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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
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    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Mojave National Preserve - Day 2

    I generally don't sleep too well my first night out camping, and this night was no exception. And at my age, if I am not asleep, I frequently have to relieve my bladder. At my 5:00 AM potty break, I noted the light pitter-patter of rain on the tent. I decided to quickly do my business before it started coming down even harder. I was then very surprised when I woke up at 7:00 AM to find 2" of snow covering the ground and my tent.
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    It was still coming down pretty hard, but it made a beautiful and quiet campsite.

    Ron's tent doesn't have two vestibules, so he left a lot of his riding gear out during the night. He had snow inside his boots and over much of his gear. I left my stop out and found it frozen to the table.
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    By the time we ate breakfast, the snow had stopped, and patches of blue sky were starting to appear. Once the snow came out, the snow melted very rapidly. It was basically gone by the time we were ready to ride - at least in this canyon that had some shelter from the wind.
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    Since we got back, I have spent several hours trying to reduce the bulk of my camping gear. Bob and Ron pack much more efficiently than me.
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    I think I have made some progress, but I won't be able to fully test my 'smaller' setup until my next outing. I consolidated my tools so they fit in the two Giant Loop tank panniers without the need for the front fender bag. I also bought a smaller stove that fits inside my cooking pot, and a compression bag for my tent (without the poles). Plus I identified several items I could live without. I also carried way more water than I needed. I found that I can get by with 2 liters of water per campsite, not counting what I drink from my hydration pack. Hydration usage varies greatly depending on the weather.

    Here is a view of the New York Mountains. They were much larger than I expected. I was prepared for a desert - not mountains.
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    Our original intent was to camp at the Hole-In-The-Wall campground so we could enjoy the Rings Hiking Trail. So, after breaking camp, we wanted to go check out the Midhills campground and the Hole-In-The-Wall campground. The Cedar Canyon road and Black Canyon road were being graded, which made them sort of muddy. In fact, I think the grader may have been stuck in the mud - the driver was standing outside the grader in a mud bog when we passed him.

    Rather than take the easy to to Hole-In-The-Wall, we took the more rugged road through Wild Horse Canyon. Midhills campground was about the same elevation as our camp (about 5600'), but it was still covered in snow due to the icy cold wind. There was basically no shelter from the wind.

    And Hole-In-The-Wall campground has even less shelter - the terrain is very flat and exposed. But it is only 4400' in elevation, so it would be a little warmer. There were several motorhomes in that campground, since there is a paved access road.

    We decided to skip the hike since we were running behind schedule and the wind was still blowing strongly. So we headed south, and then took a shortcut over a mountain pass on the Vulcan Mine road. This road was sort of rough and rocky, but not too difficult on small dirt bikes.

    Our next stop was the old Kelso train depot that has been converted to a visitor's center.
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    Bob wanted to talk to the ranger about various routes to the Crucero Sand Dunes where he used to ride with his family as a kid. We got the information we needed, then ate lunch outside at some picnic tables (in the wind of course).

    We needed to work our way towards Baker to get fuel and supplies, so we decided to ride north until we met up with the Mojave Road again. After eating lunch, I pulled out my map and found a dirt road we could take rather than stick to the pavement. The road is very straight and follows an old telegraph pole line. This trail isn't ridden much, so the bushes and cactus hang over the trail. It gave our hand guards a good thrashing, and I found my water bottle holsters covered in cactus spines.

    From here, the Mojave Road going west was very enjoyable. It was less sandy the section we rode the previous day, but it had a lot of fun whoops due to the numerous small drainage channels crossing the road. We stopped to sign in at the Mojave Mailbox.
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    We then took the Aiken Mine road north to the lava tubes, while looking for a good place to camp along the way. We got to the lave tubes just as a couple of vans full of students (I assume) left, so we had them all to ourselves. There is a nice metal stairway leading down into the tubes, but for some reason I can't get that photo to upload. Once you get down in the tubes, if the sun is still high enough, you see beams of light coming through various holes in the ceiling.
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    The terrain in this area is pretty flat, without much to offer shelter from the wind. We decided to set up camp at the base of an old volcano cinder cone. Just after getting our tents set up, we realized that we would loose our evening sun very quickly due to the volcano mound. Here is a photo of camp taken the next morning:
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    Luckily, once the sun set, the wind finally died down. This was our lowest (3300') and warmest camp of the trip. We logged about 92 miles on day 2, but some of that was pavement, so it wasn't a very difficult day.

    Day 2 GPS track:
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    #81
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  2. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

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    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Mojave National Preserve - Day 3

    Day 3 was our toughest day, but we had great weather. We were lower in elevation and the wind had died down. The forecast called for "abundant sunshine".

    Our plan for the day was to swing in to Baker to get gas, then work our way south to explore Afton Canyon and visit the sand dunes where Bob used to ride, then work our way back towards the truck for our final camp.

    As we pulled in to Baker, I noticed the elevation was only around 1000'. No wonder the Baker forecast of highs around 70 lows around 45 didn't match our experience camping at 5600' and getting snowed on.

    We had some trouble getting the gas pumps in Baker to operate. I had to try three gas stations before I found one that would work.

    After getting gas, we worked our way back to the Mojave Road and followed it south across the Soda Lake beds, which were mostly dry. We did have a few miles of wet soil, but it wasn't so muddy that we couldn't keep going.

    We stopped to read the secret plaque at Traveler's Monument, but we forget to pick up some rocks to deposit.
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    We decided we didn't have time to explore Afton Canyon, so we worked our way over to the Crucero Sand Dunes where Bob used to ride as a kid. When we got to the first dune, I stopped to take pictures of Bob riding up the dune.
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    By the time I got my camera put away and headed up the dune myself, Bob was gone. It is unlike him to take off on his own, but this time he did. Ron and I finally picked up his trail. Luckily, there were no other fresh tracks so he was pretty easy to follow. We followed him for a few miles before finally catching up to him. In the process, we even crossed under a low train bridge while a train was going by.

    As I mentioned earlier, I am not very good at riding in sand - and I carry way more gear than Bob and Ron. While playing around on some of the larger dunes, my rear tire washed out and down I went. My toe dug into the sand, and then my knee, as the bike came to a stop. This put a fair amount of strain on my left knee while I tried to keep my right leg off the exhaust pipe. I was wedged under the bike and couldn't wiggle my leg free since it was twisted and buried in the sand, and my luggage prevented me form sliding off the back. I finally took off one of my mirrors and used it as a shovel to try and dig out my foot. I had to rest every few strokes to relieve the pressure from my knee. I also started the bike and spun the rear tire, hoping it would dig its way clear. This worked for a little while until the transmission shifted into neutral. Finally, after about 10 minutes or so, Bob and Ron came looking for me and dug me out.

    My kneed was pretty tender, so I decided to park at some nearby rocks and eat lunch while they continued to enjoy the sand dunes.
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    This incident helped build my resolve to reduce the amount of bulk I carry on adventure rides.

    After lunch, our plan was to take the dirt road through Jackass Canyon and work our way back to the Mojave Road. While working our east, we came across another mud bog, and I crashed again. I felt pretty good after the lunch break, but picking up a heavily loaded bike really takes its toll on you. So, I decided to ride the jagged rocks alongside the railroad tracks.

    I got to the Jackass Canyon junction to find that Ron and Bob were not behind me. When they finally arrived, I learned that Bob punctured his rear tire on the jagged rocks. We all use Tubliss inserts, so he was able to install some tire plugs, but I was the only one carrying a pump - at least some of my bulky gear turned out to be useful ;-)
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    We had to cross some really deep, soft sand to reach Jackass Canyon. The Kelso ranger warned us about that. This route would be very difficult on large adventure bikes.

    We finally got to the base of Jackass Canyon and stopped for Bob to add another tire plug and top off his tire. We noted that we were stopped at the base of Old Dad Mountain - a fitting spot for us three old geezers.
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    We eventually made it back to the Aiken Mine Road, then turned east on the fun section of the Majave Road. We rode for several miles and finally found a nice place to camp at the base of a large rock outcropping.
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    This was our warmest day and our most difficult day - due to the mud and sand. But at that, it really wasn't a very difficult day. I was surprised that most of the trails in the preserve are really quite easy. We logged about 92 miles again, only this time only a few miles of pavement.

    The wind picked up again, so we had another chilly night.

    Day 3 GPS track:
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    #82
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  3. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

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    Mojave National Preserve - Day 4

    Our third camp was at about 3800' elevation, and the wind blew all night. This made for a chilly night.

    We wanted an early start today since we had a seven hour drive home, so we got up and ready earlier than on the other days. Because of the cold wind, I decided to cook my breakfast under my tent vestibule. It wasn't as comfortable as sitting in my camp chair, but it worked quite well.
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    We continued east on the Mojave Road. The road was fun until we crossed the paved Cima Road, then it was an easy paved and dirt road. We decided to stop and visit the Rock Spring house which we skipped a few days earlier.
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    We then rode the same section of the Mojave Road we rode on the first day, only this time we didn't get separated at the wash exit. There was one steep bumpy climb on this section, and I didn't make it any better than on the first day. With the weight of the luggage, the rear tire would easily spin out on me. But otherwise the trail was very enjoyable.

    We had a little extra time so we finally made it over to see the Indian Well petroglyphs and the natural water well.
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    From there, we buzzed back to the car on the Ivanpah road, getting back to the truck right on schedule at about noon. We loaded up the truck and started the long drive home.

    This final day was about 62 miles, for a total of about 315 miles for the four days.

    Day 4 GPS track:
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    Here is the GPS track for all four days:
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    We only visited a few of the points of interest on our list, but we did manage to explore a good portion of the preserve. I guess we will just have to go back again some day...

    Edit: I removed my first version of the video. I will be uploading a new version that is shorter, and hopefully more interesting to watch. Stay tuned.

    You can read more about this trip on my blog.
    #83
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  4. sweins

    sweins Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2017
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    Edmonton, AB
    Another great trip report. Enjoy reading about your travels.
    #84
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  5. VietHorse

    VietHorse Long timer

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    Location:
    Recalculating... recalculating.... HCMC-Vietnam :)
    So enjoy watching your ride. Love the scenery and the family atmosphere.
    Thanks for sharing.
    #85
  6. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

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    Here is my updated video. Enjoy...

    #86
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  7. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    Wow, that looks like a neat place to ride. By the looks of the white stuff it appears to have gotten a bit chilly. I won't complain about how cold it was in the San Rafael Swell last week or so. It got cold but no snow. I've got the video's in the pending to watch file as I'm still in recovery stage from SRS. Thanks for posting and all the info you gave me on the Swell. It came in handy.
    #87
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  8. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

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    Hole In The Rock Trail

    Last year I took my kids on the Hole In The Rock "Road" south of Escalante. That is a pretty easy (and somewhat boring) ride. This year I attempted the Hole In The Rock "Trail" with two friends; Ross and Danny. This is a very technical trail.

    The trail starts off of Hwy 276 about 3/4 of the way between Hwy 95 and Hall's Crossing. The first 10-12 miles are pretty easy, but then it quickly becomes a lot more rugged and technical. We hoped to make it as far as "The Chute", but we got too tired and it was getting late, so we stopped at the Grey Mesa Wagon Road sign. We only made it about 2/3 of the way to the end of the trail, and we were exhausted when we got back to the truck.
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    The terrain is mostly a mixture of slickrock and sand. I didn't find the sand too difficult, but Danny and Ross struggled a bit on their heavier bikes - Danny rides a DR-Z400S and Ross was on a KLR-650. I would not recommend this trail on big bikes like the KLR - it didn't have sufficient ground clearance and the trail is really technical.
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    As a general rule, the trail gets tougher as you go. The first technical sections consist mostly of small ledges. Later on the ledges get larger and steeper. Just before we got to the historic Grey Mesa Wagon Road, we had to help each other up some ledges with rock piles.
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    Ross popped a nice wheelie getting up the final ledge.
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    I thought I could ride up it...
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    ...but soon chickened out and waddled my way up like everyone else.
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    When the Mormon pioneers were making this trek with horse and wagon, they sent scouts up ahead to pick the best route. They struggled to find a way down off Grey Mesa until one of the scouts spotted a mountain sheep. He followed the sheep and found a way down.
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    You can't ride motorized vehicles along this part of the route, but we did walk part of it. Those pioneers were nuts! Apparently they cut a notch along the side of this cliff - going from the center to the left near the sign.
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    And here is another notch they cut a little farther up the trail.
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    A few hundred feet past the Grey Mesa Wagon Road, we came to a challenging waterfall shaped slab of sandstone. I don't know if this has an official name, so I just called it the waterfall.
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    We figured we could get down this okay, but getting back up would be challenging and somewhat risky. We decided we were getting too tired and it was getting too late to take that risk. So, we turned around and had to go back down the rock pile we just came up.
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    Because we were tired, the return ride seemed much harder than the ride out. Both Danny and Ross took a few spills on the way back. Here is Ross gently laying his bike down on one ledge climb.
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    This climb was steep and you had to make a sharp left turn half way up. Danny almost made it, but his front wheel climbed the side hill too much and caused him to fall. His bike fell hard, but luckily he didn't.
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    Here is Danny climbing one of the steep sections of slickrock.
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    Here is a view from the trail, looking north towards Lake Powell and the Henry Mountains.
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    This trail is not for the faint of heart, but we really enjoyed it in spite of it being so difficult. It is also fairly scenic. Riding here really helps you appreciate the struggles those Mormon pioneers went through. I find it amazing that they could get horses and wagons, along with their families through this remote and rugged country.

    Here is my video from the ride:
    #88
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  9. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

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    Yeah, that trail does deteriorate rather rapidly...to something fun (mostly). I'm glad your friends were able to basically just step off their bikes when their bikes got tripped up on the rock climbs. At first I thought the tunnel chute where your friend did a wheelie looked rather easy. I have reconsidered that thought. In the video, you showed going back down this section, true?

    I cannot fathom the hardships of what any of the pioneers endured on a daily basis. I know I take things for granted and I thank them for what they did. Did they "cut" the road/trail to make it down the slick rock? Boy, if they did that had to be a huge chore. No jack hammers back in those days.

    We're hoping in one of our upcoming years to make it to a bunch of these spots and not spend so much time in one area like we've done in Moab and San Rafael Swell. But it's hard to say that because there's so much to see in those places and so much is unseen even when we spend a week in the area.

    Thanks so much for posting and sharing all these places you visit. It's a lot of fun doing all this hard riding isn't it!

    Thanks again.
    #89
  10. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

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    Yes, I showed Ross coming back down that rocky step section. If I weren't so tired and if my confidence was high, I think I could ride up it without too much trouble. But I chickened out this time. I did ride it down - sort of. Actually, all three of us made it down without help. I went right, Danny went left, and I signaled Ross to take the middle, which I think was the easiest line. But the left and right allowed you to easily dab on foot on one side, so I opted for that safety net.

    If you get the chance, check out the documentary BYU TV did on this expedition.

    Or read on of the books. The 'official' book was written by David E Miller. It has accounts from journals. It is a very detailed account.

    This book is an easier read. It covers the highlights, and even gives instructions on how to follow the route today.

    There are some amazing stories.
    #90
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  11. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

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    Salt Lake City, UT
    Poison Spring Canyon - Dirty Devil River

    Our goal was to ride into the Maze District of Canyonlands. Since the Dirty Devil River wasn't too high, we decided to enter the park via Poison Spring Canyon. I took two of my children on a ride through this canyon a few years ago, but we didn't attempt to cross the river.

    The ride starts off as an easy dirt road, then gets a little rough, and then drops into a really cool canyon that has springs running down parts of the road. It is really a nice ride.

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    You eventually leave the springs and the canyon opens up somewhat.
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    There is one fairly steep climb, and just after reaching the summit, you get your first view of the Dirty Devil River.
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    The river had been fluctuating between about 35 and 55 cfs for the past few days. We estimate it was at about 40 cfs when we got there. There hadn't been any recent flash floods, and the river had been crossed by trucks and Jeeps, so we figured it would be safe to cross.
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    I was the first to cross, and I was a little nervous since I had read stories of others sinking in the quicksand. I hit a few truck tire ruts and threw me off my intended line, but it turned out to be a pretty easy crossing. I think the water got up to about my front axle.

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    Ross came next. He carried a fair amount of speed, so he got drenched by a nice bow wave. Danny came last, and a slower pace so he wouldn't get wet.
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    Here is a video of our crossing.
    #91
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  12. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

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    Here is the hydrograph - we crossed on 14 April 2018.
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    #92
  13. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

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    North Hatch Canyon

    After crossing the Dirty Devil River, we proceeded through North Hatch Canyon on our way to the Maze District. I didn't really know what to expect here. I had read previous trip reports that showed serious road erosion. But this year the road was in excellent condition. It was a pretty easy ride, but it was very fun and extremely scenic.

    You start by climbing up above the Dirty Devil River. Here is a view looking north:
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    And south:
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    In some places, it is difficult - but important - to keep your eyes on the road.
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    The ride is roughly 20 miles long as you work your way to the east. After riding up a long valley, the road starts to climb towards Sunset Pass.
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    We stopped for a break at the top of a summit not too far from Sunset Pass.
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    Here is our first view of the Maze District after passing Sunset Pass.
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    The road enters Waterhole Flat at a four-way junction. Left would take us to the Flint Trail or Maze Overlook, straight to the Dollhouse, or right to Hite.
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    Our original plan was to ride up the Flint Switchbacks and out to Panorama Point, since I had never been there before. But it took us 2.5 hours to make it this far (just over 40 miles) and we needed to drive home after completing our ride. So we opted for the shorter route to the Land of Standing Rocks and the Dollhouse, at about 20 miles. This would be my third time to the Dollhouse, but I really enjoy riding this trail. That story is coming up next...
    #93
  14. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

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    For someone not interested in the more technical roads within the Maze District, you could do a fun loop by coming down Poison Spring Canyon, cross the river, up North Hatch Canyon, then head towards Hite, which is about 30 miles of pretty easy dirt road. Then take Hwy 95 back to the start.

    Here is my video of Poison Spring Canyon and North Hatch Canyon.
    #94
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  15. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

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    The Land of Standing Rocks - The Dollhouse

    I have concluded that there are three certainties in life; death, taxes, and "this trail is harder than I remembered". That third one keeps popping up whenever I take my kids on a trail that I tell them is really fun. Well this time, my kids have already been here, but Ross and Danny found that this trail was harder than I led them to believe. When it comes to trail assessment, I guess you should never trust my judgement - or more precisely - my memory.

    Anyway, the ride out through the Landing of Standing Rocks within the Maze District of Canyonlands is a really fun ride if you don't mind a little technical challenge. Once again Ross didn't have sufficient ground clearance with his KLR, but on a 'real' dirt bike, the trail can be done by anyone with reasonable riding skills. Perhaps the biggest challenge is endurance - it is long ride.

    The road starts off easy as you cruise through Waterhole Flat. It then becomes noticeably more technical as you approach the Teapot Rock campsite.
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    Things really start to get interesting when you get to this rock shelf. The trail scenery is interesting, and the trail itself is interesting. Here you will find perhaps the hardest obstacle along the route.
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    But once you are past this section, don't think your challenge is over. There are several other sections with steep ledges and loos rocks. On the return ride - when you are good and tired - is when these other obstacles can really bite you.

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    But you also get to ride through miles of fun, flowing sections like this:
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    See, I am smiling ;-)
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    You hit some sand in the last few miles before the Dollhouse Section. I didn't find this very difficult, but Ross and Danny struggled a bit on their heavier bikes.
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    And a selfie-group shot at the end of the trail.
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    It had now been about 5 hours since we left the truck at the Poison Springs Canyon staging area. Time to head back. As mentioned, some of the rocky climbs gave both Ross and Danny a little trouble - mainly because of fatigue.

    When we got back to Waterhole Flat, we decided to exit the area via the easier road to Hite. This road was in great shape this year, so we made great time. We then had about 30 miles of pavement to ride to get back to our car. Luckily, the speed limit is only 55 mph, which is about my comfort zone with my trail sprockets on my 350.

    Unfortunately, about 10 miles from the car my bike suddenly died. No hiccups or sputtering - it just died. Ross was out in front, but Danny was right behind me. After trying to restart my bike for a few minutes, I suggested that Danny go get the car and come back and pick me up here along the side of the highway.

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    Just as he rode away, I realized they didn't know where my key was. I locked Danny's spare bike to my trailer, and my trailer to Ross' truck. So they couldn't go anywhere without unlocking one of those items. And it turns out that Ross got a rear flat tire about 100 yards from the car. We were both blessed to have our mechanical failures in convenient places. I had ridden 141 miles in very remote territory when my bike died on the paved road.

    Sure enough, Danny came back a few minutes later asking about the key. These mechanical setbacks cost us about 1.5 hours, but at least we weren't in the middle of Hatch Canyon or half way across the Dirty Devil River when the failures occurred.

    Here is our GPS track for the day. The teal section is the part I didn't complete due to my bike failure.
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    And here is my video for the Dollhouse ride:
    #95
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  16. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

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    When I got home I had to figure out what died on my bike. The fuel injection light was blinking an error code, but I had to look them up. I now have them stored on my phone in case I need them while out on the trail (again).

    It turns out that my ignition pickup coil got shredded by the flywheel. This failure isn't very common, but it has happened to others. The theory is that the hot engine oil gradually degrades the plastic housing holding the coil. When it fails, the flywheel shreds the coil and spreads bits and gobs of copper wire throughout your motor. But luckily the motor instantly dies before it can do any serious damage.

    Notice the small exposed copper wires coming from the housing:
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    Here is another view, showing the outer cover and the stator.
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    Here is the failed unit side by side with the replacement.
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    I got the bike running again just in time for my next adventure. I flushed the oil a few times to get out most of the copper wire, and then rode without issue for three days in Moab - including the White Rim trail. Coming up next...
    #96
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  17. Spicciani2

    Spicciani2 Been here awhile

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    Oddometer:
    378
    Location:
    mobile AL USA
    Nice to have those codes let you know where to look :)
    #97
  18. TheAdmiral

    TheAdmiral Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,108
    Location:
    Frosty Hollow, Idaho
    Guess you'd be dead on the trail if the horse went lame so I suppose no different when your KTM goes lame. Both leave you trail-side unable to ride. Glad it was fixed. Lots of money just because some plastic melted or was "rubbed the wrong way". :lol3
    #98
  19. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I also carry a tow strap. One time I got towed 10 miles back to my car on a fairly easy dirt road. It was pretty stressful, but saved a lot of time. It would be really challenging on a technical trail or single track. I even practiced one day so my daughter knew how to tow me and how to be towed by someone else.
    #99
    TheAdmiral likes this.
  20. FamilyRider

    FamilyRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    White Rim Trail

    A few years ago, before the park service required permits and limited group sizes to 3 vehicles, my daughter and I rode the White Rim Trail with four others. We rode it clockwise. This year, I took my daughter and youngest son and rode it counter-clockwise.

    Last time it took us 10 hours, so I expected it to be about the same this year. We ended up completing the loop in 7.5 hours, and that includes the side spur up Taylor Canyon and White Crack. My daughter set the pace. I think we were faster for two primary reasons; with a smaller group our breaks were shorter, and we have helmet radios so we didn't have to frequently stop just to regroup - we only stopped when someone wanted a break or to enjoy scenic views.

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    We parked our car at a mountain biking staging area near Horsethief campground, then zipped down the road towards Mineral Bottom. It always amazes me how they can build roads on these sheer cliffs.
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    The road then turns south and follows the Green River. In some sections, the road is right next to the river.
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    I don't know why, but I expected the side spur up Taylor Canyon to be seldom traveled and fairly rough. But it turned out to be a very enjoyable ride. It is about 6 miles to the campsite near the end of the road where you can see the Moses and Zeus rock formations.
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    Back on the main loop we rode through the sandy sections, which weren't bad this time. And then up the steep, rocky climb on Hard Scrabble. This was the hardest part of the loop.
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    Once you reach the terrace, just be sure to pay attention to the road. If you get caught up in the scenery, you may have a long fall into the river.
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    Before descending the steep southern side of Hard Scrabble, we stopped to enjoy the view.
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    Most of the trail is on the 'white rim' (hence the trail name). This trail wanders around numerous side canyons. Most of the trail is pretty easy dirt with a little sand here and there, and numerous sandstone sections, some of which are pretty bumpy. The western side is the most technical, but the eastern section has the most sandstone bumps - which really got old.
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    We finally came to the other steep climb - Murphy's Hogback. Murphy's and Hard Scrabble would be brutal on a mountain bike, and challenging on a large adventure bike, but there are pretty easy on a dirt bike.
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    We stopped at the top of Murphy's Hogback to enjoy the views and eat lunch.
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    After lunch we pressed on, only stopping a few times to take some photos.
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    We eventually stopped for a second lunch break, which a great scenic view.
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    On the western section, you can see the Green River fairly often. But on the south/eastern section you very seldom see the Colorado River. The best view is from a short side spur overlooking the river.
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    And then we approach the famous Shafer Trail with its switchbacks up the cliff. The first time I drove this was pretty nerve racking, but the road is now much wider and in pretty good condition.
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    The view from near the top was spectacular, but you can't really see the switchbacks from here.
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    We were surprised how quickly we finished the loop - but glad to be done. We logged about 120 miles in 7.5 hours and we were pretty tired. The White Rim Trail is definitely worth doing, but it isn't my favorite trail. The scenery is good, but the ride is just so long that it kind of gets boring after a while. The worst part was the bumpy sandstone late in the day.

    I would say that the loop is a little easier going counter-clockwise just because you get the deep sand and steep hill climbs out of the way early in the day before you get too fatigued.

    TheAdmiral likes this.