1. Adventure Rider Print Magazine!
    We're doing a print magazine this November - 128 pages of high quality adventure riding stories, photography and interviews!

    Click here to purchase a copy for $9. Limited copies still available.
    Dismiss Notice

Gardiner Family Adventures

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by FamilyRider, May 24, 2016.

  1. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Rather than continue posting separate threads on my various dirt biking adventures, I thought I would start a single thread that contains all of my moto-camping trip reports. So, if you are interested in following along, please 'watch' this thread. If you are interested in following along on all of my adventures (river trips, day dirt biking rides, family vacations, equipment reviews, technology reports, etc.), then subscribe to my family blog. I also have a video channel on both Vimeo and YouTube, which are usually referenced from my blog.

    First, a little about me. I am an old man. But I still love to ride dirt bikes - especially with my family (hence, "Gardiner Family Adventures"). As a teenager, my family had a couple of small Yamaha dirt bikes that we would often take on our camping trips. Here is a short video of my brother and I riding the Slickrock trail near Moab back in 1970, shortly after the trail was created.




    When my oldest son turned 14, I determined it was time to get back into dirt biking and share this experience with my family. All of my children have enjoyed dirt biking, and my wife sometimes tags along on her ATV. For the most part, it is now just me and my two youngest children on most of the adventures.

    [​IMG]

    For years we did day trips - mostly around Utah. We would also do an extended trip to southern Utah during spring break when our kids were out of school. We took the easy way and stayed in motels where the kids could swim and the parents could take a shower.

    Eventually, we decided it was time to try dual sport riding, so we made our bikes street legal and the kids all got their motorcycle license. To test this out, my daughter and I did a one-day dual sport ride up Big Cottonwood Canyon and returned via American Fork Canyon. My featherweight daughter did really well on our old, heavy DR-Z400.

    [​IMG]

    My intent is to provide a short summary of my adventures in this thread. If you are interested in the 'long version', take a look at my blog. Here is a link to our dual sport ride report, complete with photos and videos.
    #1
  2. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Some colleagues at work have been doing multi-day adventure rides for many years. At first, it didn't appeal to me. It seemed that they mostly road easy, 'boring' dirt roads. And sleeping on the ground didn't really appeal to me either. I do a lot of camping - mostly on river trips - so I didn't feel a need for more camping. Plus, on my river trips I sleep on a nice cot with a 3" foam pad. I often tell people that river running is like backpacking - but we eat good. Weight and bulk are not a serious problem with a 16' raft.

    But I eventually decided to give 'moto-camping' a try. I first had to figure out how to carry my camping gear on my small dirt bike. I also had to acquire some smaller, light-weight camping gear. Since this was to be a family endeavor, I bought and experimented with a couple different brands of motorcycle luggage. If you are interested, you can read about them on my blog.

    I also had to figure out how to extend my fuel range. Again, read about it here.

    My first overnight trip was in June of 2014. We spent three days and two nights exploring the Uinta mountains. For this trip, I was able to leave from home. I met up with the others at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. From there we rode to Kamas, then up the Mirror Lake Highway (in the rain) to Murdock Basin for our first camp.

    [​IMG]

    I bought some cheap waterproof riding gear and had all of my camping gear in dry bags. I was surprised that my friends, who have been doing this for years, showed up in Levi's, hiking boots, and just had their gear hooked on the back of their bike with bungee cords. It rained part of the first two days, and I was glad that I was well prepared.

    We found a great place to camp in Murdock Basin, and enjoyed a great dinner of steak and potatoes.

    [​IMG]

    My new cooking gear worked out really well. And everyone was envious of my camp chair.

    [​IMG]

    I also really like my new Exped Gemini 2P tent.

    [​IMG]

    I was pleasantly surprised that I not only survived this first trip - I actually loved it! In spite of the rain, I was hooked.

    [​IMG]

    For the complete report, look here.
    #2
    klaviator, BrockEvan and tjzondrz like this.
  3. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    The next spring I planned a three-day adventure in SE Utah exploring the Ceda Mesa area. I read a lot of 'big bike' adventure reports that included the Moki Dugway, Valley of the Gods, etc. - including the UTBDR. But being on a small dirt bike, these long mileage rides with lots of pavement don't appeal to me. So we spent our time more thoroughly exploring a smaller area. The rougher the trail, the more I enjoyed it. Those on the larger KLRs were the opposite - they preferred the easy fire roads and pavement. But we had a great time and enjoyed a few fun hikes to Indian ruins.

    This was my daughter's first overnight trip - and her first time riding with a fully loaded bike. She did great!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For the complete report, check here.

    #3
  4. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Oops. I got ahead of myself.

    In the fall of 2014 I did my first six-day trip in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. It was a spectacular trip, with the exception of two flat tires. Read about it here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    #4
    Utrider1 and BrockEvan like this.
  5. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Next up was a trip with just my son (his first) and my daughter. We rode from home into the Duchesne Ridge area. Once again we had to deal with rain, but luckily the trails weren't too muddy. But we did learn that our fire building skills were lacking (even though two of us are Eagle Scouts). We were unable to get a fire going due to the wet wood - which made our foil dinners kind of a bust. Details here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We even tried a little bit of single track with our loaded bikes.
    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    That brings us up to 2016. When my son finished up his first year of college, the three of us went to the Maze District of Canyonlands. I had been there about 15 years earlier, and I wanted my children to enjoy this remote location. For this outing we had a base camp at our car outside the park boundary. Each day we would ride into the park, do a hike, and then ride back to camp. They were long days, but it was really fun and extremely scenic. Full details here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    #6
    klaviator, VietHorse, RandyG and 5 others like this.
  7. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Coming this summer... (if all goes well) ... our six-day ride around the Frank Church Wilderness in Idaho. Stay tuned...
    #7
    BrockEvan and TheAdmiral like this.
  8. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,108
    Location:
    Frosty Hollow, Idaho
    I've been in it and around part of it but not around the whole thing. Your six day ride around the Church is gonna but fun and great adventure! I peek in on your blog once in a while, but glad you've started this thread. I'm subscribed.
    #8
    BrockEvan and FamilyRider like this.
  9. AZ Mark

    AZ Mark Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,332
    Location:
    Wickenburg AZ
    Thanks for taking the time to share your adventures and your gear knowledge through your Blog. Will take some time but will enjoy catching up with it soon. :thumbup
    #9
    BrockEvan likes this.
  10. Utrider1

    Utrider1 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    518
    Location:
    West Haven, Utah
    Great job Dee. I need to start one of these with all my adventures..........damn time!!! Subscribed as well.

    On a slight side note, is there something going on with MotoUtah? I know you don't have anything to do with it, but haven't been able to get on for awhile and hadn't heard anything.
    #10
  11. oldoval

    oldoval Energy Vampire

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    5,170
    Location:
    Cedar City, UT
    Awesome! I've seen your posts and videos in various places before. Looking forward to what's next. :thumb
    #11
  12. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    It seems that MotoUtah is basically dead. I don't know why, but the traffic dropped to almost zero.
    #12
  13. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,410
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Loved the blog on your Colorado trip. Used some of the same roads for a trip there last summer. It was very helpful in planning for we flat landers.
    We're off again this September and will venture into SE Utah, so I'll be reading your other posts.

    Thanks for sharing.
    #13
  14. pprO.R.A.

    pprO.R.A. Hipster Dufass

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    586
    Location:
    MISSOURI
    Good stuff Family Rider, I live to go on trips with my son all over the country. Also will take a look at your blog. Subscribed !
    #14
  15. 1Wildbull1

    1Wildbull1 Hugh Glass is my Hero!

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    206
    Location:
    Las Vegas NV
    Good to see your blog again - hope things are great! It's funny how great minds think alike, I just changed my threat from My 4 day...My 5 day Adventure through Southern Utah to "The Continued Ramblings, Photos and Adventures of Wild Bull". I felt the same way you did, I didn't want to write 50 different threads and as the extended family and friends wanted one spot to go to. I will follow along. :happay
    #15
    ed mocz, Utrider1 and FamilyRider like this.
  16. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    It has been a busy summer, so I have fallen behind on my posts. Now that the Olympics are over, I will try to get caught up...

    About 1-1/2 years ago my oldest son packed up his family and moved to England to start a new job. So this year my wife and I decided to visit them. I have been to England a few times, and even served an LDS Mission there back in the early 1970s - but my wife had never been.

    So, we started off by spending two days in London. A lot of people love London. I am not one of those people. I much prefer the mountains and wilderness areas over large cities. But still, it was worth seeing some of the sights. As usual, you can read about our trip on my blog.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    We visited some of the most popular spots, including the Tower of London, the British Museum, and Westminster Abbey. Then we caught a train to travel north to my son's house. I was hoping to enjoy the views of the English countryside from the train, but it was dark as we traveled.

    We spent the next few days at my son's house, and he was able to get some time off work to show us around (and act as chauffeur, which was great since those people drive on the wrong side of the road!).

    Our first tour was a place called Foxton Locks. It is a series of locks on a narrow canal. My son wrote a phone app to help promote this historic site, so we got to test it out. It is a mystery game which requires you to gain clues from the signs and sites along the canal.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We also visited a nearby castle and watched some "knight club" competitions. That was pretty cool.
    [​IMG]

    And then to Sherwood Forest, the home of legendary Robin Hood.
    [​IMG]

    And on our very last day, we stopped at Stonehenge.
    [​IMG]
    #16
    klaviator, TheAdmiral and oldoval like this.
  17. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    The highlight of our trip was a six-day road trip around the perimeter of Wales. Wales is absolutely beautiful! That would be a great destination for an adventure bike ride if they didn't drive on the wrong side of the road :hmmmmm

    I have another blog post about this part of our vacation.

    Our first stop was at the beautiful mountain town of Langollen - home of the River Dee. With a name like mine, we just had to drive through here.

    Three generations of "Dee" at the River Dee.
    [​IMG]

    My wife at the River Dee.
    [​IMG]

    Being somewhat of a river rat, I was interested to learn that they offer kayak and raft trips on the River Dee 364 days a year - every day except Christmas. Unfortunately we didn't have time to give it a go.

    Over the next several days we visited some spectacular castles, a few beaches, took a few hikes, and enjoyed some great mountain scenery. We also got to visit a few places I visited during my mission in the 1970s.

    Aber Falls
    [​IMG]

    That town with the super long name:
    [​IMG]

    Snowdonia:
    [​IMG]

    Caernarfon Castle:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Raglan Castle:
    [​IMG]

    Stay tuned... more to come...
    #17
    klaviator and TheAdmiral like this.
  18. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Our next family adventure was a rafting trip down the Main Salmon River in Idaho. For many months I have been planning a dirt biking adventure around the Frank Church Wilderness. The Salmon River cuts right through the middle of the Frank Church Wilderness - basically bisecting my planned route.

    The Salmon is one of my favorite rivers. The rapids are fun, but not too technical. The weather is usually pretty good, and the beaches are great for camping. And the scenery is great!

    We had 26 people in our group. This is the largest group we have had in several years. Several families used to get together all the time for such trips, but as our kids have grown, it has been harder to coordinate schedules. The water flow was at a medium level when we launched on June 28. This is a fun level.

    Here are a few photos from our trip, but for more details, check out my blog.

    Shortly after launching from Corn Creek
    [​IMG]

    Layne cooling off after lunch
    [​IMG]

    Two of my children waiting for the group to launch one morning
    [​IMG]

    Howard dropping into Black Creek Rapid - the largest rapid on this stretch - newly formed in 2011
    [​IMG]

    Two very nervous people entering Black Creek in the inflatable kayak
    [​IMG]

    Relaxing at camp
    [​IMG]

    More on this story later...
    [​IMG]

    Chittam Rapid
    [​IMG]
    #18
    klaviator likes this.
  19. Archery21

    Archery21 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    Reno, Nevada
    Love the first video from 1970. So cool!
    #19
  20. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    When my children were young, and we were just getting into dirt biking, we tried to do it on the cheap. But each time someone got hurt, we would invest in better protective gear. We gradually learned our lessons and started buying the gear BEFORE someone got hurt. For the full story, check here...

    Back in May, while on our Maze District of Canyonlands adventure, it really hit me that I needed one more piece of safety gear. We were literally hours from any help. Just the three of us riding dirt bikes and climbing down cliffs. If one of us got hurt, someone would have to go for help - probably alone.

    For the past few years I have wanted to buy a satellite communicator, but the cost always scared me away. But while out in the Maze, I realized that the cost was insignificant to the risk, stress, and hassle caused by an injury in a remote part of the country.

    So, I bit the bullet and bought a satellite communicator. I elected to go with the Delorme inReach SE because I wanted to text my wife and let her know we were okay. Or not.

    I figured the chance of needing to hit the SOS button was pretty remote since we are really recreational riders - not into super hard core stuff. Thus, I was very surprised when on my very first trip with the inReach, I used the SOS function.

    [​IMG]

    We were on the Salmon River with a group of experienced rafters. We have run the river many times before and really enjoy it. It has fun rapids, but nothing beyond our skill level.

    I set up my oldest daughter as my primary point of contact, and each night when we got to camp I would send her a text in order to learn how to use the inReach. She would sometimes text back. I was learning about the entire texting process via satellite - and how slow it is. I was also learning how to use my cell phone as a better user interface for the inReach - and how quickly that was draining my cell phone battery. Luckily, I had an auxiliary battery charger.

    One day the couple in the inflatable kayak flipped in a rapid, and one gal slammed into a large rock and bruised her hip. She was pretty sore, but otherwise seemed fine. But the next day she became more and more sick. By the next evening she was very sick and becoming lethargic. We had two doctors in the group, and after much deliberation, we decided to call for help.

    It took about 45 minutes to communicate enough information with the emergency response center before they actually told search and rescue to send a helicopter. It took another 40 minutes for the helicopter to arrive, and only about 5 minutes to assess the situation and load her on the helicopter, ready for the 40 minute flight back to the hospital.

    We also had a life flight pilot in the group. He helped us prep the beach for the helicopter landing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Luckily, she did not have a life threatening illness and felt better within a few days.

    For my full report, including lessons learned with the inReach, check out my blog.
    #20
    klaviator, Utrider1 and mbabc like this.