Southern Utah - "Leave the rain gear at home" Tour

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Bullseye, Oct 2, 2021.

  1. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    "Leave the rain gear at home" - I might have said something along those lines to the 3 other riders in our group. In my defense, for the past 5 years I've been doing a similar trip in this area and at this time of year and I have rarely encountered any inclement weather. (OK, there was that trip to Moab in 2018). I might have even said something along the lines of "I'm not gonna bring a tent either".

    On Sunday September 26, 3 of us met up in Hurricane, UT to start a 5 day ride around Southwest Utah. @AllSeasonRider @TFC and Myself. @aanichols was already in Escalante waiting to join us when arrived at the end of Day 1.

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    #1
  2. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    Mrs. Bullseye and I headed out to Cedar City on Friday to do a little gravel bike racing.
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    I had great legs for about 65 miles... unfortunately, the race was 85 miles.
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    Consolation prize...
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    Mrs. Bullseye headed home with friends and I repositioned to Hurricane to wait for the boys to arrive on Sunday.
    BLM camping at the foot of Gooseberry Mesa.
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  3. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    The boys arrived Sunday afternoon. We made final preps and headed out Monday morning. The RV, Truck and Trailer were stored at WillowWind RV Park in Hurricane. Secure parking comes up from time to time in this area. They were very nice and accommodating. WillowWind is a nice RV park and they have a storage lot in back.

    First segment, Mesa Road and Kolob Terrace.
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    The Aspens were on full display at the higher altitudes.
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    After lunch, we hit Casto Canyon.
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    D
    Dark clouds looming at the other end of the canyon.
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    We climbed right out of Casto and into the storm.
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  4. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    In some ways, the planning for this thing started years ago as Taylor (@Bullseye ) had been collecting tracks over his many repeated visits to the area. In other ways, it started only a couple weeks before the departure date when I got the invite to tag along. I'd seen a lot of this area via pavement in years past, so I was looking forward to getting off the beaten path. I consider Taylor a good friend and a trustworthy guy, so I was just letting him take the lead on planning and my head was just a sponge to soak up all of his lies about the weather.

    My wife and I share a car, which means I get relegated to a status similar to that old friend of yours who is continually down on his luck, can't hold a job, and is always bumming a ride. Taylor picked up my bike and brought it out to Hurricane for me, but since he would be there a few days early for the gravel bike race, I needed to figure out how to get my body there. John (@TFC ) to the rescue, who volunteered to drive 2 hours out of his way to pick me up before we pointed his truck westbound.

    Did you know the Del Taco in Barstow is the oldest in operation? The menu there is completely different, and after getting over my mild panic as I approached the cashier and realized I didn't know what I wanted, I quickly settled on a number 7.
    "Does that have sour cream on it?"
    "No, but it has a white dressing."
    Hmm... sounds a lot like sour cream to me, but we're here for ADVENTURE!
    "Let's do it!" I exclaimed.
    The cashier just rolled her eyes. "You're number 22. We'll bring it out."

    We made it into the RV park without any drama. We grabbed a quick dinner and then headed back to the RV get the bikes prepped and ready to roll out the next morning.

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    I'm really glad John and I chatted on the phone a few days earlier. He told me Taylor was full of it and we'd hit some rain and cold, so at the last minute I tossed a GoreTex jacket into my bag.
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  5. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Fitting 3 guys into Taylor's RV was interesting. John slept on a loveseat-sized sofa, and I took over the bunk over the cab. Set my alarm for 7am and reminded myself not to jump out of bed and hit my head on the low ceiling.

    7am rolls around, alarm goes off, and I sit up and hit my head on the low ceiling. We're off to a good start!

    We hit the road and quickly made our way into some excellent scenery. This was all pre- Casto canyon...

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    I hadn't ridden any dirt since the Death Valley n00bs rally back in March and it was taking longer than I'd liked to feel good on the bike.

    It still wasn't great by the time we got to Casto Canyon, and despite how epic of a route we were on (seriously, just look at Taylor's photos), I was feeling this sense of terror meandering through the trees and washes for some reason - couldn't possibly have been in my head about my crash last January that left me with a collapsed lung and 4 broken ribs...

    On the upside, being the slowest rider in the group means the fast guys at the front can stop and take your picture... so there's that!
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  6. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    @AllSeasonRider Glad to hear you bumped your head! Looks like we are all even... @TFC drew the short straw on night 1... (6' guy on a 5' loveseat). Then I volunteered to take the top bunk in Escalante... I must have hit my head on that low beam at least 3 times!
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  7. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    Our intended route was across Johns Valley and up to Powell Point. We tried to outrun and out maneuver but the rain, thunder, lightening and hail was on closing in all around. We made an exit out to Hwy 12 and took shelter in Cannonville. Once the cell passed, we slabbed it straight in to Escalante to call it a day.

    Attached Files:

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  8. Trailryder42

    Trailryder42 Long timer

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  9. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Taylor is running an 8" on the big-ass sized Ram mounts. Mine is a 7" on the standard Ram mount ball size since mine is a cheap $70 Amazon tablet that weighs less than my phone. They both attach to the frame of the mini rally fairings we're running.
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  10. Doc Sarvis

    Doc Sarvis Advent-ia before dementia Supporter

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    Some very fine stuff between Hurricane and Escalante. The Willowwind RV park may be one of the nicest I have every been in. Keep the goods coming.
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  11. Doc Sarvis

    Doc Sarvis Advent-ia before dementia Supporter

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    Me and some friends used to monkey wrench around those parts years ago before Ed Abbey started writing about it.
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  12. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    Leaving out an awful lot of nuance! :lol3

    When the rain started, I was glad I brought along that GoreTex jacket. Of course, it did f*** all with the vents wide open... I digress...

    I was still feeling a bit skittish on the bike, so the cold and rain was a welcome distraction :rofl

    Taylor was doing his best to get us out of there and onto some pavement, but it seemed every track we tried was either the wrong way and we turned around, or an MTB trail and we turned around, or a campground and we turned around, or it suggested we ride straight off a cliff, which was starting to sound like a pretty good plan!

    Once we'd made it to Escalante, we were able to meet up with Alan (@aanichols ) and much beer and pizza were consumed.
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  13. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    Careful! You’re dating yourself!
    Ed Abbey should be required reading before entering these parts.
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  14. Doc Sarvis

    Doc Sarvis Advent-ia before dementia Supporter

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    “One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothing can beat teamwork.” .....The Monkey Wrench Gang.

    Somehow I see this as a tag line somewhere in the upcoming pages.
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  15. aanichols

    aanichols Racer at heart

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    Like Taylor I've been spending the last week of Sept. or early Oct. in Utah. I'd already been planning to go to the Escalante area so hooking up with these guys to camp off the bike for 2 nights sounded perfect. I spent Monday exploring on my own north of town. Headed up Hells Backbone to get started.

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  16. aanichols

    aanichols Racer at heart

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    We had been talking for weeks and Taylor mentioned he would wear Dakar gear and bring a light shell.....just in case. That's what I was wearing and it was perfect with a light underlayer. I zipped up the Jacket when got up top though.

    I believe this is the Griffin Top area. 20210927_112412.jpg
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  17. aanichols

    aanichols Racer at heart

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    I spent the day playing around and then headed back to my room to prep the bike for the overnighter.

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    I stayed at the Ponderosa....great little place. Bikes prepped. I know that looks like a lot of shit, but the weather report for Wed. didn't look good....Time to meet the guys, but they're not here yet. I then get the text that they're waiting out a storm cell.....uh oh.
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  18. aanichols

    aanichols Racer at heart

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    I got hungry and decided to hit the Outfitters for Pizza and more beer. Taylor, Mark and John finally arrived so I went by to say hi and see how they were doing. They were giving Taylor a little grief about gear choice, but overall they were doing great.....time for another beer.... and dinner for them. We were sticking to the ride plan despite the threat of rain....although we did skip a southern loop since there was flood damage on a lot of the roads to the south from previous storms this year.....could be a sign, right. They all had water proof jackets of some sort so they figured they'd be fine. I really never decided on gear choice until Tues. morning....
    my Gortex Traverse gear was in my truck though....:beer
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  19. BiggieFalls

    BiggieFalls b00b

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  20. AllSeasonRider

    AllSeasonRider Wandering, maybe a little lost...

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    :lol3
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