MOAB: the Colorado convergence

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Deano955, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. Deano955

    Deano955 Insatiable

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    This trip had been on the planning calendar for several months. 2 ADVers from Colorado, Doubletrackmind (John) and Deano955 (Dean), were definates, more were possibilities. John put the bug in my ear to ride the KLRs to MOAB to explore the canyons, rims, and slick rock that has made the town famous.

    Due to schedules and demands of being small business owners we were not able to leave Denver until Friday evening. And as smug as the bragging rights from riding across Colorado in the dark and 40 degree temps would have made us, we decided to trailer the bikes.

    Heading out for 3 days of desert riding would put a goofy grin on your face too!
    [​IMG]

    The truck was loaded, the bikes were on the borrowed trailer (thanks Raif), and we were on the road by 5pm.[​IMG]

    I had posted an invitation to join us here on Adv, and John posted on the Colorado dual sporters list. By Friday we had heard that 3 other Colorado riders would meet us in Moab for the Saturday blitz of the White Rim Trail. The 5 of us met at the Moab Diner for breakfast and to finalize the ride plan.
    The food was decent, the service was quick, and so with full bellies (quite obvious as you will see) we headed out Potash.
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    Scooterscum (Steve) on the KTM 950, Marcus on the GS1150 in the front. Doubletrackmind on a KLR, and Mark Atwell on the DR650 in the rear.
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    After some debate as to which way was the better/easier direction to travel the White Rim Trail we decided on going clockwise. I think that this was the correct direction to attack this trail for reasons that I will explain later but either war is doable.

    The White Rim Trail is 100 miles of jeep trail and about 20 miles of pavement to and from town. It is not a difficult trail but is incredibly scenic. The surface is rocky, sandy and steep in sections so take time to air down.
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    The first 15 miles or so look like this
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    I followed Scooterscum as he lead the group around the rim at good clip of around 40mph. Steve has done the WRT 15 times and knows the trail very well. Thanks for the advice on the tricky spots Steve, we all appreciate it.

    Mark Atwell joining us for a break:
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    Marcus, Steve and Mark enjoying the view
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    of this
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    The morning light cast deep shadows over the canyon just past Musselman arch. I hope there will be pics of that coming from the others.
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    Steve can really ride that 950!
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    And thanks again Steve for letting me ride that 950!!!:D

    One of the reasons given for travelling the WRT counter clockwise was to avoid climbing up Murphy's Hogback. This section proved to be no biggie for the group. Even Marcus, on his 2nd off road ride on the GS had no trouble at that section.

    Just before the climb up Murphy's Hogback
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    Mark summiting the Hogback
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    There could not have been a better place for lunch than on top of the hogback.
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    We met Enduro-ince (Tom) and his dad (Dan?) from the Durango area during our lunch break. Nice to meet you guys.

    After lunch, Mark let me demo his Dr650 for 5 miles or so. I really liked that bike. While riding it I thought it was a 400. It felt light and nimble compared to my KLR. The engine was smooth and powerful, as in eat the KLR for lunch powerful. I could not belive how quick it felt. I was relieved to learn that it was a 650 instead of a 400.
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    The other side
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    I rest along the banks of the Colorado River before the most technical section of the ride, Hardscrabble.
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    I rode ahead of the group in order to get some pics.

    Marcus
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    Steve
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    All along the ride I was impressed by Marcus' ability to ride the big pig with the Tourances on such rocky terrain. He did well and did not really expierience the limitations of the tires until here.
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    I came around the corner to find Steve helping Marcus pick up the GS. He had gone into a pot hole in the sand and then over the bars. Nothing sinks like a GS in sand. He got right up and right out.
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    This section illustrates why I think clockwise is the way to go. The Hardscabble descent is steep, deep and sandy. Going down was easy. Going up would have sucked.

    Boys playing in the sand...[​IMG]
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    Last view down the Colorado River valley before climbing out.
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    The view from the top
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    This is where we said good night to Marcus before heading down Pucker Pass. The trip around WRT was from 8 am to 5pm. Perfect weather, outstanding scenery, and no broken bikes or bones.

    I do not have pics of Pucker Pass. Here is the shot from just before the descent.
    [​IMG]


    Day 2 of the MOAB trip- Gemini Bridges - still to come....
    #1
  2. Esteban

    Esteban Banned

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    Great pics Dean. I bet you were happy to trailer home.

    SG
    #2
  3. Burren Rider

    Burren Rider Aussie Adventurer

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    Beautiful pictures and countryside. Looks like a great ride too :thumb.
    #3
  4. Wings

    Wings RockiesToSandbox

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    Awesome Deano! I hope one day I'll be able to take that trip myself. How many miles was it? Thanks for sharing the pics abd the report!
    #4
  5. Eurobiker

    Eurobiker Vintage Cat Herder

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    :thumb, great report, keepem, coming. Good to see a variety of bikes doin' it, too. I was there last year in the cage.

    Near the Visitors Center, overlooking the Shafer trail:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    You guys are sooooo busted. I'm fwd'g this article to the NPS. Don't you know that the speed limit on the White Rim Trail is 15mph? [​IMG]

    How come I didn't see any pic's of someone doing a wheelie across Muscleman Arch? One of these days I'll have to dig out a picture I took of a dozen bikes parked on the arch.

    -Jeff-
    #6
  7. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer Supporter

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    Nice pictures! I've been wondering what the 'sandy' portion looked like. Doesn't look too bad.
    #7
  8. Doubletrackmind

    Doubletrackmind Been here awhile

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    Just don't tell em that we snuck in a back door and out a side door without paying an entrane fee. Ooops I probably shouldn'ta said that.....

    I'll post my images tonight.


    And Jeff, I'd love to see that picture. post eeeet
    #8
  9. scooter_scum

    scooter_scum Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    From a distance, everything looks easy. The sand is manage-able, but this was markus' first time in sand. With his R1150GS, it was a bit much. Some section were very fine power (think two feet of baby powder). Poor markus dropped off a 8" ledge and his front end was burried up to his axle. I had to dig it out before he could continue down hill.

    The real excitement came when we tried to go home. We hit 10 miles of glaze ice on I70. WE help contribute to the traffic tie up by dropping our bikes just on the other side of the tunnel. WE could not pick up the bikes. As we lifted the bikes and started to push them back up on their wheels -- they would just slide across the road -- with us chasing them. What a pain in the A**. We ended up coasting down the hill at about 10-13 MPH for about an hour before the Ice cleared up. Dang...
    #9
  10. DirtySantana

    DirtySantana Chopper

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    Great ride.

    ICI, John (not an advrider member) and I did this ride twice once last year and then last April. It's not technical in the babyhead rocky way but technical in speed, you can really get going on this ride, ripping through the desert at about 60 mph (according to my GPS in some sections) that may not be fast most desert racers but good enough for me.

    Were heading out there again in the begining of November. On the agenda is Poison Spider/Gold Bar trail, I did this last April and it was a blast so I have to do it again.

    Pictures will follow the last blast of the season.
    #10
  11. MasterDabber

    MasterDabber Adventurer

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    Surrey, England
    Great pictures... I was in Moab/Canyonlands/Arches back at the end of June... but in the car with SWMBO... never got to the places you did.
    It sure wets the appetite. It's great area to see (and even greater to ride I imagine).

    Thanks :thumb
    #11
  12. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in

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    thanks for the info and pics...we will be there on 3 KLRs this weekend...


    cheers
    #12
  13. cRAsH

    cRAsH Banned

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    If you see two dudes on DRZ's that'll be me and Fist. :ricky
    #13
  14. HighTechCoonass

    HighTechCoonass Living the Dream....

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    You fellows need suspenders for your pants! I notice when you all stopped for a break your pants fell to your ankles!!!
    #14
  15. Dave Noel

    Dave Noel Giv'er

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    That looks like a great trip. I would love to do that one some day.

    Great picture.
    #15
  16. sandiegoland

    sandiegoland Adventure Boy®

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    A very satisfying twisty pic!!
    :beer
    #16
  17. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in

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    Roger that...will be on the lookout...our plans are loose and we wanted to run thru Ouray, but YOU did the damned snow dance....

    2 green Klr one red....all with smiles....proabally gonna hit the red rock lodge for a night or 2....

    maybe we can tip a few...
    #17
  18. Eurobiker

    Eurobiker Vintage Cat Herder

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. alanf

    alanf Colorado AdvRider

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    Great photos from the trip. I've done White Rim a few times and always enjoyed it.

    I don't have the "lots of bikes on the Muscleman Arch" that Jeff described but I have a few of my buddy Todd Unpronounceable there:

    This one from '97

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    And another from '03:

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    #19
  20. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    Hey Alan, small world.

    I'm pretty sure there must be a hefty fine for doing this sort of thing. My excuse? In '85 I don't think there were any signs telling use that we *couldn't* do this. [​IMG] Parking out there was bad enough, but trying to walk around all of the bikes to get off for the photo was really hairy. 2nd only to kick-starting a cantankerous XR500 out there.

    -Jeff-
    #20