickly climbed onto a ridge where a rocky jeep road rolled up and down for about 6 miles.
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    Take your pick.
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    It took several minutes to locate the faint track to the arch even though I had a waypoint.
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    Not the loveliest arch we’ve seen, but you can drive across it so that ups the cool factor. Plus no one is out here but us.

    The jeep road continues past the arch spur to I-70 but it is supposedly impassable at Eagle Canyon (and the south end looks gated in GE). We back-tracked to Ferron.
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    In Ferron we stayed at the nice and comfortable Gilly’s Big Mtn Motel.
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    It has a C-store and they make pizzas. We had leftovers for breakfast. There is also a grocery store nearby where we got more snacks.
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    We only saw one vehicle off-road all day. :rayof That's the way we like it, uh huh, uh huh...:dj
    #41
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  2. Steve H.

    Steve H. Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Oddometer:
    17
    Location:
    Michigan
    Great stuff - highly enjoyable!
    #42
    eaglescan likes this.
  3. toypro1

    toypro1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    70
    Great RR
    #43
  4. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Thanks. Let's dive into the next day...
    #44
  5. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Day 11 Ferron to Hanksville UT, 115 miles
    Yep, to Hanksville again.
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    We headed south along paved backroads. The wind was already blowing hard.
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    Near Moore we did a short out-n-back to see some petroglyphs. Very cool and easy access from the road.
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    There were many more.
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    Other interesting rocks and lichen.
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    Carl or Bob. They get around.
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    Emery was our last chance for gas so we topped off. I think we got $2 worth. :lol3 There isn't much in town. It is pretty much the gas station, post office and an old church built ~1898 worth checking out.
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    We took Miller's Canyon Rd which went through a nice canyon but I can't find those pics.
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    We crossed I-70 into the Last Chance Desert. It's 55 miles of desert between pavement.

    Mesa Butte.
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    The scenery kept changing as we continued south toward Capital Reef.
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    This is probably Willow Springs Wash.
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    The road was in good condition...for now...
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    Cold water. Ahh. The air was so dry on this trip that we would wake up in the middle of the night feeling dehydrated and have to chug a whole bottle of water.
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    This little valley was all green.
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    Birch Spring. Birds darted in and out to get a drink.
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    #45
    Critic, Blaise W, BillUA and 5 others like this.
  6. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Closer than before
    We saw no one until entering Capital Reef.
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    Warming up. Time to shed a layer.
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    On Caineville Wash Rd there were many stretches of rutted deep silt and sand. We had ridden this same road the year before and I don't remember any silt or soft sand through here.
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    We fought our way through which was made difficult by having to dodge oncoming vehicles when I could barely stay on my side of the road.

    Although it was tough for us, there was a group of bicyclists ahead of us with several kids. I’m surprised they didn’t have a mutiny on their hands.
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    Near the end of the road we turned west for an out-n-back into the Red Desert. There were metal grate bridges over a couple wash crossings.
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    The Red Desert is a large basin surrounded by -you guessed it- red desert. Very impressive. There are spur roads into the basin but we didn’t explore them this time.
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    We back-tracked then headed east on UT24 then south across the Fremont River. It was an easy paved crossing. Our goal was the Blue Valley Cemetery near an abandoned farming community.

    Steamboat Point Mesa
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    When we skirted the mesa, strong winds were pushing huge clouds of dust down the valley. One look at that and we turned around.

    In Hanksville we ate at Stan’s Burger Shack and watched this boy sweeping the floor and wiping tables. He had a big frown and moved in slow motion. Some people gave him tips and he took the money but looked at them suspiciously, didn't say a word and never smiled. Too funny.
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    We stayed at the Whispering Sands Motel again. A large group of boaters pulled in. One of the women came over to talk to me and walked right up to me. I stepped back. She stepped forward. Repeat. Sort of like the tango. :jive I finally moved to the other side of my bike to gain some space.
    #46
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  7. Astronaut Jones

    Astronaut Jones Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    NV, MN
    Awesome ride report!
    #47
  8. staticPort

    staticPort Meditrider Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    847
    Location:
    east tn
    Pretty sure that's Bob. Why is he stalking you guys?
    #48
  9. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Thank you
    It was very windy so he probably got blown all the way from Vernal. :D
    #49
    staticPort likes this.
  10. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Day 12 Hanksville to Torrey UT, 100 miles

    The other day we were south of the Henrys near Mt. Hillers. Today we go over the south side of the Henrys. Yay! Its been on my bucket list.
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    Microwaved burritos for breakfast then we’re off.

    The road started off wide and smooth crossing the desert floor.
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    We'll go past the campground.
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    It got narrower and rougher as it climbed.
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    We crossed Bull Creek a couple times which can be deep earlier in the year.
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    Great views and soon we were in tall pines.
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    There were a couple cars in the campground but we would not see a vehicle on the road for the next 30 miles.
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    It was chilly!
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    There are about four ways in and out of the Henrys. Roughly one for each point of the compass. There is a big loop in the middle.

    We went left to Copper Ridge Rd (the southern part of the loop) because its lower elevation and we didn't want to run into any lingering snow. Not sure if it would have been a problem this year.
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    Bromide Basin is off the Barton's Peak Loop according to OSM. It has a big old mine. Next time!
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    Wickiup Pass 9200 ft. Brrr. Let's keep moving.
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    The Henrys have a herd of ~300 bison, descendants of some brought near here in the 1940s from Yellowstone. They are genetically pure with no evidence of cross-breeding with cattle, unlike other herds. Hunting is allowed to keep the population in check. They can roam about 20 miles a day. Some have also been transplanted to the Book Cliffs about 100 miles north. We didn't see any.
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    #50
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  11. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Closer than before
    The route was steep, narrow and rocky at times but not technical.
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    The haze is from wildfires near the Grand Canyon.
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    Hey! Wake up!
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    There are several other “roads” through the mountains but one we saw looked like an extremely steep ATV trail. Part of it is visible in the background at 11o'clock above The Hubby and looks like a vertical track.
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    Its a long but highly scenic way down and out to Notom Rd.
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    Capital Reef NP way out yonder. As we swung west the views got better.
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    I hiked up this loose hill...
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    ...to get this shot.
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    Now its getting hot.
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    Off of Notom Rd we took a jeep trail west toward Oak Creek Canyon.
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    It started out fun and rolling but became more technical and rocky. We met a Toyota 4Runner trying to turn around before a steep descent. Time to head back.
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    Near the ghost town of Notom we visited the small cemetery. An unusual headstone with scorpion. It looks like it was added recently even though the dates are old.
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    Myrtle Ivy had a great view towards the Park.
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    In Torrey we had great fajitas at the La Cueva Mexican restaurant on the east end of town next to the gas station. The peppers and chicken were cooked just right. Yummy.
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    We stayed at the comfortable Austin’s Chuckwagon Lodge and had a nice dinner at the Broken Spur Steakhouse.

    Such a wonderful day!
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    #51
    Critic, AZ TOM, BillUA and 11 others like this.
  12. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,936
    Location:
    Tejas
    Great RR. I've done most of those places you've covered on this trip, but I've done them over about three different two week trips. There is so much to cover out there, and you're definitely right about all the side trips you can take. You have some great pics, very impressive. Thanks for posting this RR. It brings back so many memories.
    #52
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  13. NOPLCLKNEB

    NOPLCLKNEB BAHA ROB

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    Grand Island, Nebraska
    Wow!! Awesome thanks for sharing. I bid a railroad project Northeast of Kingman in November of 2019 and spent a week there. The whole time thinking " I hope we get this project, I'd love to ride here" We didn't get it but still want to explore that area someday.

    What did you do with your motorcycles at night at the hotels to keep them from being stolen?

    Thanks
    #53
  14. elgato gordo

    elgato gordo KTMRFS

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    ABQ, NM
    What a great route. Really enjoyed the pictures and commentary on the ride, very helpful.
    I tried to download the tracks at the beginning but it seems to hang up. I sure would like to do some of these roads. I have ridden some of the area around Hanksville and always enjoy it.
    #54
  15. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Thank you
    When selecting hotels, sometimes the Hubby will call and ask if we can park near the front door. We always ask when we arrive. We lock the steering and lock the bikes together. That won't stop a determined thief but hopefully it will deter the dumber ones! We don't wash them on a trip so maybe crooks will pick other nicer looking bikes. :lol3
    I added the tracks again but split into 2 separate smaller files. It says they were saved and are attached and I can see them when I select Edit. But when I look at the saved post I don't see the smaller files. Anyone know the scoop here? Are we limited to one attached track or a maximum file size?
    EDIT: I filtered the track again to reduce the file size somewhat and deleted the two separate files since they don't seem to be visible anyway.
    #55
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  16. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Day 13 Torrey to Richfield UT, 125 mi
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    The hotel has a grocery store and deli next door. I don't remember if we bought microwavable food or got take-out from the deli, which makes breakfasts and to-go lunches.

    Not far from town we took Fish Hatchery road west into the high plains.
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    We checked out the appropriately named Big Rocks OHV area.
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    Lots of wide open space. Some of this was state lands.
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    We eventually popped out onto UT24 and dropped into Koosharem for gas at the general store (which is closed on Sundays).
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    We took a backroad through the tiny community of Burrville, which is part of the Paiute Trail system.
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    Heading to the Fishlake NF.
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    This was a nice little road through a narrow valley.
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    Climbing to Rex Reservoir
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    Folks were camping here in their RVs.
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    The road was badly rutted near the Reservoir but the scenery compensated for it and the road eventually improved.
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    Descending toward Salina
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    We had lunch at the busy El Mexicano Restaurant. A family near us were all wearing spurs, including the wife and daughter. How do you drive with those on?

    We took backroads from town past the county dump then zigged and zagged into downtown Richfield.
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    We stayed at the Quality Inn and ate at the busy restaurant next door. My chicken dinner was still raw so they had to re-cook it. :kbasa2 Your results may vary.
    #56
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  17. Ol Man

    Ol Man Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,279
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Calif
    Your reports are always wonderful. I really enjoy them.
    #57
  18. AZ TOM

    AZ TOM Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
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    Location:
    Prescott AZ
    Bravo! Maybe best RR EVER!!
    #58
  19. Bike Guy

    Bike Guy Long timer

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,179
    Location:
    sierra foothills, hwy 49
    Definitely an EPIC RIDE
    thanks for sharing
    #59
  20. elgato gordo

    elgato gordo KTMRFS

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    ABQ, NM
    I was able to download the main file now, thanks for the update.
    #60