Father and Son ride the AZBDR and more

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Dusty Pipes, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Dusty Pipes

    Dusty Pipes Riding Addict

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    Day 13 Page, AZ to Monument Valley, UT

    Now that the AZBDR was in the record books, it was time to focus on the last part of the trip, to see Monument Valley and ride the UTBDR back to Green River, UT. We were not sure how much of it we could do because there was enough snow in the higher parts to make it impassable when we went through at the beginning of the trip, with the storm that had passed we were not very hopeful the conditions had improved. We left Page and slabbed it to Mexican Hat, UT. It was cold, we stopped at the gas station where AZ98 dead ends with AZ160, we needed coffee to warm us up. When we were waiting in line a nice lady asked us if we were cold, and we told her "just a little bit" and asked if she knew what the temp was, she told us it was 34F, and it felt every bit like 34F. Luckily as we got closer to Mexican Hat the sun was out and it was starting to warm up, slowly but at least it was warming.
    We eventually made it to Mexican Hat and stopped to have lunch, we made reservations at Goulding's Campground on the Utah side of Monument Valley.

    The UTBDR starts at Mexican Hat, so it was perfect. After lunch we started out. If you look closely you will see the Mexican Hat.

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    Then it was off to ride the Valley of the Gods, I had been looking forward to this area for some time. Right at the beginning there was a fast moving water crossing, we wondered how deep it was, I wasn't going to let this stop me from riding in the Valley of the Gods so I crossed it first, it was a little deep but not too bad. I wished I or someone else would have taken a picture of the crossing, but oh well, it is what it is.

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    Since I didn't take a photo of the first water crossing, I stopped to take a picture of this not so bad water crossing, this one was no where near as wide as the first, I was still regretting not taking that first pic.

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    Just amazing views, I felt like I was in a western movie. The weather had caught up with us again and we were starting to get into that greasy clay we loved so much the previous day.

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    #61
  2. Dusty Pipes

    Dusty Pipes Riding Addict

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    Day 13 continued...

    Luckily there were only a few short sections that were really greasy, most of the road was pretty decent, this was one of the worst sections, nothing like the previous day at all.

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    And then we popped out to a paved road and the next feature was the Moki Dugway, this is where we climb out of the valley and onto the plateau, the climb was sweet, lots of switchbacks. I got a pic showing what it was like on the GPS.

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    You can see the road twisting its way up out of the valley.

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    When we got to the top the storm had arrived and it was once again snowing on us. The view was worth fighting the cold for, it was incredible how high you climbed. You can see sun in the distance, but storm where we are.

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    Gotta have the obligatory bike pic in here as well. The Husky has been great this trip, loving the bike more than ever.

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    #62
  3. Dusty Pipes

    Dusty Pipes Riding Addict

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    Day 13 continued...

    I don't know what it is about this pic, but every time I look at it, it feels like I am on another planet, it even felt that way when I was there.

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    It looked like there was a whole lot of rain ahead of us, so we decided not to finish this part and head to Monument Valley, it was also where the sun was, it wasn't a hard decision to make at this point.

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    Unfortunately, when we got to the gates for Monument Valley we found out they don't allow motorcycles on the road, if we wanted to go on the road we would have to take the tour bus, we decided not to and turned around. It was very disappointing for us to not be allowed to ride a well groomed road after all we had been through to get there.

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    Oh well, off to the campground we went. The view was pretty cool from the campground, it just all felt so surreal to me.

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    The setting sun on the monuments was amazing, I wished I had a better camera and the ability to take better pictures. We stopped at the camp store after dinner and had the second big disappointment of the day, there was no beer, no alcohol of any kind here. Oh my goodness, how would we survive after a day of riding to not have a beer or two, it was tough and with no fire and it was getting cold fast, I packed it in early. For tomorrow would be Lockhart Basin.
    #63
  4. eaglescan

    eaglescan Borrego rocks Supporter

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    Great read and pictures are fine. I have been to a few of the places on the AZBDR, never took enough pictures then, so your's are filling that ! As for a first report, I'd say you aced it. cheers
    #64
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  5. BarryB

    BarryB Been here awhile Supporter

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    When your in those majestic “Old West” landscapes, I expect to see Indians on every ridge line. Too many westerns growing up, I guess.
    #65
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  6. PNW Buttercup

    PNW Buttercup Dancing with dirt roads...

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    Awesome ride report Ed! Thank you for sharing!

    Love the vistas!
    #66
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  7. Dusty Pipes

    Dusty Pipes Riding Addict

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    Thanks, but it's not over yet, still have a couple more days left of the trip to write about.
    #67
  8. Dusty Pipes

    Dusty Pipes Riding Addict

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    For sure, I thought the same thing when I was there.
    #68
  9. Dusty Pipes

    Dusty Pipes Riding Addict

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    Day 14 Monument Valley, UT to Moab, UT via Lockhart Basin.

    There were 3 main goals to this trip, besides having a fun filled adventure, see parts of New Mexico, ride the AZBDR, and ride Lockhart Basin. I had read that this was the hardest, most difficult BDR section of any BDR, so I was in!!

    It was cold last night and cold in the morning, I think someone said it got to 29F, I was wearing my thermals and under shell liner in my sleeping bag to stay warm, it worked, but there were a couple of times that I was at the edge of comfort for me. I don't have that heavy of a sleeping bag because I don't usually plan on camping if it is that cold. As the sun rose above the rocks and finally hit the tent, the tent went from a freezing ice cube to full sauna in about 5 minutes, we packed up camp, with moments in the sun to warm up and headed out to Mexican Hat for breakfast. The storm that had been chasing us around for the last few days was finally gone and we were once again welcomed to sunny skies.

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    After breakfast we headed towards the Butler Wash rd where we would rejoin the UTBDR, at the restaurant I had mentioned I wanted to stop at the Valley of the Gods road to take a pic of that big water crossing having regretted the previous day for not doing that, the crossing was right at the beginning of the road so it would be a quick stop.

    The water crossing was only a trickle compared to the day before, it was at this point that I truly understood the impacts of flash flooding, I thought this was a regular river crossing, instead it was only a flash flood creek, you can still see the water marks from the day before, now I really regretted not stopping for a pic.

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    Oh well, off to Butler Wash rd we went. This road went along a river and the side of a ridge, it was cool and very scenic, there were some interesting caves in the distance. The road was much dryer than they had been in previous days, there was still the odd wet spot but for the most part it was easy sailing through here.

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    #69
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  10. Dusty Pipes

    Dusty Pipes Riding Addict

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    Day 14 continued...

    We made it to UT95, the last section of Butler Wash rd was a little soft, mostly only cattle traffic on the road in this section.

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    After we crossed UT95 and began our trek towards the Abajo Mountains it became more and more muddy as we climbed, knowing that the tops were probably still closed due to snow we decided it wasn't worth the fight to get to the snow line to find out we wouldn't be able to make it over so we went back to UT95. I read a ride report on a group of 3 about 2 weeks after us and they were able to make it over, but they fought the snow for quite a while, so I am glad we turned around.

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    So we slabbed it to Blanding then up UT191 to Monticello. When we got to Monticello we thought about stopping for lunch, but I was out voted so we went on, I don't think the other 2 realized what we were going to face in this next section, but we had food and snacks with us so if needed we could eat something. When we got closer to the top of the pass I was really glad we didn't attempt going up the BDR way, if there was this much snow on the paved section, the dirt sections would have been completely impassable.

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    The snow made it cold again, but once we crossed over and descended down it began to warm up again. We finally made it to the turnoff to Lockhart Basin, with anticipation of what awaits us, we continued on.

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    Lockhart basin isn't the hard part, there may be a couple of spots, to be more accurate it is Hurrah Pass that is the difficult section, which we haven't got to yet.

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    #70
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  11. Dusty Pipes

    Dusty Pipes Riding Addict

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    Day 14 continued...

    This section of Lockhart Basin was very scenic for me, we don't get these types of rock formations in Northern Idaho, so I thought this area was really cool.

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    After what seemed to be quite a while we finally made it to where the real fun begins, this is the beginning of the difficult section, also noted by the black diamond on the sign. It was 2pm, so it took us 2 hours to get from Monticello to this point. This is where I did the "maybe we should have stopped for lunch?", as I was getting a little hungry, so we had some snacks before we continued on.

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    And the difficulty level immediately went to extreme, this was going to be good.

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    #71
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  12. viajarMOTO

    viajarMOTO Been here awhile

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    Great ride report! Thank you for taking the time to photograph and write about your journey. I especially like how you include more side trips than just the AZBDR.
    #72
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  13. Dusty Pipes

    Dusty Pipes Riding Addict

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    Day 14 continued...

    We continued to make our way over each technical section, enjoying the vastness and isolation, there was nobody out here but us.

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    I have no idea what happened here or how this trailer made it out this far. Maybe a Meth lab gone bad, maybe a propane leak, but it looked like it exploded at some point. It is interesting what you find in the middle of nowhere.

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    Some more little technical climbs, there were lots of step ups or drop offs to manage, this is where the dirt bike experience paid off for me and Damon, I was amazed at Sean muscling that loaded 1190 through this stuff. On a 220lb dirt bike this would be nothing, but even on a loaded 701 I was probably around 400lbs, way too much weight to have fall on you if a mistake was made.

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    #73
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  14. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Excellent report and pics @Dusty Pipes! Just read through the first four pages and I'm really looking forward to following along to the conclusion.

    So cool to be doing this with your son, I hope my boys want to join me when they get old enough - definitely a trip to make lifelong memories.

    I don't remember reading - what was the issue with your 701 when it wouldn't start and the check engine light came on? Just a quirk?

    I have ridden in mud like you describe and it sucks, especially on a loaded bike. Good on you for making it through without going arse over teakettle...lol.

    Have a strong desire to do the BDRs in New Mexico and Utah, think AZ would be awesome too based on your report :thumb :thumb
    #74
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  15. Dusty Pipes

    Dusty Pipes Riding Addict

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    Day 14 continued...

    In this section I was leading, this was the hardest area, on one of the dropdowns my front tire rolled off a rock which I thought was fixed but it wasn't so I dropped down more than I had anticipated, I didn't go down, but my skid plate hit pretty hard and left a nice scar on it, glad I had a skid plate and not a cracked case. I got a kick how they always sent me first through the water crossings, down the hard parts, whatever, I did it all. I stopped at this point for a quick drink and a pic before I went down the canyon, from the ride reports this was the section where you make or break it. Sean was behind Damon and he said he just watched me drop down at this point, disappear and then be seen a little farther down. It was definitely a very technical section, on my 250 2 stroke I could do this up and down all day, but on the 701 I was cautious.

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    After that it was over, there was one more descent, and then we came up to an intersection and then it was all easy going after that. No crashes, just a reminder on the skid plate.

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    Actually, it wasn't all over, there was this one last water crossing, and it was deep, the deepest of the trip, I wasn't going to miss taking a pic of this one.

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    We made it to Moab just before 5pm, so the total time from Monticello to Moab via Lockhart Basin/Hurrah Pass was 5 hours. Given it was Friday on the Memorial Weekend, Moab was busy, but we were able to find a section North of town where you could camp for free, it took us awhile but we managed to find a small area to put up our tents.

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    Since Utah is a 4% beer state, I didn't want to celebrate beating Lockhart Basin with that crap, we stopped at the liquor store and bought a bottle of Crown. We celebrated our trip so far and watched the mini explosions in each camp as they started their campfires. It would seem that in this area the locals do not like to use kindling to start their fires as most were lit with some type of fuel and the poof that went with it. It was fun to watch, our spirits were high, probably too high as we drank the entire bottle of crown, but we did the hardest part of any BDR and we only had 1 more day left and it was supposed to be easy, boy were we wrong, but that is for the next day.
    #75
  16. radmann10

    radmann10 Derf Supporter

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    Nice RR, thank you!
    #76
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  17. Dusty Pipes

    Dusty Pipes Riding Addict

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    It was the sidestand safety switch that was giving me problems, I had the dongle for it, I just put it on and all was good, in fact it is still on the bike even now.
    #77
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  18. breeno

    breeno Adventurer

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    Fantastic RR! Really enjoyed this - big fan of UT and there are some bucket list spots there I've not hit yet, so this is super useful.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this up
    #78
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  19. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    Oh Com'on! Don't leave us hanging like that; should be a law! That's a different view of the big steps at Lockhart Basin. I haven't done that one, but will in May, and the pics from the bottom make them look like they are all stacked up into a virtual wall. I presume this is the same place.
    #79
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  20. Dusty Pipes

    Dusty Pipes Riding Addict

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    Yep, that is the place, my son took a pic from the bottom looking back, it's a decent drop down from where I was sitting. I wouldn't want to take a loaded bike up it, that's for sure.

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    #80