Alone on the GCBAR - Again

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dave6253, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Day 2 Still


    Rafts and kayaks are moving into a campsite below me.

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    But they aren't that close.

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    I'm eating dinner when I was sure I could hear a thumper. I ran up the small rise between my campsite and the trail hoping to see who was coming.
    I thought it was maybe @mntdawg, but I never saw or heard anything again.

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    I have another night alone with a beautiful view.
    This is actually Marble Canyon as the Grand Canyon doesn't technically start until the Confluence of the Little Colorado River.

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    I have been to Horseshoe Bend before near Page, AZ. The view of this river bend is pretty awesome, and has none of the tourists.

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    Day 2 Stats

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    Tracks

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    #41
  2. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Hi @Shaggie! You sure are checking in early this time.

    Thanks for jumping in @VARider67!

    Thanks @Dangeross. I hope I can still do this when I get to retire.

    Hi @gdm! I'm glad you found me. I remembered your names and have a photo of you and @wirepuller coming up. I had a really good ride after meeting you guys. Thanks!
    #42
  3. larryboy

    larryboy Just obey!

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    I've seen pics of HB and it reminded me of that right away. Very nice, wish I could have gone with you. :kumbaya
    #43
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  4. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Day 3

    I'm up at first light...

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    ...waiting for sunlight to hit the Kaibab Plateau.

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    I sent my drone up to capture an aerial of my campsite.

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    Ok. I lied. I don't have a drone. I used the self timer and kept tossing my camera up hoping for the best.
    It took many tries to get the right composition and was a little risky so close to the edge.:eekers


    :scratch



    Actually, I just held the camera on a tripod as high as I could. That's true. :-)


    I rode a little farther and found another campsite, but the view wasn't as good.
    There were a couple SUVs below me, but I didn't see anyone else around.

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    I didn't bother riding down the hill, which is over the edge of the Eminence Break Fault.
    Instead, I started back out.

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    The going isn't always smooth out here. With any little incline, the dirt gets washed away leaving the rocks behind.

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    Shinumo Altar

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    I skirt the lake again...

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    ...and use the same crossing.

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    My new friends were waiting for me.

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    I took some small sandy tracks back to the main route in a more direct line than yesterday. If you are coming out here, turn here and follow the small track behind my bike next to the stock pond berm.

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    It didn't take long to get back to the highway. Next time, I may explore a little more out here.
    This was my first time to Tatahatso, so I was just interested in reaching the goal this trip.

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    #44
  5. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

    Joined:
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    Here's pic I took a few years ago of Horsehoe Bend. You see more of the river here.
    The viewpoint of the bend at Tatahatso is about 1400 feet higher making everything seem smaller.

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    #45
  6. arjones

    arjones Roads and Waves

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Bahia, Brazil
    Hi Dave;

    I wouldn't lie if I tell you that your RR's (and photograph work) are ones of the prime reasons I keep coming back to ADVrider... you are truly blessed for living so close to those awesome routes and views!!

    Thanks for sharing and cheers from Brazil, brother!!

    Arjones.
    #46
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  7. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    [​IMG]



    I crossed the Marble Canyon Bridge.

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    The historic Navajo Bridge is only open for pedestrians now. Prior to the opening of this bridge,
    the only crossing of the Colorado River for hundreds of miles in either direction was Lee's Ferry.

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    The bridge here remains the only crossing of the river in Arizona. The section of Arizona north of the river is known as the Arizona Strip.

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    View from the pedestrian bridge.

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    As many times as I've been up here, I've never gone to Lee's Ferry so I take the time today.

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    Lee's Ferry was a very scenic side trip.

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    I rode all the way to the Colorado River to Paria Beach.

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    Paria Beach is just downstream of the muddy Paria River confluence. I dipped my boot in, but then decided go wading.
    It was a very warm day, but the water was freaking COLD - 45 degrees. :vardy
    There were old people fishing and young kids swimming. I'm not old enough or young enough for either.

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    I washed some of the moto-boot-stench from my feet and then rode down to the boat ramp.

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    I stopped in Marble Canyon for a splash of fuel and met inmates @gdm and @wirepuller. They were on the way back to Phoenix after their own big adventure.
    They had ridden out to Tatahatso yesterday and had also ridden up the same hill trying to get around the lake. It was their tire tracks I kept seeing and maybe
    their thumpers I heard? They thought they had seen me out there and waved, but I didn't notice them. They must have excellent sage brush camouflage skills. :lol3

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    Nice meeting you guys! :wave
    #47
  8. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I've always wondered what was down here on House Rock Valley Road and whether there was a passable route from this area up onto the Kaibab Plateau.

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    So I set off to find out.

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    The road was a maintained gravel road...

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    ...with the occasional wash crossing and sandy area.

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    Kane Ranch is private property. It appears to have a main house and several small cabins and outbuildings.

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    Can you figure out why it's named Saddle Mountain.

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    This sign basically says, now that you've gone 22 miles to get here, keep in mind this area is 65,000 acres, so spotting Buffalo is near impossible. :D

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    I know some of the Buffalo climbed up onto the Kaibab Plateau and into the National Park years ago. I don't know if any remained in their preserve.

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    What's hard to see in the photos is the bright yellow aspens I was seeing on top of the plateau.
    I'm itching to get there, but there's also something I want to see down here.

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    There was a nicely treed roller coaster area with lots of dispersed camping sites.

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    #48
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  9. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Next time I'm out this way I want to check out the Saddle Mountain TH south of here, but today my goal is Buck Farm Point.

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    Hey! Is that the Shinumo Altar I see?

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    Why, yes. Yes it is.

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    I arrive at the first viewpoint on the way to Buck Farm Pt.

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    The point jutting out on the opposite side in the left side of this picture is Tatahatso Point!
    My campsite from last night is directly in the center of the photo on the opposite edge.
    The distance from here to there is actually about 4 miles, but I rode over 100 miles to reach this point.
    You can see the trail over there as it drops down the Eminence Break just beyond the point.

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    I have a little farther to ride to reach Buck Farm Point.

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    The views are pretty cool from this side as well. Maybe I'll camp here someday to get photos in better light...

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    ...but I have more riding to get done today.

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    #49
  10. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I backtrack some. I'm starting to get nervous.

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    I'm a little anxious, because I'm about to attempt to climb up the Kaibab Plateau.

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    I'm not sure this is a good idea, alone. The 220 snakes up this hill ahead.

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    This time, they mean it.

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    This is the beginning of the climb.

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    Same photo - zoomed a bit.

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    I climbed 1200' in 1.7 miles before the trail gave me a chance to breath. That was about the gnarliest climb I've ever done.
    Thankfully, it was starting to cool down, because I was sweating like crazy. Riding this alone wasn't the smartest decision ever.

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    #50
  11. bluestar

    bluestar sheep shagger

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    sheep pen
    Where have I heard that before? Something about Johns Canyon Rd. perhaps. :lol3
    #51
  12. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I still have another 5.5 miles of the 220 to ride.

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    The road is constantly up and down...

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    ...with lots of gnarly rocks, but not as bad as the long climb.

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    I gain another 600 feet in elevation before reaching the 213.

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    Years ago, I rode down the 213 and turned north here on the 220.
    Someone corrected the sign for the 220.

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    #52
  13. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Thanks @arjones! I do enjoy living close enough to these areas, but wish I had more time to get out. Maybe someday I'll be able to ride Brazil.
    #53
  14. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    My bum knee reminds me of John's Canyon everyday.
    #54
  15. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    In 2009 I rode down the switchbacks on the 213. I remember thinking I wouldn't want to try riding up them.
    I don't really remember what they were like, but I was pretty sure they wouldn't be as bad as the long climb I already conquered.

    They weren't. I was suddenly feeling like I could ride anything!:gdog

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    Why the sudden overconfidence syndrome? I recently trusted my suspension to my local bike shop, Zen Moto.
    The front suspension was done prior to my Death Valley ride in February, but this was the first trip with the rear suspension also drastically improved.
    It made all the difference. Not only was the ride much smoother, but I have so much more traction on the loose rocky climbs without the rear suspension packing down.
    Thanks @[email protected]!

    I paid full price for the work and am in no way sponsored. Just my opinion.

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    After another 1000' of climbing...

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    I'm on the super smooth and fast roads of the Kaibab Plateau at 8400'.

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    Just in time!

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    #55
  16. couchtater

    couchtater hunting wabbits

    Joined:
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    Location:
    PV AZ
    dave6253, your RR of your 2013 trip played a large part in our decision to move to northern Arizona. My wife and I were sick of New England winters and decided to go south. We poked around the South an two different occasions and didnt like it for various reasons. After reading your '13 GC report we booked a flight to Phoenix and drove north visiting Prescott, Sedona, and Flagstaff. 2 more trips to AZ and we rented a house in Prescott Valley and are now building a new home, we love it that much!!

    Oh yeah, we have been here since April of this year and have visited the GC 4 times. We have visited a different part each time. I am planning on riding the North Rim this spring.
    Thanks for the inspiration!!

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    #56
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  17. TM1(SS)

    TM1(SS) Matthew 24:36, Ride today, ride now :-)

    Joined:
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    This RR is like crack!
    #57
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  18. ChazW

    ChazW Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kansas City
    Great RR! Great Pics!! Thanks for sharing Dave!!
    #58
  19. scottmac

    scottmac Long timer

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    La Selva Beach, CA.
    Dave, besides the modded suspension I would say your abilities and confidence in pushing on have
    greatly increased as well.

    You'll be riding with Big Wan in no time...:clap
    #59
  20. JayElDee

    JayElDee not saying what I mean Supporter

    Joined:
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    Oh, Man! I was flying thorough these and am at the end? Oh, No!

    You're in one of my fav parts of the planet, though I've only done the paved parts. I hope the Vermilion Cliffs are coming?

    John
    #60